Last Updated on June 5, 2023 by Corynn
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Moving into your first apartment can be exciting and super nerve-racking. It took me months to get myself prepared to move out on my own. After living in my apartment for over a year, here are 20 things I wish I knew before getting my first apartment
From purchasing items, multiple trips to Ikea, and a quick purchase of an AC unit. In this blog post, I am going to break down everything I have learned about moving into my first apartment, to things I have learned as a renter.
This blog post is about things I wish I knew before getting my first apartment.
What Are Some Things I Should Know About Getting My First Apartment?
Living in on your own is super exciting but also nerve-racking. Here are 20 things that I have learned since moving into my first apartment.
- 1. Looking Outside Of The City We Were Originally Moving To
- 2. Proper Apartment Tour
- 4. Only Buying The Necessities
- 5. Learning To Cook More
- 6. Coming Up With A Proper Daily Schedule
- 7. How Peaceful But Stressful It Is To Live On Your Own
- 8. Having To Be Responsible For Everything
- 9. Keeping Your Sink And Counters Clean At All Time
- 10. Mess Can Accumulate Very QUICKLY!
- 11. Budget For Groceries
- 12. Large Furniture Is Expensive
- 13. Check To See If Your Potential Apartment Has AC
- 14. Expect the Unexpected
- 15. Keep Staple Items In Your Pantry
- 16. It’s Going To Break Your Heart When Wasting/Throwing Away Food
- 17. Take Photos & Videos Of Your Place Before Moving In
- 18. Have A Box Filled With Things You Need For Two Days
- 19. Check The Location You Potentially Want To Live In
- 20. Communication Is Key With The People You Live With
- Bonus! 21. Track Expenses & Budget
1. Looking Outside Of The City We Were Originally Moving To
When we were trying to figure out a place to live, it was around the time my husband was offered a new job. We ultimately decided to stay within a certain area.
I truly wish we looked into other neighboring cities! I love our apartment but I wish we branched out into a different area than where we were comfortable in.
2. Proper Apartment Tour
Unfortunately, due to covid we were unable to go in and have a proper apartment tour. We were baseding our apartment on photos, videos, and honestly luck.
The luck was on our side because I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
3. You Won’t Have The Perfect Neighbors
Some neighbors are sweet and others are… not so sweet. Moving into my first apartment, we notice that our neighbors played their TV really loud.
I’m not sure it’s because my husband and I are super quiet people but we just tune it out with our headphones.
4. Only Buying The Necessities
Since this was my first apartment I seriously want overboard on shopping for our new place. I bought seasonal mugs, instant pot, air fryer, and so much more!
I should have only bought the things we needed and then purchase the items we wanted or truly needed after we moved into our apartment.
5. Learning To Cook More
After moving into your own place, you realize that cooking is going to have to become second nature to you. Ordering out all the time, does add up very quickly.
The best part about moving into your own apartment is that you can cook anything you want. Search on pinterest, buy some cookbooks and learn how to make some dishes on your own.
It does take practice but you save A LOT of money in the long run.
6. Coming Up With A Proper Daily Schedule
Another thing about living on your own is that time moves around you. Not your parents, your siblings. Just you (and your significant other/roommate).
You are in charge of when you eat, clean, cook, run errands. Nobody has to tell you what to do.
Humans thrive on schedules and routines, which I highly highly recommend you create for yourself.
If you need help creating a daily schedule, check out my blog post here about how to create a daily schedule to live by!
7. How Peaceful But Stressful It Is To Live On Your Own
Living on your own versus living with your parents is a game changer. You’re able to eat whatever you want, live your house at anytime without letting everyone know. Plus make life decisions without consulting with your parents.
It truly is a peaceful thing.
Although it follows up with stress. Stress about working all the time, stress about paying your bills, making sure you have the money to pay your bills, and other adult things.
Yes living on your own can be very peaceful, but also comes with a price.
8. Having To Be Responsible For Everything
Something my husband and I learned very quickly is we are responsible for anything that happens while we live in our apartment.
We realize that if any repairs needs to be done, we have to be responsible and let the landlord know, being responsible for taking the trash out when it overflows, keeping our apartment tidy, and not overspending.
You gain a large amount of responsibility when you move out (may come back to fit this point)
9. Keeping Your Sink And Counters Clean At All Time
Before going to bed, I like to make sure our kitchen sink and counters are clean. After while living in my first apartment, I truly felt at ease going to bed with a clean sink and counters. No spills, dirty dishes in the sink.
Then the happiness of waking up in the morning seeing our kitchen ready to go, versus having to wash last nights soaking pots and pans. (Which can really be a pain in the butt!)
10. Mess Can Accumulate Very QUICKLY!
Remember when you’re parents would always complain why there is always a mess? Well once you move into your own apartment you’ll realize what they’re talking about.
Sometimes our lives get super busy and we would rest things in a pile that we will “get back to.” Within a few days that pile went from being so small to a ginormous pile that took up half of our living space.
