Moving from your college dorm room or apartment to your first grown-up living situation can be a weird transition. You’re kind of an adult but you’re not exactly doing the whole staying in on a Friday night/planning for retirement/remodeling your bathroom thing either. Your first home in your twenties that doesn’t involve bunk beds and a nightmarish communal bathroom should reflect where you’re at in life. You’re too old for skipping class and eating pizza for every meal, but you’re too young to drop an entire paycheck on a piece of furniture.
Adulting is tricky, but you can start to figure it out by getting rid of these 10 things when you rent your first grown-up apartment:
1. Mini Fridge
That mini fridge beside your dorm room desk was always stocked with Bud Light, Keystone Light or whatever flavorless beer was your flavor of the week. You were the envy of everyone on your floor who longed for a cold brewski or the refrigerated leftovers of something smuggled from the dining hall. But you’re an adult now. Lose the mini fridge. And while you’re at it, consider a six pack of something that didn’t come from the nearest gas station.
2. Cliche Posters
Has anyone ever felt inspired by a poster compelling them to “Live Laugh Love”? In college, black and white prints of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn were so ubiquitous that you suspected that girls were actually required to hang them in their bedrooms. Fortunately, your grown-up apartment has no such regulations.
3. Empty Liquor Bottles as Decorations
A Jack Daniels bottle being used as a vase. A windowsill filled with a collection of empty beer bottles. We get it. You know how to imbibe alcohol. Find other decorations for your post-collegiate apartment. You’ve already proven yourself.
When you’re 19, a couch that transforms into a bed seems like pure magic. But there’s a special kind of misery reserved for waking up hungover on a friend’s futon. As an adult, you should own both a couch and a bed.
5. Microwavable Food
No, we’re not saying that you can never eat Easy Mac or Pizza Rolls again (Who would want to live in that world?). But the cabinets of your adult apartment should be stocked with at least a few items that require the use of an actual oven. You can—and probably will—eat ramen, but you can also learn to make a stir-fry too.
6. Stuffed Animals
You can get away with having a teddy bear or two nestled on the pillows of your college bed. But as an adult with a job, the days of being homesick for your high school bedroom are over. If you bring a date home to an adult bedroom that’s stocked with stuffed animals, expect a very PG night.
7. Christmas Lights as Your Main Source of Lighting
Christmas lights can have a year-round place in your grown-up apartment, but they shouldn’t be your only lights. Instead of hammering nails into the wall at random and stringing up a cheap set from Wal-Mart, use the fancy version (like the ones you see on restaurant patios) to turn your backyard into a cocktail party.
8. Furniture Straight from the Dumpster
Look, dumpster diving may be a time honored tradition, but sooner or later, some traditions must end. If the origin of your current couch, mattress and kitchen table can be traced back to a curb, it’s time to upgrade.
9. White Board
A dry erase board is a cute way to express yourself in college. You can put one on your door and use it to broadcast your opinions, like a real life Twitter account, you can hang one on your fridge and communicate with roommates via inappropriate cartoons. Your adult apartment, however, should be spared your white board musings, no matter how poetic they may be.
10. That Terrible Roommate
From the roommate who left food out to rot for weeks to the one who stole from you, you’ve probably shared your living space with at least one awful human being. But guess what? Having a grown-up apartment means that no one can ever assign you a roommate again. From now on, you only have to live with people you actually want to live with—whether that means a friend, a significant other or even just the pleasure of your own company.