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11 Things you need in your first apartment


By Annika Tomlin

Moving into your first apartment is a huge rite of passage for any young adult. Making sure that you have all the essentials is also important to starting this next chapter of your life. Here are 11 things you might not realize you’ll need in your first apartment.


Brooms and vacuums do not properly clean hardwood and tile floors nearly as well as a Swiffer or mop. Cleaning can be an arduous task but that feeling of having a really clean space that you call your own is unmatched. Plus, who doesn’t love the sweet smell of pine or lemon that comes from having a clean floor?


For all the surfaces that aren’t hardwood or tile, a vacuum is a must. A broom is a great first point of cleaning on hard surfaces but should be followed by some sort of wet clean to really scrub the gunk away. You can’t sweep up spilled milk.


Bookshelves can be utilized in many ways. Shelf books, movies, CDs, vinyl, random knickknacks from trips of your past, along with trophies and plants. The options are endless. Create a shelfscape where you take the concept of a tablescape and put it on a bookshelf. Change it according to your mood or by the changing seasons and upcoming holidays.


Some apartments provide a single trashcan, buy your own. Rule of thumb: if you are likely to create trash or need a place to dispose of something in any room, make sure there is a trashcan in there. If you are looking out for the environment and your complex has a recycling system, make sure you have a separate bin solely for recyclable goods.


Everyone needs a place to literally kick up their feet at the end of the day—whether it’s a coffee table or storage ottoman with a tray on top. Both can provide storage space, a place to put your feet up, a place to put your drink and additional seating if it comes down to it.


Fire extinguishers are required by law. If you don’t have one, get one. If there is one (as there should be) make sure it is up to date and has been recently certified by the local fire department (there should be a tag that shows the last time it was checked).


Your parent or school nurse is not going to take care of your boo boo when you are home alone. Make sure you have the basics (bandages, gauze, various pain medication, etc.) and some of the more specific items as well (burn cream, heating pad, anti-gas medication, etc.). You should have enough in your first-aid kit to avoid unnecessary trips to urgent care. (If it is an emergency, please go to urgent care or the emergency room.)


Not everyone has the cupboard space to store a plethora of wine or liquor bottles. A portable or stationary mini bar to show off your collection to guests, who can create conversation about it. Make sure the mini bar has a place for proper glassware that goes with all of the types of alcohol that is offered, for example, wine glasses, beer mugs and shot glasses.


One of the most important items outside of the basics like a bed, refrigerator and TV is a comfy couch. This couch will be where you watch TV, entertain, fall asleep after a drunk night out and a handful of other uses. As your possible first couch outside of your family home, don’t go for the most expensive thing. This piece of furniture will go through a lot of spills and the last thing you want is to ruin an expensive couch. Rule of thumb: Make sure you can fully and comfortably recline on the couch, but more importantly make sure that it fits within your space.


Outside of brooms, vacuums and Swiffers, you should have cleaning supplies. Window cleaner, laundry detergent, toilet brush, disinfectant wipes, dishwasher pods and everything else. Make a list of all the things that you will need to clean daily, weekly or monthly basis. Make sure you are well stocked on supplies to keep up with it.


That Ikea bookshelf is not going to build itself. Sometimes the Allen wrench doesn’t always get the bolt tight enough. A power drill might be needed. Apartment complexes normally have a maintenance crew that will repair all the doors, cupboards, air filters and all structural things that came with the apartment. Your bedframe that has a loose bolt or dining chair with a wobbly leg is your problem to fix. Make sure you have a good set of basic tools to make those repairs (hammer, nails, screws, batteries, light bulbs, etc.). CT


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