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New Apartment Stuff & Organization

May 3rd, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Today was a good day--spent time with family and friends, it was Free Comic Book Day, and my cat is sleeping on my feet right now. I've had the last few days off, after coming home from school Thursday night. Tomorrow I need to organize my life before it gets crazy again on Monday. (I'm working two jobs in May--the part-time retail I've had since high school and the tour guide position I got this year--before camp starts in mid-June.)

Organization. It's one of those things I aspire to but often fail at...this blog is case in point. I'm great at organizing books, filling out my agenda, and getting my work done on time. Everything else I fail at, even though clutter stresses me out. I get very attached to things and it often feels bad to let material things go...it's something I'm working on. But besides actually doing a budget for the rest of May and mapping out the next few weeks and writing some late birthday thank yous, I want to tackle at least one shelf or drawer tomorrow!

One of the things I've been a little obsessed with lately is the apartment for next year. I'm sad to be done with dorms but excited to be moving on. It's also been a bit stressful, both while we were searching (with four girls, there were a lot of differing criteria) and now that we've signed (I won't go into them, because I'm hoping those issues can be worked out soon). My room, which we drew straws for, is the second smallest at 11x9, with a small closet...it's still bigger than my room at home and I'm kind of excited for the organization challenge!

Currently, my rent is $750 a month (that may be changing a little given one of the issues we're having...we'll see.) I'm responsible for my food, transportation, school expenses, and any entertainment or other personal expenses. My parents said they would pay up to $1000 a month for rent and utilities, but I'm hoping to cover utilities if I can, and if I have any surplus money I hope to pay for a month or two. (I paid $750 for last month's rent already...we lucked out and didn't have a security deposit or other fees.)

I'm a little torn between splurging on nice, uniform furniture items that I can use in a future apartment, or mixing and matching what I can find and dealing with the fact that it might not look so nice. Currently, I'm leaning toward the latter.

One of the most expensive things was promising to be the bed. I didn't want to take my mattress from home because I do plan on coming back a few times a month (my laundry is more expensive than on-campus and I often miss my cat) as well as a few weeks at Christmas so I can work. My parents have an old-ish full-size futon that is in the den, and they said I could have it if it was comfortable enough. Last night I put it to the test. With my twin-size egg crate and mattress topper it's actually not too bad, and my twin xl comforter surprisingly fits perfectly. My parents said I can borrow two or three of their queen-size sheet sets.

I was a little apprehensive and I'm going to give it a few more nights, but I think this will work! Dad said he'd help me design and make a bed frame that can fit storage underneath, and I figure if I end up feeling uncomfortable I can buy a new mattress pad (I found one with good reviews on Overstock for about $60) or get a camping pad or something. And my cat seems to like it...he's been sleeping on it all day!

Does anyone have advice for college apartment living? Sleeping on a futon? Clever storage ideas? I'd love to hear them!

4 Responses to “New Apartment Stuff & Organization”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    The less you have the easier it is to organize. With that said since floor space is a premium, storing under the bed is an excellent idea. You might also consider stackable shelves for the lower portion of a closet (maybe one side), since that tends to be unused space. The shelves make room for books, bins with lids filled with supplies divided by type. Command hooks are removable and can be placed around the room to hang various items keeping them off the floor. There are also over the door hangers, or hanging shoe storage that can come in handy for various items.

    Again the less you have the easier it is to store!

  2. CB in the City Says:

    Just be sure to adequately plan for your food expenses. I read an eye-opening article yesterday about a growing problem of hunger among college students who have moved off-campus and didn't plan adequately for their food budget.

  3. snafu Says:

    W/Mart, Home Depot etc sell inexpensive 'bed risers' which safely allow for bins/storage under your futon bed. The Dollar Store sells inexpensive, re-useable compression bags for out of season clothes and bedding. Garage/Yard sales are fun and a terrific source for furnishings and household supplies. You will learn about negotiating prices and should expect to pay 1/2 - 2/3 asking price.

    If you want to co ordinate furnishings, your best friend is a quart of paint or craft paint, mini foam roller and cheap, throw away foam type paint brushes. Be sure to check mis tints for the best bargains. We used nail polish to identify our items, particularly those that were shared like kitchen ware.

  4. Learningtomoney Says:

    creditcardfree: Love these ideas! I'm starting in on the decluttering in my home bedroom...it's rather stressful for me, but I love having less stuff! My closet at home is such a horribly awkward shape--sort of triangular--but I am going to try to add some tension rods and shelves. But I will definitely try it in my apartment closet. And I adore command hooks...I just always seem to run out of the strips that stick them to the walls!

    CB: It's good to hear that...my roommates don't seem too worried, but I do feel like my food would be at risk. I love good food, and I'm a bit of a snob about tea and cheese, so that's going to be a little pricier for me...working on a tentative budget today!

    snafu: Love the nail polish idea! Thank you for the Dollar Store tip--I hardly go in there so I don't know what sort of things they carry. I'll have to find some good paint colors, and I'm hoping to make pillow covers and such as well Smile

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