Lindsay Smith

You did it. You made it through what was potentially one of the most stressful days of your life up until this point. You moved. Now what?

As a veteran mover, I've found there are certain tasks you'll want to take care of in the first day or so post-move (after making sure all of your belongings are in your apartment and taking a 10-minute breather on your couch, that is). Here's a guide for what to handle first after you've moved into your new place:

Unpack the Essentials

If you've just moved, the very first thing to do is unpack the most essential items from your boxes. Necessities like toilet paper, soap, paper towels, basic kitchen supplies, and bedding items are typically the first things people unpack.

If you want to begin unpacking everything else, that's fine, but it doesn't necessarily have to be done right away either. As long as the essentials are out, you have some time to take care of the other important tasks on your list.

Do a Quick Walkthrough

Before setting up the furniture and unpacking all of your boxes, it's a good idea to take your phone or camera on a quick walkthrough of the new place and snap pictures of any damage that was there before you moved in.

If you do end up finding some damage and taking a couple of pictures, send them to your landlord with a quick friendly note. He or she will likely appreciate the initiative, and it'll ensure the damage is documented as early as possible, which will hopefully save you some money when it comes time to get your security deposit back.

Get the Internet Going

Unless you're content using your smartphone for all of your Internet needs, it's a good idea to get a wireless router set up as soon as possible.

We often take the Internet for granted, but having it running will make your life infinitely easier– especially if you start unpacking and realize you need to find a nearby hardware store or suddenly become famished and need to order a pizza ASAP.

If you don't have your own router, you may need to contact your Internet provider to have them set one up for you. That can take a couple of days, so make an appointment right away.

Call Your Utility Companies

You should also call the rest of the utility companies for your building to get everything set up in your name.

Unless utilities are included in your rent and handled by the building, make sure to contact your energy, water, gas, and cable providers.

Hit the Grocery Store

An important first day task after you've moved into a new place is to hit the local grocery store. Acquaint yourself with the setup and pick up at least a few essentials to get you through the first couple days post-move.

While you're there, it's a good idea to see if they have a membership card you can sign up for. Since you'll be shopping there for at least a year, having a discount card can only be beneficial for your bank account.

Change Your Address

It's also a good idea to officially change your address with the post office as early as possible after moving into a new place so your mail starts getting forwarded right away. The U.S. Postal Service's website makes it easy to change your address online, so start there.

Make sure to also change your billing address with your bank and credit card, and provide a new shipping address for any subscriptions you receive. You may even want to send out a quick email to friends and family members – one of them is guaranteed to ask for it at some point.

Transfer Your Prescriptions

Even though you don't technically have to transfer prescriptions until it's time for a refill, it makes sense to get everything set up at a new nearby pharmacy as soon as possible.

It's easier to transfer all of them over together, and you'll feel better knowing all of your prescriptions are taken care of.

Take Measurements

Make a list of all of the furniture and decor you need or want to buy after moving in. Decide where the new items will go, then take measurements of the areas where you'll be putting them, making sure to mark down the measurements on your list.

Take note of the sizes of your windows and the height of your shower curtain rod. If the shower curtain rod is high enough off the ground, you may need to pick up an extra-long liner.

Scope Out Your Neighborhood

Arguably one of the best parts about moving to a new place is the chance to explore a different neighborhood than you're used to – unless you move only a block away, which has become a habit of mine. The best way to get a feel for your new neighborhood is to just start walking.

Walk up and down the busier streets near you and take note of the cool cafes, eateries, and shops within walking distance of your place. Look for public transportation stops, fast-food options, and even a gym if you're thinking of joining one. Most of all, just enjoy taking in the sights of your new city.



About The Author

Lindsay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer who uses her deadline-oriented writing skills for clients like Apartment Guide,, Womensforum Media Group and Brafton.