What Are the Only Things You Need for a New Apartment?


Buying supplies for your first apartment can be difficult. You might be leaving your parent’s house for the first time. Alternatively, you might be leaving your dorm room and moving into an off-campus apartment after graduating from college. No matter where you are in life, if you are starting from scratch, the seemingly endless selection of linens, kitchenware, and home furnishings can be overwhelming.

Think of this as a simplified version of the checklist you’ll need for your first apartment: everything that is included here is an absolute must. Period. Before you move, double-check that you have all of these things, whether they were purchased by you, taken from the basement of your parents’ house, or acquired for a low price at the thrift store in your neighborhood. Then, when you move, make sure that everything on this list is within easy reach.

Things You Need for A New Apartment: Before You Move

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1. Bedroom Essentials

After you have located your first apartment, the first thing you need to do is purchase a mattress. Because your life does not come to a halt simply because you have relocated, it is imperative that you have a relaxing spot to lie down at the end of each day. Check out some helpful hints for selecting a new mattress. Also, don’t forget to bring anything else you’ll need to make your bed, including the sheets, pillows, and comforter.

It is possible to save money by purchasing a bed frame, dresser, and bedside table together as part of a set, but if you like a more unique appearance, you can visit the thrift stores in your area. Begin your shopping early so you can find the precise pieces that will complement your design aesthetic and create the bedroom of your dreams.

It is a major pain to wake up without anything to cover the windows in your bedroom, so if there is any way you can find out the dimensions of the windows in advance, go ahead and acquire some curtains or blinds for them. In that case, you should make sure you have an additional sheet or blanket to use as a makeshift cover.

Last but not least, before you move, you should purchase some hangers. Your first apartment will start to feel more like a home the sooner you are able to unpack and organize all of your belongings, particularly your apparel. Here are the things you need for your bedroom. 

  • Mattress 
  • Bed, dresser, nightstand
  • Sheet set 
  • Comforter or blanket
  • A mattress topper or mattress pad
  • Pillows
  • Window treatments 
  • Clothes hangers/coat hangers

2. Living Space Essentials

If you want to organize movie nights or elegant cocktail parties, you are going to require seating that complements your aesthetic. Because it can double as a bed for overnight guests, a futon or couch bed is a fantastic piece of furniture to have in your home. Oh, and there’s absolutely no reason to feel bad about purchasing something used by a loved one or close friend.

A coffee table is another piece of furniture that is required for your first apartment. When you are the host of a party, it is a wonderful spot to store drinks, and it also gives your home some flair.

Not an essential buy but a television could be a larger purchase you want to make before your move. And if you want to enjoy those movie nights, consider getting a projector and screen set up.

If you haven’t already, look into which internet and TV companies service your new location if you haven’t already set up your internet or TV service. In the meantime, here are the things you need for your living room as starters. 

  • Comfy couch 
  • Coffee table 
  • Television

3. Bathroom Essentials

Although the goods for your bathroom might not require as much consideration as some of the larger things you will need to buy for your first apartment, you should nonetheless give some thought to the design of your bathroom. It is not difficult to locate complementing shower curtains, towels, and other items, which makes it simple to outfit your bathroom with essentials that look excellent together.

After a long day of moving, you will probably do anything to get into a steamy shower as soon as possible. You will be prepared to engage in some much-needed self-care if you pack your toiletry supplies, such as soap, shampoo, and other such products, along with the other items on this section of your first apartment checklist.

  • Shower curtain 
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Shower curtain liner
  • Shower curtain hooks

4. Kitchen Essentials

Because the dimensions of each room are unique, you can be looking for a compact dining set in the manner of a bistro, a handful of bar stools, or an entire dining room table and chair set. You should look for something that will fit your area comfortably and provide you with an option to share with guests other than possibly the couch, which you might choose to use during the week.

You might continue to use paper plates and cups until you are able to purchase a complete dish set; however, it is better that you go ahead and get a couple of these items before you move into your new home. In this way, even if it takes you a few weeks to find cookware that you truly adore, you will still have the fundamentals on hand in the meantime. The use of real dishware is another fantastic approach to cutting down on your environmental impact and lowering your carbon footprint. 

  • Table and chairs or barstools 
  • Plate
  • Cereal bowl
  • Water glass
  • Mug
  • Fork, knife, spoon
  • Dish towels
  • Kitchen trash can
  • Sandwich bags or food storage containers

5. Home Toolkit and Essentials

On a moving day, you won’t regret bringing tools like a screwdriver and a hammer with you. These tools will come in handy whether you need to disassemble a bookshelf or reassemble it after the move. When you finally get around to unpacking, make sure you have some wall hooks and nails on hand as well. When you are in the process of unpacking and decorating your new home, it is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to find out that you need to run to the hardware store. And whether you’re short or your new apartment has high ceilings, a step stool will be extremely valuable during the early phases of unpacking, and it is an essential piece of furniture for your first apartment.

