1. You don’t need fancy wine glasses.
They will break. And then you will be sad. Besides, haven’t you heard that the all the cool kids drink their beverages out of mason jars these days?
2. Those jazzy curtains that you have your eye on at Urban are all fine and good, just know that you’ll end up replacing them in a year.
Your taste will change. You’ll also realize that your neighbors can in fact see through them and have probably seen you naked.
3. As for your sound system, you don’t need much. And this is the perfect one for you, for right now.
Guess what? This Bose Bluetooth speaker is pretty remarkable and since you’re not living in the Taj Mahal, the sound will fill your space quite nicely. It’s about $300, but the great thing about Bose is that they have a 0% interest payment plan. Make a downpayment on this gadget, then pay $25 a month until it’s paid off.
4. Don’t go halfsies with your roommate on shared-use things like TVs or couches.
Sure, it may feel like a great deal if you’re each only paying $100 for a sweet TV. But when the time comes to split up (and it will), divvying up the stuff will get awkward. It’s better to own things outright and be clear about which things belong to you.
5. That $20 blender sure is a great deal. But chances are, you will buy this $20 blender three times.
A cheap blender won’t last for the long run, plus it’s the type of easy throw-away item you’re likely to leave behind in a move just because you can’t be bothered. A nice blender is worth it; you’ll have it for years.
6. You don’t need fancy sheets.
It’s easy to be seduced by high thread counts and splashy patterns, but save yourself the remorse once you’ve spilled stuff all over them. Chances are, your first apartment isn’t very big, which means friends may be hanging out in your room and on your bed quite a bit.
7. Nor do you need fancy towels.
Start yourself off with something basic from Ikea or Bed, Bath & Beyond. Once you’re ready to graduate to nicer towels, you can turn your old ones into a spare set for the gym or for guests.
8. Do buy two high-quality, non-stick pans.
A shitty pan in the worst and, again, one of those things you’ll just end up throwing out between moves. If you can find some Calphalon pans on sale, and care for them, they’ll last for quite a while.
10. Do not spend more than $200 on a rug.
You’re still young and useless. You or your friend will spill red wine on your rug. And then you will be sad. While you can still find gorgeous vintage rugs at flea markets for good prices, put off finding something you treasure until you’ve moved into a new place.
11. Guess what? Couches cost a shitton of money! WHAT?!
I know. One of the greatest shockers of adult life is realizing that owning a couch is HUGE. Like $1,000 huge. Here’s the thing — if you’re economizing elsewhere and can make room in your budget, investing in a good couch can pay off. West Elm makes some beautiful, classic couches in microfiber (which is God’s gift to the clumsy). Pay to have your couch professionally cleaned every now and then and you’ll be able to keep it for years and years.
12. Also, trash can prices: WTF?!
Shouldn’t you be able to pay, like, $10 for a trash can? I seriously don’t get it. There must be some evil trash can conglomerate price-fixing these things because apparently, if you want one that has the foot-open thingy, it’s weirdly expensive. Just so you know.
13. You may luuuurrrrve this poster now, but you won’t in two years.
So for the love of God, do not pay to have it framed.
14. Don’t buy expensive throw pillows.
Throw pillows get gross fast. You’re better off at least buying pillows in a standard size with removable cases so that you can either wash/replace the cases as your taste changes.
15. You don’t need to spend $1,000 on a mattress, but don’t buy the cheapest one, either.
A cheap mattress is literally money down the drain. You’re better off getting a name-brand mattress in a mid-range price, which should last you a good 10 years. If you want to care for your mattress, make sure you also buy the correct box spring and foundation that comes with it — mixing and matching stuff that isn’t made for a specific mattress can cause it to wear out faster.
16. It’s OK to stock your first apartment with Ikea stuff, but just FYI, in a couple years, you’ll end up replacing this:
Especially when you’re moving….have you ever tried to disassemble and re-assemble one of these? It’ll never be the same. You will get frustrated. You will begin to hate Ikea.
17. Your local Craigslist is your friend.
If you don’t want all Ikea furniture but can’t afford West Elm or CB2 either, it’s worth the time to scour your local Craigslist listings. There be gold in them webpages!