I apologize in advance for the chaotic, random list I'm about to share with you. But bear with me - these are truly my MUST-HAVES. I promise that every item on this list is a key component in making your Gainesville apartment feel a little more like home.
I feel like this is a given, but you'd be surprised. The saying goes that humans spend nearly two-thirds of their lives in bed. However, for those in college, I'd bet money that the amount of time spent in bed is triple that. If you take anything from this post, let this must-have be it. Everyone deserves to have a plush (or firm, depending on your preference) mattress to sleep on at night (or at 2 p.m. after class). My roommate had a green-tea infused mattress that feels like an absolute dream to sleep on. Not only is it memory foam, but it's also under $250.
Whether you're living alone in a studio apartment or in a house with five of your best buds, having a quality couch is one of the greatest pieces of furniture you can put in your Gainesville apartment. Now, I know what you're thinking – couches can sometimes be outrageously expensive. However, I'm not advising you to go to Restoration Hardware to buy a couch that's almost as much as your tuition. Instead, I suggest utilizing Facebook marketplace, Craigslist and the numerous furniture outlet stores in Gainesville to find more affordable options. For example, my roommates and I got the most cozy + chic velvet couch from Gainesville's Rooms To Go Outlet for nearly 75% off retail value. My apartment in Gainesville was near sorority row, so I had it delivered straight to my door for a small fee – but SO worth it.
No, I am not talking about the red Solo cups that cover the floor of any and every Gator gameday tailgate. I'm talking about the nearly indestructible, dishwasher-safe and most importantly, environmentally friendly plastic cups, like these (I have 12 of these in my apartment at the moment and my roommates and I use them every.single.day). Buying multiple 32-packs of water every month is not only a hassle to lug up the stairs at your Gainesville apartment, but it's also harmful for the environment. Do yourself AND our earth a favor and invest in reusable, plastic cups.
Let's be honest – if you're going to live in an apartment in Gainesville, you MUST own a rain jacket. If you don't, go get one... like yesterday. Otherwise you'll find yourself soaked from head to toe after the daily 12pm downpour on your walk or scoot home from class. Trust me... Gainesville is coined as "Rainesville" for a reason.
TJ Maxx + HomeGoods
ATTN: All Gainesville apartments near the Oaks Mall - you may be in trouble, or in luck depending on your perspective... (wink wink). Every dorm or apartment space I've ever lived in has been fully sponsored by TJ Maxx + HomeGoods. Not actually (I wish) but basically. This retail sanctuary is the Pot-o-Gold at the end of the rainbow. If you don't believe me, then you've most likely never been. One can find anything from candles to curtain rods to cooking utensils at a majorly discounted rate compared to department stores. For example, I used to be a firm believer in Yankee Candles but on a college budget, it was impossible to justify spending $36 on a candle. Now, I strictly buy candles from TJ Maxx + HomeGoods that are up to par in terms of quality to Yankee Candle, but at a fourth of the cost. Most things on my list can be found at TJ Maxx + HomeGoods, so it's basically a one-stop-shop for all your apartment needs. PS. If you live near Butler Plaza, go to Marshall's. It's a close second to TJ Maxx + HomeGoods.