A few months ago, I moved into my first “grown-up” apartment. While I’m still in my senior year, a couple of friends and my boyfriend, all of whom had already graduated, were moving into an apartment and I decided to join them. So with that, I said goodbye to campus life and moved into an apartment the town over. I have come to realize all of the important things, useful items and tips that came with living on your own that I now can’t live without – and I’ve compiled a list of them so you don’t have to.
- Three words: storage, storage, storage!
More often than not, it’s difficult to have enough seating in apartments due to the size. We have a couch that sits three people and a big, cushy chair — so it’s really only enough seating for all of us who live there. One of the most exciting things about having your first “grown-up” apartment is getting to be a host for the first time and have guests, but what are you supposed to do when you don’t have enough seating? We found that the solution to that and to our blanket storage problem was a cushioned bench that also doubles as a storage ottoman. It keeps all of our blankets out of the way when we aren’t using them, and fits our aesthetic.
Additionally, it can be hard to find places to store things like toiletries, linens and even clothing. One of my favorite purchases for my apartment has been the hanging storage organizer in my closet where I keep any clothing that can be folded like pants and t-shirts. Shoe racks are also a huge win to saving space when you’re addicted to buying new shoes like I am!
- Get as much off of Facebook Marketplace and from yard sales as you can
Furnishing an apartment is expensive. While I was able to split the cost of most things with three other people, other people don’t have that option. One of my roommates and I spent weeks scouring Facebook Marketplace for lightly-used furniture that would be in decent shape and cheap enough for us to buy. We were able to furnish most of our living room and dining room solely off of things from Marketplace – barstools, a rolling microwave cart that we DIYed into a bar cart, a whole table and chairs set, and two nightstands – all for under $200 total. As always, make sure when going to pick up items that you’ve gotten off of any online re-selling platform that you don’t go alone or find a public place to do it.
You should know that Marketplace isn’t the only place to find things for a decent price! That yard sale or garage sale that your neighbor down the street is having could definitely be useful to you. We stopped at a yard sale where we were able to buy a matching coffee table and end table, a full plate and bowl set, and a full set of glasses. Don’t discount your local yard sale!
- Don’t be afraid to invest in the things that can make a difference in your day-to-day life
For us, that was investing in a nice vacuum and a Swiffer. We have fully carpeted floors everywhere except for our bathrooms and kitchen, so it’s important to take care of them and keep it clean! The last thing you want to do after a long day is kick off your shoes and immediately step barefooted on a dirty carpet. And of course, the Swiffer for the places we don’t have carpet is essential.
We also took the time when we first moved in to take a trip to our local BJ’s Wholesale Club to buy as much as we could in bulk as possible – dish soap, toothpaste, paper towels and toilet paper. Even laundry detergent. Anything we could really. Buying it all in bulk and all at once can be a high up-front cost, but in reality, most of the time buying in bulk will be cheaper and it’s one less store you have to visit in the near future.
At the end of the day, moving into your first “grown-up” apartment can seem like a daunting task, but with all the right resources you, too, will be a grown-up in no time!