Graduation Move-Out: From Dorm to First Apartment

School’s out for summer! Well, forever, actually. Once your dorm collects your keys and inspects the furniture for permanent damage, you’re out in the world!  It’s scary, exciting, and shocking, even if you’ve been preparing for months.

If you’ve decided not to move back home, chances are you’ve found your own apartment, perhaps with college friends or locals in the neighborhood you’re moving to.

Before you move, check out what furniture you’ll need, and try and order it in advance.  Websites like Ikea and Target offer low-price, standard quality furniture with low-cost or free shipping, and you can plan ahead to have the furniture waiting for you at your new place on moving day.  Craigslist is a great resource for non-essentials, like lamps and end tables, but I recommend waiting for these things until you have your bed set up, and you can best envision your room.

Know the size of your new room!  If it’s smaller, or even the same size as your dorm, try to downsize your belongings. Recycle old term papers, send textbooks home with mom and dad, and perhaps consider renting a storage unit, at least while you get settled in your new place, and decide what you really need.

Well before moving day, decide who will be helping you, and what your transportation options are. If you are renting a U-Haul, May is busy time, so reserve well in advance.  If you are planning to drag suitcases on public transportation, do a dry run to see if that is doable.  Recent grads can be bribed to do most things with the promise of free pizza and/or booze, so send out a Facebook message to those who you think can help– even pizza for a group will be cheaper than hiring movers.  But also check out Christa’s pros and cons of getting moving help from friends and family.

Assuming you don’t have furniture, you probably don’t need to hire movers, and can perhaps move items like clothing and decorations over a series of days if you’re staying in the same city.  If you do need movers, make sure you have everything packed before they arrive, and label boxes with your new address! Label boxes with consecutive numbers so you will know that they all arrive in the new apartment. It’s hard to say whose fault it is, but my first move I lost the box of all of my winter clothing– I didn’t realize until months later when the weather got cold, and by then it was far too late to find where my favorite scarves and sweaters had ended up.

Most importantly, know how to get the keys to your new place! Will you need to pick them up before move-in or will someone be waiting there with them?  There’s nothing worse than lugging all of your worldly possessions up four flights of stairs and then realizing you have nowhere to put them.

Moving into the real world can be nerve-racking, but this new chapter of your life is exhilarating!  Even if your first apartment isn’t your dream apartment (it rarely is), get excited to have a place of your own, and start living your own adult life.

Dorm to Apartment day can get hectic!

Dorm to Apartment day can get hectic!

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Author My First Apartment

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While being New York’s most fabulous resident consumes most of her time, Melissa Kravitz enjoys excessive amounts of reading, crafting, shopping, cooking five meals a day, and befriending puppies. Melissa considers herself NYC’s ultimate pasta expert; a good part of her apartment is dedicated to her thriving pasta collection.

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