Essential 20s

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20 Essential Items for Every Room in a 20-Something's First Place
By Chronicle Books, Illustrated by Lizzy Stewart

Adulting is hard. You turn 18, and you're suddenly thrust out from the comfort and shelter of your parents' home and left to fend for yourself. Even baby foxes are shoved out of the nest with sharp teeth to ward off predators, but all we humans get is a box of ramen noodles and an invitation to come back and do laundry on weekends. Among the many questions that crop up during this tumultuous transition is, "What the heck do I put in my apartment?"

Before your newly graduated teen or college goer goes and blows their student loan at the big box store, help them identify exactly what they need -- and all the things they don't -- with Essential 20s: 20 Essential Items for Every Room in a 20-Something's First Place. Recommendations are broken down not just room by room but also space by space, so it's abundantly clear what you need to grab to stock everything from your closet to your medicine cabinet. There are even colorful illustrations, just in case you don't know your colanders from your cutlery.

This is hands down one of the most practical, thoughtful gifts for 20-year-olds who are thrilled about their new apartment but daunted by the need to furnish it. Bonus: When you visit, you won't have to sit on cardboard boxes and drink out of old yogurt containers, and that kind of luxury is pretty much priceless.

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