Friday, June 9, 2017

25 Things You Need for Your First Apartment

Hello, beautiful! In case you haven't heard yet, I'm super excited to be moving into my first on-campus apartment next semester.

I know it's still far away, but I'm already starting to prepare for my apartment by creating an inventory of what I already have and compiling a list of what I need to buy. During this process, I've come up with more than a couple of things I wouldn't necessary have thought of that are going to be absolutely essential to my first apartment.

On that note, I wanted to make sure to share with you 25 of the most important things you're going to need for your first apartment - things you probably don't already have, of course - so you wouldn't make the same mistakes that I (almost) did! Be sure to add these essential items to your packing/shopping list so you won't forget them :)

1. Pots and pans

In your first apartment you'll likely be doing all your own cooking, so you'll need a solid set of pots and pans to get you through. While a basic pot and saucepan will get you through, don't forget baking sheets, cupcake pans and more for those late finals week nights of stress baking.

2. Iron and ironing board

Showing up to a grad level class or important job interview with wrinkles in your blouse is a no-go. Avoid this sticky situation by bringing an iron and ironing board to your first college apartment. (And remember that you can also use a flat iron to smooth down pesky collars and sleeves in a hot minute!)

3. Welcome mat

While it's not absolutely necessary, a welcome mat adds a personal touch to an apartment that's probably been inhabited by dozens of students before you. Not to mention, it saves you from having to wipe up muddy footprints from the interior of your sounds lame, but is actually v important!

4. Toaster

When you lived in a dorm, you probably used the toasters in the dining hall. Now that you're living in an apartment and fending for yourself, however, you're going to want to make sure you have all the appliances you need - including a toaster for morning toast and midnight waffles alike.

5. Microwave

Used to have one of those snappy rental mini fridges with the microwave on top? Yeah, me too! But living in an apartment means no more micro-fridges, so you'll want to provide your own microwave for all your speedy cooking needs.

6. Blender

Personally, smoothie bowls are one of my favorite breakfasts - so I couldn't imagine living without a blender. A nice blender like a Nutribullet will save you time by letting you bring your breakfast on the go. Plus, it will (hopefully) last long into your young adulthood years, even post-grad!

7. Dishes

Back in your dorm room days, you probably didn't do much eating in your room unless it was off disposable paper plates and plastic silverware. In an apartment, however, you're going to want to have a nice set of dishes around for eating nice meals and hosting company. 

8. Hamper

Organizing your laundry is a must in your first-ever apartment, especially if you share your room with a roommate. Having a hamper for dirty laundry shows your roommate you're put-together and committed to taking care of your shared space.

9. Cleaning supplies

Maybe the only plus side of living in a dorm was that someone used to do all of your cleaning for you. Now that the days of a shared bathroom are behind you, you're responsible for cleaning up your own messes and taking care of everyday maintenance in the bathroom, kitchen and more. 

10. Television

In a tiny dorm room, watching Netflix off your laptop might work for you, but in an apartment, you're likely going to be hosting house guests for movie nights, Bachelor viewing parties and more. A larger TV screen is therefore essential for the living room of your first-ever apartment.

11. Bath mat

Again, you're not sharing a bathroom with twenty other girls anymore - so it's time you start taking care of your personal space. Believe it or not, something as simple as laying down a bath mat can make a world of difference in making your first apartment feel like a home.

12. Wall decor

Bare walls are less than homey, and make your apartment feel temporary. Even if you'll only be living there for a year or even just a semester, hanging up some simple photographs, posters or even a simple tapestry can make you feel more comfortable in your new living space.

13. Toolkit

If your apartment is owned by the school, you might be lucky enough to be able to call in a maintenance request whenever a big job needs doing. However, even if you do live on-campus, you'll still want to keep a toolkit on hand for little emergencies, like an easily-fixable leak or a loose screw in your door hinge.

14. Towels

In your dorm room, you probably kept a grand total of one or two towels because you a) didn't have space and b) didn't have many people over. Your first ever apartment requires you to add a couple more to your collection, including hand towels and kitchen towels. Don't worry: this is secretly a good thing, because you probably won't be the only person using them anymore, and you'll have more space to store them! 

15. Soap dispenser and toothbrush holder

Okay, I know it's cheating to throw down two items in one, but both of these items count as bathroom furnishings and help to make your apartment feel a little more homey - not to mention organized. Nothing says sloppy like leaving your used toothbrush laying on the bathroom counter in a puddle of dirty toothpaste!

16. Alarm clock

You might think your alarm on your phone works well enough, but did you know that leaving your phone on overnight could be disrupting your sleep? To truly feel like an adult, invest in an actual alarm clock that will wake you up without tempting you to scroll through social media for the next four hours.

17. Hangers

You might not have had much closet space in your old college dorm. Chances are, you won't have tons of room in your new apartment - but if you didn't invest in hangers before now, you're going to want to take the plunge. Certain items, such as silk work shirts and dry-clean only items, should really be hung rather than folded.

18. Surge protector and extension cord

Personally, these items were prohibited back in my college dorms unless they were the approved ones given to us by the school...and I found I needed to sneak one in anyways because my laptop charger didn't reach my bed. I think it's safe to say you'll still need these items in your first apartment, too.

19. Measuring cups and mixing bowls

Two words: stress baking. Also, you won't believe how many times a recipe calls for a measuring cup or a mixing bowl. Don't be that girl scrambling to eyeball a teaspoon who ends up using a tablespoon instead! 

20. First-aid kit

Living on your own, you're responsible for yourself and your own health. If you need a band-aid, mommy isn't around anymore to bandage up your boo-boos - you're going to have to get used to performing basic first-aid on yourself. So, rather than relying on WebMD to tell you you're pregnant/dying of cancer, invest in a good first-aid kit - many of which will also come with directions on how to handle common problems.

21. Lamp

Most apartments, on-campus at least, will provide you with most of the furniture you need. However, you'll most likely find the lighting in your room isn't enough to keep you from straining your eyes during late-night study sessions. Prevent this common problem by bringing your own lamp with your own lightbulbs to your first apartment!

22. Throw pillows

Little decorative touches like throw pillows will make you and your guests feel more at home in your space. Toss a couple on your bed or living room, or even add cushions to your dining room chairs, to add a touch of TLC to your first apartment.

23. Trash can and recycling bin

In your apartment, it's your responsibility to preserve energy and go green. If recycling is important to you, you won't be able to rely on Mom and Dad to separate your plastics from your trash anymore - you'll have to take matters into your own hands. I 100% recommend getting a trash can with a recycling receptacle included to save space while saving the planet.

24. Coffee maker

I literally can't wait to bring my coffee maker (prohibited in the dorms) to my apartment next year! A Keurig or other coffee maker is hands-down one of the most important appliances a college girl can own. Plus, brewing your own coffee will save you tons of time and money in the long haul from skipping your daily Starbucks run! 

25. Shoe rack

Last but not least, a shoe rack might not be the most obvious or essential thing on this list, but if you love shoes like I do, then this will save you TONS of valuable closet space. Pro-tip: you can also keep a separate shoe rack by your door to keep muddy shoes off the carpet while impressing your parents.

What are you planning to buy for your first apartment? LMK in the comments below!

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