Little Things I Wish I’d Considered When I Signed the Lease

When choosing an apartment I looked for huge items such as cost, a safe living environment, accessibility to a metro station, and getting the most bang for my buck. But I also wish I consider some other items that didn’t even cross my mind. Receiving Packages– I do not have a doorman which makes it difficult sometimes to receive packages from services other than the United States Post Office. I never even thought of this to be a problem until I ordered something and paid extra to get it at an earlier date, only to find out I would have to reschedule the delivery time and/or location. I am not complaining about the other mailing services, because I have had great experiences with them. It is just something to think about when looking for an apartment.

2) The Necessities– Of course I knew Washington DC would be expensive, but almost over $100.00 to get my hair washed and trimmed!? That is ridiculous. The small town girl in me was overwhelmed by that price. I do have advice on this situation though, there are plenty of Groupons and other daily deal sites to test out places. But I only trust one person with my hair, my hairdresser back home. There are plenty of great places in DC, but it’s overwhelming for a newcomer because the reviews on Yelp! are hit or miss.

3) Gyms- Gym locations never occurred to me as being a problem. I grew up in a small town and went to school in a small town, so the gym was close to my house. Although I live in DC where there are many gym opportunities, the prices are through the roof. Decently priced places aren’t really close to my house, and after getting out of work at 6pm with the commute and my early bed time, the gym seems almost impossible to get too! Next time I move I will make sure a location close to a gym is in the priority list.

4) Hosting events– I know this seems pretty broad, but after visiting other friends’ apartments I am jealous of their “host-able” space. I am unable to have events like Friendsgiving or little cocktail events at my place due to the size and shape of our living room. I never thought I would be one to want to have events at my apartment, but as I get older going out is not as fun as having a small personal gathering at a friend’s apartment. The next apartment I look for will have to have room for friends to come over and feel comfortable.

I know these might seem like “petty” items for some people but it truly makes a difference when you are in the working world. Especially if you work over 40 hours a week, you wish some things were just a tad bit easier. These are just some items to consider when looking for a place to live when you have an extremely busy lifestyle.

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Mary Adams has been a small town girl her whole life, but now she is taking her engineering degree to Washington, D.C. She enjoys craft beer and running. Her real dream is to own her own brewery called Tastefully Offensive.

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Comments (4)

  1. Avatar Reinaldo A.

    Mary, your posts are a godsend! I’ll be moving to DC at the end of this summer and I’m obsessing over every detail planning my move from northern New Jersey. The apartment hunt is by far the most stressful part and this post helped me re-prioritize my apartment must-have list! Your uhaul post was great since I didn’t even consider timing the move around the rush hour times. I was stuck in that DC traffic once before and its a lot worse than New York City. I’m the first of my friends and family to move out of state so I’m pretty much planning blindly here and fully relying on posts like yours to learn from others experiences and get insights. Thanks for the great tips and keep ’em coming! I look forward to reading your next post.

    • Mary Mary


      This literally makes my day! I like you, was the first one to move away. So I am so happy to help someone that was in the same boat as me. If you have any questions and would like me to write a post on how I figured something out let me know! I am more than happy to help.

      This website is my godsend!

      Good luck on you move and keep in touch!

  2. Avatar John Donovan

    Something else to consider is how far is the nearest grocery store! It might only be a 15 minute walk in the summer but what happens comes winter when there is 7 feet of snow. Here in Boston it’s almost too dangerous to walk to the store but when you don’t have a car what else can you do?!

    • Mary Mary


      I totally agree! I had this problem but luckily a grocery store moved in a block away before the snow started. My best friend from college lives in Boston and has been updating me about the snow. Stay safe and warm! Hopefully it will soon thaw and melt =)