I’m live in an apartment for the 2012-2013 school year. I have four roommates and it’s a fourth floor walk up. This is my first time lliving in an apartment (a dorm is totally different) and I was very anxious about setting everything up.
Here’s what I did over the summer:
- Label stuff. Five mac chargers can get mixed up in about 2 seconds. Ditto with phone chargers.
- Make lists of what you’ll need FAR in advance. We kept a google doc that we could update as we went shopping for kitchen supplies, cleaning products and more. Some of us drove to school and others flew, so keep in mind that the contributions of each person will vary based on that.
- Keep your eye out for ways to make your room unique. Pick out bedding you love, collect magazine clippings, posters, photos and other things to hang on the wall. My closet has a curtain rather than a door so that was another great way to personalize my space. I also ordered a rug that makes it look a lot more home-y. You can see it under my shoes here.
- See what’s there: we’re renting furniture. get in touch with landlord about what means. Make sure when you get there that you have everything. Our landlord gave us a punchlist to record the initial condition of the apartment and any repairs that were needed. That’s extremely important so they know the condition of the apartment when you arrived, and don’t charge you for damages later on.
Actually living with a group:
It can be a bit of a challenge!
- Make rules for cleaning, especially the common spaces. Do dishes need to be washed right away or is there a grace period? What about a skillet that someone else needs? Who is checking the mail? How often?
- Make sure non-negotiables are clearly stated. These could be: lock the door when you enter and exit the apartment, take the trash out when it’s full, send a text message out if you have an overnight guest. Getting these established makes a huge difference over on.
- Paste your schedules to the fridge. It’s just nice to have an idea of where everyone is.
- Get a cheap bulletin board to place by the door. Use that to leave reminders, make lists, or leave cute notes.
- Decorate the common room too! We need to work on this but you will all be more inclined to spend time there if it’s nice looking. We got little party lights and a pennant from our school to start but there’s lots to be done.
- The number one rule: don’t be passive aggressive. This results in nothing good. At all. Everyone has to work on compromises, but communication makes it that much easier.
I really love the privacy and space of an apartment and think it will be a great year! What are your tips on sharing a small apartment during those busy undergrad years? Get at me.