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First Apartment Checklist

By April 10, 2020September 11th, 2020Apartment Hunting
First Apartment Checklist

When you’ve only ever occupied your bedroom or a dorm room, it can be a little intimidating to gather everything for your first apartment. Bedroom? Bathroom? Kitchen? What do you need? Luckily, we’ve developed this first apartment checklist to get you excited about and motivated for this first big move.

Downloadable Checklist

Move in Must-do’s

There are several critical first steps to take when you rent that new apartment before you even start the packing process. Don’t overlook them:

    1. Make sure to switch on the power. Ask your landlord what utilities fall under your responsibility. Then contact your local service provider for each and establish an account.
    2. Activate the Wi-Fi. If you find the opportunity, ask your new neighbors what internet provider they recommend, find options, reach out for quotes, and get connected before move-in day.
    3. Change your address. In addition to correcting your address with banks, credit card companies, and service providers, visit your local DMV or post office to complete a change of address form.
    4. Take pictures of your new digs. Yes, for your photo album, but also to document the unit’s condition at the time of move-in. Capture time-stamped images of any existing damage, including scratches or stains.

What you’ll need for your new apartment

Setting yourself up for your first housekeeping experience can be fun, but it’s also a challenge. Reduce the chances you’ll be standing in your kitchen one morning wondering why you don’t have a toaster for your bagel by following our room-by-room first apartment checklist of critical items you’ll need:

Bedroom checklist

  • Bed frame and mattress
  • Comforter, sheets, pillows, and pillowcases
  • Dresser
  • Lamp
  • Clothes hangers
  • Shoe rack
  • Mirror

Living room checklist

  • Couch and/or chairs
  • Coffee and end tables
  • TV and TV stand
  • DVD/Blu Ray player and/or streaming device

Bathroom checklist

  • Bath and hand towels
  • Shower curtain and hooks
  • Shower/Bath mat
  • Plunger
  • A small trash can and bags

Kitchen/Dining checklist

  • Pots and pans
  • Baking tray
  • Knife set
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowls
  • Food storage containers
  • Cooking utensils
  • Table and chairs
  • Plates, silverware, glasses, and mugs
  • Toaster
  • Coffeemaker

Cleaning and organizing checklist

  • Laundry basket and hamper
  • Detergent, stain remover and fabric softener
  • Cleaning supplies: broom, dustpan, vacuum, mop/Swiffer, toilet brush and cleaning solutions
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Clothes hangers
  • Light bulbs
  • Sewing kit
  • Simple tool kit
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher

In addition to items listed on our apartment move-in checklist, first-time renters should consider rental insurance, documents and information needed for apartment applications, questions to ask potential landlords, and other tips for first-time apartment renters. Download and print out our first apartment move-in checklist to help you prepare for your big day.