When you are making the move into your first apartment, everybody and their mother has advice for you about how to move, where to move, when to move, where to shop, how much rent should be, etc. etc. So with your head buzzing with words of wisdom from every person you know, it is really easy to get confused, not know how to sort fact from fiction, and to want to bang you head again the wall. As a second time renter, I’ll let you in on some advice. You live, you learn, and then you find your own way. I listened to some advice, ignored other tidbits of information, and discovered things on my own many times. Four discoveries that turned out to be gems are these four incredibly useful websites: shopgoodwill.com, thethriftshopper.com, loadingdock.org, and pickupmydonation.com. Before you think, “Oh great, more information from a person who thinks she knows everything!” hear me out. I promise that at least one of these sites will make your life easier.
For first time renters, Goodwill is like the heaven of cheap shopping and interesting finds. However, making a weekly trip to your local store can be a bit of a hassle, especially when you are trying to sort through boxes and get settled into your new space. Well, lucky for you and all the rest of us new apartment renters, Goodwill has taken a cue from the rest of the shopping world and has started an online store. Similar to the Ebay setup, sellers post items and potential buyers bid on their favorite products. If you aren’t a in the store kind of shopping boy or girl, then shopgoodwill.com is a pretty awesome tool to help alleviate some of the pressure of first time renting.
When you are trying to furnish your first apartment, thrift stores are often the go to place to shop. For good reason, they often have reasonable prices and unique items. However, when you move to a new location, finding the best thrift stores to shop at, especially those little gems that a tucked away within the limits of your new hometown. The Thrift Shopper helps take out some of that mystery. Simply put in your new zip code and it will generate a list of local thrift stores. What’s not to love about all the research being done for you? Nothing, I say. So put this site to good use and start furnishing your first apartment with fun, fabulous, and thrifty finds!
If you are the handy or DIY type, then The Loading Dock is a dream come true. Honorably known as the world’s first successful, non-profit center for housing reusable building materials, this site is motivated to reduce waste around the world and to help people access affordable building materials. With everything from cabinets to knobs to doors, they’ve got you covered. Oh, and if there isn’t one near you, they happily provide you with an easy search tool to find a national reuse center in your area. So take a quick trip over to their site, find a local center, and get to creating!
Although it’s hard to believe, when you move for the first time (and every time after) you will have things you need to get rid of along the way. So instead of throwing old things and castoffs in the trash, consider donating. No time to find a donation center and drop the items off, no worries pickupmydonation.com has you covered. Simple look up your zip code on their website and they will guide you through the quick and easy process of having them pick up your items for you. I’d say nothing is better than donating with just the click of a button. With their mission, they make donations simple.
Well, there you have it. Four sites that make the transition to your first apartment much easier on many different fronts. After many episodes of trial and error, I added these sites to my “advice to keep” list. Hopefully you will too! Share your own personal favorites below!