By Elly Leavitt and Marilyn La Jeunesse

Published on April 11, 2017

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

There comes a time in every graduate’s life when items in their apartment need to be purged, because they’re just SO college. Embrace the change! These are the items that need to go, and items that can replace them.

[updated]

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Photography by RIKKI SNYDER

We know you love your tapestry, but swap it out post-grad for a chic mural or wall-length piece of decor. Not only does this elevate your space, it also gives you a chance to flex your creativity muscles and develop a more refined personal taste.

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Photography by ANTHROPOLOGIE

You know the $20 desk lamp you bought before your freshman year, the one that probably came equipped with compartments for your pens and erasers? Get rid of it. You’re an adult now, and you deserve lighting that reflects your newfound maturity. As an added bonus, a chic table lamp doubles as an accent piece in its own right.

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Photography by AURéLIE LéCUYER

One of the quickest ways to pull a room together is with curtains, so ditch the cheap plastic blinds that served their purpose back in college and upgrade to a clean, modern option. Floor-length drapes add length to a room and will make your space seem bigger.

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Photography by SEAN FENNESSEY & LAUREN BAMFORD & ABIGAIL VARNEY

Toss your mismatched, ratty old towels and replace them with a more uniform (and softer!) variety. They’ll make getting ready a bit more luxurious.

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Photography by AMY BARTLAM

Using your yoga mat as a rug to cover up unsightly linoleum floors is no longer a thing you’ll have to worry about! Embrace the bare floors or opt for an accent rug. They’ll really transform a space and warm it up during the colder months.

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

It’s time to stop keeping your empty liquor bottles on the top of your cabinets. They’re not trophies to keep. In fact, you should stop keeping full [%1338%] in disarray all together. Opt for a classy bar cart to keep your collection organized. Dare we say a decanter, too?

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Photography by JOHN GRUEN

It’s finally time for you to toss out your mesh laundry basket! Instead of using a cheap, breakable basket to hold your clothes, you should hide your dirty laundry in style with a beautiful, woven basket.

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Using plastic drawers to hold your clothing is perfectly acceptable when you’re living in the dorms, but once you move out, you should invest in a sturdy dresser that will last you years. Plus, it looks better when you have guests coming over, and who doesn’t love styling a dresser surface?

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Photography by JARED SMITH

Time to relinquish your favorite band posters from your university days. Toss out the paper poster and opt for a more sophisticated piece of artwork. Not sure what you’re looking for? Check out our guide to buying art in your twenties.

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Photography by AMY BARTLAM

Now’s the time to stop using an empty wine bottle as a pseudo-vase for your flowers. Invest in a chic vase to keep your flowers looking beautiful during their stay on your dining room table.

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Photography by FRANCESCO LAGNESE

Toss all of your plastic plates and silverware in your garbage, right now! Or, better yet, donate them to your local Goodwill. Replace these items with gorgeous pieces of dinnerware that compliment your personal style.

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

Now that you’ve graduated, you should finally stop sleeping with your mattress on the floor. Give your room some character (and your bed a lift) with a new bed frame. Or, if you’re not truly dedicated to the bed frame cause, try purchasing a headboard for your bed. A headboard will make your floor-bound bed look more sophisticated, and the room more complete

While you’re at it, invest in a decent mattress, you know it’s the key to a peaceful night’s sleep.

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Photography by KIRSTEN STRECKER

Taking furniture from the side of the road in NYC is a common occurrence, one you may have even fallen prey to every now and again. It’s time to give up this habit and put the “recycled” furniture back on the street. In its place you can buy a new armchair or dining room table that will last longer (and look better) than the vintage pieces found on the street. (This doesn’t have to break the bank, either, shop some of our faves to the right)!

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Photography by Michael Wiltbank

It’s important to stop using a cardboard box or milk crates as a pseudo-nightstand/coffee table. Upgrade to a real night stand or side table to make your apartment look way more mature.