When I first heard a Kiwi friend describe herself as ‘house proud‘ I had that immediate spark of recognition. Oh! That’s me! That’s why I’m always scrubbing the baseboard with a toothbrush and fussing with throw pillows! Having a clean, lovely space that’s filled with beautiful, meaningful things is one of my chief pleasures in life. But it hasn’t always been that way (just ask my parents about the state of my bedroom circa 1990-1998).
If you’d like to be a bit more house proud, here are a few of the things you can do to make your home safer, homier, and yes, more grown up. (You can download a free 27-page sample of The Post College Survival Kit with one article + one worksheet from each chapter here.)
1. Make sure your space is really, actually safe
It’ll keep things from getting to gross, it’ll help your fridge run better (thus lowering your utility bill), and it’ll give you a clue to the foods you keep buying and not eating. I’m looking at you, kale. It would also be nice to spring for some of those fancy glass storage containers. You don’t have to worry about them leaching chemicals into your food and since they’re clear you’ll never be to lazy to open them and see what’s inside.
Obvious. Easy. And yet I always forget to do it.
It’s demoralizing to paw through tons of clothes you hate every morning. Who needs to be reminded of bad dates and old jobs via blazers and mini skirts? I certainly don’t. Let’s make a pact to pare down to just the things we know + love + wear regularly (and we all know that’s about 20% of our wardrobe.) Then let’s slowly, carefully fill in holes in our wardrobe with things we lovelovelove. Not just something that’s okay, or something that’s on sale, or something that we got as a gift.
5. Get renter’s insurance
Then my friend’s apartment building burned down. Now I have renter’s insurance. Also, if something is lost or stolen while you’re traveling, sometimes it’s covered by your renter’s insurance.
6. Actually read your lease + know your rights
It’s also important to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. I’ve had to reference MN renters rights and responsibilities website more times than I care to count and even call their hotline before (because no, I’m totally not covering the cost of that damage we both know was here when I moved in.) Just give the site a once over to make sure you’re not getting screwed.
7. Make a copy of your keys and give them to a trusted friend
Because it’s a million times easier to walk to a coffee shop and wait for your friend than it is to call a locksmith.
8. Stock your kitchen with the makings of a few easy, cheap meals
I’m always buying fancy, weird produce for a complicated recipe, forgetting about it while it rots, and eating popcorn for dinner. I bet I’d be better off if I kept some frozen peas and rice on hand for sweet pea risotto or used up my can of chickpeas on this casserole. Of course, fancy soups and steam-in-the-bag frozen vegetables are always good, too.
How do you go about maintaining + managing your home? Leave your favorite tips + tricks in the comments!
photo by Laura D’Alessandro // cc