A first apartment starter kit is simply a list of tasks and items you need or want your first apartment to have that will make your life easier and more comfortable. It should include lists of furniture you have or need, appliances, services, amenities, and more. So why should you have one?
Mostly, it is to prevent overwhelming feelings that creep in once you sign your first lease. There are many factors and logistics to consider when moving into your new place. To calm your mind and make your move an exciting and rewarding experience, creating a personalized apartment starter kit will provide the structure to help you stay on top of everything that needs to get done. Here are some suggestions you should consider and include in your first apartment starter kit so you know what to expect on a moving day.
Moving Service Options
Obviously, you will need someone to help you move your belongings into the new apartment. So, this should be one of the first things to put on your first apartment starter kit. If you are moving out of the family home or a college dorm, chances are that you will not have much stuff to move into your new place. You may consider roping in friends and family members to help you relocate your furniture and other items.
However, if you are moving to another town, state, or even country, family and friends may be unable to help you. You will need to hire some type of moving service to get it done. There are several types of moving services you may want to consider, and once you choose, add them to your first apartment starter kit.
Door to door moving services – This is the most hassle-free service where the movers come into your home, pack everything up, and deliver your belongings to your new apartment. You won’t even have to worry about unpacking. It’s kind of magical; you just arrive at your new apartment, and all your belongings are unpacked and waiting for you to carry on living. It is a fast and convenient method that saves you all the heavy lifting, and you can use it for short moves (just a couple of blocks from your current address) or long-distance moves (moving to another town or state). However, as you can imagine, this type of service does not come cheap. Another drawback is that you won’t have much control over the moving process like you would when you get involved personally.
Local moving service – As the name implies, you would consider using this type of service if you are moving to another street in your town. It saves you from begging your friends and family for help, and instead, you can affordably hire professional movers. The service is often flexible, and you can get a quote quickly. But you must be careful to hire a reliable company to prevent damage and be prepared to do some of the work yourself.
Moving container companies – These companies provide a container that you fill with your belongings. Then, they come to pick up the container and move it to your new location. It is a great option if you are on a budget and gives you great flexibility. You can take your time packing and unpacking the container. Unfortunately, it also means that you will have to do all the heavy lifting yourself.
If you decide to use the container for moving into your first apartment, you have the additional advantage of using it as a storage container for any furniture and other items that you don’t want to use in your new space or those that won’t fit. It’s a great storage solution, but make sure you reserve a spot with a self-storage facility to store your container. Otherwise, the storage facility may not have sufficient space to house your container. If that happens, it is a bit of an inconvenience, but you can always use another local storage service company to hire reasonably priced storage. By storing your excess belongings in local storage facilities, you can access them relatively easily. Just because you may not have any use for them now, you may want them again sometime in the future.
Choose Furniture and Appliances for Your New Apartment
The second section of your first apartment starter kit should be dedicated to furniture and appliances. After all, unless your apartment is already furnished, you will need to furnish it. When starting a new life in a new apartment, the temptation is to discard all your old furniture and appliances and replace them with new ones. It’s not a very practical idea. You may want to focus only on the design and style you want your new place to have, but don’t forget the furniture pieces you already own. They have your memories. Sometimes, it’s better to refurbish an existing piece of furniture than to buy a new one.
There is, however, one piece of furniture that you may want to upgrade. It is always wise to invest in ergonomic chairs, especially if you sit down all day at work. Ergonomic furniture supports your body and reduces the risk of musculoskeletal problems, joint pain, and back issues. Having a properly supportive chair (or sofa) will help you relax in comfort in your new apartment and improve your overall well-being. So, don’t forget to add this item to your first apartment starter kit.
You also need to add a list of the most crucial appliances you will need to make your place feel like home right from the start.
Refrigerator – No home can function without a refrigerator. It keeps your food fresh and ensures you have a cold drink available when you need one. If your old fridge has seen better days, you may be forgiven for tossing it to the curb. Look for a model that is energy efficient when purchasing a new one. Any brand with a good Energy Star rating will help save you money in the long run by reducing your electricity use and helping save the environment.
Microwave – It is an essential appliance to have. And it is not only to cook junk food. Millions of recipes are available on the internet that “Chef Mike” (microwave) can cook up in a jiffy—even healthy ones. You can add it to your first apartment starter kit.
