Moving In

Moving In Check List

  • Make a folder for your important paperwork pertaining to your room/apartment/unit. This should include your rental and house agreements, landlord inspection check list, any emails or written correspondence with your landlord and receipt for deposits, and rent payments.
  • Complete a Housemate Agreement with your housemates. Each member of the household signs the agreement and is given a copy. You can avoid problems by documenting household understandings and agreements from the start.
  • Ask your landlord if you need to arrange for any utility hook-ups or name changes on the utility accounts. You may need to contact PG&E and make arrangements for water, garbage, phone, cable and internet service.

Call the following services: Comcast or AT&T for cable/internet, PG&E for Gas and Electricity.

Remember to keep a written copy of any promises and agreements between you and the landlord.

Here's a helpful infographic: The Ultimate Guide to Your First Big Move.

Furniture Options

Moving into your first off-campus apartment can be expensive, especially if you have to furnish your new place. Below are some resources to help you furnish your new unit at less cost.

Furniture Rental Service

If purchasing your own furniture is not an option for you, an alternative is to rent furniture. Below are some resources:

  • CORT Rental Furniture is the country's leader in furniture rental and rents to 80% of the Fortune 500 Companies. CORT has recently developed rental packages for students to assist them with their short-term living situations and has been designed to be cheaper and easier than buying and assembling furniture yourself. Instead, CORT will deliver and assemble fully furnished rooms for rent.
  • Website:
  • Phone: (888) 360-2678
  • Unpakt lets you find great San Francisco movers, get exact prices and book online. Just enter what you're moving and Unpakt will tell you how much it'll cost instantly.
  • Website:
    • Phone: (855) 2-UNPAKT
    • Promo: Exclusively for USF students - enter promo code USFCA2013 for 5% instant cash back on your next move
  • Brook Furniture Rental
  • Website:
  • Phone: (877) 285-7368

Bargain Furniture and Household Goods

San Francisco offers many resources for getting affordable household goods. Below are some recommendations.

Online Resources

  • Craigslist -
    Many people offer free furniture or household goods to anyone who is willing to take them. Check the 'Free' or 'Barter' section in the 'For Sale' category.
  • Freecycle -
    Join this free network to give and get free things. The idea behind this network is reusing, repurposing, and finding new owners for old stuff to keep it out of the landfill.
  • The Cheap Bastard's Guide to SF -
    This online resource is a popular guide to living inexpensively in San Francisco. From health care to happy hours, you can find almost anything for cheap and often for free. Also available in print: The Cheap Bastard's Guide to San Francisco: Secrets of Living the Good Life—for Free! by Karen Solomon (ISBN-10:0762743670)

Bargain Stores for New Items

  • Clement Street (between 2nd and 9th Ave)
    This stretch of road is the mecca of inexpensive kitchen goods and housewares, as well as affordable Chinese food outside of Chinatown.
  • IKEA -
    Although IKEA is located across the Bay Bridge, it is well worth the trip to get modern furniture and goods at bargain prices. Rent a U-Haul or Zipcar, or opt for the store-to-door delivery. Be ready to assemble your furniture yourself (generally, only a screwdriver required!).
  • Location: 4400 Shellmound St. Emeryville, CA 94608
  • Phone: (510) 420-4532

Secondhand and Thrift Shops

  • Goodwill Industries -
  • Location: 1700 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115
  • Phone: (415) 441-2159
  • Location: 1700 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
  • Phone: (415) 387 1192
  • Location: 820 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
  • Phone: (415) 668-3635
  • Salvation Army -
  • Location: 3921 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118
  • Phone: (415) 876-6380
  • Location: 1500 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Phone: (415) 401-0698

Renter's Insurance

Renter's insurance protects against property losses such as losses from theft, fire, vandalism, or water damage. In addition property coverage, renter's policies may offer protection against personal liability, guest medical benefits, additional emergency living expenses, and credit card protection.

