Whether this is your first apartment or you’re an old hand at moving, there are always a few things you forget to do or simply never consider…until you’re locked out of your apartment on a dark and stormy night, with no spare keys anywhere in the city. You can cut your stress down by a factor of four with these great apartment tips!
1. Get a spare set of keys made…and keep them someplace safe (but handy!)
We’ll start with the obvious—spare keys. It only takes a few minutes, but the peace of mind of knowing you have a plan B for entering your apartment can be priceless. The best bet for storing these keys is with a trusted friend or family member (who is nearby!), but you can also research key holders that can be tucked into the wheel well of your vehicle or behind your license plate. This is a must-do, so don’t put it off!
2. Keep an emergency supply stash
No, I don’t mean Oreos for a late-night kitchen run. An emergency kit for your apartment can include extra batteries, flashlights, first-aid supplies, possibly some additional cash in a Ziploc bag, extra charging cords and portable batteries for your most critical devices. Think about what you’ll need handy and accessible if the power goes out, and you’ll be set.
You should also consider outfitting a basic tool box, if you haven’t purchased one already. One of the great benefits of apartment living is having a maintenance team nearby to handle major repairs or fix significant damage, but assembling your own set of tools to deal with minor issues can be a lifesaver—and will come in handy when you want to hang pictures or put together furniture, too.
3. Get on top of your utilities, mail and trash detail
During the first few months at your new apartment, maximize the systems will make your life easier:
- Keep an eagle eye on your variable utility bills. Are they in line with your expectations? If your gas or electric costs are spiking, figure out what you can do to make your apartment less costly, from lining your windows with plastic during the winter, closing open vents/dampers to the outdoors, or shutting off unused electronics.
- If your mailbox is hard to access or you get a lot of packages that require the office to be open for you to receive, consider getting a P.O. Box. You’ll know your mail is safe and sound and you can access it on your own schedule.
- If you’re an avid recycler and your apartment doesn’t support recycling, find out how (or if) you can recycle elsewhere in the community. In addition, learn what you can or cannot discard in your community’s dumpsters before you start hauling big trash items out of your apartment.
4. Get creative with decor
No ceiling light, no problem! Here are several unique decorating hacks for apartments – no holes required:
- Hang a lightweight overhead light with a cord kit and small (but sturdy) stick-on hooks, like Command Hooks.
- Use the same kind of hooks to “install” a hanging paper towel rack under your high kitchen cabinets (make sure the rack is lightweight!)
- Not loving your Venetian blinds but not up to installing full-on drapery hardware? Once again, Command Hooks can save the day, providing you with a sheer curtain solution in a snap.
- Vinyl cutouts or stick-on/peel-off wallpaper can change the entire dynamic of your room quickly and inexpensively—consider them for your bathroom walls and kitchen backsplash, too.
- Either using a tension rod or stick-on hooks, install a lightweight curtain rod above your kitchen sink to keep your towels/dishcloth or cooking utensils handy.
- Add critical storage space in your shower by installing a second shower rod, with hooks to hang shower poufs, baskets and more.
These tips are only the beginning to keeping you safe, secure and well-stocked in your new home. Happy apartment hacking!