Moving out of the dorms and into an apartment is a huge lifestyle change. While you may have had a roommate sharing a bedroom space, you might have multiple roommates, plus a kitchen and living area to take care of now. Balancing more people and more space can bring on new challenges.
There will be things you have never thought to consider before such as how you will handle paying for groceries and how to feel safe in your new home. Read on for some tips for living in that first off campus home!
Your living space just doubled, but so did your cleaning
One thing that surprises people is how often things should be cleaned and how fast things get dirty. A good way to avoid letting your new place fall apart is to set ground rules from the start. Discuss with your roommates rules for daily and weekly chores. Another topic to discuss is cost of cleaning supplies. Cleaning essentials can add up so determine if you and your roommates will be splitting the costs or each separately purchasing items.
Get to know the people next door
No longer living in a dorm hall, you may not have a mail delivery room or front desk security. Your neighbors can be an extra pair of eyes when it comes to suspicious activity or a missing package. It is also very helpful to have a respectful relationship with neighbors for nights when their music is too loud and you are studying for a big exam.
You can never be too safe
When living on your own there are ways to help you feel safer that are practical and give you peace of mind. If you are able to, change the locks when you first move in. Doing this will help you feel secure that no strangers have access to your home. Another worthwhile investment is a Ring doorbell or any doorbell with a camera. Cameras often deter thieves from even attempting a break in. Some also include added features such as an app that allows you to lock your door from class when you all of a sudden panic and doubt if you locked the front door that morning.
Live within your means, but live comfortably
There is no way you are going to be able to ace all your exams and write the best essays if you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep. It’s imperative to have an environment that you can relax in and that will make you happy. Try to invest in upgrades such as mattress toppers and the most comfortable bedding you can afford to spend on. Additionally, consider adding decorations such as photographs or plants to make the place feel more like home.
Don’t forget the renters insurance!
Living with more people means increased chances of damaged or stolen possessions. Your neighbor could accidentally start a fire while cooking. Your roommate could forget to lock the door when they are the last to leave for class and you come home to find your TV and laptop have been stolen. For a few dollars a month you can get a renters insurance policy to protect yourself from getting stuck after situations like these. Could you afford to replace all of your possessions if something like this happened? Don’t forget that renters insurance policies typically only cover the person who purchased the policy. So just because your roommate purchased one doesn’t mean your clothes and other possessions are covered. Your landlord’s insurance only covers the building and common areas. If a hail storm damages the roof and causes rain water to leak in, the landlord’s policy will cover the repairs to the building, but not your items or a place for you to live while repairs are being made. Thankfully, renters insurance policies are extremely affordable, so you won’t break the bank.
Your first off-campus residence is a big step! It is exciting and scary all at the same time but if you follow these tips you can start to live your best life in your new apartment.
Article By: Mia Tramontana