The 5 Things I Keep In My Apartment That Make Me Feel Like A Grown-Up

Whenever I actually have aluminum foil on hand I feel pretty great.
Publish date:
January 17, 2014
home, adulthood, being prepared

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I read recently that some psychologists are calling the period between age 19 to the mid-20s "late adolescence," that they believe you're not truly an adult until your 25th birthday. And while I haven't hit that milestone yet, I have been paying bills, doing laundry, and enjoying olives for quite some time now so I do think that I am sort-of, kind-of an adult. A good chunk of the time, that feeling is brought on by things I own, 5 of which are listed below. Because if my life experiences don't make me an adult, then at least my belongings can!

1. A well-stocked first-aid kit

So, I'm allergic to the glue in band-aids. I've tried tons -- fabric, latex-free, whatever, and they always give me a horrible, burn-like reaction that blisters my skin and leaves it scarred for months. When I get a particularly bad papercut, I have to wrap my finger in gauze and then safety pin it together - not the most practical solution but you do what you gotta do.

Thankfully, I was given a fully packed first aid kit at a retail job a few years ago and so I am always prepared should I injure myself, since it thankfully came well-stocked with a roll of gauze and various pins. Other much-needed items in the kit included sanitizing alcohol wipes, scissors, tweezers (for splinters), Band-aids of all sizes (for people who don't share my stupid allergy), an ice pack, a tensor bandage, and various one-use packets of creams and wipea for all kinds of small scrapes and burns. If you're looking to make up your own rather than buying a pre-made kit (which can be found prepackaged at most drugstores), I'd recommend including all the aforementioned, along with some Polysporin and some Advil and antihistamines. I keep mine in a kitchen drawer and know that if a minor accident befalls anyone in my home, I can properly tend to them.

2. Delicates detergent

I felt particularly grown-up when I started buying clothes made out of silk and cashmere, but then felt super-annoyed realizing they all claimed to be "dry-clean only." Ah, perhaps for someone without my steadfast patience. Instead I like to spend my weekend nights (I'm very popular) hand washing these delicate items with my ultra-fancy and ultra-gentle Tocca detergents. The scents are so gorgeous and linger on the fibres of my precious sweaters long after air-drying them, meaning I can frequently be found sniffing my sleeves. Plus, they gently clean the goods (deodorant streaks be gone) and help keep my fancy bras in good shape.

3. A toolkit

For a long time I, like many other people my age, used the heel of a heavy shoe as a hammer. When I was recently given this well-stocked tool kit as a gift, I was giddy. There was a hammer! A screwdriver with various interchangeable heads! A box cutter! A case full of various nails and screws and anchors for hanging art! And the best of all - A LEVEL. I can now hang art on my walls and trust that it is 100% not-crooked, and that's a good feeling. I'm also able to assembled IKEA furniture with tools much more comfortable than those blister-causing Allen keys. Hallelujah.

4. A sewing kit

I think every human being, no matter who they are, should learn to sew a button and mend a torn seam. It's easy as heck and will extend the life of your wardrobe a ton. I bought a cute Cath Kidston sewing kit (similar one here) a few years ago that has helped me endlessly. It came with pins, sewing needles, a multitude of different coloured threads, scissors, a measuring tape, a seam ripper, and a book of instructions on basic sewing techniques. The kit has saved me many times in the past - I've used it to take in a too-big dress, fix an armpit tear on a favourite vintage piece, hide a moth hole in a favourite sweater and mend rips in an old jacket. I really love vintage clothing but damn, it can be fragile. Thankfully it doesn't take that much work getting it to look like new again. And hey, you can always use your sewing skills to sew fancy new buttons on a boring old cardigan. Instant refresh!

5. A fire extinguisher

I don't want my apartment to ever burn down. I like to think this will help prevent that from happening. Otherwise I can always e-mail my landlord when I think I may have left the straightener plugged in (turns out it was unplugged!)

What grown-up stuff makes you feel like you have your act together? Whenever I actually have aluminum foil on hand I feel pretty great. I think next up I need some sort of mail sorting system because it's seriously getting out of hand.