How Much Furniture Does One Apartment Need?

nicole's new apartment floorplan

In the 24 hours since I put down a holding deposit on an apartment, my life has essentially stopped.

I mean, I did write 3,269 words for my freelancing clients. That part of my life isn’t going anywhere.

But I did not do my morning yoga practice. For the first time in years, I forgot to eat lunch. (I am usually a person who counts down the minutes until she can eat lunch, and tries to will herself to make it to 11:30 a.m.) I did not get my 10,000 steps. I did not even get my 2,500 steps. I only brushed my hair because it was getting in my eyes.

And then I went to Eat24 and spent $23.28 on a thing of pad Thai and spring rolls (not the kind they deep fry, the other kind that comes wrapped in lettuce). I tipped via PayPal because I never have any cash on hand, and I hope my tip makes it to my delivery driver.

I spent $23.28 on delivery food, telling myself I will make it last for two meals, when a Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker, Black costs $19.99 on Amazon. Or when a Hamilton Beach 33139 Oval Slow Cooker, 3-Quart, Leaf costs $35.48.

I am terrified about this apartment. I can tell I am terrified because that is how my body is acting, and my body is generally a much better judge of my emotions than my brain, which is devoting itself to typing out words 2,706 and 2,708.

First, I’m terrified that something about the deal is going to fall through, and then I will have no apartment.

Second, I am terrified about the outlay of money that is coming up. It is hilarious, because at the beginning of the year I didn’t care that I had $0 in savings. A few months ago I was tickled to have $500 in savings. Now I am like “NO NO PANIC BAD LOSING MONEY.”

I’ve put a floorplan up, as promised. It is not perfectly to scale, but I’d say this place is roughly 2.5 times the size of my current apartment. The bedroom is about the size of my current living space, which is to say: slightly larger than a queen-sized bed. The kitchen area is large enough for a card table, or a fancy wooden table that is about the size of a card table.

But those fancy wooden tables cost money, and so do sofas and Hamilton Beach slow cookers. All of my existing furniture (really, all of my current belongings) could fit in the bedroom, and I’ve got two more rooms to fill.

Here is a short list of the items I might want to buy:

—Small table

—Two chairs for table


—Coffee table

—Armchair, possibly papasan style like the one I used to own

—Throw pillows and blankets


—Slow cooker

—Toaster (I love toast so much, and microwaving English muffins just isn’t the same)

—Stepstool, for high shelves

—Window coverings because I want to believe I am a person who can afford to take her windows seriously and not, like, visually ignore them because the blinds are so ugly




—Baking stone

—Cutting boards for different types of foods

—More knives (in theory you only need a chef’s knife, and that’s the only one I have right now)

—Ladles, slotted spoons, tongs

—Freezer-safe containers for soup

—Mason jars for breakfast oatmeal

—Wineglasses for wine

—A television? I don’t actually want TV, but I would like a way to watch movies with friends

—A few tabletop or card games, even though I know I could just ask my friends to bring their favorites

—Cute wicker laundry hamper for the bedroom (please do not ask me about the current state of my laundry hamper; just know that I have been using it since the year 2000)

—Adorable shoe rack to go in front hallway below the row of iron hooks

—Full-length mirror (I have been living for two years without a full-length mirror)

—Huge piece of statement artwork to hang above the sofa

Obviously some of these are more of a stretch than others, but I’ll still need a lot of stuff to turn this place into a home, and I’ll need to not be afraid about buying it.

There are a few ways to go about this. One of them is The Installment Plan, where I buy a few things every month until my apartment is fully kitted out. The other is the Go to the Value Village Down the Block plan, which will probably be my first stop on move-in day. I don’t care if I buy a used stepstool or upcycled Mason jars.

And the third is the Just Trust That Everything Is Going to Be Okay plan, and that I’ll figure it all out when I need to. That’s the one I have to do, and it is the hardest one.

But at least I have leftover pad Thai for lunch today.



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