During college, you may reach a point where you want to have your own apartment and you will one day move out of the dorm. You may decide to have roommates or get your own studio apartment. Whatever you decide, or if your parents help you to get your own place, there will be some things you will need to expect.
Prepare Before the Big Move
First, you will need to pay a deposit for the apartment, so make sure you have $1,000 or so saved to put down a payment. The apartment manager may ask for your social security number and may run a background check or credit check on you before you move in. You will need to properly prepare for different items you may need to buy, such as kitchenware items, furniture (since the place will be much bigger than a dorm room) and maybe curtains for home decoration.
You will need to have a budget that you can spend according to your needs. If you have roommates, they may chip in for a new couch, chairs, a coffee table, TV stand and more. Make sure that you are aware of other payments aside from rent, such as the electric bill, utilities (gas and water), and Internet or TV. The expenses can be divided between roommates, which helps bring down the cost for any one person. You may have parking fees for a garage spot and/or street sweeping, so make sure to ask your landlord for options and costs.
Divide the Responsibilities
When I had roommates, one girl and I paid for the Internet, Netflix and TV, and the other roommates paid for the electricity and utilities, so it evened out. And we each had our responsibilities when it came to chores and dishes. You will want to divide the household duties between roomies (if you have them, it’s helpful and definitely less lonely). One suggestion I have for chores is to get a white board and schedule who will sweep, vacuum, dust, clean bathrooms and do dishes.
Find out if there is extra storage and space for you to put away your belongings. Make sure to give each roomie a fair space for their personal things. For example, the bathroom may have cupboards and drawers for makeup and extra products, so divide this evenly among each roomie. Next, the kitchen space and fridge need to be organized so you know whose groceries belong to whom, and also certain dishes you may want each person to use. You all can decide on shelf space or designated areas.
Communication Is Key
You will want to make sure you decide on sleep times or noise control when you have guests over. Some people may have work very early and some people may need to stay up late studying because they work later in the day, so make sure to communicate your future needs clearly to avoid tension or frustrations. Make sure to be on the same page as well when you have guests over—for example, if someone wants to watch Hulu or Netflix and/or if they want to have a friend sleep over.
Live in Grace and Peace
When you have roommates, your living situation isn’t just up to you, even though you’re paying rent. You need to respect your other tenants and make sure to ask or let them know when you have visitors, or expect to be up late or awake super early. Remember, Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Let us walk in humility, grace and gentleness.
PI Girls, have you lived in a dorm or your own apartment? Do you have any other pieces of advice for the big move? Praying for you all! Comment below!