  • Screwdrivers
  • Hammer
  • Nails and wall hooks
  • Step-stool
  • Power strips and extension cords 
  • Batteries
  • Light bulbs
  • Measuring tape
  • Duct tape

6. Cleaning Essentials

It is simply impossible to clean and move on the same day because there is just not enough time. You should think about cleaning the day before you move in. On a moving day, make sure that your cleaning supplies are within easy reach so that you can quickly address any issues that may have arisen.

Vinegar, especially white vinegar, is a good alternative to many surface cleaners, and it doesn’t have any of the harsh chemicals that those cleaners do. Get a lot of sponges so you can keep replacing them. A musty sponge is a nuisance for everyone.

  • Dustpan and broom or vacuum
  • A Swiffer with both dry and wet pads
  • Multi-purpose liquid cleaners 
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Toilet scrubber
  • Toilet bowl cleaning solution
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges

7. First-Aid Kit Essentials

When traveling, unfortunately, accidents can and will occur. If you cut your finger opening boxes or on broken water glass, you’ll want to have some band-aids and ointment on hand to treat the wound. In addition to this, by the end of the moving day, you might find that your muscles are a little sore.

  • Band-Aids
  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • Anti-inflammatory 
  • Thermometer

8. Safety Essentials

There is a good chance that smoke alarms are already installed in your apartment; however, if the building is an older one, you might want to install an additional smoke alarm or two for added protection. In addition to a smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher that is appropriate for small fires should be on your list of safety essentials to keep close at hand in the kitchen.

  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detector
  • Fire extinguisher

Things You Need for A New Apartment: After You Move

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9. Bedroom Space

It is possible to make do in your new apartment by simply putting the mattress on the floor but going the extra mile and purchasing a full bed frame will create a more familiar environment. There is a wide variety of choices available for bed frames; therefore, you should make sure to shop around, take into account the dimensions of your apartment, and select the option that meets your requirements the most effectively. In addition, unless you went with a bed that has a platform style, you will need a box spring or foundation in order to support your mattress on the frame that you chose.

If you are still sleeping with a sheet tacked over the window, you should remember to purchase and hang some curtains as soon as possible.

  • Bed frame
  • Box spring or foundation 
  • Vanity or desk
  • Comfy chair
  • Bedside/reading lamp
  • Laundry hamper
  • Closet storage solutions like a hanging closet organizer or shoe rack
  • Full-length mirror
  • Decor items such as decorative pillows, cozy blankets, rugs, wall art

 10. Living Space

You already have the sofa and coffee table, but some additional pieces of furniture will make your first living space much more functional.

There is no guarantee that the apartment you rent will have overhead lighting at all, much less good lighting. If you had some nice, cozy lighting, it would make your space that much more comfortable, and if you had some good lighting, it would make it possible for others to see you clearly on those video calls. Investing in a cool lamp or two is an easy way to give your room a boost in both aesthetics and practicality.

The next thing to address is storage, and you can choose to do so with either a TV cabinet, decorative storage boxes, or a bookshelf. Be sure to take into account all of your belongings, and after that, locate the storage solution that is the most suitable for your requirements.

  • Extra lighting such as floor and table lamps 
  • Side tables
  • Storage solutions
  • Extra seating
  • Window treatments
  • Decorative pillows
  • Throw Blanket
  • Decor items such as wall art, picture frames, coffee table books, houseplants, candles, vases

11. Bathroom Space

Make sure that you have double-checked everything to ensure that you have everything you require for a fully functional first bathroom.

If there is a window in your bathroom, you should consider installing blinds or a curtain to give yourself some privacy. It is recommended that you have a bathmat and/or a bathroom rug to prevent water from getting onto the floor. You might want to consider matching the window coverings and bathmats that you already picked out to the shower curtain and towels that you have chosen.

  • Window treatments 
  • Bathmat and/or bathroom rug
  • Bathroom wastebasket
  • Toilet paper holder
  • Plunger
  • Storage solutions for your toiletries
  • Tissues
  • Hand soap and lotion
  • Small vanity mirror
  • Air freshening spray

12. Kitchen Space

In this part of the first apartment checklist, here are the essentials that you will require in your new place of residence to cook like a pro, throw amazing parties, and properly store your leftovers. Brace yourself, because this is going to be a very long section.

Take a look at the list to see if there is anything else that you might want to add to your kitchen to give it a little more spice. It’s possible that you already have some of these things because you grabbed them before you moved.

Dishware and Utensils

You can mix it up by combining a variety of pieces that you like, or you can buy a set of dishes from a retail or department store. Either way, you have options. It is recommended that you begin with at least four complete sets of dishware; however, you can always purchase additional sets if you anticipate hosting events with a larger guest list.

