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Everyone can relate to the excitement, stress and worry of moving into a new apartment or house, especially on the inaugural move into independence. Lease is signed, first month's rent and security deposit have been paid, the keys are in your hand and moving day is here. Luckily, Dad is there to provide his brand of guidance on apartment living and general household upkeep and repair. Some of it seems outdated or just basic common sense -- in fact, you may feel a little offended that he thinks you need to be told. But some are real nuggets of gold you hold onto for the rest of your life, eventually sharing with your own children when they fly the nest.
#1 Don't forget to pay your rent on time.
If you don't pay your rent on time, your credit score will plummet and it could make it difficult to get approved for another apartment later. Write the check and put it in the mail at least six days before the end of the month. That way you know it will get to landlord before the first of the month.
#2 Get a carbon monoxide detector.
You can't smell carbon monoxide. It's the silent danger.
#3 Make sure your apartment has a fire extinguisher.
Because you should never try to put out a grease fire with water. You know that, right? Also, never go to sleep with a candle lit. In fact, throw away all your candles. If you want candles, your mom and I will pick you up a bunch of those nice electric ones from Costco.
#4 Turn off the stove when you finish using it.
Saute your kale and beets or whatever it is you're eating these days, then shut off the burner. Even if you think you might have turned it off, double, no, triple check.
#5 Do your dishes and clean your bathroom regularly.
I tell you this because, as we know, you didn't do it at home. If you don't want slimy things crawling around your sink and growing on your shower tiles, make sure you do your dishes promptly and scrub your bathroom weekly. It will also help you make friends with your roommate.
#6 Don't forget to lock the door when you leave.
OK, I just wanted to make sure you knew. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't tell you these things.
#7 Lock your door behind you when you come home, too.
The windows, too. Just because you're home doesn't mean someone won't walk in and steal your things.
#8. WD40, bleach and duct tape are essential to your home arsenal.
There's nothing you can't fix -- at least temporarily -- with WD40 and duct tape. Bleach cleans everything and, if you don't have an in-home bug repellent, it will kill most of the big bugs with a couple of direct sprays.
#9 Don't forget to make a copy of your keys and give them to a reliable, trustworthy neighbor.
That way when you get locked out -- and you will get locked out -- you can avoid calling your super or breaking a window, which, don't forget, comes out of your security deposit. Also, locksmiths are expensive.
#10 Don't plug too many things into an outlet.
That's how electrical fires start, which is another reason you need to have an extinguisher.
#11 Save your super's and landlord's phone numbers in your cell phone.
You never know when you're going to need to call them and you won't be able to find it on the piece of paper you wrote it down on. I don't care if you wrote it on your copy of the lease. What if you can't find the lease? I know what your room looked like at home. You couldn't find anything in there.
#12 Tip your super.
I know money is tight. It doesn't have to be cash. In fact, cookies or fresh fruit can be even better. And don't forget to offer something to drink whenever your super's around fixing something for you. It could even improve response time.
#13 You can always come home.
Life on your own is really something, eh? There's always a bed and home cooked meals waiting for you.
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