Living alone is an important rite of passage into adulthood everyone should experience, at least for a short while. Above all else, it teaches independence and responsibility. If you have never lived alone before, it can be both exciting and terrifying. If you are looking for a bit of guidance to make the transition less traumatic, here are the dos and don’ts of the first apartment experience.

DO learn about the rules

In most cases, your first solo apartment will be only a small part of a big building, which means you will have to adhere to certain rules. The most important thing is to learn about these rules before you even contemplate on moving into this particular apartment, because they might clash with your idea of how this solo life will look.

For example, residents might have agreed on a particular time when “silent hour” begins, a.k.a. when you’ll have to turn the music down. This also goes for printing “warning announcements” a week (or more) in advance when it comes to apartment parties.

Maybe the parties are completely forbidden under the threat of eviction. Maybe the bills are generally steeper due to housekeeping and elevator electricity bills. No matter how it goes, the most important thing is to learn all about the rules of the building you might move into.

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DON’T procrastinate

When you start living by yourself, you have to start taking care of yourself too – and in many ways you have previously taken for granted. Most of the time, your parents have cleaned up a surprising amount of mess after you, even if you are a neat person.

The key to keeping yourself clean and orderly is not to procrastinate when given a chance and managing little household tasks. The key is in the small details that can build up to a big mess. An insignificant teaspoon here-and-there looks like an innocuous thing to take care of in hindsight, but add a few teaspoons, a few coffee cups and a couple of plates, and you already have a kitchen mess.

This, of course, can build up in half an hour. Imagine a whole day of unmanaged apartment stuff – from bills and papers to clothes and utensils, it can turn into a mountain of clutter that will make your apartment look like a hoarder haven. Whenever you are not doing something specific, do not procrastinate and take care of your apartment.

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DO ask for help

You are starting a solo life, so asking for help should not be your last resort. Moving all your stuff is far from easy, and asking your family and friends to help out will not hurt your dignity.

In fact, the best course of action would be to enlist at least three people who own a vehicle to help you with the move – this way, nobody will be too overworked, the entire ordeal will be much shorter and you can top it all off with a small “move in” soirée in your new place for the closest social circle.

More often than not, you will have to throw out some leftover stuff from the apartment, and you can hire a reliable company for junk removal from Sydney to deal with this efficiently.

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DON’T throw your money away

Since you are starting your solo life in a new apartment, you need to learn how to save as much as you can in the case of emergencies. This is easier said than done, but a thorough financial plan can mean a lot in the long run. Create two separate stashes for the money you have to spend at the beginning of each month on bills and basic food supplies, and another stash for “special occasions”.

After a while, if you are consistent and responsible enough, you will end up with enough money to treat yourself with something special if certain repairs and malfunctions that are typical for apartments don’t happen. As a renter, you will be responsible for most of the smaller repairs and tweaks, unless the contract or other arrangement was made with the landlord.

Moving into your own place by yourself can be daunting – in many ways, it feels as if you are starting your life from scratch. All of a sudden, you have to take care of certain aspects of living that you have never faced before – from budgetary concerns and bills to small repair jobs and adhering to some new time constraints (usually also bill related). However, once you get used to certain dos and don’ts, you are bound to see the first apartment experience as a turning point in your life.

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