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Here Now, a Definitive Guide to Living in Your First Rental

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Congratulations, you've moved out of your parents' house for good! No more curfews, no more chintz, no more separating your laundry. Say goodbye to premium cable and unconditional love and hello to cheap toilet paper and the neighbors' Wi-Fi. It's time to scoff at custom framing rates, purchase a $60 record player, and, gosh darn it, declare Sundays pants-free! Forever! You've never felt so liberated and you've never felt so hungry. It's all Ikea from here on out, baby, so here's hoping you're good with a hex wrench—or have a roommate who is. For those not sure what kind of year lies ahead, Curbed's got your back. Below, the ultimate First Rental Starter Kit. Spoiler alert: a bona fide laundry basket is not on it. Ain't nobody got room for that.

Click to enlarge:

1. Poorly repaired parquet floors. Bonus points if said floors are riddled with sock-hating nails that grow from the floorboards just to defile every single pair of tights you've ever had the optimism to wear in the house. Every. Single. One.

2. That one broken Ikea chair. You'd throw it away but then where'd you sit? The sofa? Your friend's sleeping there tonight.

3. Craigslist free finds. Typewriters, desk chairs, complete encyclopedia sets from 1911...

4. A London Tube shower curtain. And don't forget that friend to tell you oh my god how wrong it is.

5. Good friends like LACK, MALM, BILLY, POANG, and EXPEDIT.

6. Sloped floors. Because you know what really boosts productivity? Having to wrap a foot around one of the desk legs to keep you and your wheeled chair from rolling away.

7. This shower. The head is inexplicably positioned so the water comes from the center of the bathtub—hotdog-style.

8. Potted succulents. Up your adult cred by putting them in yogurt containers.

9. 85 mismatched coffee mugs. Sure, you don't have a colander or measuring spoons or a nonstick pan, but you just had to buy that cup in Hawaii. And that Starbucks you went to that one time. (Who are Sheryl and David and did they really give away coffee mugs as wedding favors?)

10. Pile-o-wires.

11. Framed keepsakes. Here's a cut-off version of Christina Aguilera's Stripped album—a seminal classic.

12. Infuriatingly spotty Wi-Fi. Someday you'll write a personal essay called "All I Learned I Learned While Blogging in the Bathtub."

13. Liquor storage. Essential.

14. A hissing radiator. If it does that weird wet marbles noise too, all the better.

15. This fridge situation.

16. Under-the-bed storage. Hold up—his one's actually helpful: The Container Store has some cheap, gliding plastic bins that slide across your messed-up floors like room-temperature butter on a biscuit.

17.Wall shelves. See here for reference.

18. Inspirational Etsy posters. This one's from thebigharumph.

19. Half-assed dining table "centerpieces." Because nothing says class like an applesauce jar full of bottle caps.

20.Breezeway mailbox. You have to it punch shut.

21. "The Kiss," by Robert Doisneau. That is, if it survived the moves of college days.

22. A bathroom door that doesn't close all the way. Privacy-shmrivacy.

23. A breakfast table on wheels. (Especially fun with the sloped floors.)

24. Way too many saved pasta sauce jars. Don't worry, though, they'll just be planters for more succulents.

· All Renters Week 2013 posts [Curbed National]
· All Starter Kits [Curbed National]