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Decorating Your First Apartment So You Don’t Scare Off The Opposite Sex

This article is part of our Post Grad Survival Guide that we’ll be rolling out this summer. Join our email list to follow along all summer and email workretiredie@gmail.com if you’d like to guest write.

You did it. You finally moved out of your parent’s home and into your first apartment. It’s way too expensive, small, and in a horrible and borderline dangerous neighborhood but at least you don’t get yelled at for staying up too late at the age of 23.

It’s time to make this shithole a home with some decorating. Here’s how you do it.

How to Decorate Your First Apartment

This is the ideal living space

The Living Room

The first thing people see when they walk into your spacious 600 foot apartment and your best chance to showcase your personality for the world to see. Unfortunately, the thing about your personality is that it fucking sucks. Let’s try to hide that as best we can shall we?

For Girls:

The Walls

Please god, do not put up the following things:

Audrey Hepburn Poster

Oh my god, wait you saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s? One of the most universally beloved and classic films of all time? How unbelievably quirky of you.

Framed quotes about how unstable you are

Listen, no 23 year old man can handle you at your worst. No man alive can to be perfectly honest. Also, Marilyn Monroe is one of the all time hottest people on the planet. She can get away with being a psycho and JFK will still ruin his marriage for her. You need to hide your crazy for the next 6 years and bust it out 3 months after you get engaged for the first time.

Shrines to Your Childhood Pet

Listen Helga Pataki, you can put ONE photo of your dog up in your living room. That’s it. We all had a dog growing up, it doesn’t need to be your entire personality. ]

Seating Arrangements

First off, please get a couch. For some reason, girls think it’s ok to have a bean bag or tiny little chair with no back support as the only form of seating in their living room.

I cannot touch my toes. You think I can comfortably sit on this?

Second off, let’s go easy on the pillows. You need maybe 3 max on a couch, not the entire pillow department of Bed Bath and Beyond.

Last and final point – please get a TV of reasonable size with cable. If you have a pregame and there’s a game on and I cannot watch it to see how my bets are doing, I will have a mental breakdown.

For Guys:

The Walls

Do not hang any of the following items.

Fraternity memorabilia of any kind

We get it. You were top house, hazed balls and every single girl in school wanted to drunkenly make out with you in your basement with house music blaring. Honestly, it is really cool. I think you’re cool. Unfortunately, no one else does. Move on please

A “tasteful” photo of a city skyline

The only thing worse than being stuck in college is trying to act like you’re a 35-year-old millionaire bachelor. This is a no try-hards blog and there is no bigger try-hard move than hanging this bad boy right in the middle of your shitty little apartment.

Bare Walls

Psychopath behavior. You have a job man. Spend like $50 on some posters or art and call it a day.

Seating Arrangements

Yes, you need a blanket and pillows on your couch. But PLEASE wash it. At least once a year. Scientists have done a ton of research on this, and actually the most disgusting thing in the entire world is the couch blanket in an apartment shared by 4 single 23 year old men.

After 3 weeks, that thing will be covered in dip spit, Bud Light, and enough drug residue to put you in prison for 5-10 years. If you’re lucky enough to somehow convince a girl to come over, she will most likely throw up the second she sits down on your couch. So do yourself a favor and throw it in with your clothing when you drop at the wash and fold.

The Kitchen

For Girls

I’ll tip my hat to the ladies. You generally have this area of the apartment under control. My one piece of feedback would be around drinkware.

Can we please get some normal cups? Mason jars and those little wine cup things are great, but what if, god forbid, I want to drink something with more than 6 ozs of volume? People are thirsty. You need to accept that.

For Guys

This is less about what you should avoid than what you should actually be purchasing. Here are some things you need for your kitchen.

  1. Plates
    • Do yourself a favor and get more than 4 plates. This has nothing to do with having guests over for dinner (let’s not kid ourselves, you’re not having a dinner party.)
    • No, this is so you don’t have to do the dishes more than once a week. Let those plates stack up in the sink for days at a time and just keep using a new one every day buddy boy.
  2. Silverware
    • No, the free plastic ones from Chipotle do not count.
  3. Cups
    • Do yourself a favor and get more than 15 cups. I know you think it’s ok to give people a Solo Cup or that souvenir mug you got from the Mets game, but it isn’t.
  4. 1 Pot and 1 Pan
    • At least pretend that you’re going to cook. Realistically, you are going to run out of money in about two months if you order take out every night. Learn how to make pasta and eggs at the absolute minimum.
  5. A Cutting Board
    • A bit random, but I learned this lesson the hard way myself. In my first New York apartment, I didn’t buy a cutting board for 3 months and ended up cutting everything on my frying pan and absolutely destroying the surface. Plus, it’s a little embarrassing when you have to cut up lime wedges at a pregame and whip out the ol’ Target 12 inch frying pan in front of everyone.

One final point around fridge maintenance. Put something in their that’s not expired milk, condiments, beer or an empty Britta filter. You’re embarrassing yourself.

The Bedroom

Congrats! You’ve someone convinced someone to potentially have premarital sex with you. You might think you’re done, but the journey has not ended. In fact, this is when it gets thorniest.

For Girls

Let’s go easy on the gigantic photo wall of your friends from college. I realize that you want to showcase that other people like you, but I can just look at your Instagram if I want to see what your friends look like.

It’s also important to sit down and ask yourself the tough question – how many candles does one person need? Keep in mind that it’s a little hard to get in the mood when your entire room smells like buttercream.

And look, if you’re going to have a plant, please take care of it. Don’t punish the cactus because you needed a hobby. If anything, your horrible plant maintenance skills just reveal your lack of a maternal instinct and inability to care for anyone beyond yourself.

For Guys

Buddy, we all know exactly why you have a giant bottle of moisturizer and a tissue box on your night stand. No girl wants to be reminded of the fact that you have a porn addiction right before they’re about to have 3 minutes of sex with you.

Single man bedding culture is an absolute mess. Here are some quick tips

  • Get a second pair of sheets so you don’t have to sleep on a bare mattress while you get your other set cleaned. Trust me, it’s not that sick.
  • Do your back a favor and get a bed frame.
  • Don’t use your grandma’s old comforter or the same one from college. Buy a new one and not the absolute cheapest blue one from Target.
  • You need at least two pillows.

And for the love of god, please clean up your room. 7 dirty cups and a dirty bowl of mac and cheese from 3 weeks ago is not exactly a turn on.

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