1. Buy a cloth shower curtain. Wash it as needed. Use bleach.
2. Invest in two coffee makers: one with an automatic timer for early work mornings, and a French press for when you have guests.
3. Keep a bottle of champagne in your fridge. You never know when you’ll need to celebrate.
4. Keep a pint of ice cream in your freezer. You’ll never know when you’ll need to sit on the couch, watch The Notebook and cry into your Rocky Road.
5. Don’t worry about buying everything the minute you move in. Wait a little while, and chances are you’ll find furniture you really love on sale. (I once bought a huge, cozy leather armchair from West Elm for $100, and my roommate snagged a beautiful rug for $70. I will never knock the glory that is Ikea, but you can find things you’ll love forever this way.)
6. Check with your landlord beforehand, but paint some of your walls. It’ll turn your transitory rental into a place to call your own.
7. Frame a magazine photo of a celebrity you have a silly crush on, and put it on your desk or dresser. It’ll make you laugh and keep you humble—nobody can really think too much of themselves with an over-styled photo of Channing Tatum in their room. Not even Channing Tatum.
8. Make your bed every morning, and stash your favorite sweats behind your pillow for those moments when you just need to lounge around and do nothing.
9. Dance around to music in your underwear at least once a week.
10. Bring your favorite stuffed animal with you, and display it without the slightest trace of irony or shame. Everyone has one, and there’s nothing wrong in needing a little extra comfort sometimes.
11. The Swiffer is a glorious tool—and its spokes-old-people are adorable beyond words—but you’d be surprised at what a good, old-fashioned broom can drag up, too.
12. Buy your Super a Christmas present.
13. Give a friend you trust beyond words a copy of your keys in case you lock yourself out.
14. Make friends with your neighbors, so you can wait at their place instead of in the stairwell until your friend shows up with your keys when you’ve locked yourself out.
15. Don’t rely on Pinterest for decoration inspiration. You’ll end up with one too many mason jars and glitter everywhere.
16. If it’s not already included in the kitchen, try not to get a microwave the minute you move in. Your stove can reheat food, too, and you’ll be forced to try to cook for yourself every once in a while.
17. Buy a bath mat. Not an extra towel you fold and put on the floor. A bath mat.
18. If you have roommates, don’t clutch the pearls when it’s their day of the week to dance around in their underwear. When you sign a lease with a person, there is an unwritten agreement that you will be okay with the sight of them without pants.
19. If you have roommates, and one of your roommates has a significant other over, don’t walk around in your underwear that day.
20. Buy your own condoms. Never rely on the hope that the other person will have one in their pocket or bag.
21. Recycle magazines that are more than two months old, unless there’s a really sentimental reason to keep them. If you want to keep individual pages, tear them out and keep them in a folder. You’ll be instantly less cluttered that way.
22. Keep two restaurants favorited on Seamless: one that delivers the greasiest hangover breakfast, and one that delivers the most comforting dinner after really long, really demanding days at work.
23. Figure out an easy running route in your neighborhood. It’ll help you blow off steam on days when you need to.
24. Invest in tupperware (or use those extra mason jars to store leftovers.)
25. Buy a bookshelf, and fill it with books.
26. Pay your rent on time. Buy toilet paper when it’s your turn to buy toilet paper. Take out the trash when it’s full, not when you feel like it. This is called being responsible.
27. Before you get a pet, really ask yourself if you have the time for not just cuddling with it, but feeding it, walking it, cleaning out the litter box, and taking it to the vet.
28. Buy flowers for yourself. They’ll brighten up any room.
29. Keep photos of your family, postcards from places you’ve visited, and birthday cards around. They’ll make you smile every time you see them, and they’ll really make your new place feel like home.