Moving OuT for the First Time Checklist


The first time you get your own place to live is exciting, scary, and can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to fill an entire home with your own things, but you also need to make sure all of your bills and paperwork are set up properly, all with the added stress of paying for your own expenses! Whether you finally got your first apartment or are moving to a vacation home in Davenport, FL, there are some considerations that can make the process a lot smoother. We’ve compiled our best tips for anyone taking this important step!

Home Essentials

It can be tempting to buy every single thing you may need as soon as you move in--after all, you’re excited to set up a home the way you like it and may feel pressure to be “settled.” However, with all the expenses of moving, it may not be feasible to take this route. There are some essential items you should focus on for the initial move before you worry about extras.

  1. A Bed: A place to sleep should be at the top of your list. Some people may choose to put just a mattress on the floor, but be very cautious about this as the underside of the mattress can quickly mold and become not only dangerous, but also become an extra expense as you need to replace the mattress. A bed frame is a must-have!
  2. A nightstand: Or at least just a lamp! You don’t want to have to get out of bed to turn your lights off, and having all your personal belongings close by can go a long way in making you feel at home.
  3. Something to sit on: Even if you don’t buy a couch right away, a simple set of chairs, a beanbag, or anything you can sit on will be important. You can even grab a cheap couch on online marketplaces and cover it with a slip couch until you replace it with something nicer.
  4. Mirror: Be sure to have at least one good mirror in the house so you aren’t left scrambling for one.
  5. Lighting: Assess what lighting you have in the new house and where you might need to add more. Be sure to pay attention to areas where you might want less light, like a bedroom or living room, to choose the right options for more ambiance.
  6. Somewhere to eat: You can start with a coffee table or with a dining room set, but you don’t want to eat on the floor, so somewhere to have a meal will be important.
  7. A desk and chair: If you work from home, getting a solid place to work set up early on will be a necessity.
  8. Fans and/or heaters: Depending on the season and your location, you may need to adjust the temperature to be comfortable.
  9. Window coverings: If you don’t already have blinds or shutters, be sure you have something you can use to adjust the light or block out the view of passersby.
    Basic cooking items: You don’t need a fully stocked kitchen, but a microwave, a pot, a pan, and some utensils will go a long way in making sure you can eat in the first few weeks.

As you get settled, you will be able to continue adding other essential furniture and eventually décor, but this bare minimum will help you reach that point.

Items You May Forget

You may already have a list in your head of all the things you want for your new home- shopping for many of them is fun, and you’re probably looking forward to it! But what many people discover is that there are things that have just always been in their home that they don’t think to buy until you need them. While these aren’t as interesting, some of these items are critical to have in case of an emergency.

  1. Trash cans for the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom- plus bags!
  2. Cleaning supplies. This includes a vacuum, broom, dustpan, mop, and bucket ,as well as materials like Windex, cleansers, scrub brushes and sponges, a duster, laundry detergent, etc.
  3. A step stool or ladder – if nothing else, this will be important when the smoke detector is going off and needs new batteries.
  4. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and batteries
  5. A fire extinguisher
  6. Matches and a lighter
  7. Light bulbs.
  8. A basic toolbox, with at least a hammer, a screwdriver, measuring tape, nails, and some screws
  9. A first aid kit with at least bandages, antiseptic, a thermometer, and some Tylenol
  10. Flashlights and candles
  11. Extension cords
  12. All kinds of batteries

What to Budget For

When you think about moving out on your own, you’ve likely considered what monthly rent or mortgage you can afford, but it can be easy to overlook the one-time costs associated with a move. These costs will vary based on whether you are renting or buying, but you should always have extra money on hand to cover these expenses. 

  1. Rental Costs: Renting may include things like first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, a pet deposit, or an application fee.
  2. Utilities: Before you move in, you’ll want to have your basic utilities like electricity, water, and Internet set up. Some companies will require deposits, especially when you do not have a history with them from a previous home.
  3. Insurance: Many rentals will require insurance in order to move in, while owning a home comes with other insurance requirements. Either way, you will need to have this in place at some point early on and pay any associated fees.
  4. Movers: For your first place, you may not have much to move and can likely avoid the costs of a professional company. But even then, you may need to rent a truck or equipment like a dolly to make the move. And if friends or family pitch in, you may buy them dinner as a thank you.

Other Considerations

Some things are important to do every time you move, whether it’s the first home of your own or your fifteenth new place.

  1. Forward Your Mail: If you can remember to change your address on any important accounts, that is an important thing to do, but it’s hard to catch everything. Luckily the post office lets you set up a forward of your mail to the new address, so you don’t miss anything important.
  2. Update All Accounts: Things like insurance, banks, and the IRS will need to have your accurate and updated address, so change those as soon as you can. Be sure to get any accounts you frequently order packages from, like Amazon, as well.
  3. Change Your Driver’s License: As soon as you can, request a new ID from the DMV so that you have the right legal address on file.
  4. Update Voter Registration: Even a move of a few blocks can change your district, so once your ID is updated, change your registration to ensure you can vote in the right elections.
  5. Find Local Services: Over time in your new home, you’ll discover things like your favorite local coffee shop and restaurant, but some things are good to know in advance. Depending on how far you’ve moved, finding a pharmacy and doctor are some of the most important things. Grocery stores, gas stations, and other places you frequent may also be important and can help you establish reward accounts if these are new to you.

Moving Day Checklist

The most stressful part of an entire move is often the day itself. You have a lot of moving pieces and will end the day in a new place, with most of your things in boxes. One of our biggest recommendations is to pack an essentials bag that you transport yourself. This way, no matter the state of your house, you have everything you need to get through the first days.

  1. Keys – this seems obvious, but in the shuffle, it’s an important one.
  2. Basic first aid items, like bandages and some ibuprofen for your sore back
  3. Charges for your phone and any other essentials
  4. Spare batteries, just in case
  5. Sheets and a pillow
  6. At least one extra change of clothing, including underwear and pajamas
  7. Toiletries- just the basics will do, like soap, toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo, and deodorant
  8. A towel and washcloth
  9. A shower curtain
  10. Paper supplies like toilet paper and paper towels
  11. Basic cleaning supplies
  12. Plates, utensils, and cups – it’s okay if these are disposable for now
  13. Sunscreen for the move and the time you spend taking care of errands
  14. Any important medications
  15. Essentials for your pets, like food, a leash, and a water bowl
  16. Snacks and east to make meals – you may rely heavily on a microwave
  17. A small tool kit and some scissors
  18. A folder with your important paperwork and records
  19. Cash and your credit cards
  20. Something personal and special that will make you feel at home- whether it’s a blanket you love or a bottle of wine

Most of all, be sure to revel in the accomplishment of finding your own home and taking this big step!

Posted by Florida Realty Marketplace on
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