Tips for Your First Apartment

We’re moving in to our new place next weekend! This is the first time either of us are moving out of our parents’ house, other than college, so there’s a lot to do and be done!

While we still have a lot to get done over the next week, we’ve accomplished a lot as well. We have a few things to buy and a lot of packing to do, but things are pretty well figured out.

Since getting ready for your first place can be a stressful time, I thought I would share some helpful advice I’ve received over the last few months:

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•Prepare a list of what you have and what you need to get Prioritize what you still need to get, since you don’t need everything right away. For example, we want to get end tables and another couch, but we don’t need them for the first month or two at least.

•Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if they have anything they want to get rid of. My aunt gave us two big boxes of cups and other kitchen supplies. Every little bit helps!

•Comparison shop and look for coupons/sales. You can get the necessities (toilet paper, detergent, towels, etc.) for really good prices!

•You don’t need top of the line brands for everything. I’m not saying you should get the cheapest brands, but instead get solid, reasonably priced basics and replace them over time.

Moving in to your first apartment should be an exciting time, so try not to stress (advice I should take myself) and enjoy the adventure!

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Target: Dorm Room Essentials

As difficult as it may be to believe, the fall semester is right around the corner for college students! I am actually planning on heading back to school this fall myself, though for an MBA via an online program at a local university, it got me thinking of what I wish I’d known when it came to dorm room decorating.

One of my favorite places to buy my dorm room decor has always been Target. The prices are pretty good, especially as the products are usually of a rather good quality.

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This Polyvore set I created shows just a few of the dorm decor items you can find at Target, all at great prices compared to other retailers. (BTW – If you’re interested in any of the pieces, click the link and it will show you the prices and links for each item.)

And the best part is, these items will last you a while! Which means you can take them to your first apartment after graduation – as long as they fit with your color scheme 🙂

IKEA – Cheap, but Worth It?

When I was in college, a lot of my friends would buy cheap furniture for the dorms for extra storage or to try to make their rooms look a little less “dorm” and a little more sleek. They were always so excited about the cheap deals that they found at IKEA and soon our suite was full of furniture from the Swedish shop.

But as I listened to their furniture tales and even checked out the store myself, I began to wonder – is IKEA really worth the hype?

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IKEA offers low-priced furniture in modern styles, appealing to the younger crowd looking to furnish their first apartment. The affordability of their pieces are great for someone on a tight budget.

However, one thing that I’ve learned in my year in the real world so far is that affordability does not equate quality. Sure, IKEA furniture is cheap. But it’s also not always well made. The fabrics are usually itchy, at least in my opinion, and the “wood” furniture isn’t actually made from wood like you would think.

In addition, IKEA does not offer delivery or assembly. Picking up the furniture can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a large car. Nearly every one of my friends that has bought large furniture at IKEA has run into major difficulties trying to out their pieces together, due in large part to unclear directions.

I’m not saying IKEA is all bad. I actually love their little accessories, which are found in the “marketplace”. I have a great scarf organizer and small decorative items that I got at great prices.

But it is important to weigh out all of the pros and cons before making such a big purchase as furniture. I would suggest shopping around at other stores as well to see where you can get the best deal. Some stores offer free delivery and assembly, which to a girl like me who barely can work a hammer is a huge bonus.

Keep in mind that most stores have sales around holidays, so plan your shopping accordingly if possible! And if you have a friend or relative who is moving, see if they have any furniture they’re looking to get rid of – this could lead to big savings!