Congratulations! Finding an apartment in New York City isn’t easy, but at last you have a place to call home. Here’s a few quick tips to help you make a smooth transition to apartment life.
1. Face Time
Living alone for the first time is an exciting milestone in anyone’s life. It’s a chance to become more self-reliant, make your own rules, and explore your personal style. It’s also a little scary; you might be spending more time alone than you ever have before.
Create a routine that includes getting out and about regularly. Frequent local shops and cafes, introduce yourself to the neighbors, and join local community events. Invite your friends over — a lot. Make the most of this experience to develop your social skills, face to face to face.
Sharing your apartment can be just as much fun as it looks on those classic television shows, if you find the right roommate. But don’t rush into this new relationship. Compatibility is important, and so is dependability; an error in judgment or a misunderstanding about commitment could mean more expenses for you.
Find out up front what might be deal breakers for each of you, and don’t let small annoyances simmer. Choose your “compromise zones” — usually shared spaces, such as the kitchen, bathroom and living room — and reach a mutual understanding about decorating and maintaining them.
3. Keeping House
You don’t need to break the bank to turn your apartment into home, sweet home. Throw pillows or an area rug are inexpensive ways to personalize the space, while lamps and accent lights in key places help create a warm atmosphere. If you’re sharing the apartment, go shopping together to find items you can agree on, especially for those compromise zones.
A New York City apartment probably means adjusting to living in a more compact scale than you might be accustomed to. At first it seems like you have much more stuff than space, but assessing storage possibilities will soon be second nature to you. Take advantage of the move to cull dead weight, and aim for charming instead of cramped when you decorate.
Use design techniques that make the space seem larger, such as limiting the color palette and placing mirrors strategically to reflect light. Clutter-free surfaces help create the illusion of space, too. Some furniture items can double as storage or be hidden away when not in use. Maximize vertical storage solutions to keep floor space clear — hooks and shelving are practical and can also be visually striking features.
5. That Safety Habit
No matter how safe the neighborhood is, it’s wise to cultivate a habit of safety. If it locks, lock it; always lock your door and windows — and yes, that goes for apartments above the first floor, too. You should know all the potential routes around the apartment and where the emergency exits are from any point inside the building.
You don’t have to be nosy, but be aware of the general habits of your neighbors so that you’ll recognize when any activity is out of the ordinary. If you have a roommate, you should discuss a safety plan with him or her, including locking the door, not giving away keys and being careful about who enters your home.
Related: Dealing With Obnoxious Neighbors
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