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5 must-haves for your first week in your first solo apartment


Goodbye, roommates! Your first solo-apartment — whether it’s a studio, a 1 bedroom, or the artist loft you’ve always dreamed of — is an exciting city living milestone. Finally: you can leave the dishes for tomorrow, bring home as many houseplants as humanly possible, and maybe even get a pet. Before you make your move though, we have a few recommendations on what you’ll need your first week — from the necessary to the not-so-obvious.

A tension rod and curtain

Boring, we know, but if your last apartment had built-in blinds or if installing expensive hardware isn’t the first thing on your to-do list, an inexpensive tension rod and a curtain will do the trick in keeping your privacy your first night in your new apartment. You can get a tension rod almost anywhere: your local hardware store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or numerous online shops. For curtains, go for something neutral and inexpensive with a thick weave.

An extra copy of your keys

Now that you’re living alone, you won’t have a roommate to bail you out if you lose your keys or leave them inside your apartment. Of course, a super can always help, but there’s a chance yours won’t live nearby, and being locked out late at night or in the cold is never a good or safe option. Make a copy of your keys within your first week. You can keep them in your purse or backpack, or give them to a friend who lives nearby to hold onto. If your building uses a key system that can’t be copied (like a FOB), check to see if it’s connected to a remote access app like Latch, which will allow you to enter your apartment through a passcode on your phone.

An unpacking podcast

Yes, unpacking can be a total nightmare, but doing it alone is an extra challenge. When you had roommates, there was always the possibility of taking a snack break together or having an extra set of hands to assemble furniture. The easiest replacement for a roommate is a helpful friend, but if you’re doing this move truly solo, the next best substitute for an easy distraction is a podcast. Listening to a podcast doesn’t require an internet connection, or paying attention to what’s happening on a screen, making it the perfect entertainment for multitasking. Whether you’re into True Crime, history, tech, psychology, or celebrity news, there’s something out there for you.

One fun item you’ve always wanted…but your roommates always veto’d

Let’s face it: your roommates never appreciated your sense of style. Remember the time you brought home that hot pink mirror you found on the street, or showed them the corn on the cob stool you found online, only to be told it didn’t fit the apartment’s “vibe”? We feel for you (and for your roommates) but luckily, this is your place and yours only, so you can decorate it however you like. Maybe you’ll buy the lava lamp that you’ve been stalking on Etsy, or maybe you’ll just leave your favorite mug on the counter instead of hiding it away in your cabinets. It will take a while for your space to truly come to life, but adding your own personal touch in the first week is an easy way to make your home feel like your own.

Toilet paper!

Last but certainly not least: toilet paper. Do we have to say more? You don’t have roommates to buy it for you when you “forget” for the 10th time, and you don’t want to be caught without it. Maybe buy a 6 pack to start.

Ready for your own first apartment? Common offers studios, and 1-and 2-bedroom apartments in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Fort Lauderdale, with amazing amenities, people-first property services, and a built-in community. Book a tour today!

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