First Apartment Essentials
Making Your First Place Home
Setting up your first apartment is a fun and exciting time. You've been waiting for a long time to get into your own place and now, it's finally come true! I remember all those truly wonderful, freeing and slightly scary feelings I personally felt when I was handed the key to my first place. It felt like someone had given me the key to my new life, literally opening the door to a new adventure. Well, ok it might not be quite as dramatic as all that, still, it is quite a change with new responsibilities that go along with it.
Whether it's two rooms or a sprawling penthouse, it's all yours, and you have the freedom to do what you want in your new space.(within reason of course..lol). What a wonderful feeling!
Ok, so where do you start? Furniture, of course, you need furniture, you knew that. But you've already figured all that out.
You need your clothes, stereo system, computer, all stuff that you use everyday.
A television of course, dvd player, video games, ipod. Check.
Jewelry, make-up, razors, shaving cream,shampoo, moisturizers, a toothbrush, Check.
Now, what about the other things that most of us, when we lived at home, never gave a second thought too because these things were just always there for us to use?
When I was living at home I never gave a second thought to the paper towels on the counter or the hand soap on the sink. Chances are you never gave these things a second thought either.
It's all these little things that we use everyday that, as unglamorous as they may be, are essential to running a household. This article is about those little thought of, and, often forgotten things that can get lost in the excitement of moving into your first apartment.
The Front Door and Beyond...... - Entryway - Kitchen - Bathroom - Bedroom - Laundryroom
The best place to start with your checklist in hand is at the front door. Think of what your day to day activities will be from getting up in the morning to coming home every evening. Do you have a coat closet to hang your coat in when you come home? Is there a place to store your shoes that you kick off at the door after a long hard day at work? Will you need something to wipe your feet on? Is there space enough for a message/device charging center with a place for reminders, bills, keys and other essentials?
Will you need a lot of cooking utensils and bakeware? Pots and pans? Or will you be eating take-out most of the time.
Do you have hardwood floors? Carpeting? Laminate? Tweak your list accordingly. All these things that already exist will help you determine what you need to buy.
For instance, if you have hardwood, laminate or tile floors then you might want to get an area rug or two. If you have carpeting then you can skip the area rugs and put your money somewhere else.
You are probably going to need many more things than you figured on, so if you're on a budget determine which items from the list below that you can do without for now. Don't drink coffee? Skip the coffeemaker for the time being.
As you step from room to room with your checklist you may also spot some things that pertain to only your space. For instance, maybe the bathroom doesn't have a toilet tissue holder, or the kitchen has no space for spices, or the bedroom doesn't have curtains. Customize your list to suit your needs.
Ok, so here we go with the dreaded list of things you're going to need. Some are. absolutely essential and others are secondary.
Have fun! This is your first place!
* Freestanding or wall hung coat rack
* Tray, cubbies, shelf or a large decorative lidded container to hold shoes
* Tilt-out shoe storage cabinet
* Storage Bench
* Doormat or rug
* Umbrella holder
Some Non-Essentials to add later:
* Small table with drawer
* Small cabinet to hold items you need evedryday like keys, umbrellas, shoes, etc.
* Garbage can, bags
* Soap dish, sponges, scour pads, cleaning products, mop, bucket, duster
* Pot holders, tea towels, dish rags, throw rug, placemats, tablecloths, blinds/curtains
* Dish Drainer, Dishpan, dish liquid, dishwasher liquid
* Can opener, toaster, microwave, blender, mixer, coffee maker, tea kettle
* Ice cube trays, butter holder, salt/pepper shakers, shelf/drawer liner
* Utensils, wooden spoons, pizza cutter, chopping knives, colander, plastic containers, cutting board, trivets, measuring cups/spoons, vegetable scrubber
* Silverware, Serving spoons, silverware drawer divider, canisters
* Baking pans, cookie sheets, pizza pan, casserole dishes, roasting pan
* Pots, pans
* Serving bowls, mixing bowls, platters
* Dishes, soup bowls, mugs, glassware
* Paper towels, wipes, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, lunch bags, zip storage bags,
coffee filters, tea bags, garbage bags Cookbook? :-)
* Spices, salt/pepper, oils, vinager, flour, baking soda, sugar,
* Wastebasket, bags, toilet brush and holder, bathroom cleaners, bath mat, tub mat, soap dish, tissue, toothbrush holder, bath towels, wash cloths, hand towels, hand soap, over the door hooks, shower curtain, curtain rings, plunger, dirty clothes hamper/laundry basket, scale....and of course toilet tissue!
* Sheets, pillow cases, blankets, pillows, bedspread, full-length mirror, wastebasket, alarm clock, shoe organizer, underbead storage bin
* Laundry baskets, bags, laundry detergent, bleach, softener sheets, spot remover, drying rack, iron, ironing board, empty spray bottle (for dampening clothes).
Don't forget to stock the fridge with staples like catsup, mayo, mustard, eggs...