Determining Your Need

Many tenants believe their landlord's insurance policy covers their personal property, but in fact, it does not. If you were a victim of fire or theft, could you afford to replace your clothing, TV, stereo, computer, and other personal property? Renter's Insurance helps you protect your valuable possessions in the event of loss or damage. Some students choose to be covered by their parents' homeowner's insurance. However, that policy may not cover rentals in case of fire. If you are considering coverage through a parent's policy, check with the insurance agent about the specifics of the coverage.

Replacement Cost

How much will it cost today to replace property stolen by a burglar or damaged by fire? If the depreciated value of your property in the fair market is much less than the replacement cost, it is wise to buy insurance that pays for replacement cost. For example, replacing a 3-year old computer will cost typically cost much more than the present value of the older model.

Loss of Use

Many policies include a dollar limit for rentals if fire forces you from your home. Check your rental agreement to see how long you have agreed to wait after a fire for your landlord to make your apartment habitable again. Most leases say 30 days, but some have 45, 60, 90, or even 120 days. Be sure your 'loss of use' coverage is enough money to pay for the rental for the amount of time you've agreed to in your lease, plus a few additional days to shop for a new unit in the event that the landlord is unable to make your unit habitable.

Insurance Basics

Before purchasing an insurance policy, it is important to understand the terms of the policy.


Your insurance premium is the amount you pay for the policy. Many insurance policies offer the option to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually.


The deductible is the amount you pay before the insurance company will cover the claim. Most renter's insurance policies have a deductible between $100-$250, but some may be higher. Usually your premium (the amount you pay for the policy) is higher if your deductible is lower.

Amount of Coverage

To calculate the amount of coverage you need, you should first estimate the cost of everything you own.

  • Take an inventory of all your possessions, along with the purchase price or current value.
  • If you have any high value items (jewelry, antiques, fur, stamp collections, works of art, electronics, etc.), it is a good idea to have a picture of those items and, if possible, a receipt of purchase.
  • Estimate the cost of a temporary rental unit for the duration of the rental agreement's 'loss of use' period, in case of fire.

When you add up the costs listed above, this will give you an estimate of the coverage you need for your renter's insurance. Most young tenants who rent furnished apartment and do not have much property buy a $10,000 policy. If you own your own furniture or have more expensive items, you may need more coverage.

Types of Coverage

Different insurance policies vary on the types of loss they cover. While fire, burglary, and theft are commonly covered, other types of loss may not be.

  • Water Leaks
    Be sure to ask your agent if damage to property from roof or pipe leaks or other water damage is covered. Other than fire and burglary, the most common complaints about property damage involve water damage.
  • Sewer Backups, Water Seepage, and Flooding
    These situations are usually not covered by a standard insurance policy. If you are renting a basement apartment or a house with a basement, you may need to purchase an additional rider to your policy to cover damage from flooding, water seepage, and sewer backups.
  • Earthquakes
    For earthquake coverage, you may need to purchase an additional rider to the your policy.

Finding the Right Insurance Plan

If you decide to purchase renter's insurance, you should obtain quotes from several insurance agencies. The price will often depend upon where you live, the size or number of units in your building, your credit history, the amount of deductible, and how much coverage you want. Companies that offer auto or other insurance polices will often offer a small discount for multiple policies (e.g. auto and renter's insurance). Below are resources to help you begin your search:

California Department of Insurance

The Average Tenant Insurance - SF Gate

Renters Insurance Quotes - Compare Rates

Renters Insurance Network - Quotes

Renters Insurance - AAA Insurance

Renters Insurance - State Farm Insurance


Storage Options

City Stash

Are you wondering what to do with your belongings during the summer? You can either drive them back to your parents house (inconvenient) or store them in a local self-storage unit (inconvenient and expensive). We've found a better local option: CityStash Storage. They will deliver you boxes and containers for free. You fill them, and they’ll pick them up (and anything else like furniture, your boxes, dorm fridge, bikes, etc.) for free and take them to their climate-controlled storage facility. Your items will be stored safely during the summer and then CityStash will deliver them right back to you. You can place your order directly online at

CityStash Storage is at 524 Union St, Suite #315, San Francisco CA 94133. You can call them at (415) 992-6188, send an email to, or order online.