  • Dinner plates
  • Salad plates
  • Cereal bowls
  • Mugs
  • Water glasses
  • Serving platters
  • Silverware 
  • Serving utensils
  • Other cooking utensils you think you’ll use. Consider stocking your first apartment with a spatula, spoon, and slotted spoon.

Pots and Pans

It is best to keep things simple when moving into your first apartment, and the best way to do that is to purchase a kitchen starter kit from a retail or department store. On the other hand, if you’re more of the do-it-yourself type, these are some of the most fundamental pots and pans that you ought to have in your first kitchen.\

  • Large stock pot
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • 10-inch frying pan
  • Rimmed baking sheet 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Large baking/casserole dish


At your first apartment, you don’t need a ton of fancy gadgets, but there are a few key appliances that you’re likely to use frequently. These include a refrigerator, a stove, and a dishwasher. You should unquestionably invest in a toaster or toaster oven in addition to a microwave. And if you’re like a lot of us and can’t function in the morning without a cup of coffee, you’ll want to grab either a traditional drip coffee maker or a French press.

  • Coffee pot and/or kettle 
  • Toaster or toaster oven
  • Microwave
  • Hand mixer
  • Blender
  • Crockpot or instant pot

Tool and Supplies

When it comes to preparing and storing your food, you need more than just pots and pans. These kitchen tools will allow you to do everything from cracking open a beer to draining pasta with ease in your first apartment. When it comes to knives, you won’t need much more than the essentials, such as a paring knife, a chef’s knife, and something with a serrated edge.

  • Cutting knives 
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing bowl 
  • Colander
  • Bottle, can opener, corkscrew
  • Aluminum foil and cling wrap
  • Food storage containers

Spices and Pantry

Even if you’re more of a fan of take-out, it’s still a good idea to have a few spices on hand in your first place. If you love to cook, you probably already have a list of your spices to buy, but even if you’re not, it’s still a good idea. You never know when you’re going to get the urge to make something in the kitchen. Choose the herbs, spices, and condiments you use based on how you typically cook and the tastes you enjoy. You can always add to your collection at a later time; here is a comprehensive list to help you shop for additional groceries once you have established yourself in your first apartment.

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices you cook with often
  • Oil (vegetable, olive, coconut, etc.)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar (white wine, balsamic, etc.)
  • Soy sauce
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard

Other Kitchen Items

Soon after you move into your first apartment, you should go through the checklist and remove these supplemental kitchen items from the list. It is a miserable experience to try to remove a hot pan from the oven without using an oven mitt.

  • Water filter
  • Recycling bin
  • Silverware organizer
  • Dish drying rack
  • Paper towel holder
  • Oven mitts


You don’t want to let too much time pass before you take care of your laundry! It is time to get any additional cleaning supplies that you still require, so get them now.

  • Laundry basket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Dishwasher detergent

Where to Find Best Deals for Apartment Essentials?

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You’ll indeed need a lot of things for your new place, but that doesn’t mean you have to go bankrupt buying them. If you know where to look, you may be able to find inexpensive or even free items that can be used in the home.

1. Friends and Family

It’s possible that some of the people you know have extra possessions, such as furniture or dishes, that they’d be willing to give away or sell for a low price.   

2. Thrift Stores

Finding gently used bedding, cookware, or home decor items in good condition can be easy when you shop at thrift stores.

3. Social Media

Look in the marketplaces of social media sites for free or inexpensive items for the home. There is a good chance that you will find something that is within your price range.

4. Clearance or Sales

To get the most value for your money, shop at stores both locally and online that are having sales or clearance deals.

5. Discount Stores

The options for low-cost kitchen and bathroom accessories, as well as home decor, will be available at retailers such as dollar stores.  


When you move into your first apartment, the process of stocking it will look different for everyone because it will depend on what you already have at the beginning of the lease. Because of this, it is essential to read through a checklist for your first apartment as well as a guide for moving into an apartment to ensure that you have everything you truly require!

Fortunately, it does not have to be prohibitively expensive. A first apartment is often a jumble of hand-me-down furniture and other items because there is usually a slew of family and friends looking to upgrade their swag. So, before you go out and spend money on things, ask around to see if loved ones are getting rid of anything, such as a coffee table, bed, bed frames, pots and pans, and other items you’ll need for your first apartment. Alternatively, go to a yard sale to find cheap furniture!

Regardless, the checklist for your first apartment probably seems overwhelming, especially during the crazy busy experience that is moving into a new place. Take it one room at a time, and if you do forget something, try not to stress about it too much. There is a big-box home supply store probably just around the corner that will have anything that you forgot to bring with you.