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.
- 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!