apartment moving checklist

Apartment Moving Checklist

Checklist For Your First Big Apartment Move – Everything You Need To Know!

apartment moving checklist

This apartment moving checklist is going to help you through the process of moving into your first apartment.  In addition, this checklist will help if you are moving for a second or third time as well. This checklist has all of the things you should do, whether this is your first apartment or not!

Moving apartments can be an overwhelming process.  For this reason we created a guide to help you through every detail, step by step. 

When you’re moving (espeically if it’s the first time) you don’t want to have to think of every little detail. You want to focus on the main parts of your move such as handling the process itself. Not just worrying about the planning.

In addition, you can use this guide for any type of residential move.  Whether you’re moving from one house to another or just changing apartments, feel free to use this handy checklist. Read more about types of moves here if you’re not sure what type of move you will need.

So let’s get right to the good stuff and go over everything you need to know for your big (little) move!  You can also read these tips for moving into your first apartment as it might help you too!


First Apartment Checklist: What To Buy Before Move-Day!

Here in this section, we will go over everything you will need for your first apartment before move-day.  Think if this part of your apartment moving checklist as the absolute necessities.

One of the things you can do is plan ahead of time.  You should plan ahead for all different parts of the move.  From choosing a moving company, to buying essentials, having a strategy will pay off in the long run.

As for the apartment essentials we go over below, it will help if you buy them little by little in the weeks leading up to your move.  Doing so will make other parts of the move (such as packing and physically relocating) less stressful. 

You can read more about how to pack boxes for a move here.  Additionally, read this great article that gives a step by step on how to roll clothes.  We know it will help!

Items To Buy Ahead Of Time

Mattress and Bedding

Your mattress and bedding such as sheets, comforter, pillows and pillow cases, should all be purchased before you move.  Chances are, you might even have these items already in your current residence.

If you don’t and you forget these apartment checklist essentials, you could likely end up sleeping on the floor.  And we certainly don’t want that to happen to you!


Some places where you can buy affordable bedding sets include:

So be sure to buy and check off these basic apartment staples.  Now let’s move on to the next thing you need to buy ASAP!


You should be sure to have a toolkit on hand and should get that prior to moving into your new apartment.  There are many toolkits you can buy, including ones that are already filled with everything you need.

But if you do not want to buy a prefilled toolkit, you can certainly purchase all of the items individually.  Go to your local Home Depot or Lowes.  You can even get smaller items such as nails, a screwdriver and a hammer at the 99 cents store.

TIP: Don’t forget wall hangers and hooks, screws, and anything else that might be needed when you move!

Step Stool

Having a step stool in your new apartment is crucial.  You will need it every now and then as you change lightbulbs or get things from hard to reach places.

You can get all types of step stools.  Choosing one that meets your needs is very important.  It is also a big plus if you find one that stores easily and is compact.

Shower Curtain

Don’t forget to buy a shower curtain and liner for your shower!  Unless you are moving into an apartment that has an enclosed shower, a shower curtain is an essential to include on your moving checklist.

Many people forget to purchase shower curtains before they move.  Especially if they are moving into their first apartment.  It’s not something you would normally think about.

However, forgetting to do so will result in your bathroom getting very wet and an unpleasant showering experience.  So don’t forget this crucial apartment essential!


Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is very important to have on hand before you get into your new place.  Some might say you can buy it once you are already settled inside.  However, I just don’t find this to be true.

If you or the movers have an emergency and need to use the bathroom, it would be a disaster to not have a roll of toilet paper on hand.  This would be a worst case scenario of course but you don’t want it to happen.

TIP: Get yourself two rolls of toilet paper to have on hand.  This way, once you’ve moved, you can wait a few days to go back out to the store.  Additionally, your two rolls of toilet paper won’t take up that much room to bring along on your journey.

Trash Can

In addition to the other apartment moving essentials on your checklist, you will want to have this one jotted down.  A trash can is an essential you want to have prior to moving into your new place.

You can get something small to start.  Perhaps a bathroom wastebasket.  Once you’re all settled in you can get a larger trashcan for your kitchen.

