I’m moving from my very first home (that I’ve lived in with my parents for years and years) into a new, shared apartment with my fiancé. Neither of us are moving experts.
What are the things we need to have or buy to be prepared for the first few weeks of moving into your first apartment? -Kay
Most of that is my experience as a young (and broke) kid, freshly moved out of my parents place (with generally only the clothes on my back, and a couple of books I had brought with me). So I’m going to list a few “essentials” (some of them may seem weird) for the first few weeks. You will probably need these asap, and everything else can come afterwards…
A can opener
Because if you move and you don’t have a fridge you may indeed be having a lot of canned food at first.)
A toaster oven
I would say microwave but some places have them built in and others don’t. But a toaster oven is always a surefire thing that you can use for a number of different things — perfect for PB&J, toast, and you can make hash browns and warm soup, etc.)
Plastic/paper cups, plates, and utensils
Honestly you can buy these right when you move in. If your place needs work or you haven’t figured out a theme, if you want one, then this is what I recommend.
A bag or box for garbage
Okay, I just used a leftover box from unpacking stuff for the first… eh, maybe three months. You don’t need a trash can right off usually and why use bags when you have PLENTY of boxes available right? Right.
Something to sleep on and blankets
It can be a mattress, a blow up bed, a futon that your friends lend you till you buy a bed, a stack of pillows… Whatever it is that means you can sleep and feel somewhat comfortable. Buying a bed beforehand is a baaaaaad idea because you never know the parameters of a room (weird notches, low ceilings, etc) until you’re inside of it.
I recommend this for ANY house. You don’t usually know what it does or doesn’t have crawling around inside of it, and NOTHING is more freakout inspiring than waking up to roaches, ants, spiders, mice, rats, snakes, whatever. Get a few traps as a precaution, and set them up right away in out-of-the-way places, and check regularly. If you don’t have anything — GOOD. If you do, well now you KNOW and you already have precautions set up and you can start with a solution.
Assuming that you have no internet, tv, table, seats, or whatever you are going to want entertainment! Right? Well sure, there are books, but if you want to interact with your loved ones, awesome memories are formed on the floor — eating toaster-oven-steamed veggies with cheese melted over them in a plastic bowl, and playing Clue. I kid you not — floor picnics and board games are the shizzaz. Oh, and you can totally make your own too. We got chalk and some dice from the dollar store and played a homemade Twister in our parking space.)
Temporary bathroom stuff
Okay, until you have the time to start going, “hey, I need that shower curtain” — themed or not — you will need to go out and right away get the basics — toilet paper, at least one towel, maybe shampoo, hand-soap, deodorant, and at least a raggedy towel to use as a rug when you get out of wherever you bathe.
While you move, things get dirty. If repairs are made or there ARE pests then you’ll need to clean.
If you move into a place, like I did that has NASTY shelves even after they are cleaned, you probably will want to line them. Never put it off, because if you do you probably will never take everything out of your drawers to do it later. I actually used newspapers because I had a TON for cleaning the windows. Whatever works is good!
A scent that you find comforting or you want to associate with home is super important to start making you feel at home/cover up any weird smells you can’t identify.
Some tips for buying furniture once you have moved
Measure your friggin’ doorways before you shop
OMG this has caused so much grief. We had to lift our couch in through the window, and I’m not sure how we can get it out now that the landlord changed our windows. (Oops.) This might not be a problem if you own, but make sure you have a window/door that can fit a couch/desk/whatever into the room you want.
When you buy large pieces of furniture
Remember that you will probably have that FOREVER. (I learned this one from my mother. When she and my father first moved — they bought a pale walnut (or something) bed-set that she now thinks looks hideous. She has had to put up with the set for over 20 years, and honestly that set isn’t going anywhere. Yes, you could probably change the colors but… will you? I know for crafty folks this isn’t too much of an issue, but keep it in mind.
Ok that’s all the wisdom I could think of. You can survive without a lot — but those are definitely some of the things you will probably want to get until you get your feet under you. Remember: take it slow. You don’t need EVERYTHING all at once.