- Family and Parenting
Moving Into A New Apartment, A New Beginning
Moving Out on Your Own
It's happened, you finally have a place of your own, your own apartment, your own house, no roommates, no more living in your parents, you have arrived and now are officially an adult. Congratulations!! I mean it, it's a big step and every parent is extremely proud when their kids enter the next stage of life as responsible adults. It's an exciting event and I should know.
I recently had the honor of helping my oldest son move into his first apartment in Chicago. It wasn't like I hadn't said goodbye before. It wasn't as if he hadn't lived on his own either. After high school he had gone to college for a couple of years and spent the past three years in the Marine Corps. He was more than ready to have his own place that he didn't have to share with a roommate and was bigger than his cracker box sized room in the barracks.
Although my son kept his demeanor of a Marine I could tell he was just a little more than excited to move into a new and I didn't expect to help as this was his journey. I think it started off as needing a ride and a way to haul his stuff to Chicago. He learned keeping a car in Chicago would be expensive and counter productive. so he decided his main method of communication was going to be the metro transit system. A Mother-Son trip was then made to the Windy City.
My Son Moved to the Windy City of Chicago
Finally Getting His Own Apartment - Starting a New Life
There are a lot of things to know about living on your own, how to set up your bills, a new local bank, renters insurance and little things such as simple plumbing repairs and household maintenance.
If you live in a big city how do you keep yourself safe and how do you grocery shop when you don't have a car? Those are all questions you will need to figure out on your own now, you don't have your Mom or Dad to figure them out for you.
This life skills guide book contains all the essential questions to independent living. Things you would like to ask your Mom but don't really want to ask. Such as "How do I remove stains from my dress shirt?" or "What plunger works best in a toilet?"
This life skills guide gives advice on budgeting, maintaining a car, staying safe, how to read and understand a lease agreement, and other such valuable tidbits as common etiquette and dining tips.
A great gift for a graduation gift, or a subtle "PUSH" out the door hint for the adult child that hasn't left the nest yet. (did I just say that?
Where Do I Start?
Empty cupboards and empty refrigerator
This photo pretty much says it all. "Wow, all this space, and no food." Off to the grocery store and target we went. Two shopping carts later, and I won't say how much money, we barely stocked the cupboards and refrigerator, but it's enough for a few weeks, when eating bachelor style.
Start with Kitchen Supplies - You Need to Eat
No more raiding your Mom's refrigerator, no more snagging cookies, or a can of pop, food doesn't magically appear anymore. It's a brand new world and your brand new kitchen. Where to start, what do you need?
This all depends on your cooking prowess, taste, and culinary expertise. If you are a run and go type person and convenience foods are your norm then you will need just the basics. If you eat out quite a bit your kitchen might be bare, but so will your wallet.
A compromise between truly home cooked meals and some simple cooking tools makes all the difference in your daily meal preparations and nutritional status as a single professional living in the city.
Don't Forget: dish washing soap, dish towels, paper towels, kitchen sponge, pots, pans, cookie sheet or baking dishes, trash can, trash bags (we forgot those), broom and dust pan, and a frying pan with lid.
Purchase a set of general everyday kitchen tools, just the essentials. This includes a spatula, slotted spoons, spatula, can opener, and of course a pizza cutter.
What single guys apartment would be without a pizza cutter?
Unless you are going to eat with plastic spoons you will want a set of silverware or cutlery.
Knives, forks, and spoons are the civilized way of eating and now that you're a professional it's time to have a matching set.
So when you're thinking of setting up your first house or apartment do it right.
If you are looking for a nice house warming gift, a wedding gift or graduation present you can't go wrong with flatware. Normally people don't think of spoons before they move.
College students eat off plastic or disposable plates in their dorm room or apartment. They are broke and often find bargains at garage sales, thrift stores etc.
But now you're working a real job, making a salary, the big bucks (ok, not BIG bucks, but some) you have arrived in the world. Buy some real plates.
By the way, don't forget the bowls because although you're an adult the cereal fetish you obtained in college still exists, it's just "grown-up" cereal now.
Plastic bar cups from your college days still have a place in your cupboard, in the back, or watering your plants, but now with your new and improved kitchen lifestyle.
Glassware doesn't always come in glass, there are plastic tumblers and cups that look high class and sophisticated but won't break when you drop them on the floor at 2am in the morning.
See Mom is still watching out for you, we just do it from a far.
My son was lucky, his apartment came with an over the range microwave.
But we were prepared to purchase one and thought the new generation of microwave confection ovens were the way to go.
With the convection oven you can bake cakes, pies, bread, or even bake a whole chicken. It's a little bit of magic when you can mix convenience of the microwave with an actual mini oven. This is an appliance must in any kitchen.
Did I Say Toasters Are Great For Single Life? - If I didn't I am now
My son loves toast and toast is quite the magically food. It takes plain ordinary bread, warms it and turns it into a totally different food. Toast for breakfast, toast for egg sandwiches, or toast for BBQ pulled pork for supper. The magic of toast.
A toaster may be the most important cooking item in your kitchen. Toasters are handy for bagels and English Muffins, toasters make cooking fast, easy, and convenient to take something on-the-go.
Take a look at all the toasters you can buy on eBay. Vintage toasters, bagel toasters, 4 slices, 2 slices, just a plethora of toasters. Really, if you have limited cooking skills a toaster can be your best friend. Just ask my son.
