College graduation season is an exciting (and scary) time for parents and kids, marking the end of a long chapter in our lives that started when our kids ventured off to kindergarten for the first time. And now, with both their public school years and college careers behind them, the next step is adulthood - a whole new world!
If you’ve done it right, your child will be moving into an apartment of their own rather than your basement, which is great but also means they’re going to need some basic essentials that will fit in a new graduate’s budget. So what are the absolute must-haves for their new digs, and what can they live without?
Do: A bed is on the top of the list of must-have items. A mattress and platform will do just fine for the time being, but do invest in a good quality mattress. This is one of those you get what you pay for things.
Do Without: An entire bedroom suite is unnecessary. Headboard/footboard need not apply and a dresser isn’t needed right away either. Clothes can be hung in the closet.
Do: Buy towels, cotton/poly sheets, and a good quality comforter and duvet. A down comforter will last forever. A duvet can be switched out with the décor, and is much easier to wash.
Do Without: Fancy sheets, beds in a bag. High thread count sheets aren’t warranted here, and can easily be ruined in the laundry. Beds in a bag limit you to one pattern in everything - shams, quilts, and pillowcases. Boring!
Do: Consider a decent futon. They’re inexpensive and fold out to accommodate guests. Or explore Ikea, Overstock, and box stores for cheaper options than you’d find in a furniture store, but opt for a microfiber that’s easy to clean.
Do Without: Custom furniture from high-end stores. They take weeks to deliver and they’re way overpriced. Wait until style preferences become apparent before investing in a couch of this caliber.
Coffee Table and Lighting
Do: A coffee table offers the perfect multipurpose surface. Check out online buy/sell/trade sites, yard sales or even flea markets for used pieces in good shape. Add inexpensive lamps - ceiling lights as the only lighting in a room are not okay.
Do Without: Dining table and desk. These can wait until later - did we mention the coffee table is dual purpose?
Kitchen and Bathroom Essentials
Do: For the bathroom, a shower curtain, bath rug, and bath mat. For the kitchen, inexpensive set silverware, plates, and glasses, plus pots in varying sizes, a frying pan, cooking utensils, kitchen towels, a microwave, and a coffee maker.
Do Without: Food processors, stand mixers, and other expensive gadgets. Unless your kid’s major was culinary arts, they don’t need this stuff.
Now that you have a basic list, remember that whatever you do, when it comes to the mattress purchase, it’s one place you don’t want to skimp. Consider our comfy premium gel Memory Foam creation with three different firmness options, and a dual-layer cooling system. It’s affordable, and a definite Do!