Checklist: What to do Before Your Madison Move

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The big day is almost here! You’re on the verge of starting fresh in a new apartment. You’ve already finished combing through the thousands of rental properties in Madison, WI, and found your perfect place, and now all there is to do is wait, right? Almost. If you want to make sure the first day in your new place goes swimmingly, whether this is your first apartment or your fifth, tend to these five things before moving day arrives:

1. Pare While You Pack

Is this your first apartment? If so, you probably don’t have many spare belongings to pare down — in fact, you’ll probably want to pick up a few things that you don’t even know you’ll need (bathroom cleaners, a vacuum, a can opener, etc.). But if you’re moving out of one apartment and into another, you undoubtedly have at least two areas to focus on while you’re paring down: your kitchen junk drawer (how many dead batteries do you need to keep?) and the cabinet that’s 80% excess container lids. While you’re packing, keep an eye out for anything you haven’t used in a long time, and perhaps never will. Instead of bringing it with you, make a side trip to a local Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul Store, or ReStore.

2. Reserve Movers/Truck in Advance

For Madison apartments, especially in the downtown area, most leases end and begin at the same time — which means there’s going to be lots of competition for rental trucks and movers. But fortunately, Madison also has a great supply: Mad City Moving, College Hunks Hauling Junk, You Move Me Madison, and Two Men and a Truck are just a few of the local options. Reserve yours early to make sure you don’t end up having to haul everything yourself over the course of several trips.

3. Set Up Internet & Utilities

Some things are easy to forget — like turning off your utilities on your former apartment. Many property managers will handle that for you, but it’s best to double check with both your old and new property managers to find out what your responsibilities are in handling MG&E service.

Similarly, contact your internet provider — whether it’s Charter, TDS, Verizon, or their ilk — to get service set up as soon as you can for your new place, which can take some time to schedule. And in the meantime, your cellphone data can only stretch so far.

4. Forward Your Mail

You probably don’t really want all of your junk mail following you to your new apartment, but you will want to get bank statements, credit card statements, and Christmas cards from your grandmother who didn’t know you moved. In addition to updating all of your billing addresses, head to the USPS website and get your mail forwarded as a fail-safe for the mailers you know you’ll forget to update. Forwarding services only last for six months, however, so update addresses with the senders of forwarded mail as you receive it.

5. Get Renters’ Insurance

If you don’t have it already, strongly consider adding it. Renters’ insurance is often less than $100 per year and can even lower your other premiums if you also have car or other insurance through the same company. Your property manager’s insurance covers the structure, but you’re on the book for your personal belongings. Even if you don’t feel like you have valuable items, consider how expensive and tedious it would be to replace them — that laptop, TV, PS4, couch, and bed weren’t free, after all.