Learn from Smart Women

Learn from bSmart Members

Congratulations on your new apartment!  Now that you’re out of the dorms, there’s no Resident Advisor or maintenance staff to look after you, which means it is time to take your ‘adulting’ to the next level.  While your apartment building’s superintendent will deal with housing crises such as, say, your bathroom ceiling collapsing (I may have experience with this…), you as the tenant will be responsible for outfitting your space and other general upkeep.


Purchase Well Hello There Coir Doormat here!

So, here are ten things you’ll want to have when moving into your new apartment:

1) Cleaning Supplies

First thing’s first, make your apartment one you (and your guests) actually want to enter.  The previous occupant of your new digs may have neglected a few friendly dust bunnies, and even if you’re moving into a new construction, it’s likely the builders left a nice matte of grout in the tub that you’ll need to wash away.  I suggest using eco-friendly Seventh Generation products to scour your apartment before hauling your belongings inside.  Then, grab a galvanized steel bucket (rust proof!) from your local craft shop to serve as caddy where you can store your spray bottles and sponges.  For something more chic, pick up a Muji cleaning system instead.

2) Wi-Fi

Unless your room is above a Starbucks, you’re going to need to purchase WiFi.  While some are lucky enough to live in buildings where the service is provided, it is usually the case that you have to purchase your own router and cable package.  These days, Verizon Fios is the provider of choice, if you can get it

3) Tape Measure

Does that chair you want to order online fit through your front door?  This is where a tape measure comes in handy.  Before buying furniture, plan the layout of your apartment to make sure it’s plausible.  Plus, if you bring a tape measure into a physical furniture store, everyone there will know you mean business.

4) Tool Kit

Odds are you have some furniture that needs assembling.  A compact tool kit will prove useful for this and for other around-the-house tasks.  The inexpensive set I bought in college from Ikea still gets the job done for large projects and crafternoons alike.  If you already have a tool kit, advance to the next level by purchasing a drill.

Tip: On your iPhone, open the compass app and flip to the page behind it. Voila! A level!

5) Candles

In case of emergency, it’s always good to have some candles and matches (or a lighter) around. Even when you have power, a lit candle quickly creates a soothing environment.  Stop by Flying Tiger to shop their wall of colorful candlesticks.

6) Art Piece

Make your space your own with a simple wall print. Whether minimalist, cute and quirky, faux hipster, inspirational, or even homemade, decorate with something that reflects your personality and helps create a space you look forward to returning home to.


Decorate with something that reflects your personality and helps create a space you look forward to returning home to.


7) Mirror

It doesn’t take long to realize that you can’t actually see what you look like in the square foot mirror on the medicine cabinet over the bathroom sink.  A fulllength mirror will not only let you check your outfit before heading out the door, but also creates the illusion of a larger space with its reflection.  This particular art piece never goes out of style.

8) House Plant

While not a necessity, a house plant can be a great addition to any space, especially since it can double as an air filter.  Among NASA’s recommendations for air purifying plants are English ivy and Spider plants, two greens that don’t look bad on a bookshelf.  To find the plant that’s right for you, visit your local farmer’s market, hardware shop, or even grocery store (my fragrant jasmine was a Trader Joe’s purchase!). Think of your flora as something you can care for like a pet—but less maintenance required.

Tip: Peppermint is known to be a natural mouse repellent, so if you’re worried about uninvited house guests, let the scent of a mint plant waft through the air.

9) Bluetooth Shower Radio

Ok, so this is more of a luxury, but it’s really nice to be able to listen to music while you’re getting ready in the morning.  And since this is waterproof, you don’t have to worry about it getting wet—unlike your phone. Choose a speaker with an LCD display so you can better manage your time in the shower. And don’t feel like this guy is restricted to the bathroom only. Use it to play music wherever you’d like.  It will definitely  make unpacking a little less tedious.

10) Plunger

Just trust us. You’ll want to have one of these before you need one...


Averi Israel is a writer and theatre enthusiast passionate about art that starts meaningful conversations and brings participants closer to truth. New York, NY.


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