In college, I couldn’t wait to have my own kitchen and my own apartment. Having an apartment, even an on-campus apartment, opens you up to what life is like living away from home. You have the option to cook for yourself, decorate a larger space, host more guests and take on more responsibility. I love how my apartment felt more like home, and I love living with my closest friends! I lived in an apartment for two years in college and it was an overall great experience. From decorating your space and finding new ways to make life easier, there are many ways to make the best of apartment life. If you are moving into an apartment, I hope to help you all too with making decisions about your space too!
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Kitchen Essentials for College Apartments:
1. Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker: This Micro-Cooker does WONDERS for dorm room food creations. Microwave soups, vegetables, pasta, rice, leftovers or anything you can imagine! In your apartment, it is so easy to microwave anything in here for quick, on-the-go meals.
2. Extra cups and dishes for guests: Now that you have an apartment, take advantage of having guests over and entertaining by making dinner together or doing theme nights. Always make sure you have extra dishes around.
Quick tip! I’m a huge fan of these vintage style mason jars for serving guests and friends!
3. Take-out menus: For those nights you don’t feel like cooking and would like to eat in!
4. Brita Water Filter: While this is personal preference, I’ve been loving my water pitcher for filling up my water bottle/tumblr everyday and making sure I’m drinking enough water.
5. Bags to carry groceries: Use some recyclable bags to carry groceries up the stairs of your apartment or across the parking lot. They are so much easier to use than the plastic kind, plus they are more environmentally friendly. I’ve found I’ve been able to hold more groceries in them, and I always regret it if I don’t bring them to the stores with me. Pick up a couple of them and they’ll be great for multiple things around your apartment.
6. Blender: For making smoothies, milkshakes and other different sauces, salsa or food items! I have heard great things about the Nutribullet Blender, especially since it is a great size for living in a college apartment. For smoothies, I recommend the Smoothie Smart Blender. I’ve been using it for the past year and a half, and it’s been great for smoothies and soups. Plus, it is really budget-friendly! If you want a higher-end blender that could make a variety of things like banana ice cream, soups and more, I also recommend a Vitamix blender. After using one for awhile, it gives you amazing smoothies and drinks every time!
7. Handy baking supplies: We keep a community baking cabinet in our apartment, which means that any one of my roommates can use the flour, sugar, vanilla, sprinkles, salt, etc. to bake cookies, cupcakes, etc. for events around campus.
8. Tumbler cup or reusable water bottle: These are perfect for on-the-go around campus and my go-to to saving plastic from using water bottles.
For Your Room:
9. Floor lamps + extra lighting: check to make sure there is enough light in your room! I had to buy a floor lamp (similar to this floor lamp) to bring in some extra light for my room, and it was such a good decision I made!
10. Command Hooks: These are so necessary in college, especially if you are living on campus and want to decorate your room to match your style!
11. Pictures of you and your college friends: Update your picture frames or your wall with more current pictures of you and your friends to remember your first years of college together.
12. Extra blankets + chairs: These come in handy in case you have out-of-town friends come to visit and stay in your apartment living room or if you have extra room to have guests over and hang out!
Extra Decor for College Apartments:
13. More wall art! You will have extra wall space in your apartment with your living room, so make sure you collaborate with your roommates to spice up the walls. Because our walls were a little too white, we ended up making a 6′ x 3′ fabric wall art with supplies from Home Depot and the local craft store. It was very similar to this tutorial. As the year went on, we continued to add decorations to make the apartment feel more like home.
14. Fake flowers or fresh plants: This is a personal preference, but plants bring such life to a space!
Or add some terrariums! Check out this roundup of terrariums for your apartment or dorm.
15. Dry erase board for roommate messages: This has been such a good idea so far with communicating roommate messages and notes of inspiration! We keep ours right by the door so we see any notes we leave before or after class.
16. Sleeping bag: A sleeping bag comes in handy for sleepovers, camping trips, retreats and so many more things in college. If you have friends spend the night in your apartment, or if you just want to stay warm at night, a sleeping bag should be on your packing list!
17. Hammock: Life is better in a hammock. So is college. Make sure to take advantage of your campus by getting outdoors and studying or hanging out in a comfy hammock.
For a Clean Apartment:
18. Apartment cleaning schedule: Our apartment created a cleaning schedule, which listed who had each chore for the week. We included chores like emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the kitchen floors and counters. This way, we all know who is responsible for each item every week and it keeps it more orderly and clean.
19. Extra Clorox wipes: We go through these so quickly and easily! I like to use them for cleaning nearly everything–you never know when you will need some.