Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Living on Your Own - Things You Will Need / Want

When you move out on your own you will come to realize that there is a ton of shit you didn't know you needed or wanted to have that your parents had readily available to you. This stuff adds up and you may want to go cheap on things. There are some things you will want to get cheap while others you probably don't.

I am making this list to help you out with that.

Some things you can live without but you probably don't want to as they are going to help you in your well being. We as humans can live without a lot. So this list is things you will want.

Italicized items - You can wait till later

Living Room

Couch (get at thrift store)

Coffee Table (get at thrift store or build)

TV Stand (get at thrift store or build)

TV (check craigslist or a website that has local classified ads)

Media Player (In the old days it was VCR and in my days it was DVDs and Blue-Ray. Who knows what it will be for you)



  • You may want to go cheap but don't. Go to the store and get sturdy silverware that has rounded edges. This will be more comfortable and they won't bend out of shape so fast. These you can keep for years vs. the cheap crap that you will end up replacing every year or so. You also don't want to feel like you have to be careful when you are trying to get at your food. That just isn't cool. It is a wise investment. You can also check out the thrift stores. In my day we called them Goodwill or Salvation Army. These places may still be around for you so you can check that out.
  • You will want about 8: butter knives, large spoons, tea spoons (regular size), and forks
Silverware tray - this is so you don't get your drawer all nasty and so that the silverware is organized.
  • 2 quart saucepan
  • 4 quart soup pan
  • large frying pan
  • cookie sheet
  • muffin pan that holds 12 muffins
  • square griddle used for making pancakes
  • Banana bread pan
  • Pyrex cake pan (they don't stain and can be cooked in and are microwave safe)
Metal spatula

Plastic spatula

Big plastic spoon

Plastic pitcher - koolaid, ice tea, etc.

  • 4 coffee cups - that are easy enough to wash. These are good for tea, coffee, and hot chocolate
  • 6 drinking glasses - Get tall thick cups. Do not cheap out on these or you will end up with broken glasses and shards in your hand. This is not fun. This is not a thing to skimp on.
  • 2 wine glasses - this will be awesome for kicking back with a date and some cheap wine. Gives a classy but fun feel.
Plates - 6 Large and 6 small should do you fine. No need to get super fancy on this one.

Bowls -  6 bowls should do well. Get nice big ones. You will be happy that you can fit more soup and ice-cream into them. Make sure they are microwave safe.

Scrubbing brush for the dishes

Sponge / scrubber pad (cloth / wire weave kind that is washable)

Dish soap

Dish rack

Sink plug (most apartments don't supply these)

Pan rack - very useful for keeping pans in a useful and easy to get place as well as drip drying.



Spoon / spatula Utensil Holder

Ice cube tray

Plastic wrap

Aluminum foil

Muffin paper cups

Plastic baggies (freezer safe for meats)


Pyrex storage containers - these don't retain a smell and are easier to clean than plastic containers. They are also microwave safe and won't make your food taste funky when reheating in them.


Knife set - Get a knife set. This should include a set of bigger knives as well as around 6 serrated knives used at dinner for eating steak and such.

Pizza Cutter - This is an awesome thing to have if you love pizza. This is easily cleaned if you wash it within 5 minutes of cutting the pizza with it. After that you are looking at nasty dried on cheese and sauce. This is not good when it can go under the main support of the wheel on the cutter.


Measuring cups - It is good to get a glass / pyrex one that has up to 2 cups on it. It is also good to get a plastic set that generally will include teaspoons and table spoons as well.

Mixing bowls - get a set if you can so that you can mix a variety of things at a time. This helps for semi complicated recipes.

Can opener - if you forget this you will hate yourself when you need it

Bottle opener

Cork screw bottle opener

Timer - the microwave won't always be free. Plus you can take this timer around the home for other things that are not food related.

Trash Can (13 gallon is a mid size trash can useful for kitchens) - Drill two holes on the side of the trash can about 2 inches below the lip of the can. This will allow the bag to sit in the can and you can pull it out easy. Don't put the holes on the bottom or you won't be able to use the can for liquids such as when you need to vomit.

Trash bags - Buy the drawstring kind that also don't break easy. Don't skimp on these or you will end up with nasty stuff breaking all over your floor.


  • Body towels
  • Hand towels
  • Wash cloths


Bars of soap - you will probably want to test a few kinds first. Some soaps will dry you out or leave funky stuff on your skin. Some will make you smell funny when others can smell it and you cannot. So just buy a small pack to test these out until you find something you like.

Toothbrush - the electric ones work wonders are not not too expensive. Get one if you can.



Floss - just buy it even if you feel like you won't use it. You will be glad you did.

Band-aids - buy a pack of varying sizes. The plastic kind generally suck so try to get the fabricy kind. This may take a bit of experimentation to get what you find best.

