Congratulations on stepping out on your own! Whether you’ve graduated and it’s time to leave your dorm, or your parents simply decided enough was enough, moving into your first apartment is a huge step towards adulthood—and an important one at that. This is the time you’ll learn things no professor could prepare you for. Experiencing the joys of paying rent, discovering that state and city taxes are real things, and learning to cope with samba-dancing night owl upstairs neighbors are all valuable lessons that life holds in-store for you.
But before you can fully begin to appreciate the festival of pain that is everyday, adult life, you’re going to have to get that apartment stocked with the bare essentials that nobody ever thinks about. Hopefully, this list will prove helpful.
Messes happen. If only there was an entire industry dedicated to cleaning them up. Actually, there is! Get yourself a few rolls of Bounty paper towels. They’re really great at soaking up messes. In fact, you can get by by using fewer Bounty paper towels than you can with other brands. It won’t take you long to find some great economical uses for them either. They’re strong enough to replace most of the things you would use paper plates for. You can sprinkle some baking soda on some Bounty paper towels, wad them up and toss them in your shoes or sneakers for a deodorizer. You can even place them in your food storage bags and containers to help moisture out of your leftovers (and help them to keep fresh a little longer). So get a few rolls of Bounty paper towels. You’ll be glad you did.
I really hope that I don’t have to get into the reasons as to why it’s a good idea to have some Charmin on hand. It pretty much goes without saying—at least it should. If it doesn't, you need to hope that your parents haven’t found another use for your old bedroom yet, because you probably need some serious adult supervision.
Okay, you’ve signed the lease and decorated the place to look like the swanky bachelor or bachelorette pad you’ve been dreaming about for at least a few months. You’ve also managed to convince a potential love interest to swing by and check the place out. Nothing has the potential to put the kibosh on your romantic intentions like an overflowing toilet bowl. You’ve been forewarned, now be prepared and get yourself a decent toilet plunger before you need one.
Spare Phone Charger
We’re going to go out on a limb here and suppose you aren’t planning on having a landline installed in your new apartment. That’s alright, most people have been getting by just fine without them for some time regardless of what your grandfather thinks. But here’s the thing, if you’re going to rely on your mobile phone, you’re going to want a spare charger to keep in your new place. There’s nothing worse than coming home after a grueling day of work (or unpaid interning) and realizing you left your charger at the office (or coffee shop as the case may be). Get yourself a spare one and save yourself some serious schlepping.
Paper Plates + Plastic Cups
It takes a lot of time to unpack. It just does. There’s a good chance you’re going to get hungry long before you even get to the box that houses your “good” plastic dishes and the collection of pint glasses you’ve managed to “accumulate” through various Spring Breaks and pub crawls. Get yourself a sleeve of plastic cups and a stack of paper plates and you should be good to go for at least the first few weeks.
Your mother and father most likely helped you pack for the big move. Your stuff has been lovingly wrapped in old newspaper or nestled in waves of Styrofoam packing peanuts. While those things are important while you’re moving, after you’ve moved they quickly turn into what is collectively known as “trash.” Garbage bags are going to come in handy. Get some.
This one revolves around an aspect of adult life that even the most seasoned of grownups don’t much care for—cleaning. But, as a functioning member of society you simply can’t have your home looking or smelling like a wildlife sanctuary. Find yourself a good cleaning spray, grab some Bounty, and be sure to clean your apartment thoroughly at least every two weeks. (You’ll be glad you did when you want to move and would like to get your security deposit back.)
You’re already familiar with refrigerators, but do you see that big, impressive looking machine in the kitchen? That’s called a stove. That’s what working adults use to cook food. Unfortunately, you’ll need to get some pots and pans to cook the food in. While you may be tempted to spring for some top-of-the-line cookware, you might want to hold off on that. Just get a decent enough of a set to get you by in the meantime. Even if you’re already a phenomenal cook, you’re only going to get better as you gain more experience. Besides, all stoves are different, and you won’t be too happy if you accidentally ruin an expensive pan right off the bat, when you don’t have a lot of extra cash to throw around.