First Things to Do in Your First Apartment
- Youíve moved into your first apartment - congratulations! Now itís time to become a real adult, which includes real bills, real budgeting and real responsibilities. But before we burst the bubble on your new-found freedom, check out the tips below to help make your transition into the real world trouble-free.
- Keep all important documents safe and handy, especially your lease if youíre renting. You will want to know where it is at all times throughout the year and will want to compare against it when itís time to sign a new one. Donít pack these items in a box when moving - keep them on you at all times until you have a place for them.
- Keep in one place any manuals, receipts and warranty information for items you have purchased or for those already in the apartment. These will be invaluable when youíre trying to figure out what temperature to set the refrigerator at, or when youíre recovering from your first power outage.
- Check all home safety devices to be sure they are in working order, including the fire extinguisher, smoke detectors and security systems. Check to see if there is an escape route or evacuation plan in case of an emergency.
- Post all local emergency numbers in a place that is visible and logical. You never know when you or a guest in your home will have to locate these numbers.
- Update your new address on your car registration and driverís license. Send change of address information to all of your bill collectors, including car insurance, credit cards, banks and utilities. Donít forget to update your friends and family too.
- Check to make sure all utilities are working. Is your cable connected? Does you phone accept both incoming and outgoing calls? Is there electricity in every room? Check all outlets.
- If you are allowed to have a pet and want to get one, really consider if itís the best thing for the pet. Do you work long hours during the week? Are you away a lot on the weekends? Will there be a lot of people coming in and out of your apartment? Do you live on a street with heavy traffic, or in an area with poor weather conditions? Pets are wonderful, but are also a lot of responsibility. Settle into your new surroundings first before making a decision.
- Stock up your pantry! Buy as much as you can initially so you wonít have to restock immediately and save some money. This will help you get into the rhythm of purchasing, eating and replenishing on a budget.
- Shop for future guests. When purchasing food, think about what you would serve if a friend decided to stop by. Always keep crackers, beverages and other easy-to-store items on hand so you donít get caught off guard. Does your mom love pickles, but you despise them? Pick up a jar anyway. They can be stored out of the way for long periods of time, and will make mom feel like a special guest when she comes to visit!
- Make sure you have enough items for a guest to stay overnight. Extra towels, pillows and pillowcases, bed linens and toiletry items are a must to make a guest comfortable in your new home.
- Plan a house warming party! Have each guest bring a dish for dinner (and hopefully a gift), and then kick back and enjoy entertaining!
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