Getting your first post-college apartment is a major life step. Finally, a place of your own, even if you have roommates.
Some things probably followed you from college though, like a futon that should be left out on the curb (maybe you even found it there), a beanbag chair or two, and the twinkle lights that you’ve convinced yourself “set a mood.”
But just because you can’t afford a remodeled condo on your own just yet doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the tech. Depending on your paycheck, you might even be able to afford some of the finer things that technology has to offer. You can get an TV without worrying that it will crash to the ground at a kegger, an air conditioner that might just be smarter than you are (new diploma notwithstanding), and a robot that does the cleaning for you.
Check out the list below for a few recommendations on gadgets to pad out your new pad.
High Wire Act
Ikea’s wireless charging furniture is aimed at those who can’t stand the messy look of cords ruining their home’s aesthetic. The collection, which supports the Qi wireless charging standard, ranges in price from $14.99 to $129.99 and includes several different lamps (floor, table, work), two different styles of bedside tables, and simple charging pads (pictured).
It’s a Lock
Generally when you get locked out of your apartment, the only thing your phone is good for is calling an expensive locksmith. But with a smart lock like the Kwikset Kevo (above) or August Smart Lock, your phone can unlock your door, provided your landlord gives the okay to install one.
The Frigidaire Cool Connect makes sure your bills are as low as the temperature in your apartment. This smart air conditioner keeps your place cool only when you need it to be. Tado Cooling, meanwhile, turns any A/C with a remote control into a smart device. Control your A/C from anywhere and even adjust the temperature based on your location so you get a chilly reception when you get home.
Checking a chore off your list is even better when you don’t have to do it yourself. The iLife robotic vacuum cleaner vacuums and mops with no sweat off your brow. It’s one of the cheaper options on the market, but if you have some extra cash to go around, check out some of PCMag’s top rated robot vacuums, too.
Bank On It
Even though you’re (hopefully) getting a regular paycheck, it’s smart to save those pennies. Digi-Piggy saves and tallies your change. Then check out PCMag’s recommendations for personal finance services.
Where There’s Smoke
Some of your college habits might still be around (though hopefully no photographic evidence exists), but your apartment neighbors might be less forgiving of the waft than your dorm neighbors. The Ploom Pax 3 lets you puff in peace.
The Sonos Play:1 will add sound and style to your décor. And it won’t detract too much from your budget. It streams wirelessly and if you want to surround yourself with sound, you can buy two and pair them. For more suggestions, be sure to check out PCMag’s roundup of The 10 Best Wireless Speakers.
$199.00 at Amazon
Those muddy and bottomless cups of coffee that got you through finals are no way to start the day. But neither is shelling out money for Starbucks. Brew your own true espresso at the push of a button at home with the Nespresso Inissia.
College was stressful, no doubt. But the working world can leave you worn out, too. The Buddha Machine soothes your soul with a hypnotic loop of ambient music (just like these apps).
You never know when the power might go out. Be prepared with the Panasonic Rain-Proof LED Lantern Light. Just three AA batteries give it enough power to last 70 hours.
Dish It Out
Your first apartment probably doesn’t include a dishwasher, and if you’re the type to let dirty dishes linger, it can be a recipe for disaster. Get a countertop dishwasher and your troubles will go down the drain.
Get Some Sense
You’ve moved in and you feel like there’s something missing, a big hole in your life. That’s right, you forgot to buy a TV. This 50-Inch 4K Smart LED TV from Hisense will fill up your living room and your spare time. As will our picks for the 10 Best TVs.
There’s an Echo In Here
Is living on your own lonely? Make Alexa your roommate. She won’t pay bills but she can read you the news while you get ready for work, help you cook dinner, cue up your playlists, and make calls. The Amazon Echo Dot is the smallest and least expensive Alexa-powered device around.
Far and Wi-Fi
If having too many devices connected to Wi-Fi is affecting your signal (#firstworldproblem), then add Plume Adaptive WiFi to your setup. A Plume Pod can be plugged into any outlet and will regulate the Wi-Fi according to the needs of the devices in the room.
File Under Great Ideas
If you’re lacking in desk space, you need the Everett LED file desk lamp, a combination light and file system.