Things For Your First Apartment
Moving Into Your First Apartment? Use This Moving Checklist!
When I moved out on my own, I had to figure out the things I needed for my apartment. The experience was an eye-opening one. I had no idea exactly how things were going to turn out until I went through with it.
For example, who knew that toilet paper didn't come from the toilet paper fairy? Okay, I'm kidding with that one, but still: you will find yourself buying things that you never even knew existed before.
Wondering what you'll need before your move? How about afterwards? Here are some of the things I learned from my brand-spanking-new apartment experience.
Things For the Move Into Your First Apartment
The Moving Into Your First Apartment Checklist
- ...and hopefully some friends who can be bought with free pizza!
Moving Books and Boxes - Some Things For Your First Apartment
Things For After the Move Into Your Apartment
You Need Stuff
The first thing you need to remember is this: the world won't come to a screeching halt after you step across your new threshold. Unless you're moving to Antarctica or some remote island in the Pacific, you'll always have a chance to buy more things.
It's better to go slow when stocking up your first apartment, because you won't be sure in the beginning what your new life is going to be like. Maybe there are some ridiculously cheap restaurants nearby, and you won't be cooking a lot. Or maybe the apartment has a washer and dryer that promply breaks the first time you use it. Who knows? You might not even be living here next year. Go with the flow, and you'll find yourself better off than if you had made too many assumptions in the beginning.
Image by bollin on Flickr.
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Personal Care Items - The Basics
Two words: toilet paper. You won't know how much you'll miss it until it's gone. Or until it was never there in the first place. While you're at it, pick up some shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand soap. Remember that just because you're in your first place doesn't mean that you'll need something fancy. Over time, you'll be able to work out the things you like best, but if you're in a rush you'll probably want to get whatever is easily available (and not too expensive).
Sleeping - The Basics
The very first thing of importance that you will be doing in your new apartment, after running around admiring how awesome it is to have your own place and (probably) going to the bathroom, is sleeping. It's difficult to get a good night's sleep on a cold, hard floor without any blankets, so you should figure out some sort of a sleeping arrangement right off the bat. This can be anything from some pillows, a sleeping bag, and an air mattress, to satin sheets and a California King, but if you're going to buy a mattress, take these words of advice: buy new! A good new mattress costs a lot of money, but the lack of worries about where it's been and the nights free from mysterious creaking sounds are worth it.
Cooking and Eating - The Basics
In our modern society, it's entirely possible for people to go days, weeks, or even years without eating in their own homes. However, unless you have access to some seriously cheap eats, this can put a big dent in your budget (and delay the purchase of the above-mentioned new mattress). Luckily, if you have a skillet, a saucepan, a spoon and a stove, you can make a wide variety of delicious meals, from scrambled eggs to hot dogs to ramen. Oh, and don't forget the can opener. There is nothing sadder than bringing home your very first can of soup and having no way to get into it.
As far as dishes and utensils go, you can take the easy route with paper and plastic, or pick up something a little sturdier at your local thrift store. If you want to splurge, stop by a big box store to get something nice for your new place. And don't forget that probably everyone you know has a few spare sets of dishes lying around in their basement.
Checklist - Check it Once, Check it Twice!
These are just the basics to get you started.
- Toilet Paper
- Body Wash/Soap
- Hand Soap
- Sleeping Bag OR Sheets
- Air Mattress OR Real Mattress
- Plates, Dishes and Cups
- A Can Opener
- Paper Towels
- General Cleaning Agent
- Dishwashing Soap
- Broom and Dustpan
- Fire Extinguisher
- Fire Alarm
- First Aid Kit
Miscellaneous - The Basics
Don't forget about lighting. It's no good to spend your first night in your apartment, only to realize that all the lightbulbs in your bathroom are dead. You can never have too much lighting, so consider getting some extra lamps right off the bat.
A basic toolkit is also a good thing to have. Philips and flat-head screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer are a good start; scissors will always come in handy, and it's difficult to find a substitute (trust me, I've tried).
When you get your first apartment, it's also a good idea to consider emergency supplies. Be prepared for an emergency by having a flashlight, matches and candles, bottled water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and fire alarms (if your apartment doesn't already have any). Hopefully, you'll never have to use them, but it's good to have them just in case. Oh, and batteries, of course.
Cleaning - The Basics
Messes will happen in your first apartment sooner than you think. Paper towels, a squirt bottle of general-purpose cleaning agent (preferably without too many harsh chemicals), dishwashing detergent, and a small broom and dustpan will go a long way to cleaning them up.
Note to first time apartment dwellers: the dishwasher does not use hand-washing dish soap! If you try this, you will get a clean floor, because you'll fill the kitchen with bubbles.
If your budget is tight, you can hold off on getting a vacuum for at least a month, or else make friends with your neighbors and borrow theirs. Garbage bags are another thing you don't want to forget, although in a pinch all of the bags you got from shopping for your apartment will work as well.
FlyLady is also a personal favorite of mine for great cleaning cloths and real feather dusters.
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How was it?