Since my 17th birthday, I have moved eight times. That’s if I leave out all the times I moved everything back to my parents’ house for the summer while I worked at camp and compile my three moves during my Peace Corps years into one.
In my years of dorm room, apartment and tiny house living, I have learned just the things you can live without and just the things that you really should have around. So I bring you, my top 10 things you should have in your house (in no particular order):
You’ve seen the articles out there about the many uses of coconut oil, right? Like this and this. It conditions leather, removes make up, fixes squeaky furniture, it’s delicious and healthy cooking oil, protects skin from the sun/aging/all the things, it can fly you to the moon, make all your dreams come true and act as a stand in babysitter. If you stand close enough to Pinterest these days, you can hear the chanting for more coconut oil…Seriously though, unless you’re allergic to coconuts, you can find a few uses for it.
You will never, ever be someone who carries armloads of laundry from your room to your washing machine or to the laundry room or to the laundromat or to your parents’ house. You need a basket.
A laundry basket can also help you when moving your clothes, they usually come in fun colors, have the option to fold into tiny, easily stored shapes, and are a fairly cheap investment. Really though, if you seriously regret your decision to buy a laundry basket you can bill me* the $2.99 that it cost you at Target.
*This is a lie, do not bill me
A Basic Toolbox
You will probably need a hammer, a good screwdriver, tape measure, a knife, and a few nails and screws. And know how to use your tools, because they won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use them. In this day and age it’s too easy to call a repairman or rely on a friend, but having your own toolbox and the know-how to make your own small repairs does a lot for your self esteem and your wallet.
You can use it to clean your house and your face and really what else is there. It helps in the home to keep laundry extra fresh, removes oil stains and hard water deposits, and helps remove those tricky bumper stickers (I’m lookin’ at you, Kerry ’04). I use it as a facial toner and a toner for brassy blonde hair. Vinegar can also help with health problems. My mother has been dealing with bone spurs in her feet (they are exactly as painful as they sound) for years and recently started using apple cider vinegar to treat the pain, I’ll keep you posted on her results.
More than one bath towel
One bath towel worked when you lived in a dorm room, but the minute you moved out of that cramped disaster, you lost your status as a one towel kid. It goes beyond needing to shower while you’re doing laundry and washing your one towel.
When you have a guest over, when your towel didn’t dry well enough, when you need a towel to travel or when you just want to use a clean towel, damn it, you’ll have one. Plus, towels can come cheap, you don’t have to be a billionaire to have more than one towel. So go look at Value Village and while you’re at it buy another set of sheets.
Rugs, lamps, throw pillows, curtains, art
I’m going to leave the actual decorating to you, but it’s time to find a few items that didn’t come with your apartment. That make your space feel like home. Or really just anything to make your apartment differ from a frat house. Unless you want to live in a frat house, in which case I’m confused as to why you’re here.
Alcohol and Accessories
You know you’re a grown up when you can offer your guests a cocktail without needing to run to the liquor store. Having a bottle of wine and a smattering of spirits around will help with entertaining and/or drown a long day’s sorrow. I’m certainly not judging you either way.
With great alcohol comes great responsibility. If you’re going to spend the money on the liquids, get your solids right. You should have a corkscrew and a wine bottle stopper if you like wine, a bottle opener if you like beer, a good shaker if you like cocktails and some fancy glassware all around. All of this can be found at thrift stores, so no excuses on the budget front.
A real bed with a bed frame, headboard optional
The days of sleeping futons, air mattresses and floor mattress (you know who you are) are over. Go on craigslist, find a bed frame and buy it. And then sleep in it.
And while those fancy down comforters are expensive, they are cozy as hell and last forever if properly cared for.
The power goes out, zombie apocalypse, or you’re afraid of ghosts/serial killers/aliens/malicious one-eyed kittens in the middle of the night. Have a flashlight on your bedside table and another one somewhere else in the house, just in case.
Seems obvious, but maybe it isn’t to everyone. For no reason should you buy an air tight house, if you must, make sure you have an oxygen pump.
That’s all I’ve got for 10 Things this week. Best of luck!