Adultify Your Kitchen With These 14 Products

Soothe those growing pains with the simple, vital tools you need to get started

Think back to when you were 23. Whether that was three weeks ago or 30 years, you remember what it felt like to live on your own for the first time. Suddenly, so many truths hit you: Couches are really expensive, food goes bad in the fridge insanely quickly and common household items you once took for granted are absolutely essential.

During this new phase of your life, you have to outfit your kitchen with products you never considered before. They're obvious, inexpensive and not hard to find, but they're all things that help ease the awkward transition from adolescence to adulthood.

That's where this list comes in. These are the kitchen items you need in order to truly call yourself an adult. Some might seem very straightforward. And we get it. But you'd also be surprised how many people suffer through life without a good bottle opener.

① Pot holders

If you're going to start cooking for yourself, you'll need something to grab those hot pots and pans. No, you cannot use paper towels. They don't really work, and think of the trees!

② A set of matching wine glasses (more than two!)

Sure, you can drink wine out of pretty much anything (bottle included), but having a matching set of wine glasses that you can pull out when friends come over is a serious adulting move.

Photo: Snowe

③ Coasters

You spent good money on that furniture. Save it from the dreaded water ring.

④ Serving dish or platter

Someday you're going to cook a meal you're really proud of, and you'll want to serve it to your guests on something worthy of your culinary masterpiece. Invest in a serving dish (or two) for just that occasion.

⑤ Steak knives

You cannot use a butter knife for everything. You're an adult now.

⑥ Wine bottle opener

There are plenty of great hacks for opening a bottle of wine (with your shoe, on the wall; the list goes on). You know what's the easiest way? Using a bottle opener.

⑦ Can opener

Stop jabbing at your can of beans with a knife. When it comes to opening cans, there is no substitute for the thing literally designed to open cans.

⑧ Cutting board

If you live in a major city, you probably have a tiny kitchen with an abysmal amount of counter space. But that's still no excuse for chopping anything on that counter without a cutting board.

Photo: Tasting Table

⑨ Baking sheet

Adult secret No. 1,345: You can make basically anything in your oven using a baking sheet, including a full meal. It is worth every penny.

⑩ Tupperware

On those rare days you have the foresight to pack yourself a work lunch, you'll be glad not to reuse the container from last night's Chinese food.

⑪ Cocktail shaker

Let's get real. Have you ever NOT been impressed by someone mixing you a cocktail in their kitchen with an actual cocktail shaker? Be that person.

Photo: West Elm

⑫ A coffeemaker of your choice

If anything's going to get you through adulthood, it's coffee. Sure, you could buy a $3 cup every day on the way to work, or you could purchase a decent coffeemaker for about $25. Now we're feeling grown.

⑬ Drawer organizers

Don't allow your kitchen drawer to become a bottomless pit of despair. Declutter your utensils, and you'll instantly feel better about yourself.

⑭ A spice rack

This might be the ultimate sign of adulthood: a signal that not only do you own more spices than just salt and pepper, but you have so many that you actually need to display them. Piling them into a cabinet makes them impossible to sort through when you're in seasoning mode, so invest in a spice rack to keep them easily accessible for all that adulting you're doing.