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How to Be an Adult: Things You Need in the House


I'm genuinely trying to help

Before anyone gets defensive, this isn’t a rant about any of the generations not knowing how to do adult stuff. I was never taught how to do any of this stuff when I was younger, I had to figure it out for myself through trial and error.

And believe me, there were a lot of errors! So I decided to create this series to help people who are in the same position I was in. A fully grown person with no idea how to be an adult.

I don’t want to patronize, I really do just want to help.

You've Got the House

So you’ve done it, whether it’s rented or bought, you’ve got your own place. Nice one. And you’ve got all your furniture, even better. Ignore what anyone else says. It doesn’t have to be one-off, bespoke pieces made of Sumatran pine, handcrafted in the Gobi desert. Ikea will be just fine.

But there are some things besides furniture that every adult should have in the house. Some things are practical, some things are just fancy.

But before you start thinking “steady on, I’m on a budget here,” so am I. All these things I got for my house cost less than £250 ($314.72)

And you don’t have to get them all at once, you can just kind of accumulate them over time when you have the cash. Some of them should be a priority though. Anything that will keep you safe such as a fire extinguisher or carbon monoxide detector should be first on the list.

But to join the adulting club, you do need to have these things in your home. I should warn you though, the adult club is really boring. You’re tired all the time and it’s not open late because we’ve all got work tomorrow.


Nice Drinking Glasses

Drinking wine from a coffee mug is fine when you’re by yourself. Hey, drink it from the bottle for all I care, we’ve all done it! But when you have company, you should be able to serve wine in actual wine glasses.

And again, they don’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t need to have a glass for every kind of drink imaginable. But a few nice, matching wine glasses are essential. Mine cost a total of £6 for 6 from Ikea. They look way more expensive than that, but I would rather spend the money on the wine than the glasses so I got the cheapest ones!



If you don’t have any carpet in your house, then you don’t need a vacuum. But if you do, then I’m afraid you need to splash the cash. Don’t be suckered in by all these £600 vacuums, you don’t need to spend much more than £50 to get a good one. If you have pets that shed fur, it’s worth spending a little extra to get a pet-specific vacuum.

A broom is just a broom, as long as the head doesn’t keep falling off then the cheapest one you can find will do.

Steam Mop

Mopping floors is the worst and all regular mops do is spread dirt and germs around. This is down to the fact that we don’t change the water as often as we should.

But steam mops are an effective, chemical-free way to keep your floors clean and bacteria-free. Just make sure that using a steam mop won’t damage the floor. Asking your landlord or a quick Google search will normally give you the answer.



I always find it weird when I go to someone’s house and they don’t give me a coaster. I mean, do they want me to put it down on their lovely table? It’s gonna leave a mark! I normally just sit there with it in my hand until I’m finished. But coasters aren’t just for fussy snobs. They do help protect the furniture you paid good money for and they make it last.


They work on the same principle as the coasters. They protect your table from spills, watermarks, and scratches. They might seem like a real waste of cash but believe me, the second you get scratches on your nice table, you’ll wish you had got some.

First Aid Kit

If you feel like you’re adulting but you don’t have a first aid kit, I’m afraid you’re only halfway there. You need a well-stocked kit that includes:

  • Plasters of all shapes and sizes: These are pretty standard and cheap. But do try to get waterproof ones if you can—they last a bit longer.
  • Dressings and bandages: You feel like you’ll never need them, but believe me there comes a time. My wife once had to wrap my arm in a sling because I got so drunk I cracked a rib and had to keep my arm still. Those bandages came in handy then.
  • Safety Pins: These are useful little things and come in handy for much more than just first aid stuff.
  • Tweezers: Decent tweezers are great for things like splinters.
  • Aspirin: These aren’t just for pain relief. If you genuinely think someone is having a heart attack, get them to chew on 1 adult strength aspirin or 2-4 baby aspirin.
  • Allergy Pills: For hay fever/allergy season and various other allergies. You should always keep a good stock of these cheap tablets. Don’t be tricked into buying brand-name ones. If you’re buying them from the shelf, the store brand will have the same dosage as the name brand one.
  • Antiseptic Cream: This stuff is perfect for preventing infection in minor wounds
  • Eye Wash and Bath: If something gets in your eye you need to get it out as soon as possible. The longer it is in there the more damage it can do. Wash it out with eyewash. This normally contains a saline solution which can help prevent germs causing infection.

A Nice Vase

At some point somebody is probably going to bring you flowers and you’ll have nowhere to put them. A pretty vase doesn’t have to be expensive, I got mine on sale for 50p in Tesco!

An Extension Lead

I think my wife is a bit obsessed with them because we have about ten. But they are really useful things to have around. I recommend getting a couple, but maybe not as many as we have.


A Decent Torch

Have a decent torch in the house, but remember where you left it. There’s no point in having a really good torch if, when the power goes out, you don’t know where it is. Make sure you have plenty of batteries in too.

A Tool Kit

Nothing fancy, just the basics. Every home toolkit should have a hammer, a set of screwdrivers, a spirit level, pliers, and an adjustable wrench. There's no point in spending hundreds of pounds on a tool kit if you don't know how to use the tools in it!


Fire Safety Pack

These include a fire extinguisher, fire blanket, a smoke alarm, and fire safety signs. They’re not as much as I thought they would be, I got mine for £35. If you think it’s an unnecessary purchase, it’s not. Last year 334 people died in the UK as a result of house fires. Your life is worth at least £35.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

If you’re in the UK and rent a house, your landlord MUST have a carbon monoxide detector installed. But after the first day of your tenancy, it is your responsibility to make sure it works.

If you own your property then you need to make sure you get a carbon monoxide detector. They’re not very expensive and they could save your life. 50 deaths and 4000 medical visits were attributed to carbon monoxide last year.

Safety First

Like I said, put the safety things at the top of the list. They’re the most important ones. But if you want to join the adulting brigade, they won’t let you in until you have these things.

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