Heart of the Home
Setting up an Efficient Kitchen
There's nothing cozier than sitting in your own kitchen sipping a cup of tea, reading the newspaper with the delicious scent of cinnamon buns baking in the oven wafting through the air. Since this is your first home of your own, you may never have cooked much or at all before, therefore haven't really thought about how a kitchen should be set up. There is a way to store items in your kitchen that will save you steps and frustration whether you cook a great deal or just here and there.
Your kitchen will be the most used or visited room in your new home..
Whether you are planning on cooking a lot or not it's best to set your kitchen up for convenience and efficiency.
Store glasses, cleaners, sponges, near the sink, the coffeemaker as close to the sink as possible, coffee filters near the coffeemaker.
Store flatware, dishes, placemats nearest to the table; pot holders, cooking utensils, spices, pots and pans near the stove.
Knives should be placed near the cutting board near or on the prep area. Items used often should be stored within easy reach. Lesser used items should be stored up high or in the deepest part of your cabinets.
If possible set your garbage can up as close to the sink or your prep area as possible. This will save you a lot of steps when preparing meals. If your kitchen is small with little storage and counterspace then choose the things you buy for the kitchen wisely.
Buy items that will do double duty. Casserole dishes can be used to bake and serve food as well. Cover a cookie sheet with a pretty napkin, scrapbook paper, or tea towel and you have an instant tray to carry items or to serve food on.
Buy bowls to use for both cereal and soup, and mugs instead of cups and saucers.
A junk drawer is a must! I have a few myself. Store things like matches, rubber bands (great for securing an open bag of frozen veggies), scissors, tape, flashlight, batteries, etc.
Your kitchen will be an inviting, efficient and pleasurable space to work and relax in when your items are located conveniently.
Broom, Sweeper and Lightbulbs
Don't Overlook These !
There's nothing worse than needing to sew a button on at the last minute and you don't have a needle and thread. Or the electric goes out and you don't have a flashlight.
I saved this checklist of miscellaneous items for last so that you will take special note of them. These are things that you are most likely going to need sooner or later but may not think about during all the hub-bub of moving.
* Scissors, stapler, paper, pens, personal phone book, phone book, phone, envelopes, stamps, calculator, calender, tape, glue, rubber bands, household log
* Fire-proof box, extension cords, lightbulbs, batteries, ice cube trays, cork board,
* Tool kit, nails, picture hanging kit, measuring tape, matches,
* Candles, flashlights, clothes hangers, lamps, sewing kit, a file cabinet, dustpan, broom, sweeper
* A Plunger
* First Aid Kit
Pack one box with immediate essentials such as: Roll of toilet tissue, paper towels, mail, checkbook, pen, paper,essential paperwork, personal phone book, phone,chargers,daily planner, snacks, paper plates, plastic forks, flashlight, batteries, soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.
A Good Thing
Look into getting renter's insurance. Most people overlook this thinking that they don't really have anything of value. Take stock of what you have. Write it all down in a log, take pictures for your records. You may be surprised at what you have and how much it would cost to replace those things.
Your Excitement is Contagious
Family and Friends Love to Help. Don't be Afraid to Ask!
I was inspired to write this Lens while talking to my Niece Erica who is moving into her first apartment soon. It made me think back to the time when I moved out of the house and set up my own first apartment. I don't remember thinking about the necessities, the toaster, the dish rack, the simple everyday things that were supplied at my parents home by, of course, my parents.
I noticed she wasn't thinking of those things either.
Truly, I had no idea what I "really" needed. My thoughts were more on the lines of freedom, decorating, having friends over and finally being all grown up and on my own. The excitement of moving out overshadowed all practical thinking.
I was 20 and ready to start my life. Who thinks about plastic wrap at 20?
My niece's excitement over her first place is contagious! I've been scouring through my house making up boxes of various items that I had put away and will most likely never use again. She will be glad to have these items and I will be glad to get rid of them. Win-win situation.
Check with family and friends for small appliances and houshold items like; sweepers, microwaves, blenders, coffeemakes, dishes etc,.
I personally have more sweepers than any "normal" human being should have, not to mention pretty much two of everything else, and I know I'm not the only one, so speak up! Put the word out, you never know what little treasures you'll be given.
I'm actually having fun going through my items and seeing what my niece could use. Chances are your family and friends will feel the same way.
This is an exciting and fun time for you. Enjoy the process. You'll make mistakes here and there when setting up your place, but these are always fixable. And you will still probably forget to buy something you need. Don't stress about it, you can always get it later.
Really, there is only one thing you absolutely, positively have to rememeber to buy above all others on the checklist. Yes, you guessed it. Toilet tissue. Crucial.
Never leave home without it. '-)
Great Items for your Entryway - ............and Beyond!
Great for entryway or bedroom. If too tall for entryway there is a shorter version.
Also think about other things you could slide into these compartments like scarves, gloves, clutch bags.
Great Products That Might Interest You From Amazon - Lots of Great Ideas
More Stuff on Amazon - I Need Some New Stuff Too! ;-)
Don't forget the toolkit! ;-)
Great for limited space. Just fold up and put away when you're finished!
Your feedback is greatly appreciated!