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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First Apartment Drama: Part 1

In all honesty, I’m exhausted cause my job has been a little crazy lately; also, I feel as though this post could go on forever so I’m going to do it as a series. So without further ado, I give you First Apartment Drama: Part 1. 

Now that it is June, those students wishing to avoid the residence lifestyle are either now the proud owners of their first place or still on the hunt. Having been through this searching process and into my second year of apartment ownership, I thought I could share some lessons I have learned along the way.  

The first thing you are going to do before you can get settled into your new pad is make a few lists. If you are a person who dislikes making lists and following them, suck it up. You’re supposed to be somewhat of an adult now that you have your own place and that requires some organization. List making can be fun if you make use of some snazzy Apps.

Once you have collected your preferred list making material start jotting down all the things that you will need. Walk around your parents’ place and write down anything you may have missed. Include everything and I mean EVERYTHING; furniture, cleaning supplies, dishes, towels, you name it. When you’re done start crossing off anything that you already own.

With your new list of remaining items, it is time to start visiting family members and friends. Someone on your contacts list may have an old coffee table they are looking to get rid of or maybe they are updating the living room curtains and instead of throwing them out you can take them. This will defiantly reduce the amount of things you will actually have to buy. You may even score a big item like a couch!

Cross any obtained items off your list. Unfortunately anything still there will have to be bought but there are still plenty of ways to save some moolah. Keep your eye out for yard sales; browse the second hand furniture stores, and frequent websites like You never know what you’ll find for a steal. If you happen to find something that has seen better days and in need of some updating, pick up some paint at your local hardware store. A little will go a long way so even with a small tin you may be able to use it on a few pieces of furniture.

Get yourself to the nearest dollar store cause it is my favorite place for finding apartment things. You won’t be able to get everything there, but you should be able to get a good haul for a lot less than if you had gotten everything at Wal-mart. Make sure you pick up a basic tool set. You don't need anything fancy, just items for small repairs and furniture assembly.

Although you should be able to save on a lot of items for your apartment, you should use these savings to go towards things that you should NOT skimp on. These items include:

·      A pots and pans set: Invest in a good cookware set and you’ll have it for well beyond your university years. You’ll also save a bundle in food because your food won’t be coming out a burnt mess like it would if you had gotten a cheap set.

·      Cooking utensils: get a good set of kitchen knives and read up on how to properly care for them. Try to get as many good quality products as possible such as a whisk, grater, masher, rolling pin, and spatchula. If you must skimp, do so on items you know you won’t use often.

·      Kitchen appliances: The kitchen in my opinion is not somewhere I like to skimp because it’s the room that gets the most use. Don’t get the cheapest thing possible for things like toasters, kettles, and other appliances. Pick items that you are going to use most and invest most in these. A good example is a George Forman Grill. These bad boys are awesome and you can cook so much with them.

·      Mattress: who wants to buy a mattress secondhand? You don’t know where it has been and what it has picked up along the way. The mattress could also be quite old so you’ll end up having to replace it in less time anyways than if you had bought a new one. Also, if you buy new you can shop around and find what mattress is most comfortable for you. Skimp all you want on the frame; heck, you can even keep it on the floor! Just really try and avoid skimping on your mattress.

·      Vacuum: If you have an apartment with carpet this is a very important item especially if you have pets. Got an apartment without carpet? Invest in a really good hand held vacuum for getting into corners, along baseboards, and those spills a broom can’t clean up as well ie: spilt flour. If you a proud owner of a four legged fur ball, I highly recommend the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. It is a lifesaver and it cleans up everything. A good vacuum will last for years if you take care of it, much longer than a low quality one.

 Hopefully you’ll find some of this helpful. Congrats on your first place!


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