My First Apartment Checklist – The Living Room

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Fall is a time for transitions. In addition to the temperatures slowly falling and the leaves changing colors, the fall signifies the start of a new school year. Additionally September is also a busy month for real estate turnover. Many cities have apartments that start new leases on September 1st. For many college students, September 1st marks the start of their independent lives by moving into their very first off-campus apartments.

The moving process alone can be crazy. Follow this First Apartment Checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your first place. We’ll start with the living room.

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Besides holding books, CDs, DVDs, and decorative items, bookcases also work to break up a room. For those living in a studio apartment that only has one giant room or an apartment with an open layout, bookcases can be used as room dividers. Adding a finished back to a bookcase allows you to set up the unit to separate the living area from the dining area of the office/study area from the living area. Plus, bookcases take advantage of vertical space, which helps maximize storage in the apartment.

Sofa or Futon
Besides the bed and the office chair, living room furniture gets an awful lot of use. From casually lounging and reading a book to having friends over for video game nights, the couch or sofa gets a lot of use. Because of the high traffic in the living room, you’ll want to make sure that your couch is made of quality materials and can withstand repetitive use. A lot of first time apartment owners will opt for a futon or a pull-out couch that converts into a bed for guests. Without the luxury of having an extra guest bedroom, the living room can serve as sleeping quarters for friends from out of town or mom and dad when they come to visit.

End Table
A living room set isn’t complete without a few end tables. Not only do end tables provide a space to place lamps for lighting, they provide a variety of storage options. End tables can hold magazines, remotes for electronics, and books. They are also a surface to rest drinks on when spending time in the living room.  Some end tables have drawers that can keep items such as stationary, pens, and batteries within arm’s reach, but hidden from plain sight.

Coffee Table
If your apartment is lucky enough to have a decent amount of floor space in the living area, a coffee table is definitely worth the investment. Not only do coffee tables provide a surface to hold drinks and magazines, but they can also serve as a focal point for entertaining. You can spread puzzles, board games, and card games across the table and play with multiple people sitting on all sides of the table. Or if the apartment doesn’t come with a specific dining area, the coffee table can be used as the communal eating area too. A coffee table will come in handy on Friday nights when you and the roommates decide to order take-out and rent a movie.