Moving out of home and into your very own apartment can be incredibly liberating – but that excitement can wear thin if you start off unprepared. Here are 7 tips for anyone preparing to start their renting journey.

Starting your apartment search can be an overwhelming experience for first-time renters. Photo: iStock/SolStock.

Apartment shopping is just… wow!

The first time you head out shopping for your apartment, you’re going to want ALL the decorations. The best piece of advice here is to take someone along who will help you keep your spending habits in check. Rule of thumb here is to enlist someone who’s been there before (i.e. family or friends). They’ll be able to offer advice on the best (and most useful) items to purchase while you try to keep yourself on budget.

Go for quality over quantity where you can

Just because you’re moving into your first apartment doesn’t mean you have to spend your life savings trying to furnish it. I mean, renting can be pricey as it is. But being mindful of the quality of things you do buy will go a long way. Buying better quality items will pay off in the future – why? Because you won’t have to constantly replace items that weren’t made properly to last.

Figure out what you need, not what you ‘think’ you’ll need

On the same line of thinking, it can be pretty overwhelming when it comes to furnishing your new digs. Your packing list can suddenly be filled with some helpful items but also ridiculously useless items that don’t fit your needs. Don’t be afraid to give some thought to what you actually need. There’s nothing wrong with leaving than corner empty for a few weeks until you decide what furnishings are really going to suit your area.

Get to know your neighbourhood in advance

If you haven’t spent much time in the area you’re moving to, you may be a little surprised when you get there. The apartment may be terrific, but did you think about the traffic in the neighbourhood? How about the rubbish truck that arrives every week at the crack of dawn and reverses on your corner? You’ll often spot these small downsides after you move in, and most of the time you’ll learn to live with them. Neighbourhoods offer plenty of surprises, so it’s best to do your research and get to know them in advance.

Your apartment vibe will change with the seasons

A lot of people find their rentals in the summer, and – let’s face it – things look pretty good in summer. Everything’s bright and beautiful, but then the seasons will change and your once delightful apartment may bring up a few issues. Perhaps the heater wasn’t ‘as’ effective as you thought it was – or rain manages to seep through your bedroom window at night. Remember that weather can change your opinion of your apartment pretty quickly – so prepare yourself for any potential problems.

Adapt a cleaning routine – and do it early

There are so many great cleaning guides available everywhere today that you don’t have much of an excuse to get away with letting cleaning slip. Taking 5 minutes to put everything away before bed each night and leaving your apartment tidy will go a long way to your state of mind and avoiding unnecessary clutter that will (we guarantee) build up very quickly.

Do those dishes before bed

Guys, it’s never a better idea to leave that plate in the sink for tomorrow. Suddenly, that plate becomes a plate and a bowl. Then it’s three forks, a plate, a bowl and two glasses. Believe us, it can get out of control pretty quickly. Jump on these things at night and do a quick sweep before you head to bed. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel when you wake up to a tidy sink.

What are your top tips? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

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