This morning, I picked up the keys to my new apartment. Yes, I am officially the proud renter of a single-bedroom apartment. Impressive, I know.
Honestly, to a 22-year-old, it’s pretty exciting. I’ve been fantasizing about having my own place for a while now and now the time has come. I sort of feel like a real adult now.
Sort of. I mean, if I could afford to furnish this place the way I want to, that would be great. If I could afford a coffee maker, that might be even better. But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, because first, I need the essentials. (Lamps might be nice.)
Here are a few things you might want to do before you move in:
Meet your landlord, get his/her contact information and ask questions – When Twenty and Change blogger Sarah Chain found out I’d set a date to sign a lease (by way of a real estate company), she recommended I set up a time to meet with the landlord. And, I did. I spoke with my landlord over the phone and met with her in person for the lease signing (something that could be arranged separately). It was important for me to ask her specific questions about the apartment, but also get a feel of how available she would be if I needed something to be fixed. Since we last met, I’ve already had to contact her about other questions concerning move in — so it was helpful I had all of her contact information handy.
Renter’s insurance - This saves your butt if your iMac and big screen TV burns up in an accidental fire. But, seriously, it could happen. Read my earlier post post about renter’s insurance.
Utilities – Find out what you are responsible for and call those companies immediately to change or acquire accounts in your name. You want to make sure that when you are ready to move in, you have electric.
Bed + mattress + sheets + duvet – Your bed is a must. This should be a first priority when looking for furniture. And, there are a lot of pieces involved — bed frame, mattress, sheets, mattress pad, box spring/slats, duvet, pillows, shams and extra blankets. I ordered a bed from an Ikea a week before my move-in day and it is set to be delivered in two days. In the meantime, I have an air mattress.
Love seat or chair – You might not be able to afford an entire living room suite, but having some place to sit until you get completely settled isn’t a bad idea.
Silverware – Whether you first want to borrow a set from your parents or invest in utensils and plates right away, you need to have to have something to eat off of.
Here’s what to do in the days after you’ve got the keys:
Lamps - I have ceiling lights, but that’s not quite enough. Unless I want to get dressed in the dark, I need to make an investment in something that throws a little more light.
Laundry machines – If you are fortunate enough to have a laundry hook-up, you might want to take a little time to find the right price before you make the purchase. Use a laundromat (or friend’s house) in the meantime.
Shelves/dresser – I have pretty limited closet space, so extra storage is going to be essential. I’m looking into buying drawers that will fit underneath my bed as well as a dresser and bookshelf.
Rugs/bathmats – Sometimes added details like a rug or bathmat is better left until after the move-in. You have time to figure out what is essential and what’s not. Plus, you have time to take the measurements you need.