5 Common First Apartment Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

It’s a given that you’re going to make mistakes in your first apartment. Hopefully, they’re just small mistakes like leaving the milk on the counter or forgetting to take out the recycling one week. But other times mistakes can have major consequences. Use this guide to avoid some common first apartment mistakes.

Not paying your bills on time

You probably didn’t need to pay the electric bill in college. But here you are with the bill you received, said you’d pay later, and totally forgot about. And the electric company has cut off your power.

How to avoid this: Put every bill you can on autopay. That way you can’t forget to pay it. If something can’t be auto paid, write a schedule of due dates and keep it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

Not taking basic safety measures

You couldn’t have candles in college, but now you can have as many candles as you like. Only you forgot to blow one out on your way to work and your apartment caught fire. Nobody was hurt, but you literally just burned down the building.

How to avoid this: Use common sense. Make sure your appliances are off, candles are out, and doors are locked before leaving the house or going to bed. If you’re an anxious person, take a picture before you leave to reassure yourself that it’s done.

Trying to DIY everything

The fridge was leaking, so you read a little bit online and fixed it yourself. But your fix just made things worse and now the fridge isn’t working at all.

How to avoid this: Your landlord is there for a reason. If there’s something that needs repairing, call and get it repaired. Though it may be awkward to get in touch, your landlord will probably prefer that over having to get more significant repairs done later.

Throwing huge parties

Having your own place means that you have the space to throw parties. But halfway your first rager of the year, the cops and your pissed-off landlord are at the door.

How to avoid this: Check your lease for rules about parties. Your landlord probably has information in there about how many people can be in the apartment at a time. Take the parties down a notch from what you had in college. Different apartments will be appropriate for different kinds of parties so you may have to work out with your friends who will have the quiet potlucks and who will have the rippers.

Disregarding your neighbors

It’s your apartment so if you want to blast music while you get ready for your 6 am shift, you’re going to. But now your neighbors are giving you the stink eye in the hallways.

How to avoid this: Be respectful of the people in your building. Sound travels more than you think it does. Turn the music down or use headphones late at night or early in the morning and your relationship with your fellow apartment dwellers will be off to a much happier start.

(This applies to how you treat your roommates as well, FYI.)

Do you have any other thoughts on first-time apartment living? Leave them in the comments!

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