I Had No Idea My Apartment Didn’t Come with Toilet Paper

At 23, I moved out of my parents’ house for the first time and had prepared myself for everything involved—I made sure we had dishes and cutlery, cleaned and packed my clothes and bedding, and made sure all of my photos and belongings were safely crammed into my boyfriend’s hatchback. I had worked full-time at a preschool, part-time at a haunted house, and part-time at a high-end handbag store to save up money. I budgeted for food and gas and picked out a new bed and refrigerator.

I said farewell to my family and realized I’d be on my own when I got sick or needed help with my car. I saved the best for last as I tightly hugged my dogs goodbye and braced myself to move cross-country from Pennsylvania to California.

Moving Boxes


When we got to Los Angeles, we stopped at my boyfriend’s friends’ place to pick up the key to our new apartment. I met Julia, who would become one of my best friends, and after giving us our key, she offered me a roll of toilet paper.

Search: Find Apartments for Rent in Georgetown, NW DC

It never occurred to me that my apartment wasn’t going to come with a starter roll of toilet paper. I thought I had been preparing for this move, yet I found myself perplexed when I opened my brand new kitchen cabinets and didn’t see – at the very least—a measly saltshaker.

Cats Sophie and Larry

My cats Sophie and Larry were very confused by the move, but adjusted quickly!


Little by little, we stocked our cabinets, organized our closets, and amassed a collection of various spicy brown mustards. One night, as we had company over, we felt a curiously rough rumbling. We all locked eyes and realized we were experiencing our first earthquake and unsurprisingly, we didn’t have an earthquake kit.

Related: 5 Ways to Survive a Major Move

There were several more times that followed those; the day I found a stray dog, the night I had to call the police on a neighbor, the week I thought my kitten was having hairball issues and it turned out to be asthma, and of course, the night the water heater burst and sent water hissing through the hall closet. In all of those instances, I went with my instincts and things happened to work out—but I still have to put together that earthquake kit.


Find your next apartment in the DC metro area with Apartment Showcase.


by Shannon Brown

You may also like...