In the fall of 2014, I moved into my new apartment, and it was the first time in my adult life I didn’t have roomies. Yes, at 28, I finally had a place all to myself, and as exciting as that was, I found that there were so many little things I didn’t have upon moving in. I am talking about absolute essentials for any woman to have in her apartment. Because I am a safety freak, I immediately did some shopping and compiled a list of the necessities every woman needs to have in her apartment. Here are some of my top suggestions, all of which can be found on Amazon. (Consider trying a 30-day Amazon Prime membership for free! Cancel anytime!)
Wallet List and Fireproof Safe
Can you list off everything that’s in your wallet right now? Chances are, if your wallet is lost or stolen, a fuzzy memory can lead to panic. A quick list of your credit cards, insurance information, and other essentials will help you act quickly to secure replacements or place holds on any accounts that could be troublesome if left in the wrong hands.
In addition, I recommend investing in a fireproof safe for important documents, like your wallet list. If you think losing your wallet is devastating, consider how terrible it would be to have every important document in your life burn up in a fire. It is recommended that you put your safe up against an outside wall, on the lowest level possible. This helps in locating your safe after a fire.
Having a small safe is important so you can store things that could be damaged by flood and fire. Unless you secure a safe securely to a floor- which may not be possible in an apartment, you’ll want to do your best to hide this safe as best you can. If you have all of your paperwork in here, a thief could easily run off with it- but it’s small enough to hide in a less conspicious area. SentrySafe Waterproof Fire Resistant Chest. Make sure you separate your keys in case you lose one.
I now have this safe in order to safely (pun-intended) store the ridonkulous amount of home and financial documents I had heaped on me when I bought my house. It’s really great for other valuables, too, like the candy and booze you don’t want to share with partners or roommates. I’m also a fan of “hidden in plain sight” items- like a Redbull can or SPAM (since we never eat it!) that you can store cash, jewelry and small things like Passports in too. It’s all about diversification- don’t put all of your documents in one place!
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety
Maybe you’re a good cook and you’d know to throw baking soda on a grease fire, but does your neighbor across the hall, or does your sister love to visit and leave candles unattended? You may be careful, but apartment living means that you’re susceptible to a variety of fire hazards. From a gal who experienced 4 fires within sight of her bedroom in 2 years at one location (both in my building and the one across the street), it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Do not rely on your apartment complex to supply you with fire and carbon monoxide safety equipment. Take a look at this hand-dandy chart, and purchase the appropriate items via the links below.
So, about those grease fires I just mentioned…you should also keep baking soda on hand to help whiten laundry, polish fixtures and of course, freshen things up in the fridge or on carpets. Get your whites whiter and freshen up your house for pennies a box. I buy my baking soda in bulk since it’s great for emergencies and for general cleaning.
Does your friend or neighbor have your keys? Seriously, getting locked out is never fun, and $5 at the hardware store can save you the hassle of waiting around for a landlady or property management company to show up with a spare. If someone is checking on your apartment while you’re away, giving them a set of keys with fun keycovers not only makes the chore more interesting, but color coding with monkeys also helps them remember what key does what.
And for those of you who are always misplacing your keys, wallet, or phone, grab a Tile product (or ten). These handy-dandy high-tech pieces of plastic help you locate your missing daily essentials with a push of a button. Check out all the Tile product options here.
Flashlights, Batteries, and Candles
I cannot tell you how many folks I’ve encountered that do not have a flashlight handy when they need it. The power can go out or you simply could drop something behind the fridge, and having light would be more than a little helpful.
A powerful Maglite is one my mom always had by her bed – it’s perfect if the power goes out, but also can be used to defend yourself (seriously, they’re practically a baseball bat) if need be. If you drive, consider storing an extra flashlight in your vehicle as well. I have a mini Maglite Pro that is slim enough to fit in my glovebox.
