Right now, tons of college graduates are gearing up to make the transition from college life into full-fledged adulthood, which can be both exciting and terrifying.

One of the best ways to actualize and see that transition in action is to upgrade your old college apartment into a space that’s designed more for adult living. Whether you’re moving into a new, smaller place, living on your own or with roommates, or staying where you lived in while they went to school, there are plenty of ways to give your living space a much-needed makeover.

Getting ready to live like an adult means more than landing a full-time job and making your student loan payments. Here are six ways to make an apartment ready for everything that’s to come with adulthood.

1. Go on a cleaning spree

This is the best time to scrub away the flotsam of college life — piles of old notebooks and half-read novels, coffee stains, old pizza boxes — and start with a clean slate, literally. A clean apartment is a great way to get a fresh, clean start at this new stage of your life.

2. Don’t be afraid to throw things away

Those T-shirts that haven’t been out of the closet in a year? Get rid of them. Same for those mismatched plates and mugs in the kitchen cabinets.

Now is the best time to upgrade to something new. The time between college and adult living is the ideal time to get rid of the clutter that has collected throughout your studies and make room for all of the good things to come.

3. Look for inspiration everywhere

There are tons of websites out there with ideas for affordable and sustainable living, as well as plenty of easy-to-follow, DIY instructions for home decor. You can find ideas and instructions for every budget, every taste, and every experience level on the Internet. Whether you want to change a little or a lot, know exactly what you want your space to look like or have no idea, there’s help and inspiration just a click or three away.

4. Go shopping, but don’t break the bank

It’s time to replace that gross old couch, but you probably can’t afford a brand-new one. Before making the drive out to Ikea, visit the thrift stores and antique places around town and buy things second-hand. There’s no knowing what they’ll have, but it’s likely to be unique and probably cheaper than buying new.

5. Get organized

Untangle those computer cords, file important papers where they’ll be easy to find, and take the time to sort out the closet. When everything has a place in your apartment, it will be less of a challenge to keep things cleaned, organized, and easy to find. Not only is that a better space in which to get work done, but it’s a nicer place to come home to after a day at work.

6. Put on those finishing touches

This is one instance in which the old saying “less is more” applies. Decorating a space for adulthood doesn’t mean stripping away everything and leaving only the bare essentials; the space should still reflect the personality of the person who lives here.

Being an adult means figuring out the person you’re supposed to be, and your living space should reflect that. Ideally, it should become more than just a place to eat and sleep, but a place to relax and grow.

Photo Credit: nkeppol