Skip To Content

    25 Things Nobody Tells You About Your First Apartment

    Unfortunately, the Toilet Paper Fairy won't be paying any visits.

    1. You might have to compromise a little.

    Because apartment hunting, especially in a city like New York, is a tragicomic hellhole into which you must fling every penny you've ever earned.

    2. If you're working with a realtor, they could help make all your dreams come true...

    3. ...or turn your life into a money-hemorrhaging joke.

    "I know you said you wanted a sunny, quiet three-bedroom, but I found you this studio with a shared bathroom and an infestation of rats for only three times your budget! Also, it's only accessible by ferry in the dead of night."

    4. And once you DO find a place that works for you, it'll require a mountain of paperwork you basically need to produce on the spot.


    Everyone on the lease will most likely need proof of employment, their three most recent pay stubs, a tax return, and bank statements. If there's a guarantor in the mix, they'll need all of that as well. If you really want to move quickly on a place or are in a competitive market (like, say, the aforementioned glory that is the Big Apple) it pays to have all that stuff on hand when you go to view an apartment.

    5. Moving will result in more boxes than you've ever imagined.

    And then you have to break them down, bind them up, leave them by the curb, and wait for your new landlord to yell at you because you did it wrong.

    6. You have to take measurements of absolutely everything.

    Turns out that windows come in different sizes, and therefore so do curtain rods, and you need those so your neighbor across the air shaft stops peering over whenever you bring someone home.

    7. There are infinite ways to screw up Ikea construction.

    Especially once you've been at it for two straight days.

    8. And there is no better way to destroy a perfectly good relationship.

    9. You actually have to buy boring things like toilet paper and paper towels.

    And, if you are a girl, or (GOD FORBID) multiple girls, you will need more of the former than you ever imagined.

    Check out our picks for the best toilet paper on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    10. And there are a lot of items you don't realize you need until you don't have them.

    "Ugh, whatever, I'll just stick all my steak knives in this drawe — OW HOLY SHIT."

    11. When you go to the grocery store*, you have to spend basically all your money on grown-up food.

    AKA more lettuce and olive oil, less beer and chocolate.

    *Which happens way more frequently than you would ever imagine.

    12. And even though you can stock up on some kinds of food, others will go bad long before you ever use them.


    All those imagined nights of beautifully pressed panini, down the drain.

    13. Installing an air conditioner is tough. Paying someone a week's salary to install one for you is tougher.

    It's really not as hard as it seems, just heavy (especially if your friend's boyfriend used to work at Lowe's and is willing to do it for you in exchange for booze and eternal gratitude).

    14. If your heating or stove runs on oil, set that ish up ASAP.

    Even if it's working when you first arrive, it might just be left over from the previous tenants, and the oven will stop working the second you really need a frozen personal pizza.

    15. At some point, you will see a mouse, and it will not be cute and friendly like pop culture would have you believe.

    Also, good luck ever shaking that telltale scribble-scrabble noise from your brain ever again.

    16. Your lease might require you to put rugs down.

    Especially if your place is above somebody else's — carpeting helps muffle noise.

    17. You'll have to find chairs that match the table your roommate's* parents let them haul out of the basement.


    Sadly, Ikea furniture doesn't come in "water-stained termite-riddled taupe."

    * /significant other's/ estranged long-lost relative's.

    18. Speaking of living with other people: Once you've pooled your worldly possessions, chances are you will wind up with 64 forks and zero butter knives.


    It's just physics.

    19. A shared fridge can get insanely crowded before you know it.

    "Sorry dude, I threw out your roast chicken to make room for some other stuff."

    20. Unless, of course, it goes to the other extreme.


    Oh Seamless, you alluring nightmare siren.

    21. The same is true of your shower: it will either be overflowing or contain one sad, almost-empty bottle of Dr. Bronner's.

    22. You are fully capable of handling minor household disasters.

    NBC / Via

    And if you're not, that's why God invented supers and crisp $20 bills.

    23. (Even if some of your solutions are a little less than ideal.)

    Take THAT, Pinterest.

    24. You'll be sooooo proud of how well you cleaned, and then hours later it's back to exactly how it was before.

    25. There really is nothing like coming home to a place that is, in whatever small way, yours.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!