Renting For The First Time

Getting your own place is hella exciting, I know, I did it 5 years ago. I went apartment hunting, scored a new-ish, small, one bedroom flat, exactly where me and my partner wanted to live and moved in 3 months later. The real estate company was all smiles when we signed the contract - and off we went with our keys starting a new adventure, excited to start living together. It is now 2018 and boy our flat has been through a lot. When I think back of how our home looked when we just moved in, it was an absolutely mess. Here's what you need to look out for when you move into your first rental.

Giving keys to everyone

Please, please, please, please, for the sake of your own sanity, do not and I repeat, do not give extra keys to family and friends unless it is actually necessary, like - they'll water your plants when you're on holiday or look after your pet. I got excited because I'd just returned from living in Italy for 4 years and I didn't know that handing out keys was the worst idea ever. My apartment all of the sudden became everyone's business and everyone's place to crash for any reason. People would show up uninvited, all the time, and even when I told them they couldn't, they'd still come over. I was going mad, it was an absolute nightmare, as if my home had become a bed and breakfast. It went on like this for 2 years before I realised that it actually was a problem, so as a person who loves going from one extreme to another, I banned everyone and asked for my keys back. I love how quiet my place is now. It's so relaxing. Also, I no longer have extra bedding or a pull out couch, I'm so done. Never. Again.

Getting all the furniture at once

I had loads of furniture in storage from when I was a student and to save some money we decided to use it. I wouldn't say it was a bad idea but it wasn't a good idea either. Turned out I had a lot of pieces that just didn't look good in our new space. To be honest, I'm not sure why me or my parents held on to that furniture for so long, it was really old and weird looking. A trip to IKEA for some extra home decor didn't solve anything, it just made everything worse. Our apartment looked like a bomb had exploded in it, it was too much. I still was a student then, so I guess I can forgive myself for that. My advice is: make a mood board and watch a lot of Mr Kate videos on Youtube, she's an expert on decorating - and her makeover series has all the tips you need on how to work a new space. Slowly start bringing in furniture and start with the essentials first; such as a bed, wardrobe and a couch. Don't buy anything in crazy colours, you can spice up your space with colourful accessories afterwards. Also get a plant, those really make it look like you have your shit together. If you're a bad plant keeper, Monstera Deliciosa are great at taking care of themselves!

Mistakes I Made Moving Into My First Rental

Not decluttering before the move

Don't move anything you haven't used, worn or looked at in 5 years. I ended up donating piles and piles of clothing, shoes and purses that never had any other purpose than being stored away. It's so much easier to get rid of old shit before you settle in to your own space, especially if you don't have a car, friends or family to help you, like me. Living in the city it is annoying to have to wait for the containers to arrive in your district where you're allowed to dump old electronics, mattresses and other random pieces of furniture. Yes, you can donate some of your old belongings to second hand shops etc but only if you're willing to wait for 2 months before they'll be able to come pick it up for you.

Overlooking details

I know a first apartment isn't always the most amazing or perfect looking but what I hadn't noticed is that the place we rent has absolutely no storage space and the downstairs only has one roof window. Yup, we had to downsize our belongings quite a bit and - it's fucking dark in here, especially this time of year. I viewed the flat in June and we moved in at the end of September. As soon as the season changed our light was gone. Also, buying curtains for roof windows can be extremely expensive, which is probably why the landlord hadn't bothered to put any. Neither was the hard wooden floor ever oiled or the electricity panel covered up. I guess this is what it's like to be young - or to live alone. I'm pretty sure the real estate agency didn't expect for 2 people to want to live in here. All in all, I really like this place and the neighbourhood we live in but I definitely know what to look out for next time I sign lease!