Gauss pads

Medical tape to wrap Gauss

Large band-aids

>>> Toilet plunger <<< - I'm making this one super clear as it's easy to miss and if you do you will be very very upset when you need it.

(MALE) Electric Shaver - This will cost a bit but it will save you tons of money in the long run if you think that buying regular razors are doing the job fine.

(FEMALE) Razors - you probably want to stay smooth to feel sexy for yourself and potential lovers you end up having. Yea you don't want to hear that from dear ol' dad but guess what, it will probably happen and I'm fine with that... just read my other advice on that later on.

Soap dish - you need this for that bar of soap people are washing their hands with.

Small trashcan - trust me you will need this for your random garbage you create in the bathroom and you won't want to drag it to the kitchen.

Toilet paper - also known as TP. Make sure to get enough because if you don't you will be pissed when you run out. Running errands all the time sucks so just get a 24 pack and be done with it.

Deodorant - you may not smell it but others do. Maybe ask close friends if the stuff you are using actually works. Sometimes it won't. We are all different.

Cologne or perfume - just get it because you may need it for a special occasion. You don't have to have a bunch but it's good to be prepared for a random date or interview or whatever. Just don't pile it on or you end up smelling like a slut or douche-bag. Nobody wants that. Another quick note, some stuff lasts longer than others so be aware of that.

Shower curtain - yea you have to buy that on your own. Pick some that have magnets in the ends and are fabricy and if possible are resistant to mold. Some curtain types will get moldy faster than others. Make sure your bathroom has excellent ventilation. If it has good ventilation then you are all good.

Curtain rod - yea that too. You may need rubber stoppers for the ends too.

Shower curtain rings - that's what connects the curtain to the rod

Tub plug - you won't believe how easy that is to forget

Toilet brush - you will need this unless you want to have disgusting toilets. It can wait but just buy it now.

Pain Medications at the time of this writing. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. This is noted elsewhere.
  • Aleve gel capsules
  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen

Cold and flu cough syrup (Dimetapp)


Fingernail clippers

Toenail clippers



Antibacterial creme - this is used for cuts and scraps

Trash Can (7.8-8 gallon)




Bed-frame - ***warning***... do you really want shit to fall under your bed?

2 pillows

2 pillow cases

Plastic mattress cover (kids beds or very wet sex sessions)

Bed Skirt - This covers the box-spring and makes it look classy
1 sheet

1 comforter (quilt)

Pillow protector - these go under the pillow cases and help keep moisture, bedbugs, sweat, oils from your head, etc. from going into the pillow that the pillow case does not protect from

Laundry basket


Plastic hangers

Small garbage can - very useful for pieces of paper, wrappers, condoms, vomit, tissue paper, etc.


Footlocker - put random stuff in, valuables, etc.

Alarm Clock

NOTE: I did not mention a computer as that can be a completely different post and is very on it's own in terms of if you want one or not.

Random Stuff


Laundry soap

Pencils - mechanical pencils are good. They don't have to be fancy however. .5mm lead is a fine and well working size.

Scotch tape

Duct tape

Electrical tape

Box Cutter - retractable and metal casing

Phone - If it is only adults in the household then cell phones are recommended. If there are children in the home then a land line is also recommended.

Drain cleaner - Draino or whatever is a good drain cleaner in your day

Scented candles - women love them and it's helpful when the lights go out

Flashlight - you will want this when the lights go out

Lighter - you may not smoke but you need it for candles and birthday candles and other random stuff

Mop type tool

Broom / dustpan combo

Vacuum cleaner

Dining Room - some people don't ever eat at in their dining room or the table. This is classier however and a date is going to freak out if you don't have a dining table.

Table - this can be simple or fancy. You can find your tables at thrift stores pretty often.

Dinning table chairs - you can generally find these at thrift stores cheap

This in a different post but it is important to remember you will have a fairly general set of bills that come with getting your own place.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this!!! This is exactly what I was looking for.

    1. I'm so glad I could help. I will be making a more robust one and a food tool as well sometime soon. See the development of that stuff over at and my username there is thoughtstrider. I will be having other authors once in a while.

  3. I was thinking more along the lines of important documents you'll need for work/school or social security and stuff. ..not just furniture

  4. I was thinking more along the lines of important documents you'll need for work/school or social security and stuff. ..not just furniture

  5. Mop & Broom Holder smartly uses tension and gravity to keep your cleaning tool at the ready. It's just the right size to stick up anywhere it's needed

  6. Don't forget beach towels, a fitted sheet, fabric softener, lotion, pens, batteries (AA, AAA, C, D), feather duster, sunscreen, suitcase set, bug spray, paper towels/napkins, a blender/mixer (handheld or not), whisk, ice cream scoop, door mat, a needle and thread, extra buttons, safety pins, and febreze/air freshener spray!!

  7. Lol. This list is so comprehensive I was thinking it was written for aliens learning how to blend in as a human

    1. Full Disclosure: I've never even heard of a pillow protector until just now