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Your 20s can feel like a constant state of flux. Frequent moves are a fact of life as you transition from college to your first real apartment and beyond. But by the time you're 30 (opens in new tab), you're usually ready to settle down a bit.
I'm not by any means saying you have to be in your forever home or have your whole life figured out before your 30th birthday. But I do think that's when it's time to move on from the hand-me-down dishes and decorate your "big girl" apartment.
Your space is often a reflection of your state of mind. And if you're living in a chic, well-decorated space, you're more likely to be successful and happy in other aspects of your life. So in honor of my turning 30 next year (eek!), here are 29 things I think every girl should have in her apartment before the big 3-0.
1. A cake stand. So you have a way to properly display any homemade treats (opens in new tab).
2. A set of eight or 12 wine glasses. You can buy inexpensive ones from IKEA, but no more drinking out of plastic cups when you are 30! You should have enough wine glasses to entertain or throw a dinner party (opens in new tab).
3. A beautiful area rug. A good rug (opens in new tab) does a lot to make your space feel warm and inviting. It's one of the best investments you can make when it comes to decorating.
4. A dedicated workspace. If you ever work from home like I do, you should have a designated home office area (opens in new tab) — even if that's just a small corner of your bedroom with a desk. You will be much more productive than you are working from your bed or your couch.
5. A flea market find. I love some of the bigger home decor stores, but I'm also a huge advocate of collecting unique pieces (opens in new tab) that you can't find anywhere else.
6. A nice set of hangers. Slim-line velvet hangers will help to keep your closet organized and make it easier to fit more clothes on a rack.
7. One piece of art that you love. It doesn't have to be pricey, just something you love.
8. A comfortable mattress. You spend so much of your life in bed. "Spring" for a nice mattress.
10. Photos of loved ones. And not just on your phone. It's good to print and frame some photos even in today's digital age.
11. A sewing kit for last-minute repairs. Your mother isn't there to sew on a button for you anymore.
12. A matching set of dishes for dinner parties. Chipped, hand-me-down dishes should definitely be traded in for a nice set by the time you're 30.
13. A set of napkins for said dinner party. No more paper towels when you are hosting guests for the evening.
14. A garment steamer. It's so much easier to use than an iron. I think every girl should have one.
15. A coffeemaker. Not going to Starbucks every single day can help you budget for more important things like saving up for a house or car.
16. A selection of beautiful coffee table books. They are one part décor and one part light reading.
17. A bottle of Champagne. Sometimes there is celebrating to be had.
18. A fire extinguisher. Make sure you know how to use it too.
19. A sturdy, sharp kitchen knife. It makes all the difference when you're cooking.
20. A cheese board. Everyone loves a good cheese plate (opens in new tab).
21. A small tool kit. So you can hang pictures (opens in new tab), put together furniture, etc.
22. A flashlight. This is good for emergencies or power outages.
23. Nice stationary and stamps. So that you can send a thank-you note (opens in new tab) or letter.
24. A nice vase. I love picking up fresh flowers (opens in new tab) and displaying them in my home.
25. A matching set of towels for the bathroom. They don't have to be fancy, but they shouldn't be threadbare.
26. A food processor. Once you own a food processor, you will wonder how you ever lived without one.
27. A stand mixer. At least if you like to bake a lot, like I do. If not, you can save counter space with a handheld electric mixer.
28. A scented candle. I burn candles (opens in new tab) whenever I have guests visiting or want to relax at home.
29. A reliable vacuum. It's time to toss your old vacuum that doesn't work well and invest in a powerful one.
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