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Five Tips for Maintaining Your College Dorm or Apartment 

David Shaw of Shaw Ace Hardware. Photo by Bruce Newman

Moving into your first dorm or apartment can be very exciting, but securing your own space comes with new responsibilities and challenges.

The knowledge of how to look after a home comes with experience. 

David Shaw, the owner of Shaw Ace Hardware, has moved two of his own children into dorms and apartments.

With this experience and his expert knowledge of hardware, Shaw provides excellent advice for first-time dorm or apartment dwellers.

Here are his tips and product recommendations to help you maintain your home throughout the year. 

  1. Keep your dorm or apartment clean. 

You may dread it but cleaning your home on a regular schedule will save you time and effort in the long run. A few essential household items include a mop, a vacuum cleaner and a broom with a dustpan. There are numerous checklists online that detail cleaning supplies you will need in your first dorm or apartment. 

One product that can prevent fines when you move out is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. If you scuffed a wall during move-in, a magic eraser can remove it. These sponges can also clean shoes, bathtubs or showers, microwaves and stovetops throughout the school year. 

2. Prevent scuffs with furniture pads. 

Use felt furniture pads to protect wooden, laminate and tile floors and prevent making any marks. Also, you can move furniture easily on carpeted floors by attaching plastic glides to furniture. 

3. Make copies of your house key. 

It’s a good idea to make copies of any keys before you think you need them. Keep a spare somewhere safe in case you lock yourself out or need to let someone in while you’re away from home. At Shaw Ace Hardware, we can also make copies of car keys and battery-powered smart key fobs. 

“Chances are you will misplace your key eventually, and you will want to have a spare one for when that happens,” Shaw said. “Even if you don’t lose a key, you might want to have a spare for pet-sitters or house-sitters while you’re away.” 

4. Check your smoke detector.

Once you have moved in, go ahead and check the smoke detector. It’s recommended that you test a smoke detector monthly and replace its batteries annually. 

“It’s a good idea to check your lease for your duties as a renter. There are smaller tasks like replacing an air filter that may be your responsibility –– not your landlord’s,” Shaw said. 

5. If there is an issue, report it! Don’t wait.  

When you move into a dorm or apartment, document any damage or issues to avoid fines. Also, proactively report maintenance issues to the landlord or university. 

“The longer you wait, the bigger the issue may become,” Shaw said. 

Moving into your new dorm or apartment may feel overwhelming, but leaving home to live independently is one of the many transitions into adulthood. Moving and learning how to manage your home is part of growing up. If you have a question, ask someone for help.

Courtesy of Red Window Communications

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