Becoming an adult is a process, not a birthday. You learn things as you mature.
You begin to pick up on the tricks of the trade after you move out from under your parents’ roof and start your own household.
The college freshman living away from home for the first time soon learns that keeping the toilet paper stocked is essential. By the end of college most people have gotten tired of Ramen Noodles and have begun to master the art of grocery shopping and have developed some basic cooking skills.
If you buy a house, you’ll probably start to accrue a nice tool collection so you can fix the things that break.
Slowly but surely, the household begins to come together and you transition from a boy into someone who doesn’t have to stop by his parents’ house to do laundry or borrow his dad’s power drill. Some things you’ll understand later than others.
Here are the top five most important household items almost always missing from young adults’ homes. If you’ve already got one or more of these things; congratulation. You’re on your way to becoming a full-fledged head of household, a.k.a. king of the castle.
5. Candy in a dish in the living room
I remember the first time I went over to a grad student’s apartment and found a dish of skittles sitting on her coffee table. It blew my mind. I emptied that bowl in like twenty minutes. She probably should have hid it before I came over.
Having an open bowl of candy sitting around makes a statement about you. You entertain guests often, and ones who are mature enough not to drain a bowl of skittles in minutes.
4. A second set of bed linens and towels
Until recently, I’d been using the same sheets and towel for over five years. I washed them both about once a month. If I started the dryer cycle too late at night, I just skipped showering and slept on a bare mattress with a comforter and a coverless pillow.
3. (living) Houseplants
I usually feel at ease when I walk into the house of somebody older than I am. At first, it’s just a subconscious feeling of comfort. But then I go back to my rigid, barren apartment and realize I don’t have anything alive inside of my home.
It’s like a better-decorated version of a Soviet housing project. Younger adults can usually manage to keep a dog alive, but that’s only because dogs bark at the door when they need to poop and can dig through the trash if they haven’t been fed in a while.
Remembering to care for something that can’t jump on you when it needs attention requires a whole different level of maturity.
I defy you to find someone under 30 who has band-aids in their house. I usually end up having to make-do with duct tape and a folded-up square of toilet paper to stop the bleeding.
1. A clue where the neighborhood dry cleaner is
It’s not that younger guys don’t have clothing that needs dry-cleaned. It’s just that we don’t actually clean them.
I wore a pea coat for nearly a decade without ever cleaning it. It eventually got so dirty, I had to stop wearing it out of shame. But, instead of finally cleaning it, I just hid it in the back of my closet. It stunk the place up so bad, I had to throw it away.
When you start spending serious money on suits and coats, that’s not an option. It’s time you get to know your local dry cleaner.