Most of the items on this list are practical, but a few lean toward comfort and aethestics. Why not? After all, your home should be as pleasant as it is functional.
- An emergency light source. Keep a flashlight, candles and matches, or a Candela easily accessible (and charged, as the case may be). I hope you never need this, but if you do, you'll be greatly relieved to have it.
- Towels. You may be an extreme minimalist who showers at the gym, but everyone needs towels at home. At the very least, two bathroom towels and two kitchen towels.
- Basic utensils. A fork, a knife, a spoon. Even if you've never cooked in your life, you may hate the cheap knives that come with your delivery food or may forget a fork for your take-out salad.
- A small toolset. A hammer, a flat-head screwdriver, a phillips head screwdriver, and pliers will suffice. You may not believe me, but you'll end up using it — to stop a running toilet, hang a picture, pry open a paint can, etc.
- Bedding. A necessity, of course. And, if you're over the age of 20 and are still sleeping on your sheets from grade school, you need new bedding.
- A small cleaning kit. Spills and mistakes happen, even if you have a cleaning lady. Your kit may contain only Dr. Bronner's and a sponge, but you'll use it at some point (hopefully regularly, to keep your place nice and clean).
- An extra set of keys. Years ago, I gave a spare set of keys to my brother. I've only needed to call him for them once, but it was a huge relief. Alternately, if you're forever misplacing things, you can keep an extra set by the door. Use it on days that you really can't find your primary keys.
- Art. When we were dating, my husband lived for a year in an apartment with beige walls and no art anywhere. It was not cool and minimal — it was sad and depressing. (He now admits this himself.) Frame a sentimental postcard, buy a reprint of a favorite painting, browse Etsy or local art fairs — just get something on the walls to make your home more warm and personal.
- A comfy place to sit. Have one place you can cozy up for long phone calls, read books, have a good cry, or just stare at the wall. After all, your home is your sanctuary from the world.
- One thing you really love. A framed drawing by your niece. A vase from your sweetie. A memento from a favorite vacation. Display one item that brings you joy, no matter how often you see it.
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