As fall quickly approaches, college students all across the country are moving into new apartments and checking off to-do lists. It’s important to prepare your apartment as much as you can before the start of the semester because the instant your first class begins, you’ll be swamped in coursework, club meetings and hanging out with friends.
If you’re a first-time apartment renter, or you just want a solid to-do list, here are five ways you can prepare your apartment when going back to school.
1.Organize the pantry
If you’re living off-campus, chances are you have a budget to stick to. That’s where your kitchen comes in – use it! Numerous studies confirm that cooking at home is much more affordable than eating out, and is often healthier with fresher ingredients.
Organize your kitchen by buying in bulk, then freeze or store your extras. Make a meal calendar so you never run out of ideas. Choose a few days each month to go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy ingredients.
2. Designate a study area
If you prefer to study in a quiet environment, living in an apartment is the perfect solution. You can get away from the hubbub of dorm life and create a miniature library in your own home. Whether you set up shop on your kitchen table, in the bedroom, or the common room, you can customize your own study space.
Stack your textbooks by your study area and make it a comfortable space — but not too cozy, or you might find yourself tempted to fall asleep at the desk! Stay organized with a wall-mounted white board so you can keep track of upcoming due dates and assignments.
3. Use your amenities
Because you are paying for amenities in your rent, make sure you take full advantage of them! Familiarize yourself with the laundry facilities, gym, swimming pool, or any other apartment amenities you find yourself lucky enough to enjoy. If you are trying to stick to a workout regimen, make a schedule to go to the gym.
It can help if you bring a buddy to enjoy your amenities with you. Most apartments allow you to bring one guest to the fitness center, pool, or clubhouse. Make time in your busy schedule to take advantage of the amenities.
4. Make the most of storage space
Many first-time apartment owners know the challenges of trying to cram all of your belongings into your studio unit, but never fear! With stackable drawers, Command hooks, and a bit of innovation, you can turn even the most awkward corners into a clever storage space.
You can get stackable plastic containers from most grocery stores, which will be easy to assemble and pull apart. Storage ottomans are a classy, subtle storage option, too. Don’t get too invested in expensive storage units, though, since you’ll move out of your college apartment sooner than you know it.
5. Decorate your apartment!
This step is arguably the least essential, but by far the most fun and fulfilling. It may not be an urgent step, but decorating your apartment can create a welcoming atmosphere and make you feel more at home. You can string up photo clotheslines across your room, or use Washi tape to bring a pop of color into a space.
When it comes to simple, DIY home décor, the possibilities are endless. Simple decorating choices like tapestries and printed photos are perfect ways to decorate your room, and what’s more, they won’t be a hassle to take down at the end of the school year!
What are some other ways to prep your apartment for the school year?
Ultimately, the way you enjoy your apartment is up to you. Take the time to personalize and organize your living space; you will be happier and less stressed out when finals week comes around!
The Connor Group contributed content to this article. The Connor Group owns and operates the following apartment communities in the Raleigh-Durham area: Amberwood at Lochmere, Audubon Parc, Cary Greens at Preston, Atria at Crabtree Valley and Autumn Woods.