10 things to know before moving into an apartment or house


(Photo by Taylor Freetage)

By Kennedy Stadler

Living in an off-campus apartment can be an exciting time for students, but moving in comes with plenty of responsibilities and must-dos. Here are 10 things students should know before moving into an apartment:

  • Pack smart. Try not to make the mistake of finding the biggest box and throwing everything into it. Use small boxes for heavier household items, such as books or small decorative items. Use medium boxes for things such as cookware, small appliances and bulkier decorations. Use large boxes for lightweight items such as linens, towels and pillows. Clearly label the contents of each box to avoid confusion and misplacement.
  • Create a checklist with your roommates. Moving into an apartment requires a lot of new items. Whether it be a couch, a blender or a TV, be sure to discuss with your roommates what you really need, and split up the load to make shopping less stressful. A good resource to utilize would be Google documents.  
  • Book movers in advanced. If you choose to use a moving company, avoid waiting until the last minute to book movers. Planning ahead of time allows you to get the best deals by beating the rush.
  • Set up utilities. Be sure to check what utilities are included in the lease agreement. The Village East apartment community at TCU includes water, sewage and trash, but requires residents to set up electricity, internet, and cable.
Village East is an apartment community on the edge of TCU’s campus that offers different apartment locations and various floor plans for students
  • Purchase cleaning supplies. Give the apartment a good clean before moving in, and get in the habit of keeping a tidy living space. Unless you pay for additional cleaning services, it is on you to keep your apartment clean.


  • Replace your smoke detector batteries. Nothing is more annoying than the chirping of a smoke detector. Go ahead and replace the batteries on move-in day so you won’t have to in the middle of the night while you’re studying for an exam.


  • Get an extra set of keys made. It’s on you if you get locked out this year! Come up with a plan with your roommates and find a trusted friend or place to keep a spare key in the event of a lockout.


  • Know when your trash pick-up days are. Taking out the trash is another added responsibility to living off-campus. Set reminders and take turns with your roommates for taking out the trash to avoid a trash collection in your apartment or house. 


  • Change your address and learn about your mailing situation. Notify friends and family, as well as your bank, of your recent move to ensure you receive any incoming mail. Find out your complexes policies on whether packages are left at the door or in a pick-up location. If packages are left at the door, you may want to look into a P.O. box.


  • Meet your neighbors. It’s always good to start out on the right foot and create a cordial relationship with others in your community. You never know what favors you may need from your neighbors, perhaps something like a cup of sugar.