Walking into my apartment for the first time felt like an episode of the early 00’s MTV show “Cribs.” (Minus the Ferraris and pools; sorry rapper 50 Cent) While it’s definitely not up to par with the stars, it’s my place. My first place to have all by myself and make my own rules.

However, it isn’t all fun and games. There’s cleaning to do and if you want to survive, you might need to eat at some point. Life doesn’t come with a domestic instruction manual, and if it does, can somebody please inform me where I can get one?
In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks I have learned within the not even two weeks I have been living in my apartment. Yes mothers and fathers, you probably know all of this; but this one’s for the kids.
  1. Close the toilet lid if you store your towels and washcloths in a cabinet above the toilet; unless you want an impromptu bowl scrubbing while putting away clean laundry. Trust me, if you drop anything above the throne, be ready for it to be dunked in water. If it doesn’t reach the waters, the Lord was looking out for your soul.
  2. I know mixing colors and whites in the wash seems quicker and easier, but unless you want brand new pink clothing, don’t do it. I have made this mistake more than once. Plus, if you mix it without some sort of color blocking soap, it just make
  3. s your clothes look dingy. Also, always check clothing tags before you wash them. I had a cute shirt with tassels and because I washed it incorrectly, it is now just a cute shirt. No tassels.
  4. Kill the bug. Just do it. Otherwise it will live in your house and crawl into your mouth while you sleep. Okay, that’s probably not true, but the thought is scary, huh?
  5. If you can afford the place with a washer and dryer already in it, get it. Washaterias are an inconvenient pain and if you have that many quarters on hand at any given moment, I’m suspicious of you.
  6. Take a drive around the area without your GPS. If you feel you have gone to
    o far, pull out your GPS and get back on track. I feel like this helped me learn how to navigate the roads better. While this does use gas, it will help in the long-run.
  7. It’s okay to be lazy sometimes. This might sound counterproductive, but it makes life a lot less stressful. For example, my whole life I would see the women in my family fold clean laundry while standing next to the machines. I learned that clothes fold just as well whenever you pile them in the hamper, push the basket in front of your tv, and watch the newest Netflix sensation while folding. It seems simple, and I’m sure some of you already do that; but, it’s the little things.
  8. Learn how to coupon. You obviously will not start at the level of the people on “Extreme Couponing,” but saving cents here and there will add up. Get a rewards card to every grocery store in the area and don’t forget to use it. Often times the points can be used to save money on gas. I know for a fact both Brookshires and Kroger does this.
Of course, this is no where near all of the information you need to live on your own. It takes time and patience and until we find the domestic instruction manual, that’s what we’ve got. Just remember to keep good people around you and keep working hard and learning. I know I still have a lot of learning to do.