Do's and Don'ts of Your First Apartment

Your first apartment is a big step. The taste of real freedom comes along with monthly rent, utilities bills and a whole lot of responsibility. Living with friends or by yourself can be exciting but also slightly overwhelming. Before you get ahead of yourself, here are a few do’s and don’ts of living in your first apartment.

Do: Invest in some good dishes

Whether you’re a five-star chef or not, you’re going to want to some nicer dishes, glasses, pots and silverware. Believe me, your Kraft Mac and Cheese will look so much fancier in a nice bowl. Also, take this opportunity to try cooking every once in a while. It may not be your mama’s home cooking, but it sure beats another night of Ramen.

Don’t: Drop a fortune for a 30-piece dining set

Filling up every cupboard in your kitchen may be tempting, but you do not need every piece of cookware in your kitchen. The dishes you do buy don't have to cost a ton of money either. Stick to the necessities. Ask your mother or grandmother for extra dishes they may have or hit up a department store. Khols and JC Penny always run deals on home good items.

Do: Set ground rules

Moving in at first can be both exciting and overwhelming. One of the first things you should do however, is come up with some basic rules with the roommates. For example, who will take out the trash and how often. General rules about cleaning, washing dishes and late-night etiquette can avoid future miscommunication.

Don’t: Go overboard with the rules

Setting a few basic guidelines is one thing, creating a time-specific chore chart for each roommate can get a little excessive. No one wants to come home every night with a list full of chores to do. A better way to go about messy roommates? Pick a night for everyone to clean together. It goes way quicker and will avoid the drama.

Do: Utilize the extra space

Compared to a dorm room, an apartment will feel extra spacious. Use the extra space to store supplies that didn’t fit in a dorm room like extra cleaning supplies and bulk items. Bring your guitar, extra fluffy pillows or decorations, too. You have the space, use it!

Don’t: Buy apartment stuff you won't use

If you aren’t going to use a crock pot, don’t buy one just because you’ve seen recipes. Don’t buy matching placemats and napkins in holders just because it will look Pinterest worthy. Buy things that will actually be useful more than once in a while.

Do: Let the little things go

When dealing with roommates, it’s important to keep the peace. Remember this is slightly different than the dorms. Due to added responsibility and freedom of an apartment, I guarantee fights will break out. If the kitchen isn’t spotless one night, or a roommate stole one granola bar, that’s okay. Don’t get worked up over small things that will set everyone on edge.

Don’t: Let tension build

On the other hand, it’s easy for us to avoid conflict and “try to make it work.” Honesty and openness are two qualities that roommates need to have in an apartment. Addressing bigger problems and annoyances as they come up will avoid WW3 breaking out before the end of the first month.


Above all else, enjoy living in your first apartment. It can start to feel like home and your roommates will start to feel like family. It's a major first step in your adult life, embrace it!