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Moving into a dorm or apartment can be both exciting and overwhelming. With new-found independence comes new-found challenges. In this post, grad student/Takl marketing team member Lauren shares her move-in tips for dorm/apartment living.

What do dorm and apartment life have in common?

If you’re moving from your family home, you gain a lot of independence, and also give up some perks like all the free storage. You may not realize just how much stuff you have until you have to fit it into a much smaller space! Even when you’ve narrowed your choices down, there’s the chore of hauling off the remaining stuff.

Read more: 10 Ways to Simplify College Move-in Day

Any tips for making the most of that space?

Space-saving, multifunctional pieces are a must. My ottoman has storage, my TV stand is a bookshelf, and even my “accent” chest has three drawers. I also used bar stools in place of a dining table and bought storage containers to make use of space under the bed. Organization is suddenly a top priority, because I have to make every inch of space count!

This Takl user found a Provider to assemble their lift-top coffee table, which also features built-in storage.

How did you move everything in?

My pieces are a combination of assembly-required and pre-assembled furniture. I found some great pieces like my cabinet and dresser secondhand. They’re well-built pieces, but that also meant transporting them was a lot harder than just packing them flat or having them shipped. It's also a challenge budgeting for a move when costs can vary. Pre-priced moving goes a long way to staying on budget and also helps to find movers for the amount of furniture I have. An apartment's worth of furniture isn't the same as a three-bedroom house, so if you're just using a U-Haul or trailer, it's great to find helping hands for that on Takl. The challenge isn’t just moving the furniture to the new place. You should definitely find help for moving on-site furniture, too.

Assembly items are great for getting shipped to your door, but depending on where your packages are held, you might still need help getting the piece up the stairs or into your dorm/apartment. Then of course is the assembly job itself, the difficulty of which can range from a cakewalk to wanting to pull your hair out.

What about mounting pictures, TVs, etc?

Different dorms/apartment complexes have different rules about mounting stuff. My apartment lets me hang up curtains, pictures, TVs, or anything else as long as I patch and paint before I leave. If I’m going to put holes in the wall, I’m going to leave it to someone who will get it right. Takl is great for handyman jobs like the initial mounting and, when it’s time to move again, the patching and painting.

Any other challenges to be prepared for?

Wi-fi, printer, sound system, and other home tech setups might seem easy, but if you run into any issues, it can take hours of searching online articles and calling support to sort out. If you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, find someone who is.

Need help Takling your dorm/apartment checklist? Connect with a local, background-checked Provider online or through the free mobile app.