Moving into Your First College Apartment

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Moving into your first college apartment is a relief for most students. By the time you get there, you’re done with sharing a bedroom, tired of food court meals, and you’re ready to live with your best friends and have freedom and space. In order to make your first experience the best it can be, I’ve rounded up a few tips:

During Apartment Tours

  • Take pictures: Photos can help, especially if the apartment website doesn’t have great interior shots. You’ll be thankful when you’re trying to pick out decor. I can’t pick out decorative pillows, because I can’t remember what color the couch that comes with the apartment is!
  • Ask about utilities and fees: Just because one apartment may sound like the cheapest, doesn’t mean it is. Some apartments have special monthly fees attached to their price that might not be advertised online (or may be in the fine print).

During Shopping Time

  • Buy quality: There’s no doubt that buying all of the necessities for an apartment is expensive, but most of the things you buy (pots, pans, silverware, etc.) are going to be used again post-college and can easily be taken with you to avoid having to buy them all over again. Buying quality will ensure you can keep these apartment essentials around for the long haul.
  • Make a checklist of what you need: Using pre-made checklists can help you get started on your own. I’m using an Excel sheet to categorize items and leave a check-mark box next to each. It’s working well! Consider using Google Sheets if you want to share your list with your future roomie – that way you can both easily mark your name next to the items you have bought.

While Packing

  • Label your boxes according to room: You may remember what you put in the little box and in the big box, but your family helping you unpack won’t know, and this will keep things moving smoothly on move in day.
  • Remember you actually have to lift the boxes: Don’t get oversized boxes thinking you will be able to shove everything into one, because when you go to pack up the car, you won’t be able to get it off the ground. Aim for a medium sized box that you know you’ll be able to carry.

On Move In Day

  • Make note of any damages: To avoid fines during move out that weren’t your fault, take plenty of pictures even if they don’t seem like a big deal at the time. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Realize it is going to take time: You will have forgotten items you never would have even thought you needed. Things will pop up within the first week or two that you discover are essential. It will take time for you to really feel right at home.

Have questions about your first college apartment/college life? Tweet me @aliinbloom, and I’ll help you along the way!

First College Apartment Essentials

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It is time for you to move out of the dorm and into your very first college apartment.  This is a very exciting time, as it means one bathroom, a full kitchen and common area/living room for you and a couple of roommates. If your apartment is located on campus, most likely it will come fully furnished – beds, dressers, desks, closets, couches and chairs.  The rest of the apartment is up to you in terms of decorating and proper cooking essentials.  However, you don’t need to get overwhelmed.  Read on for tips on some of the essential items for your first college apartment.

  1. Bedroom

If you have already been living in the dorm, then the items that you need for your apartment bedroom shouldn’t be much different.  Keep in mind the size of your bed.  Often times, when upgrading from the dorm to an apartment, the size of the bed upgrades as well, from a twin to a full size mattress (usually they will still be extra-long).  This means you will need to get full bedding sheets and possibly a new comforter and mattress pad.  Otherwise, you can display your same old posters and photographs.  Bring your clothes drying rack, room organizers, full-length mirror, alarm clock, etc.

  1. Bathroom

The bathroom situation is one of the best parts about moving from the dorm room to an apartment.  You won’t need to cart your toiletries from your room to the bathroom – you can simply keep them in your bathroom now!  However, you will desire to keep these items organized, since you are most likely sharing the bathroom with one or two other people.  For the shower, you will want to invest in a caddy that can hold multiple bottles of shampoo, body wash, with extra hooks for body sponges, washcloths, and razors.  You may also want to invest in bath mats for the shower, to prevent slipping.  In addition to your own personal bath towels, you will need hand towels as well. Don’t forget hand soap!

  1. Kitchen

The best part about moving into your first college apartment is having access to your very own kitchen.  This is where you and your fellow apartment dwellers may want to go shopping together to invest in some essential cooking items.  Start with the basics here – you will need a couple of covered saucepans and an omelet pan.  You will also need proper cutlery, which includes a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a slicing knife.  Don’t forget oven mitts and potholders.  If you plan to do some baking, you will need measuring cups, measuring spoons, and mixing bowls. Other basic items include bowels and plates for eating with, storage containers for your leftovers, ice cube trays, dish soap and sponges.

  1. Living Room/Common Area

While most college apartments come equipped with couches and perhaps a coffee table, you may want to spruce up the place or accommodate guests with some additional seating or an extra comfortable armchair.  You also may need to bring your own TV stand and TV.  Table lamps or standing lamps will be a nice addition to your living room, as well as any extra decorative items.  This includes tapestries, posters, photographs, area rugs, and decorative throw pillows for the couch.

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