So you've gotten the keys to your first apartment in college. Now, you have to fill it. But where to start? Here are some essentials for any college apartment:
1. Command hooks
This is a must. If you don't have Command strips and hooks yet, get them. I know that some people have trouble using them, but if you're careful, they are a dream. Perfect for college kids who usually can't pin or nail things into the wall. There are so many varieties of hooks and strips, too. Must haves if you love organized and pretty spaces!
I've recently found that having a blender in college is the best thing ever! I bought a Magic Bullet like you can see here and it is so helpful. Smoothies, salsa, hummus and sauce are all made easier with the help of a blender. And if you get a mini-blender like mine, you simply put all the ingredients in a cup, blend and you're good to take the smoothie to class!
3. Cleaning supplies
You're probably thinking, "Kaitlyn, duh. Of course I need these." But honestly, when I was buying things for college, cleaning supplies were almost completely forgotten. It's not something you think about until you have a mess. Clorox wipes are life savers! You can use them anywhere in the apartment and they really get the job done. Other supplies include dish soap, toilet cleaner and brush, vacuum and sponges (multiple because they get gross quickly).
Unless you're living on campus, you probably will need one of these. Internet is absolutely essential, especially for a college student. Routers are a pain in the neck to set up, but unfortunately, you can't live without them. (Hot tip: Get your parents to set it up before they leave.)
5. Kitchen supplies
Dishes, silverware, cups, knives, can opener, scissors, pots and pans, cooking utensils (large spoons, spatulas, etc.), strainer, sheet pans, etc. If you're a cook like me, it's all necessary. Even if you aren't a home cook, most of this stuff is pretty standard and useful. Also, if you buy your own dishes and silverware, there's a few hundred less plastic or paper ones going into the environment.
6. Bluetooth speaker
I can't tell you how many times my roommate and I have blasted music on her bluetooth speaker. It is something I never would have thought to bring, but it makes cleaning the house so much better. Plus, spontaneous dance parties are way more fun.
7. HDMI cable/Google Chromecast/Apple TV
Face it. We all spend our free time watching Netflix, and normally, that might mean just us with our computers. But, for those times where you want to watch a movie with friends or just want your show on the big screen, a cable or plug-in to your TV might be helpful. I personally can't stand sitting and watching a whole movie with someone just looking at a laptop. So being able to put the movie/show on the TV is great!
8. Mattress pad/topper
ESSENTIAL!!!!! I have never had an uncomfortable bed in college and I credit it all to my mattress topper. Those 2 inches of softness make my bed heaven on earth and I strongly recommend it to anyone. I know they aren't the cheapest, but they are just that important.
9. Double closet rod
If you are lacking closet space, a double closet rod could be a good investment. I have used mine every year of college and it allows me to keep more clothes in a smaller space. Personally, I like it more than those hanging closet shelves you can get.
10. Things specific to your apartment (fans, lamps/lighting, heater, etc.)
If you're lucky, you get an apartment with air conditioning, heat, tons of natural light and a full kitchen. However, if you're like most of us college kids, you might find your apartment lacking in some area. I can't live without AC, but my apartment doesn't have it... So a fan is crucial to my comfort. For others, they might need a heater to deal with cold nights. Also, both apartments I've lived in don't have great lighting so lamps are important.
11. Extra storage. Always extra storage.
Nine times out of ten I don't have enough storage. Whether you go with the large plastic totes, storage cubes or under the bed units, extra storage makes everything better.
The fun part is decorating. Pictures, canvases, fun lights, pretty pillows, tapestries, whatever you want! The best part of your own apartment is the ability to style it yourself and choose how to make it look like you. Personalize to make it your home!
Overall, you won't be able to buy everything you need for an apartment before you move in. That's just how it is. It's important to realize that you are going to have to live in and diagnose your apartment's quirks as they come. In reality, you'll never stop shopping for it. But, generally, that's the fun part and when you make the most memories in your little home!