Student Life

Essential First-Apartment Moving Checklist

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By: Madison White, Uloop

Nobody forgets their first apartment, but some people would like to forget their first moving experience. Moving can create a lot of stress for everyone involved, but there are many ways to ease the pains of moving.

Especially when it comes to first apartment moves, knowing what to do and when may seem like a guessing game. However, a few steps to plan ahead can really save the day.

1. Create a game plan

One of the most difficult things to do well while moving is communicating. Because moving is often hectic and stressful, many things can get misunderstood and people are left even more exhausted and frustrated than they already are. A great way to combat this is to make a plan for your moving day ahead of time, complete with approximate times to keep things running smoothly.

Make sure everyone who is involved in the moving process knows when to arrive and that you know how long they plan to stay for. Try and keep things running in a logical order by signing the lease first, moving the big items, moving the boxes, and then unboxing the essentials. Part of this may include making another checklist and making sure everyone is on board with what the plan is.

2. Organize, organize, organize

Another way to combat moving stress, especially when it’s a first apartment move, is to try and be as organized as possible. Because it’s your student’s first apartment, they may have far fewer items to worry about than someone with a lot of possessions.

However, it is also possible that they’ll overprepare with things they don’t really need. Whichever is the case, keeping track of what is in what box will save you from the frustration of digging to find exactly what you need. Make sure that you’re placing like items in like boxes.

For example, bedding should all go in the same boxes and bathroom things should be in a different box (this also helps in case anything should spill during the journey). It will also help you determine what is necessary to unbox first and what can be saved for a later date.

3. Think of the little things

It’s easy to forget things when you’re moving for the first time. In fact, you’ll probably realize just how many things you need once only after the move. Many people often forget that they’ll need toilet paper right away, especially if there are many people around helping move.

Some paper towels always come in handy and a few cleaning wipes will help you keep things nice and clean. Moving is also hard work, so it may be advisable to have some water bottles on hand and definitely a few trash bags for the first day of moving. Don’t forget a hammer and nails too if you want to do any decorating.

4. Remember the backup items

Besides just the things essential to the first day of moving, there are other important things to be reminded of. You wouldn’t want your student getting stranded in an emergency-like situation if you can avoid it. Some things to keep in mind as backup items to bring with you or to purchase shortly after may be band-aids, tissues, light bulbs, staple food items (salt, pepper, ketchup, etc.), towels, stain remover, and cookware. These items are easily forgotten until a time of crisis when they’re much needed! 

5. Have a few lights on hand

By lights here, I mean lighting fixtures. What many people don’t realize is that many apartments don’t come with an abundance of overhead lighting. In fact, some apartments come with barely any lighting at all. In case your move lingers into the evening hours, you’re going to want something that will enable you to see.

Having a floor light or at least a desk lamp already on the moving list will provide an easy solution to the shock that comes with having an empty and dark apartment!

6. Make time for food

Hungry people are often angry. Exhausted people usually are as well. When you’ve been moving for many hours at a time, it isn’t hard to forget to eat. However, not eating can put everyone in a terrible mood and only worsen the effects of moving. To combat this, you should plan ahead your times to eat when you’re thinking about your moving day schedule.

Think about whether you want to bring food with you (which might be a hassle), order food to the apartment, or take a quick break to go somewhere. Whatever you decide to do, agree that everyone involved with moving will be getting food at that time. No delays or people will forget altogether!

Your student’s first apartment move will likely be a memorable experience. Hopefully, with these few tips, they’ll remember the things they learned over the number of stairs they climbed.

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