Skip the excess, know the essentials for apartment living

Here’s the what’s what of what to buy for off-campus living.

Apartment hunting is hard. It is even more challenging if it is your first time moving into a place of your own. No one told you about all of the detail that goes into looking for that perfect place. There is no magic handbook that has all the secrets to growing up and moving out.

Look at all the factors that go into finding somewhere you feel comfortable — the quality of housing, the atmosphere, the neighborhood and the location are just a start. Then, after all of the work it took to find that place comes an even bigger question: What do you buy?

A lot of students who are just getting acquainted with living on their own often experience the struggle of finding the right items to fill their new home.

First there are the basics, like a bed and kitchen appliances. Silverware and dishes are absolutely necessary as well. However, talk about bringing other items, like strainers or measuring cups, with roommates or you might end up with four of them.

There are items that you can survive without but that heighten the standard of living. Furniture is an important part of creating a “homey” atmosphere. Without proper living equipment, an empty apartment seems even more lonely.

Affordable furniture is not hard to find, especially since there are great deals available for college students in many retail shops. These necessities are a definite excuse to go shopping.

Along with the basics, there are other “essentials” for a place of your own. Entertainment is always nice, so this is your opportunity to look for deals on televisions and electronics. You may not necessarily need these items, but it’s sensible to make sure you have some amusement.

Now, after you have spent hours desperately searching for the best deals on your basic living materials comes the last part of making your new home truly yours — décor.

Décor is the best way to incorporate a part of yourself and your taste into your environment. However, many people tend to go a little overboard when it comes to shopping for all of the things that may look nice, but are not necessarily good for any use.

If the home you are leasing is only temporary, it is best to save all of the extra gear for when you find a more permanent residence. That does not mean that you cannot splurge on that poster of your favorite band or a painting that you had been eyeing, but perhaps save the $200 globe for a bigger move.

Moving in is easy. Knowing what to buy for your new home can be just as easy. As long as you ask yourself the question of what is absolutely necessary and what is just an ornamental commodity, creating a new home can be effortless.

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