Attention new male college grads: It’s time to grow up.
Now that you’ve got a college diploma and (hopefully) a grown-up job, it’s time to upgrade to a grown-up apartment. And that means decorating.
You might be tempted to just import your old furniture and decorations to your new living arrangements. That’s a bad idea. A grown-up apartment shouldn’t have trophy bottles, fraternity letters, or neon beer signs (save that for your future man-cave.) Whether you lived in a frat house or in a dorm room that just looked (and smelled) like one, chances are your college apartment left a lot to be desired.
When you start your new life, it’s probably a good idea to leave the old one behind. Here, then, are 20 things you should get rid of before you hire your UHaul.
1. Any and All Beer-Related Decorations
I don’t care if it’s a vintage Spuds McKenzie poster or a 300-can beer pyramid that you encased in glass. Nothing screams “college” more than decorations inspired by cheap beer. Throw them away — or put them in storage until you can afford a man-cave out in the suburbs.
2. Blankets and Sheets Used as Curtains
You no longer live on $20 a week. You can, and should, buy cheap curtains at Target. Do it.
3. A White IKEA Chair
We all had it: the Pello, IKEA’s cheapest chair. It was white with blonde wood arms. It was a great chair up until it was inevitably stained from late night pizza grease. It screams “dorm room.” Get it out of there.
4. Classic Rock Posters, or That One With John Belushi
We get it: Dark Side of the Moon is great. So is Houses of the Holy and Animal House. But nothing signifies “immature” like the same three posters everyone gets at the combination poster/futon store the week before classes start. Find some museum prints you like more, or hang photos that mean something personal to you.
5. Your Framed Diploma
You’re proud. You should be. But this isn’t a doctor’s office. Leave the framed diplomas for your parents’ house.
6. Red Solo Cups
Time for some real glassware, champ. Solo cups are for weekends.
7. On That Note: Your Friend’s Flip Cups, Labeled with a Sharpie
Your college friends might come back to visit. You might play flip cup for old time’s sake. But you don’t need to keep their cup out on the kitchen table. It won’t make them come back faster.
8. Protein Powder Jugs Proudly Displayed on the Kitchen Counter
We get it: You work out. But whey is not a design element. Move the 5-pound jug to a kitchen cabinet.
9. Fraternity Paddles
No. Just… no.
10. Wire Coat Hangers
As Faye Dunaway screamed so memorably in Mommie Dearest, “No wire hangers, ever!” They look cheap and they ruin your clothes. Do you really want to stretch out the shoulders of your brand new, office-ready suit?
11. Your College Towels
If a towel spent any time near a shared bathroom, junk it. Replace your detergent-stained towel with a set of matching bath and hand-towels. Coordinate the colors with your shower curtain and bath mat.
12. Your College Sheets
The days of the twin extra-long are no more. Thank goodness. For your new bed, look for sheets with a higher thread-count than the ones you slept on in college. And no designs inspired by superheros, comic books, or TV shows.
13. The Idea That You Don’t Need a Bed Frame
You do. A mattress on the floor ≠ a bed.
14. That One Tall Lamp from Target With “Snake” Lights
It looked really cool to you and your roommate, and it was $15. You could angle light wherever you wanted! The lamp shades were pink, blue, and neon green! But it’s dorm room 101. Upgrade to something more adult.
15. A Futon
Futons are for divorced dads and freshmen in college. You’re an adult now. Your grown ass deserves a real couch. And we don’t mean a Goodwill pickup that looks like it’s spent the last 50 years in a damp basement. Go for something clean, functional, and sleek.
16. A Stained, Sticky Coffee Table
College coffee tables go through a lot: filthy shoes, 2 AM pizza grease, coaster-less beer cans. Yours is probably bearing a lot of mileage. Time for an upgrade.
17. Folding Camp Chairs in the Living Room
Folding camp chairs are for camping, tailgates, and backyard firepit nights. They’re not intended as permanent seating options in your living room.
18. A Milk Crate Full of Fleischman
You’re a big boy now. It’s time for a real liquor cabinet. Trade in the bottom shelf vodka for a sippable bourbon, and then store it somewhere off the floor.
19. A Line of Empty Bottles
While we’re on the subject: No rows of empty bottles. No one’s impressed.
20. A Kitchen Cabinet That Holds Only a Single Ramen-Stained Pot
Now that you’re an adult, you’ll have to subsist on more than just George Foreman hot dogs and ramen. Buy a cookbook. Then stock your cabinets with the tools you’ll need to follow a recipe or two.