10 First Apartment Must Haves
This past weekend, I moved my daughter into her first apartment off campus. When the lease was signed back in January, it all sounded really great and we both felt it would be fun picking out things for her bedroom in addition to the kitchen and living area she would be sharing with her roommate. Well, when you are creatively challenged like I am, it's not as easy as one would think.
Thankfully, it all came together well and although she is still in need of a few last pieces, the apartment looks great and most importantly, my daughter is happy. Mom, on the other hand, is exhausted and needs a vacation, but I am now much more educated in the must haves of one's first apartment.
1. Comfortable Bedding:
Based on her Freshman year at college, my daughter mentioned how much time she spent in her bed either studying, watching movies, or taking naps in between soccer practices and classes.
Her apartment came with a full size bed and mattress which was helpful, but the mattress seemed awfully hard. A full-size mattress topper in addition to a thicker queen sized mattress pad fixed that immediately. I did a larger sized mattress pad because with the added four inches of the mattress topper, it would be difficult to pull a full size mattress pad over both mattresses. Using soft jersey cotton sheets helps to ensure a super comfortable bed. Added pillows added to the coziness of the bed not to mention making the bed look more inviting and decorative.
Let's face it - apartments are not very large. The 900 square foot apartment's two bedrooms each came with a desk and chair, however, it was very commercial looking and didn't match the rest of the "look" my daughter had wanted, so I decided to use the desk as a vanity in her walk in closet.
The desk I found for her room immediately caught my eye. I loved how simple it was, yet the size was large enough to accommodate the basics for a work desk. Best part was it had matching side tables and an ottoman (not pictured).
To make optimal use for storage, these two, 8-cube organizers were perfect. You have the option of stacking them horizontally rather than putting them next to each other vertically. These are used horizontally to hold the TV at n optimal height.
In her bathroom, this storage tower helps so much along with this shower caddy. I don't know about you, but I have never found under sink cabinet space to be functional or spacious.I'm always worried there will be a leak and everything under the sink will get ruined.
4. Proper Lighting:
Lighting makes such a difference in not only aesthetics, but also with mood as well. Side table lamps along with other lighting can turn a room from cold and dreary to warm and cozy in moments. Existing light fixtures can be converted easily by simply changing out the bulbs to LED lights. Not only are they more energy efficient, but the light they emit is so much brighter. Subtle string lighting adds a different element of light - not necessarily for functionality, but for aesthetics. They are quite inexpensive if you search online and find ones like these.
5. Coffee Maker and Mugs:
If I recall correctly, I lived off of coffee in college and beyond hence why a true must have is a coffee maker. These days, it seems a Keurig is the popular and affordable choice but it doesn't matter how you get your caffeine fix - just have it on hand in your apartment. I liked creating a coffee station designated for mugs, sugar, etc.
6. Kitchenware - Plates, Cups, Pots/Pans, and Utensils:
Whether you plan on cooking everyday or occasionally, you need to be prepared on the off chance that you will need these kitchen staples. Until you have mastered cooking on a daily basis, state of the art pots and pans are not necessary - you just need the basic skillet and pasta pot. Melamine plates seem to be an easier option not only for convenience, but for their sturdy nature.
7. Serving Platter:
Of all must haves for an apartment, you may be thinking why a serving platter. If you have guests over and don't plan to cook, you at least want to serve something. A versatile serving platter can be used as a cheese/charcuterie plate, dessert platter, or appetizer/food platter. So many options to use a platter like this one.
8. Vacuum Cleaner:
I don't care how tidy you are, dirty floors and carpets can ruin any apartment or living space. Find a vacuum that can go from tile/wood to carpet easily. I would recommend buying a vacuum that is not too heavy and can be accessed easily. If it's a workout just to take the vacuum out, how often will you really be vacuuming?
9. Cleaning Supplies:
I am a neat freak. Anyone who knows me personally knows I am obsessive about a clean house. You don't need to own every single cleaner out there, but a few key ones can work double duty and make the task much easier.
10. Air Purifier:
Clean air is important - especially in an apartment where you are not sure if the tenant before you had pets, or if they took care of the unit. Using an air purifier helps clear out the allergens and other possible articles in the air. It can also help with getting rid of odors as well. Just make sure if you are purchasing an air purifier, you are purchasing one from a manufacturer that uses the ozone at safe levels.
It doesn't matter how much you spend on getting the apartment set up - everyone will have different requirements, vision and capacities but one thing in common with all tenants is they will need the basic must haves. Share any ideas you think are must haves for a first apartment below.
Hugs, Mama K