Ideally, when your roommate moves out of your apartment it’s for mutually agreed-upon reasons and the two of you are still on good terms. Whether your roommate moves out for health reasons, a job opportunity or another reason, you’ll no doubt have to quickly adjust to living on your own — especially if he or she moves out without much notice. While the new privacy and extra space can be great, there’s still lots to square away like increased living costs from bills, food and rent. Here are a few things to remember when your roommate moves out of your apartment.
Decide if you’ll continue living alone or if you need to find a new roommate. This decision may be best made by taking a hard look at your income and your monthly expenses. Will you be able to pay for all of rent and all of your bills by yourself? If you need a roommate to help pay for these expenses, start looking as soon as you can.
Speaking of bills… are they in your name, or were they in your roommate’s name? Same with renter’s insurance: Be sure you have it.
Inform your apartment manager. Stop by your apartment office or call to give them a heads up that the living situation has changed. Many apartment landlords require this so that they know who is living in which units. And if you wind up getting a new roommate, let them know that too. If your roommate was the person who signed the apartment lease, you should ask what needs to be done.
Take inventory. If your roommate moved out and took most of the furniture, you may want to look at replacing some of that stuff so you have your own. Similarly, you can take this opportunity to organize and clean your apartment — it’ll help you be prepared if potential roommates come by to check out your apartment.
Keep your roommate’s mail in one place and communicate with them a time — maybe once per week — where they can come by and pick it up. If they moved far away, you might need to send them a package every so often with all their mail. Talk to your roommate about this to figure out the best way to handle it.
These are all just suggestions for what to do when your roommate moves out to help make the situation go a little more smoothly. If you’re moving out soon, be sure and use our free apartment search tools to find your next home.
Sharing an apartment with a friend can be a high-risk, high-reward situation. You get the comfort of knowing many of your friend’s habits before you move into the apartment together, so unexpected surprises like suddenly discovering your friend has insomnia and a serious addiction to reality TV likely won’t occur. You also know that you and your friend get along, which is likely why you’d decide to share an apartment together.
Living in an apartment with a friend can put stress on your relationship, so it’s important to take steps to ensure that you don’t lose your buddy when you gain a roomie. Here are some tips for doing just that:
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk
So your roommate leaves a mountain of dishes in the sink after dinner every night. Think she’ll get the hint if you wash them? Think again. You’ll start feeling resentful doing double duty and your roommate will likely not even notice. In situations like this, it’s much better to talk about it. Don’t hesitate to establish some rules about things like cleanliness and quiet time. You don’t have to do anything draconian, like write them up and post them everywhere, but talking about what your expectations are with your friend, especially before you two move in together, will make any future disputes much simpler to defuse.
Do Apartment-Oriented Tasks Together
This can really help alleviate the pain of things like chores and decoration, since both you and your friend are invested in getting the task done. Not only does doing work together ensure that you’ll both be splitting the load, it also makes it easier to get done. After all, you’re hanging out with your friend! What’s not to like about that?
Compromise, Compromise, Compromise
Here lies the crux of any successful roommate pairing: You have to make sacrifices. If you’re used to living in an ice box, while your friend’s more accustomed to sauna temperatures, you two will likely have to split the difference and keep the apartment at a middling temperature. If you’re a neat freak and your friend’s a complete mess, you’ll need to become a little more lax with your standards, while your roommate will have to pick up after herself a bit more. Obviously, you’d rather have everything exactly your way, but compromise is just part of being a good roommate, and you wouldn’t want to be anything less than that to your friend.
Have a roommate but need an apartment? Our apartment search tool makes it easy to find your next home.
Earthquakes have the potential to do a lot of damage — and they’re very frightening to experience. We’ve been talking a lot here recently about Apartment Disaster Preparedness, and if you live in a place that’s prone to earthquakes, you should definitely take the time to make sure you and your apartment are prepared. Having a plan and knowing what to do to stay safe can really help you should you ever — and we sure hope you don’t — experience an earthquake.
Get Renters Insurance
There’s a reason so many people stress the importance of buying renters insurance: When you need it, you’ll be so glad you have it. We’ve talked about renters insurance here before, and we’ll say it again: it’s something you should really have if you’re renting an apartment. While your landlord most likely has insurance, your possessions will not be covered should a disaster happen.
Take time to prepare for an earthquake so you’ll know what to do if one ever happens. Here are some of the things FEMA recommends doing to protect your family, yourself and your property (to see the full list, visit their website):
- Use lower shelves to store large or heavy things, and fasten shelves, mirrors and large picture frames to your walls
- Use low shelves to store bottled foods, china, glass and other breakables. You could also store these things in cabinets that fasten shut
- Know where the safe spots are in your apartment: under a sturdy table, against an inside wall
- Hold earthquake drills
During an Earthquake
Part of being prepared is knowing what to do during an actual earthquake. Stay calm and stay safe. If you’re indoors, FEMA recommends that you “drop, cover and hold on.” Drop to the ground, take cover (get under a sturdy table or sturdy piece of furniture) and hold on until the shaking subsides. If you are unable to find a sturdy piece of furniture, crouch in an inside corner of the building and use your arms to cover your face and head. You should stay away from windows, glass, outside doors, outside walls and anything that could fall. Remember not to use elevators and stay inside until the shaking stops.
If you’re in bed when an earthquake happens, FEMA advises to stay there and cover your head with a pillow — but if there’s something like a light fixture that could fall on you, move to the closest safe place.
Just a reminder: If you’re looking for a new home, ApartmentSearch.com has great tools to help you search for apartments.
Living in an apartment can have significant advantages. For example, you often have maintenance staff that will help repair something in your living space if something goes wrong. You also have flexibility: If you want to change locations, all you’ll have to do is wait for the lease to be up. You don’t have to deal with trying to sell your house. However, as opposed to living in a house, space can sometimes be limited, especially if you live in a small apartment. You will need to make the most of the area you have. To help you do this, we’ve put together these tips for maximizing the space in your apartment.
Give Things a “Life Expectancy” of Usefulness
Still attached to that extra-small argyle sweater you loved in eighth grade, even though you’re now a foot too tall for it? We understand the sentiment, but still, that sweater is taking up valuable storage space. Consider reselling or donating it — or maybe even making it an heirloom and gifting it to someone else in the family. A good rule of thumb is, if it takes up space and you haven’t used it in over a year, strongly consider getting rid of it somehow. And don’t stop with clothes. Do you have any bulky and highly specialized kitchen equipment that you never use? What about an exercise bike that’s been a drying rack for six years running? It’s tough to be ruthless, but you’ll thank yourself with the extra cubic feet.
Think in Three Dimensions
Notice how we wrote “cubic feet” instead of the more common “square feet?” That’s because you need to start thinking of the space in your apartment in three dimensions. Creativity is endless in this department, but things like putting a wine rack on the wall to store rolled-up towels or hanging a basket from the ceiling to put fruit in are helpful space savers that free up floor space. Installing shelves is also a good idea.
Reduce, Reuse, and Save
These tips are just a few that will help you in your quest to make your apartment roomier. Don’t have a place of your own yet, or are you looking for a different one? Use our apartment search tools to get where you need to be.