Taking the leap to move to your own place gives you a thrilling sense of freedom, especially if you’ve been living with other people all your life. Of course, that doesn’t mean that making such a significant life change is any less challenging (although it does make it more fulfilling).

Once you’ve decided to buy your very first flat or to rent an apartment in Dubai, you’ll need to find ways to make settling in and living on your own much more manageable. The good news is that with a few hacks, you can make apartment living easier

Below are seven secrets you need to know to do just that:

1. Find the perfect apartment.

Before attempting to change everything else, you must first find the perfect apartment for you to improve your chances of having an easier life in it.

Start by defining your budget. List down a set of criteria to narrow down your options, including the amount you’re willing to pay for the rent or mortgage.

Once you have an amount you’re comfortable with, proceed with doing thorough research on the neighbourhood.

Is it close to your workplaces or the establishments you frequent? Is it accessible to public transport, or does it have a dedicated parking area for tenants? Is the community peaceful and does it have a low crime rate?

Once you answer these questions (and all others that apply specifically to you), factor in what you want in an apartment before weighing in all the available options.

Determine whether a place is worth the rent or real estate price and whether you’ll feel comfortable living there.

2. Keep the clutter to a minimum.

Most apartments are smaller than houses, so you might need to reduce the number of items you’re bringing in. To ensure that you don’t fill your new space too quickly, you should consider letting go of some of your belongings.

If you haven’t already, sort through your things, saving only the items you genuinely need. You can either sell, donate, or throw out whatever is left.

Below are some tips on how to determine which ones you should get rid of and what you should keep:

  • Throw away broken things or bring them to a recycling facility.
  • Donate household items you’ll be able to buy again.
  • Get rid of objects with duplicates and similar uses.
  • Keep the belongings you can’t live without.
  • Store things you cannot replace, either in monetary or sentimental terms.

3. Invest in high-quality basics.

Adding personality to a room makes it feel more like home. But before you do that, you need to focus on the basics first.

Since they are what you would call the “essentials” in apartment living, you’ll want to buy good-quality furniture that looks simple and neutral.

From sofa sets to bed frames, these so-called “investment pieces” should work with most décor and accessories. Start with items that come in neutral colours before figuring out the rest.

Also, make sure you choose items that can be easily moved from one place to another.

4. Approach your apartment layout holistically.

Plenty of apartments have a centre space that doesn’t have any windows. This area usually connects the front and back rooms and relies on them for natural light.

If you wish to create separate zones or need additional privacy, you should figure out how you can do so without blocking the flow of traffic and light.

An excellent way to do it is to install frosted glass sliding doors. They don’t block as much light as an actual door, but they do enhance the room’s privacy.

A curtain divider should be a good alternative if a sliding door is not feasible or you simply don’t want one in your apartment. Install a curtain rod between walls where you wish to hang the curtain. This works best for studio-type spaces, where dividing the living and sleeping areas is imperative.

Other potential space dividers you can try are:

  • Screens
  • Benches
  • Tall bookcases

5. Create your safe space.

For most people, their safe space is usually the bedroom where they can relax and be at peace after a hard day’s work. Of course, this can also be a different area in your apartment where you can feel detached from work, social life, and just about anything that may be causing you stress.

Besides your bedroom, this may also be:

  • A reading nook located in a quiet corner in your apartment filled with your favourite titles.
  • A workshop where you can do some arts and crafts and enjoy your other hobbies.
  • A vanity station with a good source of natural light, a large mirror, and enough storage space for your hair tools, makeup, beauty products, and jewellery.

6. Bring the outdoors in.

One thing that you’ll probably miss about living in a home with a yard is the chance to enjoy the outdoor space. While you can’t do anything about the amount of available space, you can make any area feel outdoorsy by bringing the greenery indoors.

Live plants not only purify the air indoors, but they also give you something to be happy about – caring for another living being. Even if you can’t have a pet in your apartment, having plants to take care of will give you a sense of accomplishment that can boost your self-esteem.

Just remember to choose an indoor plant that suits your skill level in gardening. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to stick to low-maintenance and easy-to-grow foliage, like the following:

  • Devil’s ivy (pothos)
  • Spider plant
  • Chinese evergreen (aglaonema)
  • Air plants (tillandsia) 
  • ZZ plant
  • Barrelhead cactus
  • Snake plant (sansevieria)
  • Peace lily
  • Aloe vera

7. Transform the apartment into a home.

Homes don’t only come in the form of houses. Apartments can also become your home with just a few minor tweaks.

Though you may not be able to repaint the walls, switch the flooring, or do any major renovation because of your arrangement with your landlord, you can still make small updates that can make it feel more like home.

For example, you can hang framed photographs or artwork on an otherwise bare wall or toss in an area rug to add more warmth to the living room. Just make sure that you stick to a specific style to make your apartment feel homier – at least until you can buy a place of your own.

Take It Easy

An easy life is something most people wish to experience when living on their own. Aside from choosing the perfect location to move into, you’ll also want to consider other details like reducing clutter and having a safe space so that you can have a comfortable life in your first apartment.

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