By: Skyler Johnson
Moving into your first apartment can be a very stressful experience. From taking care of your electricity bill to installing Wi-Fi, there’s a lot to consider. Here are the top ten things to know.
- Be Aware of Space
This doesn’t just mean measuring your couch, it also means knowing which outlets are connected to a switch and how much closet space you have. Knowing where to plug in a lamp should be one of the first things you need to understand, as it can make life much easier down the road in terms of the arrangement of furniture and electronics. Keeping track of where each closet is can also allow for a serious consolidation of space. Find ways to maximize your closet space HERE.
- Make a Grocery List
While this may seem like it’s self-explanatory, it’s not something you ever want to forget, especially if you’re hungry. Chances are you’re not going to remember all the ingredients to a certain dish or dishes you’re making. Making this list should be something you do once or twice a week to make sure you don’t take more trips to the grocery store than you need.
- Choose Your Meal Plan Carefully
Going grocery shopping is something you’ll have to do every week and making a list of meals is essential. However, ingredients can be expensive if you’re not choosing correctly. Therefore, it’s important to only buy products you’re going to use at least twice. That way, you can save money in terms of how much you buy. If you’re buying zucchini, make sure to use it both for a fried zucchini and a pasta with zucchini and pesto. If you have the money, but not the time to shop, check out Instacart, where you can have someone go shopping for you.
- Keep the Lights Off
Remember, you have an electricity bill now. Make sure not to keep the lights on for too long or that bill will start to seriously increase. Make sure to turn off all lights when leaving the apartment, but make leave a light on when using a phone or laptop, as that’s been proven to deteriorate your eyesight.
- Keep Organized
Keeping organized might be something you’re already semi-aware of, but you’re operating on a much larger scale now. Putting shoes in their proper place and keeping brooms and mops in a closet or contained area can help you in the long run especially when doing chores. Having to scrounge through all your belongings to find a simple thing is a mild inconvenience when it happens one time in your room or dorm, but it becomes more of an issue when everything you have becomes lost.
- Remember to Get Fresh Air
With your apartment, unlike with your dorm or house, you don’t have to do much moving around for long periods. The kitchen is right there and doesn’t require as much walking as in a house. Nevertheless, it is good to get out of the house at least once a day. Social isolation can lead to depression.
- Magnets, Tupperware, and Air Freshener
These are all things you might not think you need, but you will. Magnets are great for your fridge. They can be used to hang up notes, grocery lists, and even hand towels. Plus, they make great decorations. Tupperware is good for storing food, which will become necessary. It’s always good to have leftovers, especially for busy study/work nights. Even for the nose blind, an air freshener is great for kitchen smells which will permeate a small space.
- Know how to do Laundry
Most apartment complexes have some form of a laundry room, and it’s important to know where yours is located, and more importantly how much it costs. You don’t want to be stuck with a lot of clothes to be washed without know how to wash them. Some laundry machines are more intuitive than others. For example, some may use Shine, a platform that allows for easy mobile payments for laundry. You can find out if your complex uses one by checking if there’s a baby blue sticker on the machine.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Make Cooking Mistakes
Cooking is one of the many things that are unique to moving into your first apartment, and while you may liken yourself to be a chef, try doing it every night. Food preparation mistakes are common but can also be great learning experiences. Either way, there’s always take-out if your food is inedible.
- Give yourself Space
When first moving into your apartment, you will have to deal with a lot of anxiety from living on your own. It’s not an easy transition, and you shouldn’t expect it to be. If you can, take a few days off from working to transition into your new space and get used to your environment. You won’t regret it.