How to Transition Your Space Into a “Grown Up” Apartment

Many of us have been there before; the day you finally decide that your apartment has some major “growing up” to do!

So how do you make you space more “grown up” without sacrificing the items that are still truly through-and-through you? What do you toss and what do you salvage?


Surprisingly, transitioning your apartment into a more a grown up environment doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money or having all “matchy-matchy” decor. It does, however, mean realizing that things that were once “cool” to your or others probably isn’t anymore.

After reading articles on the subject from The Huffington Post and the Apartment Guide, we’ve compiled the lists below on what to toss, replace or stash away.

What to Toss

  • Drug or Alcohol Related Paraphernalia.
    Because nothing wreaks of immaturity more than a “Look how much I can or have partied” atmosphere.  Don’t even stash it; you have your memories, photos or other friends memories from your partying, you won’t need the paraphernalia.
  • Lava Lamp.
    Do people still have these? If so, have a laugh and then toss it.
  • Meaningless Magnets.
    You know those people who have tons and tons of magnets all over their refrigerators? Yeah, don’t be that person.

    A few well selected magnets are fine, but an entire refrigerator full just looks messy.

What to Replace

  • Really, really worn out furniture or decor.
    There is a big difference between something being bohemian or shabby chic and just being, well…not very nice.

    Does it have a weird smell that cleaning won’t get rid of? Yes, everyone else notices it too, so toss it! Is it stained and you can’t have it reupholstered? Toss it!

    Also, be honest: Are you someone who knows that despite your good intentions, you will most likely never get around to making the repairs? Toss it!

  • Blow up furniture.
    If it blows up, it belongs in a pool. Blow up furniture is cheap, but never chic. Replace it immediately.

    Air mattresses are for guests or camping, but don’t belong in your new and improved apartment.  If you’re basically sleeping on the floor on an air mattress, get rid of it right away and invest in a real bed.

  • Posters.
    Artwork on the walls? Awesome.
    Posters that have been taped up? Not-so-awesome.If there’s a poster that you really, really love, either hang it up inside of a closet door or get it nicely framed, otherwise a poster has no business in a grown up apartment or home.
  • Photos stuck to the walls.
    Sticking printed out photos to your walls may have been considered cute in your college dorm, but are a true clue that you’re definitely not in a grown up apartment!

    Frame the ones you cherish the most and place them selectively around your home. Save the rest to upload for #ThrowBackThursday or tuck away to look at in private should the mood strike you.

  • Plastic Cups or Dishes.
    Plastic cups or dishes should be replaced with real glasses, plates, bowls and the like.  Stash a few for future camping use or to use in an emergency if you have the space, otherwise toss or donate them.

What to Stash

  • Childhood Mementos.
    If you’re still holding onto items with true sentimental value, such as one or two stuffed animals or a ratty baby blanket, don’t throw them away, just store them nicely.

    Being an adult doesn’t mean getting rid of everything that you once valued as a child, but it does mean knowing when to bring them out and appreciate them versus leaving them out at all times for people who won’t appreciate them to see.

    The exception? If you have found a nice way to incorporate them into your decor, such as framing old report cards and placing them in a den or setting the stuffed animal on a high shelf in your child’s bedrooms.

  • Christmas Lights.
    Fun and festive? Check!
    Out all year round? Nope!

    Christmas lights are festive, but they shouldn’t be a part of your permanent or even semi-permanent in-home decor.  Store them away and bring them back for holiday parties only.

  • Gaming Consoles.
    Even “grown ups” play video games.  While there’s nothing wrong with being a proud gamer, maybe stash away your consoles when they aren’t in use.

Now that you’ve tossed, replaced and stashed, check out THIS great article by Apartment Therapy on more easy ways to transform your space into a grown up apartment.

Above all else, remember that a true “grown up” apartment, regardless of what else you do or do not have, means having a tidy apartment.  Leave your mess in your bedroom if you must, but keep your public areas clean!