Is your house a home? Whether it is your first apartment or your first house, you need to own your space. I don’t mean “own” as in pay your bills, I mean you need to put your spirit into it. You need to think about the various moods you have and how you live everyday and make your space reflect you. Whether its painting your bathroom orange or having an entire meditation room, the space to which you retire at night should welcome and restore you. Sidebar: just like you’re thoughtful about your physical space, you should also be thoughtful about who you let into that space and how they affect you; but that’s a different post. While there are tons of things that you can do to make your space elegant, fun and reflective of you, I think these recommendations are solid for any dwelling where you’ll be for more than two weeks.
1) A full set of quality pots and pans, even if you have to buy them one item at a time. I mean, invest the money. You don’t want to purchase pots over and over again in your life, so get the good ones the first time! For this same reason, I usually recommend stainless steel because they can go with you no matter what other colors you choose for your next apartment.
2) Willingness to paint, even at your own expense, to make the space your own. To really make a house a home, you need to claim the space. The more you personalize it, the less transient you’ll feel. When you feel less transient, you feel more empowered and willing to make long-term decisions.
3) One room in which you do no work. You need relaxation space!
4) Willingness to sweep the area immediately outside your entrances. A clean space is welcoming.
5) A wreath to hang on the main entry door, and don’t pick up just any old wreath. For that matter, a door-knocker works too. It makes it easier for you tell people how to find you.
6) A space with no television or computer. Think of it like a reading and reflection space. You need to withdraw from the world sometimes.
7) Items that discreetly hide and store things, i.e., baskets (with and without lids), dual-purpose ottomans (footstools), and under the bed storage bins. Just trust me on this one; you’ll see!