Little Apartment Perks That Make a Difference

At this point, I’m sure you already know what your main must-haves are in your first apartment. Maybe you absolutely need a dishwasher. Maybe street-parking is a deal-breaker for you. Maybe you’re down to pay extra each month for onsite laundry machines. But there are a few little things that I know never occurred to me until after I moved in and thought, “Thank goodness! I don’t know what I’d do without [this crucial thing]!” (Or worse, “Oh no! I can’t believe I don’t have [this other crucial thing]!”). I’m definitely not saying that any of these things should be deal breakers, but if you’re deciding between two fairly comparable buildings, these perks might be worth adding to your pro/con lists.

An automatic ice maker

All my life, I’ve been able to open up my freezer and grab a handful of ice whenever I needed it, no thought required. Freezers make ice, right? It was only recently that I realized how lucky I had gotten that the fridge in my first apartment came with an automatic ice maker. My best friend has to buy bags of ice to keep her freezer stocked, and my SO and his roommate claim to use ice trays. (This is a lie. They don’t use ice trays, they just keep an empty plastic tray overturned in their freezer and pretend that the other person is responsible for filling it). Anyway, the point of all this is that if I had to buy ice or fill trays each day any time I wanted ice, I can promise you that I would be drinking everything I had lukewarm.

A garbage disposal

Have you ever accidentally dumped a plate of food into the sink before you realized that the sink didn’t actually have a garbage disposal? And then you have to stand there trying to fish out the nasty gooey food remnants so you don’t clog the drain and you just feel very, very sad the whole time? If you haven’t spent most of your life in a house with a garbage disposal, you’ve probably never encountered this scenario, but if you have, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Having a garbage disposal is definitely one of the perks I hadn’t considered until after I already moved in.

Decent water pressure

How long does it take you to fill a glass of water from the sink? Or to fill the bath tub? Low water pressure is definitely not the end of the world, but it’s one of those inconveniences that I never manage to get over, no matter how long I spend dealing with it. Be aware, though, it’s not just low water pressure that can be a problem. I once stayed with a friend who had the opposite issue–his water pressure was so high that it was impossible to turn on the sink without splashing yourself and everything around you, and taking a shower there was almost painful.

A wall-mounted microwave

If you’re in a small apartment, chances are that counter space is at a premium in the kitchen. A wall-mounted microwave keeps you from wasting your valuable counter-top, or having to put the microwave someplace inconvenient, like in a cabinet, or on top of the fridge. (Seriously, I’m not tall enough to use my SO’s microwave, because he keeps it above the refrigerator. I have to get him or his roommate any time I want to heat something).

What little perks have helped you choose between apartments? Let us know in the comments below!

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Taylor LaSon is a recent Hamilton College graduate who is currently living in Memphis while seeking her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She and her cat prefer a quiet, introverted lifestyle full of Netflix binges and arts and crafts, but when she does go out, she enjoys rock climbing and making silly faces at small children.

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