So what all is involved in getting a new apartment?
1. There will probably be some preliminary paperwork of some kind to be signed. Mine was called a 'welcome packet'. It reserved the apartment for me, so nobody can swoop in and grab it before the move-in date, and outlined some basics - my address, the fact that I have no pets, my first month's pro-rated rent, etc.
2. Get renter's insurance. Some apartments will include this in the lease, some won't. Mine doesn't, so I called up the insurance folks and got a plan.
3. Sign up for power. Most apartments (perhaps all!) do not do this for you - you need to call ahead and tell the power company your move-in date, address, etc. That way, when I walk into my apartment, I'll be able to turn on the lights!
4. Get internet and/or cable service. Technically, this is optional. For me, the internet part is mandatory.
When you call around for internet service, be sure to ask if they have any specials running. If you're military, lots of companies will waive the installation fees. If you have your own modem, tell them - no need to rent one every month from them. Let them tell you about all their deals, even if they include services you don't want - in my case, it turned out to be cheaper to get a basic internet and cable package than just internet,* so guess what? I'm getting that plan.
5. Talk to your apartment folks a few days before move-in, to make sure you have everything you need when you show up. I had to give them my insurance and power numbers, decide if I wanted to sign the lease online or in person, and make an appointment for move-in day. I also found out I need to bring some documents with me, so I'm glad I called to ask.
6. If you have stuff in storage (as I do, since I just got out of the Air Force), be sure to get them your address and move-in date as soon as you have it, so they can get you your stuff as soon as possible after your move.
7, Make a plan for moving in. For me, it's pretty simple. I have my appointment in the morning, the cable/internet guy coming after that, and only one car load of stuff to move in. Of course, I also have to check around for a mattress to sleep on while I wait for my storage stuff to arrive... And I'll need to make a run to the store to get some basics. See? Even a simple move has many components.
If I missed anything, let me know in the comments. After all, I haven't moved in yet - there's still time to act on any tips you give me. Otherwise...see you Wednesday.
*Be sure to know your internet speed needs. If you're not an enthusiastic online gamer, you don't need the fastest internet and biggest bandwidth the company offers, even if you stream a lot of videos.