5 First Apartment Tips for College Students
Transitioning from dorm to apartment life may not seem like much of a change on the surface, but there’s a lot more to do and worry about than you think. To help you get through your move-in with enough sanity and cash to go around, here are some first apartment tips.
Make a Checklist
It’s easy to think that you’ve got your bases covered when you first move in, but things will always be forgotten. Be sure to make a checklist of everything you need to do and get — including things on this list — in order to enjoy a less stressful move-in.
And you might forget some of the most basic tasks you need to complete, so be sure to have that list on you while you’re out running errands. For instance, getting extra keys made will ensure you never have any late-night mishaps.
Have a Move-in Budget
If you’re getting your own place, it’s going to get expensive fast. Any savings you may have had will likely be drained without some smart frugal moves and a tight move-in budget. The worst thing you could do is furnish your apartment with new things, especially since you’re in college.
Hit up Craigslist or family members for the essentials, including furniture, appliances, and even knick-knacks, to help you save money. You’d be surprised at how many great (non-bug-infested) pieces of furniture you can find for cheap on Craigslist. After all, spending an entire month’s rent on a new couch is ridiculous when you’re working a college job.
Speaking of appliances, don’t go overboard when you’re out shopping and find yourself with a juicer, ice cream maker, and smoothie machine. Your apartment likely has a microwave; beyond that a coffee maker and toaster/toaster oven should suffice.
Write a Thorough Move-in Report
You should not even think about rushing through your first apartment move-in report. If there’s a crack in a tile, make sure you describe it in vivid detail. (For Game of Thrones fans, that means describing your apartment’s flaws like George R.R. Martin describes food.)
Taking pictures of any sort of pre-made damages upon move-in is also a great idea. Send those in to your landlord or complex manager to ensure you’re not falsely blamed and later charged for things they “missed.”
Don’t Wait to Report Problems
Upon arrival, it’s a good idea to make sure everything in your new apartment actually works. Your landlord may have maintenance come in for some last-minute fixes and that’s the perfect time to check for any other problems and get them sorted out.
If any additional problems present themselves soon after, don’t wait to report those to your landlord or management company. They’re more likely to give priority to your issues since you’re new.
Learn to Cook
If most of your meals in the last few years consisted of quick microwavables, dining hall pizza, and ramen, then you owe to your body and budget to learn how to cook. Not only will eating at home save you tons, it’ll give you the opportunity to eat healthier.
It is a big time investment, though, so you need to be willing to make time and not cave into the “busy” schedule excuse. Turn it into a thing by inviting friends over for a dinner-study session and have everyone split the cost of ingredients. There should be plenty of leftovers and you’re using that time to not only get schoolwork done, but to socialize as well. Multitasking at its finest.
Disclaimer: This content was created in collaboration with Best Buy.