Contrary to what I believed as a kid, adulthood does not mean eating as much candy as you want or staying up late (I really miss 7pm bedtimes and someone else cutting off my KitKat intake). Being an adult means being responsible and making the choices that are best for you, your health, and your happiness. “Being an adult” looks and feels different to all of us, but there are some items every woman should have in her home.
Whether you live in a spacious home or “a studio apartment in a big city” (AKA a closet) like me, there are some things a girl needs to feel like a real adult, and make a house (or a “closet”) feel like home. Here are 15 things every woman should have in her home (for every budget).
1. A quality coffee maker that makes coffee you love
Sure, not going to Starbucks every day could help save you money in the long run, but there’s also something empowering about making coffee you love by yourself (artisanal beans, french-pressed, espresso shot, cappuccino, foamy-milk latte, etc.). A quality coffee or espresso maker is worth the splurge because an indulgent cup of coffee or a homemade latte could become the highlight of your morning and set your entire day up for success.
2. Optimal closet organization
Taking the time to thoroughly organize your closet is not only crucial for your wardrobe (imagine all the outfits you can put together when you can see everything you own!), but it’s crucial for your mental health. Imagine how much less stressed you’d be if you walked into a perfectly organized space to get dressed in the morning, versus a cluttered, messy black hole. Donate clothes you don’t wear anymore, use matching hangers (stick to velvet or wooden materials), and invest in storage items that organize the most cluttered areas of your closet.
3. A reliable vacuum
Confession time: for the first six months after moving into my apartment, I did not have a vacuum. I always told myself I’d invest in a nice one eventually, and used a broom and dustpan daily (that’s good enough, right? WRONG). After (finally) investing in a robot vacuum, my entire life changed, and no, that is not an exaggeration. My entire apartment is cleaner, and I feel calmer whenever I’m at home (seriously). It’s time to ditch the cheap handheld vacuum or daily broom and dustpan, and invest in a vacuum that will get shit done. You’ll be able to vacuum less often for a cleaner home and will feel better knowing even the unnoticeable crumbs and dust are taken care of.
4. Bottles to help you stay hydrated on the go (sustainably!)
You know drinking water (and lots of it) is one of the best things you can do for your health. However, it’s not always the easiest thing to remember to do, especially when you’re on the go (or let’s be honest, even when you’re relaxing at home). Carrying a bottle of water around with you constantly is the easiest way to stay hydrated. Make sure you have appealing reusable water bottles on hand that are not only easy to take with you, but will make you want to drink more water.
5. (At least) one piece of art that you love to look at
The decor you have in your home should not just be “trendy” or “stylish.” They should be pieces that make you happy whenever you look at them. Even if interior design is not your forte, make sure you have at least one piece of art that you love, whether it’s a painting your sister made or a minimalistic print. Bringing art into your home not only adds personality but will make you happy whenever you look at it.
6. Go-to healthy cookbooks
Sure, you can find a recipe for any ingredient or occasion online (that’s what Pinterest is for, right?), but there’s something indulgent about leafing through physical pages and bookmarking the recipes that you want to try. Online recipes are good in a pinch or if you’re looking to experiment, but take some time to find physical cookbooks that have recipes that appeal to you. PS, having a cookbook that’s stained with batter or wine (as they all will be if you use them enough) will make you feel like Ina Garten.
7. A set of wine glasses
You’re an adult now: red solo cups (or slapping the bag, if you look back on your college days with semi-regret like me) no longer fly. Invest in a set of about four or six wine glasses (depending on how many people you’d have over at once) to have on hand for company. You’ll be inspired to host dinner parties (so adult, right!?) or indulge in a nice glass of wine after a long day as an act of self-care.
8. Work-from-home essentials
Even if you typically work in an office, odds are you occasionally bring work home, have a side-hustle out of your kitchen, or maybe take classes online. Of course, you don’t need to have a full-fledged office at home (ain’t nobody got space for that), but try to have the basics that will help inspire productivity or keep you organized, and maybe create some space so you don’t have to move all your paperwork from the kitchen table whenever you have company.
9. A blender that’s easy to use (and wash)
If you have a fancy, complex, difficult-to-clean blender, let’s be honest: you’re not going to use it. But a blender is crucial for healthy cooking: it can be used to make delicious smoothies, sauces, soups, salad dressings, pancake batter, frothy lattes, etc. Make sure you have a blender you would use regularly by getting one that’s small enough to fit in convenient shelves and easy to clean.
10. Bedding that isn’t leftover from college
Your sheets don’t have to be made of Egyptian cotton and your comforter doesn’t need to be the most expensive item in your home, but you should not have the same hand-me-down sheets you’ve had since freshman year of college. Invest in bedding that you’ll look forward to getting into at the end of the day, and are so comfortable that they’ll help you sleep at night.
11. Living plants
There’s something incredibly empowering (and important) about having something living in your home that you can take care of. Even if you count that “living thing” as an adorable dog or cat, consider getting some plants to add a green element to your home. If you’re in a small space with limited light, try an indoor herb garden (plants that make your food more delicious!), and if you swore you’d never be a plant person, try a cactus or succulent which requires little care.
12. A stylish area rug
My first big adult purchase was an area rug. Yes, even before a couch or a headboard or even a kitchen table, I bought an area rug when moving into my first apartment. I wanted the area rug to influence which furniture I chose because the main area rug is usually the first thing that catches the eye when someone walks in (and it turned out to be soft enough to sit on for weeks until I bought a couch). Make sure you have an area rug that feels soft and luxurious (it makes all the difference) and keep it as clean as possible (AKA have carpet cleaner on hand for emergencies like a red wine spill).
13. Items that keep you organized when traveling
If you’re still using the oversized duffle bag you’ve had since summer camp, it’s time to upgrade to stylish and practical travel accessories. Travel in style with conveniently designed luggage with optimal space, genius packing cubes, and cases designed for sorting cosmetics and jewelry. Whether you’re planning a future work trip, girl’s weekend, or epic road trip, you’ll need travel accessories that will keep you organized (AKA no more digging to the bottom of your suitcase for your toothbrush on night one).
You’re a strong, independent woman, which means yes, you can hang pictures, repair a leaky faucet, or replace bathroom tiles on your own. Get yourself a toolbox that contains all the essentials (a hammer, screwdriver, nails, etc.) to have on hand for any minor fixes or home improvement projects you can do on your own. With a set of your own tools, there’s not much that you (and a quick Youtube search) can’t fix.
15. Candles for entertaining
Adulthood actually looks like stocking up on $5 candles from CVS to burn when you’re alone and then bringing out a fancy candle when you have company (am I right?). Make sure to have a stash of at least a few good-quality candles to burn when you have people over. FYI, adulthood also means prioritizing self-care, so run yourself a bath, throw on a face mask, and light the fanciest candle for yourself sometimes too.