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10 unexpected dorm items you'll need in college (or in a new apartment!)

If you're heading off to college (or even just living on your own for the first time), you'll need more than a cat, a rat, or a toad when you get there. Apologies to non-Potterphiles for that reference. You already know you'll need those long bed sheets and shower shoes and maybe a mini fridge, but here are 11 unexpected dorm items you may not have thought of that will surely come in handy…

I bought a home, now what? Top to-do list advice for homebuyers

Way back in the day, we posed the question, what do you need to do first when you buy and move into a new home? There were SO many great comments from homeowners who learned things the hard way that I had to cull them into one big lessons-learned list. Here is the big list of new homeowner tasks and advice for homebuyers. Note: not everything in this list will apply to you and your home and you may disagree with some of them. If so, let us know in the comments!

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How I gave up the house but found a life

For 22 years my family and I lived in Westfield, New Jersey, by many measures, the ideal place to raise a family. There are great schools, quiet leafy streets, multiple transportation options, a walkable downtown, and cultural and religious options to fit diverse tastes. Even its names evokes wholesomeness. When I arrived there in 1995, I knew within 30 minutes that it was the wrong place for me. It took us 22 years to undo that decision. I spent years telling myself that it was not so bad but always hating it. This is a story of finding my comfortable place in the world…

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The unexpected essentials for moving into your first apartment

Most of that is my experience as a young (and broke) kid, freshly moved out of my parents place (with generally only the clothes on my back, and a couple of books I had brought with me). So I'm going to list a few "essentials" (some of them may seem weird) for the first few weeks. You will probably need these asap, and everything else can come afterwards…