How to: Survive Your First Apartment

So, you just moved into your first apartment! Fantastic. I have tips for you on that.

(Dorm dwellers, this post doesn’t prioritize you, but feel free to follow these rules, but you’re essentially being babysat by the university.  Keep these guidelines in mind for when your first apartment does happen.)

Whether your apartment is with roommates, your significant other, or entirely on your own, the basic rules for survival are the same.

First, you want to make sure you’ve read and have a copy of your lease, because sometimes stuff goes wrong, and your landlord/apartment company will try to charge you for it. It’s also handy to know what’s allowed and what’s not.

After that, before and after you’ve moved in, it’s a good idea to get to know the landlord or office staff and manager, by name, phone number, and office hours. Keep a sticky note somewhere in your apartment with this information.

417062984_04727ecf7fThis is probably what your apartment will look like. This is why I’m here. Take my advice and you won’t have this problem. 

If you live in a company-owned apartment, it’s also wise to get to know the maintenance staff and the process for making a work request. For example, when your sink breaks or stops draining (and it will, plumbing in these places is cheap and careless), you want to know if there’s an online form to fill out, a call to make, or a trip to the office. After-hours emergency maintenance is something you also should get familiar with because your faucet will run fine all day, and as soon as the office closes, it will stop, or the water will be black, etc.

As far as survival, cleanliness is very important, because if you don’t keep clean, you’ll attract bugs. I’ll do a whole post on what cleaning products and regimens are best (and easiest to follow!) later, but for now, here are the basics.

Get yourself a Swiffer or small vacuum depending on if you have tile or carpet.

15139538755_f29a027365_bNo, Swiffer shoes do not count. 

Secondly, throw away trash, take out your trash, and don’t let dishes get nasty in the sink. Just wash them. It isn’t that hard.


barata-cucaracha-cockroach                    Hello, friend. My family and I are all packed and ready to move in–what’s with the shoe?

Also, you need to be prepared for shit to go down, now that you’re one of the adults in a potential disaster situation.

So, first, learn your environment. I’m based in south Florida, so you know what I need to be aware of? Hurricane season (June-November), summer thunderstorms, bugs, and the unbearable heat and humidity that happens to us in the summer (February- November). So I need to have some emergency supplies in case the power goes out, which could be anywhere from my apartment to the WHOLE COUNTY. This could last a few hours or it could last a week. It’s been a long time since we’ve had major flooding of Hurricane Katrina proportions, but power outages in summer storms/tropical storms are very common. An example checklist of the things it might be smart to have:

  • Battery Powered Flashlight (we don’t have electricity so your iPhone flashlight isn’t going to be very helpful if your phone dies)
  • Batteries
  • Non-perishable foods (cans are usually best here)
  • A manual can opener
  • Jugs of water
  • A radio
  • An evacuation route if the weather calls for it

Lastly, other than your emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, personal belongings, and decorations, buy nothing else. You’ll just clutter your apartment, and that just creates more messes.






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