10 Things Nobody Will Tell You About Your First Apartment
So college is over, and you’re about to become one of the 35.9 million Americans who move every single year. Freedom is yours — almost– just as soon as you get the keys and start hauling boxes inside. What you may not realize however, is that moving is a little bit more complex than signing a lease and paying for utilities. Here are 10 things nobody will tell you about apartment living, so you will be as prepared as you can when you move on in.
1. You may have to compromise a little when it comes to getting everything you want. It is important to stay within your rental budget, so you may have to cut back on cable usage, look for spaces with smaller rooms or fewer parking spaces, or go in on a place with a couple of buddies.
2. Work with a realtor to make all your dreams come true. No, really — they will be able to connect you with rental apartments you may not have been able to find on your own.
3. Have your paperwork on hand when you are looking at apartments. Typically, many landlords require proof of employment, recent pay stubs, and a tax return to ensure you are able to pay your bills. Bringing these forms with you during your initial apartment viewings can help speed up the paperwork process. You will also want the names and numbers of any previous landlords, or other personal references.
4. The more boxes the merrier. You can never have enough when moving!
5. Don’t forget your measuring tape; before you move in, measure everything. You will need exact measurements for curtain rods, shower curtains and blinds. Knowing the dimensions of each room will also help you shop for furniture, and avoid buying a couch that sticks halfway into the dining room because it doesn’t fit in the living room.
6. Don’t buy so much food that it will all spoil before you are able to eat it. This is a rookie mistake, and very easy to do; the temptation to stock your kitchen is strong. But remember, you do not have the same number of mouths to feed as your parents did, so only buy what you can consume within a week.
7. Toilet paper doesn’t magically stock itself. Neither does toothpaste or paper towels. Make sure to plan accordingly.
8. You will have to clean. Make a small chart that has you complete a few small tasks a day to keep the mice at bay — so that you don’t end up wasting an entire weekend picking up after yourself.
9. You are perfectly capable of handling minor household issues, such as a clogged toilet or a blown fuse. When in doubt, Google can help.
10. Enlist the help of your parents or older siblings. There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know how to do everything on your own. Whether it’s how to hang a picture, what to do when the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking, or what dish to cook when you’re hosting your first real dinner party, your family members are a valuable resource.
During this entire process, don’t forget that moving — and adulting — can be fun! Just remember these tips and you will have smooth sailing into your new apartment.