Trash Bags

Trash bags are another apartment essential you will want to add to your checklist.  You should consider getting a box of large trash bags and smaller ones too.  But whatever you do, make sure you have at least a few on move day!

TIP: If you forget to purchase trash bags in advance, don’t worry!  We’re sure you will have at least one or two bags that you used to pack up belongings for your move.  Make use of them!

Light Bulbs

Light bulbs are an important item to add to your apartment moving checklist.  Make sure you have them before you get to your new apartment. 

Moving into an apartment with no lightbulbs could be a potential disaster.  Especially if you arrive at your new apartment at night.  So be sure to put these on the list and get them a day or two in advance.

TIP: Light Bulbs are breakable and can shatter if packaged incorrectly.  If they are not in a box, store them in a small, hollow container such as a waste paper basket until you are in your new home!

Cleaning Supplies

You will want cleaning supplies when you first move into an apartment.  So add this to you moving checklist! Having everything you need to clean your new home is crucial. If you don’t, your new place could turn out to be a huge messy disaster!


There are tons of different cleaning supplies you should have.  However, having just a few basics to get you buy the first day or so is ok.

But if you want to know which cleaning supplies you should put on your apartment moving checklist, here are a few ideas:

  • Windex
  • Swiffer and Swiffer floor cleaners and dusters
  • Dishwasher soap
  • Sponges
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Paper Towels
  • Furniture polish
  • Soap

First-Aid Kit

Unfortunately, having a first-aid kit is essential when you’re moving.   It’s possible, in the upheaval of the moving process, that you could injure yourself in some way.  For that reason you should add buying a first-aid kit to your apartment moving checklist.

Some of the things you will need in a first-aid kit are the following:

  • Band Aids
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Peroxide
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Ace Bandages
  • Advil
  • Cold medicine
  • Ice Pack
  • Cough Drops

Basic Kitchen Essentials

You will want to have some basic kitchen essential on your moving checklist.  Especially on your first day of moving into your new apartment.  You’ll need to ask yourself which items you will need on your first day and be sure that you get them.

Here are some kitchen items you might need to purchase before you move:

  • Forks, knives, spoons
  • Plates and blows
  • Paper utensils
  • Ice cream scooper
  • Blender
  • Toaster
  • Spatula
  • Mixer
  • Glasses and mugs
  • Baking sheet
  • Pots and pans
  • Casserole dish
  • Oven-safe baking dish

TIP: You can opt to purchasing paper plates and plastic utensils.  This is a great idea if you want to take your time with picking out glassware and silverware.

Clothes Hangers

Don’t forget to purchase clothes hangers before your apartment move.  These are items you will want to be sure to add to your apartment moving checklist.  Additionally, you will want these beforehand so that you can move right in and unpack a few things right away.

You can get your clothes hangers at your local dollar store if you’re looking to save a couple bucks.  Otherwise, just head over to a Target or Walmart and get them there.


You should have batteries for when you move.  You’ll need them for some of your electronics and should have them handy.


You should definitely have a flashlight in case you need it.  This is an emergency item you probably won’t have to use, but even a small flashlight on a keychain will do.


Extension Cords

Make sure to get extension cords.  This is an extremely important item to have whether you are moving locally or across the country.  No one wants to have to run out on move day to buy extension cords.

Be sure to put them on your apartment moving checklist and have them handy for when you move in!  We know you’ll be glad you did.

Apartment Moving Checklist: Must-Have Household Items

When you are moving into an apartment, be sure to include these important essentials on your apartment moving checklist.  Many times, when moving into a first apartment, items can get overlooked.  However, these you will not want to forget.

tips when moving into your first apartment

Residential moving company, Busy Beez Movers recommends to get out a pen and paper.  Make a checklist and cross off each item that you have.  Then you can focus on the items you need to buy for your new residence.

You can buy items shortly after you move in or right before your move. 

TIP: A convenient thing to do is choose stores that offer free shipping.  Just have some of your furniture delivered right to your new home!  This will save you tons of stress as moving furniture items can be a huge hassle.

Living Room

In your main living space or living room, there are several things you are going to need. Below are a few of the main ones.

