Graduating to a New Apartment?
Top 4 Moving Tips to Save Time, Money and Hassle
When the Links Apartments Linden® at Glen Lennox is completed, it will add 215 rental units to the existing free-standing apartment homes in this popular Chapel Hill community. The Links will feature one- and two-bedroom apartments, junior one-bedrooms (similar to a studio, but with a divider wall) as well as micro-units, giving incoming residents more options than ever.
Moving to a new place comes with its own challenges—the timing is tricky, movers can be expensive and furnishing a place always takes time and money. But with a little preparation, you can reduce the hassle factor and lessen the financial sting of the moving process. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll be way better off if you start preparing far in advance of the actual move and use your time wisely.
Tip 1: Get Organized
Avoid the scramble of having to stock your new place overnight. As soon as you know you’ll be moving into new digs, create a prioritized list of things you’ll need and keep it with you-you’ll be able to look for sales and grab your list items on the fly, spending less and saving time. Better yet, put it all in a Google Doc so you can update and amend your list from anywhere.
Tip 2: Take Your Time
You’ll need some furniture, but don’t go all Martha Stewart and try to outfit every room on the first day. Start smart – a little patience and ingenuity can save you a bundle by not getting things you don’t need or won’t have for long. You’ll have plenty of time to feather your nest once you get settled in. The same rule applies in your bedroom and bath – though some things you’ll want to buy right away, such as bed linens, towels and a shower curtain. If you’ll be sharing the apartment, be sure to coordinate with your roommate(s) on what you’ll be bringing to the space.
Tip 3: Low Mileage = Lower Price
If you won’t settle for less than heirloom-quality furniture, you wouldn’t be reading this. In a college town, there’s lots of turnover and there are tons of resources to outfit your crib and your closet with low mileage, low-price gear. Just look for tasteful items you can keep or sell later.
- Craigslist has become an international person-to-person marketplace phenomenon, offering local items for sale by owner. It’s best to stick with cash, PayPal or other digital payment, as checks and money orders can be used for scamming.
- Thrift stores have always been around, and many are charitable, such as the PTA Thrift Store, Club Nova and Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. Carrboro alone has more than 10 thrift stores. Bonus: you can see the items in person and take home any winners right away.
- NextDoor.com connects locals with others in their neighborhood and with other nearby neighborhoods. Site members post events, all kinds of stuff for sale (with photos), and items that are free “for porch pickup.”
- Don’t overlook garage sales – they’re happening nearly every weekend, and most advertise online or in the classifieds. Long before your move date, start scanning online and classified notices for sales nearby and get up early with a purpose and a list. Basics like silverware, tableware and mugs are frequently available.
Tip 4: Don’t Eat Up Your Budget
Eating takeout at every meal is fun, but it’s a recipe for poor cash flow. Outfit your kitchen with a few critical items right away, keep some food basics on hand and learn to make simple, nutritious meals. How you stock your kitchen is totally dependent on what you like, but it pays to be thoughtful. If you’re cooking, make enough for leftovers so you have meals ready on short notice. Keep healthy snacks, fruit, peanut butter and other staples on hand to get you through those late-night study snack-a-thons.
Your first apartment is a rite of passage, and a place of transition as your life evolves from college to career. Much of what you learn in this period goes beyond academic study and into the life-skills bucket, and will help shape how you negotiate the next stages of your life. Might as well make yourself comfortable and enjoy the process – on a budget.