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Sunday, July 10, 2011

First Apartment Drama: Packing, Unpacking, and Decorating

Now that you’ve acquired everything you need for your new pad, it’s time to move in and get settled. Before you move in make sure that all the arrangements have been made for electricity, cable, phone, Internet, or any other services you’ll need. When you’re packing everything away, remember to wrap up anything breakable before it goes in the box. It would suck to unpack your favorite picture frame only to discover it’s now in pieces.

When you put items into their respective boxes make sure to label them. This way you know what boxes should be handled with extra care, might be heavier than others (ie: the “books” box is heavier than the “pillows” box), and what room it should be placed. As you’re unpacking you’ll be glad you did this so you won’t have to root through all your boxes just to find the can opener. 

The rest of unpacking is pretty self-explanatory; you take something out of the box and put it where it belongs. The only advice I can offer is unpack the stereo, play some tunes, get through it one box at a time, and don’t drag the process out. You don’t want to find yourself a month later stepping over boxes you still haven’t unpacked.

Once everything is in it’s place you’re going to want to decorate to make your new place feel like home. You don't have to head out to the stores to get decorative items that can end up being expensive plus it's stuff a lot of other people can have too. Try to incorporated your style into your place even in small ways. A relatively cheap decorating tip I like is the use of picture frames. You don't have to fill them all with photos and they don't have to all look the same. You can fill them with fun printed fabrics to add a pop of color, greeting cards that have a design you like, postcards from places you've visited, ticket stubs, you can even leave them empty and place them on the wall. The later is actually one of my favorite frame use as it looks really unique especially when a variety of frame shapes and sizes are used. You can check out some decorating with empty frames at Tip Junkie 

If you don't want to poke a bunch of holes in your walls from hanging photos, I suggest the use of Command Strips. These little guys can hold a lot, do not damage the paint, and allow you to change up your decor as often as you like without leaving holes all over the place. You can also get the strips that come with hooks if you're looking for somewhere to hang your keys or need something in the kitchen to hang utensils from.

Place nick-knacks on shelves, get a house plant, and Google some DIY projects for home decorating. There is an amazing amount of great ideas out there on sites such as Crafterholic and Cut out and keep. If you feel like you're a person who doesn't have a flair for home decor, don't worry because you can do it! Try displaying items that you really like or collect like books, movies, CDs or vinyl records, anything. This can also serve as a conversation piece for your home. For instance, I framed a crocheted hand towel and whenever someone comes over they ask why I choose to display it. I can then explain that my 94 year old great-grand mother, who is blind, made it for me when she found out I was renting my first place.

The most important thing to remember is that this is your first place so don't get bent out of shape if everything doesn't match. Work with what you got, incorporate your own sense of style, have fun, and it will be awesome.

Happy Decorating!


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