Five Often Forgotten Tips From a First-Time Renter

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There are hundreds of reasons why young people in their 20's decide its time to "leave the nest," move out and rent their first ever apartment in a big city.

My reason? Well, being a recent college graduate and living at home for the past 23 years I decided it was time for a change of scenery. Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago I surprisingly did not spend much of my time in the City. Cub’s games and going out on the weekend were the main times I visited the city. Going downtown for these events didn’t give me much time to explore the city and learn all the ins and outs of the neighborhoods. And, on top of all of that, I work in the Lakeview area of Chicago. As I made the hour drive to and from work each day I kept telling myself if I just lived down here it would be a much easier commute. I started looking for an apartment through Spaces Real Estate and they found me one that I absolutely loved!

However, as I began to prepare for my move in date, I came across some crucial steps in the renting process that almost slipped my mind. I realized that some of these steps in the process are probably forgotten by A LOT of first time renters like me who have no idea what they are doing. That is why I have written down the top five tips from my experience to share with the rest of those first time renters out there like me:

1. Reserve a Moving Truck Depending on when you are moving and where you are moving from and to trucks get rented very quickly. You want to make sure you contact a place that will have the size truck you need when you need it.

2. Declutter Before moving it’s always good to declutter your belongings! When I moved I ended up taking multiple things with me that I didn’t even need and it was only made extra work into the moving process. You don’t want to go through the trouble of packing and moving things you don’t even want.

3. Set Up Utilities Before moving in I didn’t know how to set up any sort of utilities because I never had to do it before. I learned that it was very simple. All you need to do is call, for example, ComEd and give them your information and the date you would like the electricity to be turned on. By doing this a few days prior, it will insure that everything will be on and working by the date you move in. Other utilities you want to set up are your gas and Internet.

4. Have Boxes and Moving Supplies I noticed a few days before I was moving I had no boxes to put my things in to move from one place to the next. I know it may sound silly but it’s always a good reminder!

5. Ask for Help Friends and family is always good people to ask to help you move! They are most likely free and they can make the move a little more fun.


Moving into your first apartment in Chicago is not always easy, but if you keep these tips in mind, you should definitely be ahead of the game and be prepared for all the curveballs thrown at you. Happy Adulting!

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