8 Smart Ways to Upgrade Your First Apartment

If you’re just starting out and renting your first place, you’ve probably had to compromise on some of the amenities you really wanted. But, a few simple additions can add much-needed style and functionality to even the most basic flat. Check out some of our favorites.

Photo By: Quirky

Photo By: Belkin

Photo By: Amazon

Photo By: Kwikset

Photo By: iRobot

Photo By: Quirky

Photo By: SmartThings

Photo By: PD Rearick

Aros Smart Window Air Conditioner

You’re working late on a hot night (gotta make rent!) and dread coming home to a muggy apartment, but can’t afford to run the A/C all day. Enter Aros, a smart air conditioner that learns your cooling patterns, switches off when you’re away, turns on when you’re back — and can be controlled via app.

Belkin WeMo

Think your little place can’t impress guests? It can once you demo the way you control your lights, coffee maker and even security cameras via app. The WeMo smart home system is ultra-slick and just as affordable: Pick your devices, and build it one switch, bulb and appliance at a time.

Magic Chef Countertop Dishwasher

If your place didn’t come with a dishwasher — mainly because there’s no room for one — here’s your solution. This foot-and-a-half-tall machine can handle six place settings, so you can entertain without spending the whole next morning washing silverware.

Kwikset Kevo

Maybe you want to give an extra key to a dog walker, but hate the idea of leaving keys floating around. Or when your roomie turns out to be cray-cray, you don’t want the hassle of changing locks. Kevo, a Wi-Fi-enabled lock system, offers digital keys that you can assign, activate and deactivate at will. Your phone or a key fob electronically unlocks the door.

iRobot Roomba

While you’re at work, the famous round robot uses navigation tech to whir through all of your place’s nooks and crannies, sucking up dust, lint, pet hair and some of the who-knows-what from the last tenant. You can even schedule it. It avoids stairs, skips over cables and might also amuse your cat.

Unhampered Fold-Flat Laundry Basket

If you hardly have room for your clothing, let alone a hamper, a collapsible pick like this one is a smart space-saver. Fold it when you’re not using it, and it slides into a sliver of space — say, between a washer and dryer.

SmartSense Multi Sensor

How cool would it be to know via text when your mail has been delivered, whether you left a door open or even if someone has moved items in your apartment? Leave it to SmartThings. Pair the hub with the SmartSense Multi Sensor, and it can detect movement, vibrations and even temperature changes in your place.

Clever Doormat

I can’t promise that this doormat will fend off burglars, but it will give your guests a chuckle, and it’s guaranteed to clean the bottoms of your shoes. (And hey, it might put off a would-be thief.)