The Essential Guide to Apartment Living

Colonial Van Lines has been moving individuals and families into apartments for over fifty years. If you’re moving into an apartment, let us be the first to welcome you to apartment living. Currently, about 8% of the U.S. population lives in apartments.  Living in an apartment provides many benefits for the right person or family, including:

  • amenities like pools and fitness centers
  • walking-distance attractions in your favorite city
  • building managers to handle maintenance and repairs
  • a communal lifestyle with neighbors close by

What’s not to love? If this is the first time you’ve ever lived in an apartment, though, you might have some questions about how to make the transition successfully. Luckily, Colonial Van Lines is here with an apartment moving guide to help you pull it off successfully.

Apartment moving guide from the pros

As you make your transition into apartment living, be sure you’re paying attention to these considerations:

1. All apartment prices are not created equal

Apartments can be dirt cheap or extremely expensive. It depends on many factors including:

  • location of the building
  • age of the building
  • amenities offered
  • square footage

Luckily there are many apps and resources out there to help you find a place in your budget. When comparing apartment prices, consider whether things like Internet and TV are included or are extra. For example, if you are comparing two apartments in your price range, but one also offers a dynamic gym where you can terminate and save money on your current gym membership, that may be the better deal.

Make sure that the leasing agent who goes over the details with you understands how strict you have to be with your budget. Give them the opportunity to disclose any additional fees such as background checks, application fees, security deposits and more. This prevents financial surprises (which nobody likes) and ensures you know what you’re getting into with your new abode. If you have questions about associated fees and costs, ask a current resident of the apartment you’re moving into or read the fine print of your contract. It’s that simple!

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2. Apartment community rules

Apartment complexes and management companies can are too much or not enough. It’s up to you to find a place that shares your values and will accommodate your lifestyle. For instance, if you like to entertain, you’ll want an apartment that has tons of guest parking nearby. Here are some more questions to get you into gear in apartment hunting:

  • Does your apartment allow pets?
  • Are there noise restrictions after a certain hour?
  • What about access to the complex’s amenities?
  • How late are you allowed to soak in the community hot tub?

To keep things running smoothly, most apartment complexes put out a series of rules that they require their residents to abide by.

To ensure you’re playing fair, read and review these rules before you move in. This helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures you don’t accidentally incur fees by violating certain rules or standards. It also helps you integrate into your new community much faster and more efficiently.

3. Meet your apartments nearest neighbors

Nextdoor neighbors can make or break an apartment situation, so be sure you meet and establish relationships with them as quickly as possible. If you can, meet your neighbors before you move in. Start a conversation and see what you can find out about your apartment that may not be advertised. Light sleepers might find it valuable to know that the family renting above you practices tap dance at midnight.

In any case, it will be much easier on moving day if you already have some acquaintances. Stop by with treats and introduce yourself and your partner or family when you are visiting the office to finalize the paperwork.

If you can’t swing that, make an effort to meet them as quickly as possible after you move in. Nowadays, a great way to connect with neighbors is to use apps like NextDoor, so you can share information about crime happening in your area, or where to find the nearest jogging paths.

Not only will this spearhead a positive relationship, but it will also help you get your bearings in the building as quickly as possible.

4. Check out the apartment’s amenities for yourself

Don’t just go by the website, the pictures, or your leasing agent when it comes to checking out apartment amenities. Apartment managers have a tendency to paint a picture with words and descriptions that don’t always measure up. Be sure to walk the grounds everywhere in your potential apartment choices before you sign or write a check for first, last and security.

Pay attention specifically to how your future neighbors are treating the communal spaces like the pool and spa areas, fitness centers, lobby areas, and more. For instance, if they don’t clean up their garbage after picnicking at the pool, it may be a sign that you need to keep looking for an apartment with stricter rules and more considerate neighbors.

5. Evaluate the storage space in your apartment unit

Storage space is essential no matter what kind of minimalist you think you are. Apartments are typically on the compact side, but some are better than others when it comes to thoughtful storage space. When you move into your new apartment, be sure to evaluate storage space to see if it is big enough to house all your must-haves without feeling cramped or cluttered.

Are there closets, cupboards, and drawers you can take advantage of? If not, can you purchase small pieces of furniture that offers additional storage? Bathrooms are notorious for being too minimal when it comes to organizing toiletries, beauty products, linens and towels…etc.

While living in a small apartment can present storage challenges, if you find a place your truly love you may be able to make storage work with a couple smart purchases from places like IKEA.

If you still don’t have enough storage for bigger, look into short- or long-term storage from a brand like Colonial Van Lines. In addition to giving you a secure place to store your items, these storage offerings also cut down on clutter in your home and make it easier to enjoy a simplified and streamlined move, no matter how far you’re going. Welcome to apartment living!

6. Consider the trash situation as you compare apartments

If you hated taking out the trash when the path was only to the edge of your driveway, you certainly won’t appreciate dragging a leaking bag down a long corridor, down several flights of stairs and out to a dumpster 500 feet from your building. The inconvenience of the trash location and system set up by these potential apartments might just be enough to help you eliminate a few candidates as you attempt to narrow down to your final apartment choices.

7. Ask about onsite laundry at your apartment

If you are moving out to an apartment from your parent’s home or have just been used to having a washer and dryer in your home, heads up! In an effort to save space and cut down on costs, many apartments do not come with a washer/dryer in each apartment unit. There may be a fantastic set-up in a communal area, but you may also find yourself in a situation where the on-site laundry is just a couple of machines, inconveniently meant to be shared by a dozen or more families.

Now you must consider whether you are the type of person who is organized enough to handle a shared laundry site. For instance, if you need to do a last-minute load to have a clean uniform for work, would you have a back-up plan if a neighbor’s clothes are already occupying the machines.

Even more importantly, some apartments do not have laundry on-site at all. You may think you’ve got a great deal on an apartment in your price range until you realize you have to drag four baskets of clothes to your car ( if you have a car) and wash, dry and fold at the laundromat.

Psst: Don’t forget your detergent, dryer sheets, stain treatments, and 13 pounds of quarters!

Contact Colonial Van Lines for additional assistance!

Here at Colonial Van Lines, we make it easy to access professional apartment moving tips and outstanding support to speed up your move from the start.

Our moving, packing and storage services can help you get comfortable in your new apartment, while our professional movers can put in the work to help you move your items, arrange them in your new home, and store the things you don’t need.

Contact us today to learn more about our services, or to get a quote for your upcoming move now. We make it simple to get the services you need, without all the muss and fuss of other moving companies. Contact us today to learn more – we look forward to speaking with you.

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