011: First Time Renter Tips

Apartment living is simpler than home ownership in so many ways: You can call someone to fix whatever’s broken at no cost to you, you can move without all the stress and time involved in putting a house on the market and you never have to get out a lawn mower. But if you’re a first-time renter, living in an apartment community may take a little adjustment. Modernize suggests a few tricks to help ease the transition from your house or dorm to your new community.

Plan Your Layout on Paper

In your new setup, space may be configured differently than what you’re accustomed to. It’s easy to envision your furniture in a familiar layout, but it may not be sensible in real life. Instead of asking your friends, family and movers to rearrange the living room three times, try printing out a floor plan, measuring your furniture and drawing accordingly. You’ll find out what works and what doesn’t before anyone starts any heavy lifting.

Donate Unwanted Items

Whether you’re moving into a space that’s smaller than your current home, the same size or much roomier, it never hurts to get rid of unneeded items before you move. Lightening your load will help you keep track of everything as you undergo the sometimes hectic process of moving, and it will make it easier to organize things to your liking at the new place. Some charities will even allow you to schedule a time for them to pick up gently used items from your house so you don’t have to get derailed as you pack.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

One of the biggest changes many people go through when living in an apartment is living in a close community for the first time. You may fear rowdy neighbors or barking dogs. But the proximity of other people can also be a great thing; if you find a neighbor you can trust, your apartment will be safer from break-ins, and you might find someone to check your mail and feed your fish while you’re gone.

Get Ready for Entertaining

The craziness of organizing your new apartment can keep your place out of commission for months if you let it. Instead of sacrificing a sense of community out of embarrassment for your “in-progress” entertaining space, break out the wine glasses and order takeout. Sure, it may be a while before you host a six-course meal using your grandmother’s dishes, but if you wait until then to invite people over, you may never get around to it.

Give Grace to Your Pets

If you’re a pet owner formerly living in a house with a yard, your furry friend will need time to adjust. The sound of other people walking and talking nearby may set off a nervous or territorial dog, and you can quickly become the villain of your new community. Make sure to dedicate time every day to being active with your pet and making sure its needs are met. As soon as you can, establish a routine so your pet knows what to expect each day. Get friendly with your next-door neighbors and give them your cell phone number so they can call you before they contact management to resolve any barking or escape the situation.

While there may be stairs, people, and a whole new lifestyle to adjust to, apartment living can be rewarding for those who are prepared to make the exciting adjustment.

Credit: For Rent