Everything Your First Student Apartment Absolutely Must Have
Moving into your first off-campus apartment is a big deal. You’ve made some friends in residence and decided to strike out on your own, whether it’s because you can save money off-campus or because you’re ready to start living independently. Moving into your first apartment as a student is a big step and there’s lots to learn. For example, your first bill from the power company should give you an idea why your parents were always telling you to put on a sweater instead of turning up the heat. You may not know what to expect, but all you can do is show up as prepared as possible with this student apartment checklist.
#1 Power Strips – There aren’t enough power outlets in the world for three people living in the same apartment, but guess what? Most old buildings where you can afford a place have even fewer. Invest in a few quality power strips and extension cords to manage all the weird layouts and frustratingly small number of outlets in old apartment buildings.
#2 Easy-to-Move Bed Frame – When you’re a college student, you’re living with roommates to afford the rent. Your roommates will transfer out of state, get jobs in different cities, and move in with newfound partners. Or you might just get sick of living together – it happens. In either case, you can expect moving to become a frequent part of your life in your early twenties and you will thank yourself for buying a bed frame that’s easy to move. Look for a bed frame that’s lightweight and either foldable or something you can disassemble. There are lots of bed frames to choose from online that also come with low-cost delivery to your new apartment.
#3 A Good Desk & Office Chair – A “home office” may not exactly be on the top of your mind right now, but if you’re in school, you’re going to spend hours writing papers and assignments at your desk. If you’re doing that in an uncomfortable office chair that isn’t the right height for your desk, you’re going to start feeling it.
#4 Lamps – Lighting in apartments doesn’t always cut it. Bring a mixture of floor lamps and desk lamps to make up for it.
#5 Candles – The first time the power goes out in your apartment, you’re going to be in for a surprise when you find out no one thought to bring candles or a flashlight. Buy a cheap pack of candles from the dollar store for these emergencies. Don’t worry about candle holders if you’re on a shoestring student budget. Just wash out a few empty wine bottles to repurpose. You should have plenty of those lying around.
#6 Your Rights as a Tenant – You may not need to pack this one into your parents’ trunk when they help you move, but your roommates will love you if you bring an understanding of your rights as a tenant to your first apartment. Different states and cities have different laws and regulations about your rights (and your obligations) as tenants. Landlords apartments sometimes try to take advantage of young tenants who don’t know their rights. Do some digging online and read up on your rights; they can affect lease terms such as whether your landlord can forbid pets to how they can legally evict you.
Move into your first apartment prepared and you’re going to have a blast. This is the first (and the most fun) step in learning how to live independently.