5 First Apartment Essentials: Useful Graduation Gifts

Sheri Reed

couch deskglasses glassware

In my younger days, I witnessed a fair share of disgusting college-living situations that shall remain unspoken here. It would've been really nice to see some of these kids get some apartment essentials for their high school graduation gifts instead of silly things like diamond earrings that would be lost during the college kegger and trips to Jamaica on which they killed loads of needed brain cells.

Feel good knowing you're sending your high school graduate off to his or her new dorm room or first apartment with a few essentials on hand.

Here are five essential graduation gifts for the first apartment or dorm room:

Clean sheets. Who knows how often they'll get washed after you leave your kid's new place, so you might as well start them off with some brand-spanking new ones. These "Bed in a Bag" sets from Target are nice and very affordable (pattern shown here: Red Vine; $39.99-$44.99).

A couch. If your kid only owns a few random bean bag chairs, where are you going to sit (or sleep) when you do your random drop-ins to the apartment? This Beddinge Lövås sofa bed ($249) from IKEA converts to a bed and has a removable, machine-washable cover.

Ample glassware. Trust me, these guys I knew in college owned like three glasses and if you ever could locate one of them, there was usually something floating in it. Since then, I'm a believer that you cannot have too much glassware. This 16-piece Glassware Set ($15) at Wal-Mart is a great deal.

glassware setDesk. Kids moving into their own place so they can attend college (sob! weren't they just babies?) means lots of studying and writing should be occurring. Setting them up with a small but sturdy desk, like the Parsons Mini Desk ($129.99 in polished straw) from West Elm, will remind them why they're there.

Parsons mini desk

Family photos. Don't let your babies college-age kids forget where they came from. They may be on their own, but their history is forever a part of them. These removable, re-positionable Stickr Frames ($19.95; set of 8) from Dorm Co are perfect for temporary living spaces or rentals.

stickr wall frames photos pictures

Start your college-goer off right in his or her first apartment. If you leave them in a place that looks somewhat respectable, they're more apt to take care of it and ask their friends to do the same.

What essentials do you recommend for a first apartment?


Images (top to bottom): Target; IKEA; Wal-Mart; West Elm; Dorm Co

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