The New City Checklist: What to Do Right When You Arrive

Keep in mind, whether you’re moving from an affordable Champaign, Illinois apartment to a condo in New York City; or maybe you’re making a move to a new country, you’ll need to handle a few “housekeeping” items before you get settled.


Hopefully you will have researched your new city’s Internet and cable services, but if you didn’t, you need to make this a priority. Without a good home Internet connection, you may be spending lots of time at Starbucks trying to get your online stuff done.

If you do use a national cable/Internet provider, it may be possible to have your service relocated without the trouble of opening a new account.

And remember, a friendly neighbor might let you borrow their Wi-Fi password if you really have a problem.


If you are moving to an apartment complex, gas, electric and water services will probably be still connected and running but just in the previous tenant’s or the landlord’s name. In this case, all you will have to do is call the utility company or companies to establish your service.

If you are moving into a previously vacant home, however, everything could be turned off, and it sometimes takes a couple of days for service to be restored.

Also, make sure you aren’t performing any home repairs on your rental; that’s not your job! Take a peek around and make sure you note all issues for your landlord.


Even if you have a smart door locking system with an entrance code, you will probably be given keys that will override the system. Make sure you duplicate these right away since keys are easily lost during a move.

Plan Your Drive to Work

While you have no doubt visited your new city before your move, it’s important to know how to get to work.

Of course your phone will guide you, but it’s great if you can do a dry run and make sure you know exactly how to get where you are going, and that you can find your parking facility. Leave early that first day!

Check Out the Grocery Landscape

If you are a big Trader Joe’s fan, for example, find out how far away the nearest store is, and if it’s all the way across town, check out your alternatives. Large cities usually have one or two dominant grocery chains, but it a small town you may not have a lot of choices.

Insure Everything and Update Your Policies

You’ll need renters’ insurance for your apartment. If you haven’t had time to shop for policies, do this ASAP. Check to see if you live in a flood-prone area, because if you do, you may need to purchase federal flood insurance. Call your auto insurance company and update your address because a failure to do this can cause you future problems. If you have items like musical instruments and jewelry, these may need a special policy.

Have Fun Eating Out

New locales bring new food and beverage possibilities, so make sure you take a break from moving stress and have a nice dinner.

Remember, many of the tasks listed above can be accomplished before you leave for your new location. If you just did not have time, however, get on it right away and get these done.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget your laundry. If you need to, using a service that cleans and folds on the same day for you could be a great option in a new city.

About Author: Sam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate and apartments marketplace with available apartments from Eugene, Oregon to New York City. Their research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes,, HousingWire and more. ABODO, simply put, helps renters find apartments that they love.