Then Set Up Your Living Room - You Don't Have to Share the Entertainment Center Anymore
No longer do you need to share the television with your family, watch what your brother wants to watch or censor your TV viewing because your parents may not approve. The entertainment system is now yours and yours alone. How wonderful!
Wait, you don't have a TV, you don't have a television, and you don't even have a blue-ray player. Darn, now what? To many young adults just furnishing their living room the television and blue-ray player will come before furniture. My son will sit on the floor or a folding chair as long as he has his television and movies.
Other items you might want:lamps, couch, lazy boy chair, computer desk, coffee table, and art for the walls, but that can come later
Wait, you don't have a TV, you don't have a television, and you don't even have a blu-ray player. Darn, now what? To many young adults just furnishing their living room the television and blue-ray player will come before furniture. My son will sit on the floor or a folding chair as long as he has his television and movies.
When we moved into the apartment my son had a television which he had in his barracks room. But he found he didn't have anything to sit it on.
So the TV went on a moving box until he could get to the store and buy a TV stand. He was going to need a better place to set up his Xbox and Blu-ray player than the floor.
Unless your parents are willing to donate half of their household belonging to your new apartment living room furnishings will be sparse.
Most first apartments are small and the key is compact, versatile and multi-purpose. My son didn't have a kitchen or dining room table yet so he bought four folding TV trays. He's probably going to eat in front of the TV anyways, so why not.
When he does finally get a small table these will come in handy for parties and company.
Many people are opting out of cable and instead relying on Netflix or Hulu to watch TV. Most Blu-ray players not only play your favorite movies but have view on demand options for popular channels.
This is the new poor mans cable in a new era and I like it, I can watch Dexter anytime I want.
The Journey of Moving into an ApartmentClick thumbnail to view full-size
Don't Forget Your Bathroom - It's the Little Things You'll Forget
It's the little things, the small comforts you forget when you move into your first apartment. Like the shower curtain, wow, how many times have you thought about the shower curtain, that is until you stand in the bathroom aisle at Target thinking, now what do I need?
Don't forget these items: Toilet brush, toilet plunger (don't want to be stuck in an emergency), toilet bowl cleaner, toilet paper, air freshener (if you're a guy, an essential), hand soap, toothbrush holder, and your basic shampoo, conditioner and bath gel. Those are just the personal items.
Towels, you may of received these for graduation, but then again you may of used them, lost them in the dorm laundry mat, or you may just want to start fresh with coordinating bathroom decor.
Buy quality large towels, ones you will welcome when you get out of the shower. Taking a shower in your own apartment is a luxury, make it worth while and enjoy.
A tip for buying a shower curtain, don't forget the shower rings. Really this happened. I was even at the store to help my son think of what he needed to get and I forgot the shower rings.
Another tip, purchase washable fabric shower curtains. They will stay cleaner you can throw them in the washing machine on a regular basis and it helps keep down the mold and mildew. Just stay away from the cheap two dollar special plastic shower curtains, trust me, spend the little bit extra.
If you forget a bath mat you will be going to the store very shortly to get one. Nothing is more chilling in the morning than stepping out of the shower dripping wet onto a cold floor.
Not only do you get the floor wet, and risk falling, but it's not a way to wake up in the morning.
A bathroom trash can, the list keep growing and growing. Things as insignificant as a bathroom trashcan is a necessity, yet one I bet you never gave a second thought. Hint:buy one you can use the grocery store trash bags as liners, very handy and budget conscience.
Setting Up Your Bedroom - You spend 6-8 hours sleeping, do it with style and comfort
We didn't take a bed with us when we drove to Chicago, in fact moving was just a small trailer with boxes. Being a Marine who can sleep anywhere a bed wasn't the highest priority, but it should be and a good bed at that, you're going to be spending 6-8 hours a night sleeping.
However, I will assume most people have a bed to start off with, it's the other items in the bedroom that you might not think of right away.
Don't Forget:sheets, pillow, comforter, mattress pad (or cover), alarm clock, dresser, mirror, and curtain if your window doesn't have blinds.
The clothes may of come off the hangers at your parents, but for some reason they didn't go into your closet the same.
Clothes hangers are often overlooked and if you're a clothes horse like my kids they will need clothes hangers.
These ultra thin velvet covered clothes hangers not only save room in your closet but prevent shirts from falling off and don't leave ridges in the shoulders like wire hangers.
Maybe a night stand doesn't seem important at first but the first time you set your phone on the floor you will be looking for a small table soon.
A bedside cabinet is very handy for books, pens, flashlight, and even lotion. It's better to have a table with a door or pull drawers to keep items out of view.
No more clothes piled on the floor of your dorm, no more open laundry baskets.
Turn over a new leaf, get a real hamper with a lid to keep your bedroom stylish, sophisticated and ready for company. (Did I say that?)
I thought I had a lot of shoes, not! My children are shoe horses, they have more shoes that I could ever dream of wearing. The best way to keep your shoes organized, off the floor and ready for wearing is a tiered shoe rack.
This shoe rack is not only functional, but very stylish and will complement the decor of a young professionals bedroom.
Welcome to Chicago - Watch out Windy City, my son has arrived!Click thumbnail to view full-size
If you have a moving tip, or another supply idea for someone moving into their first apartment be a gem and let us know below. I'm sure there are plenty of people who would appreciate your advice.