You and/or roommate are responsible for tidying up after yourselves. This means putting items away where they belong from the start. Rather than waiting until you have the time.
11. Budget For Groceries
The very first grocery shopping is going to be super exciting. Your parents are not there to limit the amount of snacks you buy, and you can now buy those package of chocolate chip cookies you have always been wanting.
Although, you want to be very careful to not go overboard with purchasing everything from the store. Creating a budget for your groceries is a great way to stay within your spending limits and not over purchase a ton of food.
Need help budgeting your first apartment? Read here of all the things you need in your fridge and pantry in your first apartment.
12. Large Furniture Is Expensive
Beds, couches, tv stands and so many more, can really cost a lot when you are moving into your new apartment.
My husband and I had to research, compare prices to find the most affordable but sustainable furniture for our budget.
Not sure which furniture should you purchase first? Here is a whole spread that I used to move into my first apartment!
13. Check To See If Your Potential Apartment Has AC
Some apartments offer central air and most of them… Do not. My husband and I were unlucky of not having any central air. This lead to us purchasing an AC unit.
I truly wish we done our research thoroughly because an AC unit can cost between $300-$800 dollars!
PLEASE NOTE: before installing any AC unit you must discuss with your landlord the requirements of the ac unit you can use in our window.
14. Expect the Unexpected
Moving into your first apartment, you’re going to imagine how things will go. Buut we gotta prepare or the unexpected things to happen. This could be; large repairs that need to happen, infestations, noisy neighbors, and possibly having arguments with your roommate.
15. Keep Staple Items In Your Pantry
There is going to come a time where you’ll be short on cash or your utility bill was way over and now your pinching pennies for groceries. Or for instance, you get stuck in a storm and you were suppose to go grocery shopping later that week.
It’s super important to have staple items in your pantry that you can cook/bake with at anytime!
So what are the staple items you can keep inside of your pantry? This could be;
- canned vegatables
- canned beans
- oil (olive oil, vegatable oils, etc.)
- can milk
- canned meat/fish
Yes some of the items are not ideal to eat all the time but remember to always be prepared for anything! you never want to be home without food during a crisis.
16. It’s Going To Break Your Heart When Wasting/Throwing Away Food
Remember how your parents use to be soo upset with you for wasting food and you never understand why? Well after moving out on your own, you’ll finally realize what your parents were talking about.
Want to prevent yourself from wasting a lot of food? Here is how!
1. Plan out your meals in advance alongside of your events.
If you know that you’re going to a birthday party on Saturday, do not plan to cook a meal on the saturday.
2. Purchase groceries that can create easy meals at anytime.
In the beginning of moving into our first apartment, I was trying out different dishes thatI could find on Pinterest.
I went into burnout mode very quickly and wasted a lot of the food we bought. So I decided to pick 3-4 meals that both my husband and I enjoy, and cook those dishes for the next two weeks. Then change the menu all over again.
3. Cook less
What I mean is to pick 3 meals that you can cook. Then cook enough of that meal to last you for leftovers the next day.
17. Take Photos & Videos Of Your Place Before Moving In
most important task any first renter should do!!!! Take pictures of your apartment prior to moving in.
When you do one final walkthrough with your landlord you should take countless of photos. This could be; marks, chipped drywall, chipped paint. Everything!!
Because when it is time to move out, they have you reliable for the damages that were there prior to move in day.
18. Have A Box Filled With Things You Need For Two Days
The first two days of moving into your apartment is going to feel like a maze. You’re trying to find everything in the box you can unpack, but you want to start off with the post important boxes.
Honestly, it becomes really hectic for the first two days.
I highly suggest you create a first night box. What’s included in the first night box? It could be;
- Paper plates
- Tool kit
- plastic cups
- Box opener
- Toilet paper
- Paper towel
- and more
I have a whole list of things you need inside of your first night box that you can find down below to print!
19. Check The Location You Potentially Want To Live In
The location you live in is everything. Are you close to grocery stores, parks, schools for your children, how is the crime rate? These are all things myself and my husband did prior to moving into our apartment.
Need help with searching for the best apartment for you? Check out my blog post about 6 tips that can help you find your first apartment!
20. Communication Is Key With The People You Live With
At first, moving in with your significant other and/or roommate is so much fun. After while the high of living together dies down and you start to see each other’s quirks and how they ACTUALLY live.
This is where you may get annoyed with their habits or they may get annoyed with your habits.
Communication is key. You must talk with your partner or roommate about the things they are doing. If you keep it all bottled up, then resentment happens and problem arises.
Bonus! 21. Track Expenses & Budget
Everything is expensive right now (thanks to inflation). You really want to try and spend your money wisely rather than on uncessary things.
Track all your expenses and budget budget for your apartment! you can easily go overboard purchasing items you need.
Your experience as a first time renter is entirely going to depend on you. Remember to enjoy the ride and learn every step of the way.