In the world of "how do I properly adult" there are guides from everyone, Buzzfeed to Cosmo, Society19 to scouring through all the advice your family gives. But none of it really makes sense, do you need the fancy tea set for guests, as Society19 suggests? Do you really need to have a thing of baking soda under the sink in the bathroom to soak up smells, a la your grandmother? What about that fancy pen set, or a certain soap, or something as ordinary as a beanbag chair?
Fear not, the advice from a Millennial with nothing to prove is here, along with the budget-saving advice from a Habitat patron and Goodwill lover. What you actually need, when you're moving into your first apartment, is simple.
Two extra sets of sheets.
Listen, you'll want something when you don't have the energy to do laundry. And when the heater shuts off unexpectedly in winter, you've got extra warmth in the closet. Plus sometimes, you just need a change from your favorite set of sheets.
A few extra dishes, like forks and plates.
Again, you'll have days you won't want to clean. But if you have unexpected company, whether from a date or friends surprising you, you'll want something normal rather than awkwardly shoveling food into a ziploc container for your friend. Or maybe that's what you do, but at least have an extra set of dishes.
It doesn't have to be something ridiculous and fancy. Just go to your local Habitat for Humanity or Salvation Army, test out sofas or chairs, and find what's comfortable. It may be ugly and not your style, but you'll want something besides your bed to sit on. Trust me, the mattress is nice, but only for so long.
A cast iron frying pan.
It's nice, you don't have to worry about non-stick coming off, and on the off chance someone breaks in, you can hurt someone. Frying pans, who knew?
A baseball bat, croquet mallet or lacrosse stick.
It's cheaper than a gun, and far less dangerous. Just keep it beside the bed for emergencies, until you're fully settled and are confident that it doesn't have to stay propped by the window. If you go out often and can't bring the bat, drop a padlock and a roll of quarters in your bag to use as a bludgeon to protect from mugging. Crude yet effective. And in doubt, you always have change for emergencies.
Not to sound super hippy or anything, but a plant does wonders. It helps provide clean air, it requires you to get up a little bit to water it, and it just makes the place feel less empty and more purposeful. And a plant doesn't judge you if you've avoided laundry for three weeks, and doesn't pee in the floor like a puppy might.
Just go with me on this. Life likes to blow your fuses and crack lightbulbs.
A basic tool kit.
You know, a hammer, screwdriver and wrench, plus the stuff that goes with them. You'll need to do some minor home repairs, or just have to put nails up so you can hang pictures or your coat.
You'll want it and it's better you learn it now than have to call a plumber forty-seven times. All it needs is a good rinse in hot water to be okay again if you're paranoid about germs.
Listen, you'll need them for everything. And besides, do you want to have a horror movie pop up in your head when everything goes dark and you can't fix it? No, no you don't.
A list of emergency numbers.
The hospital. Poison control. The plumber and electrician. Your best friend in case things get rough. It'll make you feel better.
Something with some color and personality.
After all, it's your place. Make it you, it'll make it more real and you'll have a better time making it home. Put up some old posters, embarrassing pictures of your friends, and some fairy lights. Throw some old pillows around and call it home. You've earned it.