Twelve things every grown man should have at home
Congratulations! You’ve moved out on your own.
You might have spent a few years in student flats or shared accommodation with friends. But your days of sleeping on a blow-up mattress and eating cold nuggets for breakfast are over! You’re ready to run your own household and live life on your own terms.
Unfortunately, there’s no Starter Kit for Single Men. But there are a few reliable basics every guy can get hold of to get you off to the best possible start. Read on for 12 home essentials to help you cross the line from ‘still learning to adult’ (no shade) to ‘man grown’.
1. Fruit and vegetables
While there’s no need to stockpile superfoods or get a juicer, the base of your food pyramid should consist of fresh fruit and vegetables. When you open your fridge, aim for a rainbow wonderland of different-coloured produce, rather than a sad wasteland of half-eaten takeaway.
If you’re not sure where to start, or cooking is not your thing, perhaps try one of the make-it-yourself food delivery services like, HelloFresh or Marley Spoon. This will help you pick up the basics and give you a few core recipes you can cook with minimal wastage.
2. A bed base and a decent mattress
The bedroom is where you’ll be making some of your most wonderful memories. You don’t want them to make them on a lumpy, hand-me-down mattress on the floor. Nowadays, you don’t have to go into debt to get a decent crashmat, with a few great online retailers who offer affordable mattresses with next-day delivery.
Investing in a decent mattress is the best decision you’ll ever make. A good night’s sleep is priceless and it only gets more valuable as you get older. And get a respectable bed base (pallet-style is fine if you prefer it low). It doesn’t have to be big or expensive; it just has to get you off the floor when you’re sleeping.
3. Quality towels and sheets
Nothing says more about your standards than the things you’re willing to put on your naked body every day. Get a set of good, thick towels in a natural fibre (cotton is cool; linen is lavish). Pretty colours are nice, but their first job is to be soft, hygienic and absorbent.
Find a couple of sets of bedsheets that you like. If you’re not brave enough for bold colours or patterns, just go with neutral tones – it’s easy to add colour to your room later if you want to get fancy. The important thing is that they should be good quality and regularly laundered, especially if you’re having sex on them.
Ideally you want to get at least two sets of sheets so you’ve got one set to use while the other is in the wash. While you don’t need to spend a fortune, the key is to have a couple of sets that allow you to wash them regularly. Try to wash your sheets every two weeks and your towels at least once a week.
One of the simple pleasures in the world is getting into clean sheets (it’s one of the great things about staying in a hotel).
4. Kitchen essentials
There comes a time when you can’t get away with using your old share-house bric-a-brac for pots/cups/plates anymore. Mealtimes will be a much more enjoyable affair if you get yourself some decent kit: invest in one set each of tableware (plates, bowls, cups/mugs), glassware (not just for shots), cutlery, cookware (pots, pans, bakers) and proper kitchen knives. You’re most likely to have to replace glasses due to breakage, so buy an extra set to bring out after the housewarming party’s over!
Kitchenware can be pricey, but there are loads of options to help you #werk in the kitchen without breaking the bank – budget a little bit each week and focus on one purchase at a time. This is something that you don’t need to pay full price for – often these items go on sale with major department stores at least twice each year, with savings up to 40% or more. Similarly, if you’re just starting out and want to get some something matching but affordable, IKEA are great for tableware, cutlery and other kitchen items that won’t dent your savings too much.
Take a look at these quirky homewares for added style touches in the kitchen and beyond.
5. Books you love and somewhere to keep them
In the words of John Waters: “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ‘em!”
A beautifully filled bookshelf is a little storehouse of things you love – stories, facts, artworks, advice, things that make you laugh – which have each in small ways helped make you who you are. It’s like a little personal history you keep in your home. It also says a lot of great things about your diverse interests, inquiring mind and attention span.
6. Sunscreen and moisturiser
It’s never too early or too late to start taking care of your skin. The good news is that there are about eleventy million products for every budget and every skin type. The most important ones for everyone are sunscreen and moisturiser.
Apart from its anti-ageing effects, sunscreen is vital to help protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancers (a lot of moisturisers include a sunscreen for this reason). Using moisturiser every day also keeps your skin looking fresh and can help minimise wrinkles and blemishes as you get older.
Can’t bear the thought of not being bronzed? There are safer ways to get that golden glow.
7. A first aid kit
Get it before you need it. A first aid kit should have all the basics: burn cream, band-aids, bandages, eye-pads, antiseptic wipes and painkillers, so you can manage any minor ouchies at home.
8. Condoms and lube
As above: get them before you need them. When used properly, condoms protect you from HIV and help prevent a range of other STIs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.
Get condoms that fit you properly and make sure you have plenty of your preferred water-based or silicone-based lube on hand. Never use other oils, lotions or kitchen products in place of lube, as they can damage condoms.
And remember, even if condoms aren’t your first choice, they might still be someone else’s. Keep some on standby just in case.
Every home can benefit from a little greenery. There are lots of super low-maintenance indoor plants that will help bring a bit of nature into your house – just make sure you pick the right ones for the amount of space and light you to have to offer. Nothing says ‘dateable’ more than a guy who can successfully take care of things other than himself.
These out and proud plant parents know all about it.
You can buy a basic toolkit from any hardware store and it’s definitely worth having. There are any number of small household jobs you can do with little to no experience, and it’s a lot cheaper than calling a handyman every time you need a screwdriver.
If you’re not handy and have no idea where to begin, here is a little guide to the basic tools you’re most likely to need around the home – or just pick up a pre-made toolkit with all the essentials.
11. A good vacuum cleaner
In this context, ‘good’ means ‘practical’. Cordless stick vacuums are popular for a reason – they’re easy to use and you don’t have to drag around a big unit with all the cords and tubes and wheels that never go the right way. Generally speaking, it’s better to pay for quality with a vacuum cleaner, because cheaper ones will usually choke out as soon as the warranty expires.
12. An iron and an ironing board
Even if you don’t have to dress for the office, there are going to be times when you need to iron a shirt and/or trousers. If you don’t have a lot of space, you can get half-size ironing boards at most department stores, or throw a thick towel over the kitchen counter as a last resort.