If you follow me on social media, chances are high that you know I've moved out on my own recently. Honestly, it's been a bit of a roller coaster.
I found it hard to leave the nest, but it was also super liberating and, seriously awesome. Independence is pretty chill, and while paying my own rent and Hydro bills has been an adjustment, accomplishing "adult things" feels a whole lot better than I originally thought it would.
When I first made the big move, though, I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer amount of what I had do do/get/consider. I suddenly found myself without useful things I took for granted (like measuring cups, which apparently don't just magically appear in your kitchen).
But no worries, guys. Everything happens for a reason, and now I can share a few important tips, that are easily overlooked, about moving in to your apartment.
1. A fire extinguisher
Real talk, accidental fires are legit. You never know when a small flame will get out of hand and you'll have to save your own day. Save yourself the pain (and the flames!) and just straight-up get a fire extinguisher - preferably the ABC one, that puts out multiple of types of fires. Protect yourself before you wreck yourself, friend.
Seriously, guys, keep a plunger (and container) handy right near your toilet. Honestly, you probably won't need to use one of these things that often, but you will eventually. And when that time comes, you do not want to find yourself ankle-deep in toilet water, armed with nothing but a bucket and a prayer. Hope you got insurance...
I mean, can I just say there's nothing better than lighting your favourite scented candle and chilling as the aroma fills your apartment? Because honestly, there's literally nothing in this life on that level of amazing.
But that's not the only reason why I'm telling you guys to stock up on candles. I know that candles have kind of been replaced by flashlights and phones for their light-shining abilities, but being caught in the middle of a power outage, with a dead phone and a dead flashlight is not fun.
4. New locks
Of course, ask your landlord before you mess with the lock situation - but if you get the okay, I highly recommend switching them up. You never know how old the original ones are, or who still has a key, so having brand new locks will contribute to keeping you, and your awesome new apartment, super safe.
5. Stuff for your kitchen
Like a cutting board, a strainer, a cheese grater, tongs, wine corks, a pizza cutter, bag clips, a measuring cup, and other miscellaneous kitchen items that you've grown accustomed to having at home.
Seriously, when you're living with your parents, it doesn't seem like your measuring cup is an integral part of your life. Things like that kind of just blend in to the background, but one day, you'll be making oatmeal, and you'll attempt to freehand one cup of water, you'll mess up, and your oatmeal will taste terrible.
Or worse, you'll be forced to cut pizza with a butter knife like a barbarian, fusing all the tasty, hot toppings straight to the box.
6. Mail forwarding
Plain and simple, mail forwarding is a godsend. It directs all your mail to your new address, so if you've forgotten to update an address somewhere, you're good. And while it does cost a bit per month, the convenience and peace of mind is priceless.
7. A parking space
What's the parking situation like at your apartment, friend? If you don't have your own space, then make sure to scope out your new street beforehand (or, make sure there's a bus route near your place). You might need a vignette (a parking sticker) in order to park on your street freely. Nobody wants to park their car three blocks down and have to worry about it all the time, and nobody wants to be constantly flooded with tickets. Don't ask me how I know this. It's a very sad story.
8. A safe
Alright, this sounds a bit excessive - but trust me, if you've got valuables like jewelry, personal documents, or even things that are super sentimental to you lying around, then get yourself a safe, pronto. You don't want anyone but you having access to that stuff, and the best way to ensure this is by investing in something to keep them out.
9. Renter's insurance
Yes, renter's insurance is a thing. I'll admit, I didn't know about it until I moved out and my dad was like, "yeah, get yourself some tenant home insurance before, you know, ~life~ happens, and you're stuck dealing with the accidental fire of your whole building."
Personally, I'm in a basement apartment, so I got myself covered with Desjardins tenant Insurance for sewage leaks, water damage, break-ins, fires, floods, and a whole lot more (I'm even good if someone breaks into my car and steals my stuff!). It was super easy to get started, and my policy was customized to fit my personal needs, so I don't pay for anything I don't actually need.
Safe from potential heartbreak, TBH, getting renter's insurance was probably the smartest move I made. I'm totally covered no matter what ends up happening, and more than anything else, I have the peace of mind of never having to worry about my stuff when "life happens".