Furniture To Buy

  • Couch
  • Coffee table
  • Lamps and lighting
  • TV
  • Comfy armchair

Other Items To Consider

Some of the other items for your living room are quite important! Read through this list and be sure you have exactly what you need.

  • Rugs
  • Curtains
  • Wall decor
  • Candles
  • Pictures and frames
  • House plants

Your living room is your main living space. This the part of your home where you will probably spend the most time doing things.  Additionally, when you have visitors to your home, this is most likely where you will entertain.

Having the basic necessities is crucial so that you can enjoy your home and don’t experience discomfort. Additionally, you will want to build upon our living space by adding decor to make it your own.

If you are on a budget, ask yourself the following questions about your living space:

  • Are there any items I can live without while I get myself organized?
  • Where do I want to purchase these items?
  • Is furniture rentals an option?
  • Can any of the items be purchased used?
  • Do I plan to entertain guests?

Some of the following stores offer affordable, quality furniture. These are stores you should definitely consider!


Your bedroom is another important room of your home.  We’ve already covered the topic of having a mattress.  I’m going to add it again to this list just in case you missed it the first time.

Buying a bed is also important. You certainly do not want to be sleeping on the floor.  However, there are several other things you will need as well.

Furniture To Buy

  • Bed
  • Nightstands
  • Lamps and lighting
  • Dresser
  • Mirror

Other Items To Consider

  • Rug
  • Curtains
  • Alarm clock
  • Jewelry box
  • Comfy throw
  • Storage
  • Pictures and frames
  • Hangers
  • Other decor


Your bathroom is another room that needs to be properly considered.  Here are some things you will need for your bathroom that we haven’t already mentioned:

  • Toiletries
  • Storage
  • Rug
  • Bath mat
  • Shower caddy
  • Trash bin
  • Tooth brush and holder
  • Hair dryer
  • Miniblinds or curtains


There are many items you will need for your kitchen. In addition to the dishes, glassware and silver ware we touched upon earlier, there are important appliances you will not want to forget.

apartment kitchen
Beautiful apartment kitchen- be sure you don’t forget the essentials!

Here are a few things we didn’t mention previously:

  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Kitchen rug
  • Dish rack
  • Paper towel holder
  • Napkins and holder
  • Dish towel
  • Tupperware
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen knives
  • Aluminum foil
  • Parchment paper
  • Sandwich bags
  • Spices and condiments

Apartment Moving Checklist: Things To Do Before You Move

There are a bunch of things you need to do prior to moving into your new apartment.  Guess what?  We’ve created a checklist for those things too!

Besides just buying items for your new home as we’ve outlined above in our checklist, there are other things that need to be done. In the lists below, we’ve outlined some of the other tasks you will need to take care of prior to move day.

Below are some of the things you will need to do in order to move without any interruptions.

  • Change your address
  • Contact your credit card companies
  • Forward your mail
  • Change utilities
  • Change all billing information for subscription services
  • Cancel subscription services as necessary
  • Hire a reputable moving company
  • Refill any prescriptions (and find a new pharmacy)
  • Notify insurance of change of address

As far as the changes that need to take place when you move and the things you need to do to get the ball rolling, we’ve outlined several.   A few weeks before your apartment move, you will want to change your address. 

Additionally, you can set up mail forwarding.  This is so that if any mail is sent to your old address it will automatically be forwarded to the new one.

Calling the credit card companies and utility companies can be done 1 to 2 weeks in advance of your move.  Add this one to your moving checklist, as it is very important!

You will want to hire a moving company around two months before your move.  Or at least begin researching moving companies and make a decision soon thereafter.  Doing so will enable you to get numerous quotes and choose the best company for the job.  You can read this article on questions to ask when getting a moving quote.

You Read Through The Checklist? Enjoy Your New Apartment!


Now that your in your new apartment, it’s time to enjoy it! And you may not have had the opportunity without the proper preparation.

We hope this guide has been helpful for you and your family. There’s so much planning to do sometimes it can get confusing.

Now that you’ve read through this guide and have all the information you need, we hope you are in good spirits and enjoying your wonderful new residence. Use this handy apartment moving checklist to move into your first apartment with ease and for all of your future moves as well.

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