There comes a time in every mom’s life when her kids will decide it’s time to get an address of their own. My time has come and I’m not going to lie – I’m slightly freaking out.
Psychological trauma aside, it has been fun helping my daughter to set up her first home, and the purpose of this post is to help you do the same…whenever that may be.
The Essentials: In terms of furniture (and depending on budget) a mix of new and 2nd hand items is usually the smartest way to get started. You can scour Craigslist and Gumtree for second-hand tables, and bookshelves, but might decide to opt for a sofa or a new mattress (always). Basics like dishes and extension cords can be bought on Amazon and IKEA, while the fun decor driven stuff can always be found at Target. I'm contributing some good kitchen basics like and pots and pans from Williams-Sonoma and The Container Store is perfect for the boring but important items like bins and laundry hampers.
Keeping Everything Clean/Organized: As a certified neat freak, I am hoping my daughter will have a genetic advantage when it comes to keeping her new place clean.
But I’m not holding my breath. We’re not just talking about doing Saturday chores here. We’re talking about maintaining a functional level of housekeeping and cleanliness. There’s bound to be an adjustment period. This is why Murchison-Hume products make the perfect housewarming gift. Their home cleaners are practical, but still sexy enough to be left out on the counter, which will hopefully encourage more frequent use! Likewise, I'll leave some good looking dish soap, hand cream, and hand soap (plus a decent dish brush) next to the sink to encourage good washing up habits! I might even stretch to Laundry Soap, a bottle of All-Purpose Cleaner and Bathroom Cleaner to go in a storage caddy underneath it. One can dream, right?
Speaking of which, I am absolutely obsessed with these storage caddies which are the perfect thing for storing personal toiletries and offer a portable solution to transport your stuff from the bedroom if bathroom storage is a bit of a squeeze.
Where to splurge and where to save: When it comes to added extras, I adhere to the notion of spending money where you spend your most time. My advice for first-time apartment dwellers? Upgrade your sleep with some proper pillows , make food prep a breeze with some sharply elegant Japanese knives and dry off in style with a chic set of Turkish towels. Oh, and stylish reusable coffee cups for responsibly making coffee at home instead of spending $5 on a latte every morning. You can't afford it!
There are a few little details that really make any first time apartment feel more like home. Home fragrance is a huge part of it. You can never have too many candles. Diffusers are another option for the more easily distracted type who make forget to blow out the candle out before they leave the house.
“Your first apartment is a perfect storm: an intersection of many needs and low resources,” says Mara Leighton from Business Insider. And, I concur. The last few weeks have been both a lesson in restraint (do you really need that?) and in the gentle art of letting go (gulp!)
My final piece of advice? Make your bed, do some laundry and call your mother. She’s probably freaking out.
xx, Charlotte S.