Toaster and Kettle – No one should be forced to live without morning toast and a hot beverage. That is why you should add these items to your first apartment starter kit to make sure you get them. If you want, you can also add a coffee maker for that delicious cup of coffee to enjoy after all the unpacking.
Add things like rugs, pillows, lamps, and wall art to your list to make your living space cozier and more stylish. These soft furnishings will make your place feel like home and can be swapped and changed according to your personality and budget.
One way to change up a space is to install some modern window coverings. Curtains or blinds will give you some privacy, control the light that enters your room, and make the place look nicer.
Find Out About the Available Services and Amenities
The third section of your first apartment starter kit should include a list of services and amenities available near your new home. When choosing your first apartment, you should look for services such as an affordable laundromat, a grocery store, a gym, and even a park. Having these nearby can increase your quality of life and convenience.
For instance, if there is an accessible local laundromat, you may hold off on purchasing a new washing machine because you can do your laundry there. The money you would have spent on the new machine can be allocated elsewhere in your budget.
Having a gym and a park nearby is also nice to have. A gym and a park near your new apartment can benefit your physical and mental health. A park provides a space for outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, and sports. It can also be a great place to relax and unwind after a long day.
A grocery store that is nearby is also a plus. You can buy your groceries on the way home from work, and if you forget an ingredient for a recipe, it will be quick to pop out and get it.
Buy an Insurance Policy
Insurance is one of those things that you don’t think about until you need it. If you are renting your first apartment, you won’t automatically be asked by your bank to take out a homeowner’s insurance plan. Still, you cannot leave everything to chance. Life has a way of throwing curveballs our way when we least expect them. So, to protect yourself and your belongings, you should note in the apartment starter kit to purchase a renters’ insurance plan that includes protection against property damage and theft and a liability cover. Better be safe than sorry when someone steals your things.
Transportation and Parking
At least one of the sections on your apartment starter kit should consider parking and transportation options for your new home.
Find out if a convenient public transport option is available near your new apartment. It is a great option for people who want to save money on car expenses and can reduce their carbon footprint. Buying a monthly pass instead of paying for individual rides will make using public transport even more affordable.
If your new apartment is located in an area with bike lanes, consider adding buying a bike item to your starter kit. Biking is a great way to exercise so you can stay fit on your way to work. Don’t forget to buy a safe bike lock to protect your bike from getting stolen.
Car sharing is another option to save money while getting to work. If your work colleagues live nearby, you could consider getting them to carpool with you. Otherwise, consider taking up car-sharing services like Car2Go or Zipcar.
If you own an electric vehicle, ensure that there is an EV charging station near your apartment. It is an absolute must-have item on your apartment starter kit. Charging your car far away from your home would be very inconvenient. You can find EV charging stations in your area using apps like PlugShare or ChargePoint.
Finding and securing a parking space for your car near your first apartment can be challenging if you live in a city center. So, you need to consider that when choosing your apartment if you own a car. Some apartment complexes have parking lots or garage spaces for all renters, so you may look for an apartment in such a block. Alternatively, you may have to park your car in the street, but make sure you are aware of any parking restrictions and regulations that apply.
To protect your car from theft and damage while parked, make sure you park in a well-lit area and use a good-quality car alarm system. You can also install a GPS tracking device to help locate your vehicle in case it gets stolen.
Moving into your first apartment can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can also be a little overwhelming. Creating a personalized apartment starter kit list can help you put things in perspective and ensure you won’t overlook any important aspects of your move.
When drawing up your kit, include a list of all tasks and items you will need or want your first apartment to have to make your life easier and more comfortable. You should start with choosing your moving company and then selecting furniture and appliances for your apartment. Once you figure out what you want moved and who will do it, you can broaden your plan to include planning for how your days will look like living in your new home. You will need to find out what amenities and services you have nearby and consider how you will travel to work and get around the neighborhood. Also, do not forget to purchase an insurance plan to make sure all your belongings are safe. Once you work out everything on paper, the moving experience will not seem so overwhelming. Keep your plan with you and work through the list on your moving day. Hopefully, everything will go smoothly.