That being said, you’ll need batteries. You should have AA, AAA, and D batteries on hand, as they’re the most common for remotes, appliances, and ahem, flashlights. And don’t forget the 9 volts for your smoke detectors. Amazon makes their own batteries, which are really affordable and work fabulously.
It’s also a good idea to have some emergency candles and matches on hand, too. There is a little-known law of the universe that the one time you are out of batteries, you’ll need some for your dying flashlight. Having a back-up for your back-up is always a good idea.
Emergency Info List
If something happened to you, would your partner, neighbor or friend know who to call? Would they be familiar with your medical conditions and medications? While some of us still have address books where we keep this info, most folks use their phone or computer to store such things. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep an emergency info list on your refrigerator, as well as in your wallet.
This list should include your doctor, important family members, poison control number, your work, medications, and conditions. I’d also share this list digitally, through Dropbox or Google Drive, with your emergency contacts.
Let’s face it: for most of us, our phone is one of the most important things we own. They’re no longer just for calling or even texting. They allow us to socialize, complete work tasks, and can even supply wifi using a hotspot. Heck, the last time the power went out, I used my phone for a white noise machine because I absolutely CANNOT sleep without some sort of fan or background. Without my phone, there would have been no sleep for me. (The app is called SoundMachine, if you’re interested.) So the last thing you want to happen is be out of power, either due to lack of electricity or a broken charger.
Amazon has the best selection for both chargers and portable power banks, so pop on over and stock up. Have extras since you know your friends and guests always seem to walk off with one or need a boost!
First Aid and Tools
Just like batteries, first aid supplies never seem to be available when you really need them. Like, what does a girl have to do to get a damn band aid around here? Solve that problem by investing in a well-equipped first aid kit for your home. In addition, I recommend putting a compact kit in your car, too.
You’ll also need some tools. Consider them the first aid kit for your home. Even if you rent and have little-to-no responsibilities when it comes to upkeep of the premises, you’ll need a tool set to help you put together that ridiculous IKEA entertainment center.
And don’t forget a safety and tool kit for your car, especially if you live in an area that suffers from some wicked winters.
Protect Your Pet
If you have a pet, a whole host of additional challenges can occur during an emergency. To keep your special friend safe, I recommend the following:
- a pet carrier loaded with supplies, ready for when you need to get out fast
- your vet’s number, as well as the contact info for your nearest emergency vet, on your phone and on your fridge
- a pet ID tag, that is always kept on your pet’s collar (Don’t bother with addresses. Use all the space for phone numbers.)
- this FREE Pet Safety Pack from the ASPCA, which includes a door tag, letting emergency personnel that you have a pet, as well as a pet poison control magnet
You may be careful, but are all your neighbors? In the event of a fire, flood or some other mishap- be sure you are covered to replace your property. Renters insurance can be very affordable (under $20 a month) depending on certain variables such as amount of coverage, your credit score and the type of protective devices in the residence.
You can estimate of the amount you think it would take to replace your belongings, just remember to take into account that certain things, like electronics, depreciate in value. Allstate has a helpful tool that may assist you in determining the value of your property. Also, get an appraisal on any sentimental items you can’t lookup a price point for, like antiques or family jewelry and be sure to keep a list of all the valuables in your apartment.
Take pictures of the furniture, your closet, and your electronics (including pictures of model and serial numbers). You can upload these images to Allstate Digital Locker and there is a mobile app to make uploading simple and easy.
You can save even more on renters insurance by making sure the apartment you rent has protective devices such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, dead bolt locks, sprinkler systems, security alarms and/or 24-hour property surveillance. Also, the better credit rating you have, the more likely you are to get a better rate.
Renter’s insurance is not something you think about when you start furnishing and decorating your new apartment but it’s something every woman should have for her apartment, before something happens.
You can get renter’s insurance for as low as $4 a month when paired when paired with auto insurance, so bundling saves you money! Click here to get a free estimate and see what rates are for your area.
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held insurance company, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. For more tips like this, visit the Allstate Good to Know community.