By Townes Rawls
It’s apartment move-in time for college students in Lexington, and for many it’s the first time out of the dorm. While the adjustment is not that big of a deal, it is easy to forget some of the basics. The following is a good list of things to keep in mind and make your renting experience hassle-free.
Pre-plan with Your Roommate
Coordinate with your roommate on all the topics below. If each of you brings your own share, you’ll reduce your overall costs, and you’ll ensure that you have everything covered. Coordinating on “shared” items like televisions and stereos is important. Just because the TV in the living room is owned by one person does not mean that person always chooses the channel. If you have a TV, consider bringing it for your own room.
Food and Cooking
The hot plate and mini fridge aren’t going to cut it anymore. You’ll need some basics: 1 small pot, 1 large pot, 1 frying pan, 1 colander, 1 spatula, oven mitts, 1 can opener, dish towels, utensils, glasses, and coffee mugs. Be sure to check in advance if your apartment comes with a microwave or toaster oven.
Soup and other canned food are a great way to keep your food costs down. So are leftovers! Spend the time making large casseroles, which can be reheated for several meals. It’s cheap and tastes good.
As Tim Allen said, “If you can’t fix it DUCT IT!” Duct tape and the following essentials will keep your apartment working smoothly. Bring a small toolbox with screwdriver, hammer, wrench, screws, nails, wall hangers, glue, extension cords and more tape.
Fill a kitchen garbage can with trash bags, disinfectant, dishwashing detergent, soap, sponges, cleaning solution, and paper towels. That takes care of the kitchen. For the rest of your apartment, bring a vacuum, a mop, laundry basket and detergent, shower curtain, bathroom rug, plunger, and wastebaskets. Once you cover your basics, set a schedule to share the cleaning duties. If you don’t, it won’t get done.
Most college apartments come fully or partially furnished. Find out in advance exactly what furniture is included. If you need to purchase furniture, consider hitting garage sales before going to inexpensive furniture stores like Wal-Mart, Target or IKEA.
Clothes and Linens
You don’t need all the clothes you own. Remember, you’ll be heading back home as the seasons change and can swap out clothes at that time. Bring at least two sets of sheets, pillow cases, bath towels and one beach towel for the pool.
Bed Bath & Beyond has a complete “First Apartment Checklist” that you should review before you move in. For additional tips on apartment living, renter’s insurance, and more, go to the Lexington Apartment Guide blog.
About the author:
Townes Rawls is the publisher of Lexington Apartment Guide, which helps renters find the best apartments in Lexington, Kentucky.