Moving into your first apartment is such a bittersweet time. It's full of the excitement of freedom and growing up, but there's some sadness, perhaps struggle, in not living at home anymore and having to figure everything out on your own. With all of the freedom, that also means that you have to provide for yourself! You have to make sure there is everything in this apartment that you could possibly need.
This might seem pretty basic, but there are a lot of college kids who decide to use plastic utensils and paper plates throughout their time in an apartment. This is just not logical money-wise! It will cost a lot more, in the long run, to continue providing yourself with the throwaway plates and utensils. And, you'll be hurting the environment! Listen up, save the planet and your bank account, and buy some real silverware and plates!
Surprise! You are an adult now and you have to learn how to cook. Therefore, you need the things that you will be cooking with. Pots, pans, spatulas, colanders, graters, steamers, peelers, knives, and the list goes on. That's crazy to think of everything that goes into cooking, right? This is that part where you should be thanking your mom for cooking for you all those years. Have fun learning, but please try not to burn the building down!
The downside to not using disposables is that you do have to clean the dishes. A quick rinse with water will just not do in this situation. You have to actually get down and dirty. What a concept, huh? Make sure that you have the tools of your preference to actually clean the dishes you are using.
Alright, this is kind of going along with the other point, but let me reiterate it for you. You will have to clean up after yourself. This isn't like the dorms anymore, where someone is there to clean your bathroom or clean the common area — it's all on you now. Find the best cleaning methods and tools you will need. Like, if you have carpet, you'll need a vacuum. Or, if you have tiles, you will need a mop and broom.
You may think this point is weird because, obviously, you need a shower curtain. Before you criticize, just think about how many places you have gone to shower in where you didn't have a shower curtain. There aren't that many unless you grew up showering after gym class or you showered at the beach or something. My point is that a shower curtain isn't the first thing you remember because they've always just sort of been there — wherever you were.
A bath mat is extremely important. Without a bath mat, you are susceptible to the dangers of the water and tile mixture. No one wants to take a shower just to get out and faceplant on the ground first thing in the morning. Who has time for that when you have to get ready and leave for a class ASAP? For the sake of your face, don't forget the bath mat.
The dorms you used to live in had numerous outlets that you could plug all of your cords into. I'm pretty sure that mine had about 8 to 10 outlets for me to plug my things. There will not be this many in the apartment, so I suggest investing in a power strip that will let you have more opportunities to charge your various necessities.
We all know that where we live can get smelly no matter how much we clean. Make sure that you have some sort of air freshener, whether it is a spray, a candle or even one of those cute diffusers that make the room smell nice all on their own. Just think about when you have people over and they smell how nice your place is, they'll want to come back. If your apartment smells bad, pretty sure you'll stop having people over.
Your mattress goes through a lot. Whether you have a dog or you tend to do other activities, mattresses can be pretty gross. You know what else is gross that you don't think about? Whoever had that mattress before you was doing the same type of things you do in your bed. Buy a mattress cover or pad that ensures the mattress is, like, new for you. It is an extra layer of protection, and you can sleep better at night knowing your bed is clean.
This place is yours. You get to do with it what you want, within reason, and that is such a cool thing. It is hard moving into a place all your own. You got to make sure that you have things that make you feel like you are home. Comfort items and pictures that make you feel like you aren't adulting alone.
These are just some items in my personal checklist that I felt like we had initially forgotten. Feel free to add more or take some things away, but I hope that this shows a little guidance for your move. I wish you the best of luck moving into this new place and becoming an adult. You can do it!