Jump Ahead To:
Are you getting ready to move into your first home? Congratulations! That’s so exciting. Being a homeowner is an incredible experience that gives you so much freedom and truly allows you to create a space that you love, from your living room to your backyard.
If you’re moving from an apartment to a house, use our guide to help make your move as seamless as possible. We hope it helps you!
What to know when moving from an apartment to a house
Moving from an apartment to a house is a big change–one that comes with more space and more responsibilities. However, if you’re in your dream city and neighborhood, you may find it well worth the investment.
Read on for all you need to know, including what to buy, what to set up, recommended maintenance schedules, and much more.
Moving from an apartment to a house: checklist
If you’re moving into your first house, here’s a checklist you can follow:
What to purchase
- Cleaning Supplies: It’s a good idea to deep clean your new home before moving everything in so that you don’t miss a spot. You’ll want to head to your local grocery store, and pick up the following items as needed: plungers (one per bathroom), toilet brushes (one per bathroom), cleaning products (disinfectant spray, bleach, sponges, and scrubbers), tile scrubber, hardwood floor cleaner, carpet cleaning solution, pet odor and stain removal spray, toilet cleaning solution, oven cleaner, glass cleaner, dishwashing tablets, dish soap, and Febreeze.
- Bathroom Supplies: On the first day of moving into a new house, you’ll appreciate having your bathrooms decorated and stocked to your liking. Chances are that you used up any old body wash, shampoo, and other basic toiletries before leaving your apartment, so now’s the time to restock your collection. Add the following items to your list: bathroom mat, shower curtain, hooks and a bar for the shower curtain (if needed), décor, hand soap, towels, washcloths, loofahs, and toiletries (toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, etc.). Also, if you’ll have a guest bathroom at your new house, don’t forget to grab some guest towels. Of course, if you’re looking to keep costs as low as possible during the first month, feel free to grab these items later or when someone plans to stay over.
- Kitchen Supplies: The kitchen is our favorite part of the house. Make sure to evaluate how much room you have in your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and pantry before going shopping. That way, you have room for everything when you get back. At a minimum, you may want organizers, décor, pots, pans, dishware, glasses, silverware, glass containers, jars, and other items to hold your snacks and small kitchen appliances. Also, you may want to invest in bar stools, a kitchen table, and chairs for extra seating. Now that you’re living in a house instead of an apartment, you’ll likely have much more room, so look for pieces that complement the look you’re going for to ensure your happiness with the new kitchen setup. You don’t have to buy everything immediately, but it helps to have a wish list. (Also, on the topic of what to bring first when moving to a new house, we highly recommend kitchenware. Otherwise, you’ll spend hundreds of dollars going out to eat.)
- Furniture: What you need depends on what you had at your last place and how much room you have at your new home. Some examples of furniture you may want to invest in include a couch, loveseat, recliner, dining room table, chairs, side tables, beds, bed frames, dressers, crib, rocking chair, coffee table, and outdoor patio furniture.
- Appliances: If you don’t have appliances at your new house yet, here’s what to get: a fridge with a freezer, stove and oven, microwave, dishwashing machine, washer, dryer, coffee maker, toaster, and blender.
- Yard Care Supplies: If you don’t want to hire a landscaper right now, consider investing in a lawn mower, rake, shears, shovel, snow shovel, hedge trimmer, and leaf blower. That way, you have all the basics to keep your lawn neat and tidy and can enjoy time outdoors from season to season. (Tip: If you want to keep your yard looking beautiful, don’t forget to prune twice a year (at the end of the winter and beginning of spring). Mow your yard once per week when it’s growing quickly and every other week for the rest of the year or as needed.)
What to schedule
- Internet and TV
- Utilities (garbage, electricity, etc.)
What to set up
- Homeowners insurance
- Mail forwarding
- Changing your address for all current bills (autopay and otherwise)
How to pack for your move
One of the best packing tips we can give you for moving from an apartment to a house is this: pack what you need, and get rid of what you don’t. Sure, you might have plenty of space in your new home for those knick-knacks you got from the flea market a few years ago, that second barbecue, and those bookshelves that have been hanging out in your spare bedroom for who knows how long.
However, moving is a time of new beginnings. Let this new house be your chance to start something new, and begin decluttering as soon as you decide to move. That way, there will be less to pack, load, unload, and unpack at the end of the day. (Depending on how much you declutter, it can make your move more affordable, too, since there will be less items!)
