A New Apartment Checklist + Free Printable | Onelink Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm

by Alex DiBacco
1 comment

Thank you Onelink by First Alert for sponsoring this post. Add smart protection to your home with the Onelink Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

Moving into a new apartment is so exciting. I love the feeling of having a blank slate to decorate and a new town to explore.

With that being said, moving is really really hard. The initial rush of excitement after signing the lease dies pretty quickly, and then you’re faced with days and days of heavy lifting, unpacking, and cleaning.

Because I’m a list oriented person, I quickly realized that almost every new apartment checklist or first apartment checklist out there is super helpful for the everyday living items (pots and pans, lamps, organization, etc.) but not so great for the first moving day.

The hardest part for me is getting going, and this includes the first trip to the new apartment with the first load of stuff. Where does it go? What do I set up first?

I came up with this new apartment checklist after my most recent move and thought I’d share it in case anyone else has the same struggles as me. Keep on reading for my step-by-step process, or scroll to the bottom for the free printable!

Initial Tasks

You’ve just stepped through the door using your own key for the first time. Where do you start?

1. Do a full walkthrough and document everything for your landlord. This includes any dents, broken glass or appliances, water leaks, etc. Put it all in writing (send an email if possible) just to be on the safe side.

While you’re doing this, check to make sure that all of the appliances are working correctly. We had to get our stove fixed but didn’t realize it until we actually tried to cook a few days after starting move-in.

2. Set up a Onelink Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. More than once, I’ve moved into a new apartment and didn’t realize that the smoke alarm didn’t work until months later. That’s super scary! My current apartment is part of an old home, so I’m extra careful; who knows what the wiring is like.

I keep my own smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on hand (I use the Onelink Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm). It comes in two versions: one is hardwired, but mine is battery-wired so that I can easily stick it on the ceiling or high up on the wall. It’s really easy to install and offers 2-in-1 protection against smoke and carbon monoxide.

What I especially love is that you can hook the Onelink Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm up to your phone through an app and get any 911 notifications, even if you’re not home. This puts me at ease, especially when I’ve just moved into a new apartment. It also has voice alerts and will let you know the type and location danger in your home. 100% worth the money!

3. Check the locks. This includes doors and windows.

4. Transfer any utilities. Electric, gas, and WiFi are the most essential for me. It’s not really a home until you have WiFi.

5. Update your rental insurance. Or get some, if you need to. Get it now before some thing happens – trust me on this one! When I lived in Miami in a first floor apartment, we hadn’t updated our insurance to include the flooding policy. That wasn’t a good move when hurricane season came.

6. Touch up any spots with paint. Full disclosure: we entirely re-painted our current apartment. I definitely don’t recommend it – we were painting for weeks and everyone thought we were crazy! We initially planned on living here more than a year (which is no longer the case) so it made sense at the time. Unless you’re really committed to an apartment, at most I’d say just touch up spots (like trim or the doors) and decorate around the current wall colors.


If you’re kind of a germaphobe, then cleaning (even with a fancy cleaning new apartment checklist) can take days. Here’s the absolutely essential tasks I do right away so I can start moving actual items into the apartment.

1. Vacuum and mop the floors.

2. Clean all doorknobs. I use vinegar or bleach. They probably haven’t been cleaned for at least a year!

3. Disinfect the bathroom.

4. Disinfect the kitchen sink and countertops.

5. Clean out the refrigerator.

6. Disinfect the stove, oven, microwave, and any other appliances.

After getting these basics out of the way, you can at least start bringing boxes in without worrying about what you touch.


I’m sure you can find a million versions of a new apartment checklist for unpacking out there, so I’m just including the essentials that you’ll want to unpack during the first day or two of moving.

1. Put all of your boxes in the room they’ll stay in. So any bedroom stuff goes in the bedroom. Plates, glasses, utensils, etc. go in the kitchen. You don’t have to actually unpack everything, but getting each item in the right room is a great start.

2. Unpack lamps. The worst thing about moving in is not having enough lighting. Having lamps on hand makes the move way easier and helps you feel more at home.

3. Unpack necessary bedroom and bathroom items. This is especially relevant if you’re moving all in one day, otherwise you have more time and can do things in an order that suits you.

My favorite thing to do at the end of move-in day #1 is set out some fresh flowers. An empty apartment needs some life in it, and there’s no better way to do that than by adding your favorite blooms!

Here’s a printable new apartment checklist (or first apartment checklist, depending on your situation):

New Apartment Checklist

Happy moving day!

xo, Alex

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1 comment

Sara March 13, 2019 - 3:30 am

This bloG post is spot On! WE have moved so many times and can agree tonall of this.


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