Here are some more packing tips:
#1: Pack the heaviest items at the bottom
Placing heavy, bulky items on top of light items in a moving box is a recipe for disaster. Not only can it make the boxes uneven and hard to move, but it can also increase the chances of something breaking. Always put heavy items at the base of a box, and layer lighter items on top to keep your things safe.
#2: Choose a different-colored label for each room
Little simplifies a move more than a labeling system. We recommend choosing a color for all rooms in the house. Then, add that colored label to each moving box so that you know where each box should be unloaded once you arrive at your new home. (Bonus points if you add a description of what’s inside the box on the outside!)
#3: Get the right packing supplies
The types of packing supplies you need depend on what you’re moving. For instance, do you have a lot of glassware? If so, invest in some heavy-duty boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape, and cardboard dividers. The same materials are suitable for electronics and office equipment. If you’re moving furniture, look into moving blankets, rope, mattress bags, and shrink wrap. The proper packing supplies can keep your items safe from damage, no matter the distance of your move.
Hidden costs of home ownership
Many people think it’s cheaper to own a home than to rent an apartment. However, that’s not always true. In fact, on top of a mortgage payment, there are many other costs associated with home ownership. That includes property taxes, insurance, landscaping, wear and tear, and basic preventative maintenance.
Preventative maintenance includes things like your chimney, roofing, plumbing, and heating and cooling. All of these things must be inspected regularly to ensure performance, fix any problems, and prevent costly repairs down the line.
Here is a basic preventative maintenance schedule you can add to your calendar:
- Chimney: Have a chimney sweep evaluate and clean your chimney, fireplace, and vents once or twice a year, depending on how much you use the fireplace. If you notice strong smells from your chimney or signs of animals, feel free to contact the chimney sweep sooner to handle the problem.
- Roofing: Schedule a roof inspection once or twice a year and if you’ve noticed any leaking or other damage after a major storm. Contact a roofer if you have any issues with your roof before your regularly scheduled inspection.
- Plumbing: Arrange a plumbing inspection once every two years to ensure all systems are working. Call a plumber if you have any problems in the meantime.
- HVAC: Switch your air filters out yourself every one to two months. Get your furnace looked at in the fall and your AC inspected in the springtime to ensure they’re working great before winter and summer. Contact an HVAC company if you have any heating or cooling concerns in between maintenance appointments.
What is the first thing to do when moving into a house?
One of the first things to do before moving into a new house is to change the locks. You can do so by calling a local locksmith who offers residential services. Most locksmiths are happy to come out to your home within a few business days and can help you get new keys made.
This is important in case the last person who lived there still has spare keys or gave out keys to any of their family or friends. Even if the last homeowner was trustworthy, you never know what could happen, which is why new keys are vital.
After changing your locks and getting new keys made, here are some other things to do:
- Check your smoke alarms.
- Deep clean your house, including the fridge, freezer, garbage disposal, hardwood floors, and carpets.
- Switch out your air filter.
- Test every appliance.
Is it better to move into an apartment or house?
Whether an apartment or house is better depends on your personal tastes and family size. For example, if you are married with a dog, two kids, and another one on the way, a house makes sense. It will give you more room and possibly keep your kids from needing to share bedrooms, which they may appreciate as they get older.
On the other hand, you might prefer an apartment if you don’t have time to keep up with yard maintenance and don’t need a lot of space. If it’s just you, your significant other, and a pet, a two-bedroom apartment should afford you plenty of room.
How long before a new apartment feels like home?
Everyone’s experience acclimating to life in a new home varies. If it’s a new neighborhood, it can take you as much as three months. You’re more likely to adjust faster if you meet the neighbors, participate in local events and functions (e.g., block parties), and walk around the neighborhood often with your kids and pets.
In some cases, it can take a year and a half for your house to start feeling like a home. The key to decreasing that time frame is to decorate with your favorite things and unpack early upon moving. If your house is flooded with moving boxes even months after getting the keys, you’re unlikely to feel at home. So, unpack as soon as you can, and work on designing your home to be exactly what you want it to be. Before you know it, it will be home sweet home!
How do you move into a new house?
First thing’s first, you have to decide whether you want to move yourself or hire movers (like your friends at Bellhop!). If you want to DIY it, you’ll need to get a moving truck, packing supplies, and a few friends to help you out.
However, if you want to save time and hire movers instead, all you have to do is call or go online to book your move. It’s that simple! We can handle everything (aside from packing).
Good luck with your move
If you need any help moving from an apartment to a house, Bellhop is ready to lend a hand. We can set you up with a moving truck, licensed and background-checked movers, and a full list of moving services, including loading, delivery, unloading, and the works.
Book a move online today.