HomeGuides & FAQsEssentials Checklist for Your First Apartment

Essentials Checklist for Your First Apartment

Girl checking off essentials checklist for first apartment when moving in

Right from the very moment you walk into your new apartment, you will need things that you don’t have already. What’s more important on the first day, however, is to complete your move without hurdles. If you haven’t made a move earlier, probably you are missing a lot of essential things.

Whether you need to buy a new bed or stock kitchen items, there are lots of items for you to buy. That’s where you need an apartment essentials list. When you create and use your first apartment essential checklist, it helps your apartment function better. And, most importantly, it makes you feel at home.

Here is everything that you will need to get your first apartment up and running. 

1. Apartment essentials checklist for bedroom:

You may have to spend your first night in a new place with an uncomfortable setting if you don’t have furniture or even a mattress. Keep in mind that your bedroom is similar to your sanctuary. And, your goal is to create a space that elevates comfort while providing storage and functionality the way you need. 

Hence, if your list contains buying a bed, you don’t want to skimp on it. Also, if you need to buy a new mattress and not a used one, you can consider saving money on other furnishings to get the best mattress. Besides, it is good to start with two bedsheets. That way you can put one in your bed while setting the other one for washing. Here is what you need to have.

  • Mattress: A good-quality memory foam mattress can set you up for a good night’s sleep. 
  • Bedsheets: Starting with one set is a good way to start with. But if you need to wash them regularly, having a couple is a wise decision.
  • One or two pillows is a great way to start
  • A duvet or a comforter and a duvet cover
  • Depending on the kinds of clothes you wear, a small set of plastic drawers or cloth drawers may suffice. 
  • A big plastic bin or a shoe rack should be great for storing your shoes. 
  • Hangers for your closet
  • Laundry hamper

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Bed frame: There is no shame in buying a twin bed if you want to save money and space. 
  • A traditional side table, shelf, or a nightstand 
  • A lamp that you can turn off from your bed
  • Curtains, rugs, throw pillows, mattress topper

2. Apartment essentials checklist for the kitchen:

Unless you are planning for every night out, you need to use your kitchen. However, you can’t do much if you don’t follow the basics. So, think strategically when you are outfitting your first apartment kitchen. Keep in mind that non-essential items can quickly add up. Hence, be realistic about what you need to buy. Here are the things that you need to have in your new kitchen.

  • Bowls and plates
  • Mugs and drinking glasses
  • You can always buy a premium knife set later, but ensure that you have one paring knife, one chef’s knife, and one serrated knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spoons and measuring cups
  • Cooking utensils consisting of at least one spoon, rubber scraper, and one spatula
  • Baking supplies you may need such as a bread pan, muffin tins, 8×8 pan, and a 9×13 pan
  • At least one pan that’s big enough to saute meat and one pot to make pasta
  • A strainer, colander, or something similar to drain your pan or pot
  • It is good to have a food storage set
  • Stasher bags or Ziploc
  • A large bowl or a nesting set that has lids
  • Dish cloth, sponge, and other means of wiping counters and washing dishes
  • Dish soap or dishwashing detergent
  • Dish drying rack if you don’t have a dishwasher
  • Trash bags and trash can
  • Kitchen appliances such as kettle, slow cooker, hand mixer, blender, and a French Press or coffee maker

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Toaster oven, food processor, Instapot or crockpot, serving dishes, microwave, toaster oven

3. Apartment essentials checklist for the bathroom:

While it’s easy to avoid at first, the bathroom is the space where you will start and end each day. Hence, you should want your bathroom to invoke a sense of positivity along with efficiency. 

However, if you have a roommate and sharing the bathroom, it is wise to keep your toiletries in your bedroom. And, use something to carry them back and forth. You don’t want anyone to use your soap or deodorant. Apart from the basic toiletries such as body wash, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc. here are the items that you need to have. 

  • Toothbrush case or holder: A plastic cup can get the job done for you. All you have to do is wash them up regularly
  • Shower liner and curtain, if needed
  • Face, hand, and bath towels: Get at least two each
  • Trash can, toilet paper, toilet brush, and plunger
  • Makeup mirror and a soap holder
  • Wall hook or shelf organizers
  • Bathmat

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Shower speaker, extra storage, fancy soap dispenser

4. Apartment essentials checklist for living room:

Getting the things ready for your living room is a bit tricky. Your apartment essentials list for the living room depends on how you intend to use the items most. Certain aspects such as entertainment for guests, having a dedicated space for reading, or binge-watching shows on Netflix play a key role.

However, regardless of how you plan to use your living room, try to have a balance between open space, storage, and seating area. That way, the area won’t get cramped. Here are a few essentials for your living room that you need to have.

  • A decent bookshelf to store your books, DVDs, and other items
  • A secondhand couch for comfortable seating should be the right thing at first. However, you can have some chairs as well
  • A small coffee table
  • Temporary window treatments or low-cost curtains
  • Means of watching your favorite shows or movies: It could be a smart TV, laptop, tablet, or even a projector. It is unwise to spend money on an expensive device when you have just moved in 
  • Low-maintenance plants could be the best thing that you can add to your living room

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Area rugs surround sound system, expensive curtains, throw blankets, artwork, and ultra-high-definition TV

5. Apartment essentials checklist cleaning supplies:

You may be surprised by the way how you tend to keep things neat and clean when you are living in a new space. And, you don’t even have to spend a fortune buying an expensive vacuum. However, make sure that you have got these essentials close at hand. 

  • Sponges: Use separate sets for cleaning and dishwashing 
  • Garbage bags, broom, and dustpan
  • Microfiber cloth and soft rags
  • Paper towels and anti-bacterial wipes
  • Try mopping if you have a hard surface floor
  • Handheld vacuum to get things done until you manage something bigger
  • If you have a wooden surface, try getting a wood cleaner
  • Bucket and a bathroom cleaning spray
  • All-purpose cleaning spray, shower cleaner, air freshener, disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner, dusting spray
  • White vinegar and baking soda
  • Hand soap and rubber gloves

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Microfiber sweeper, premium furniture polish, fancy vacuum cleaner

6. Miscellaneous apartment essentials checklist:

Certain items don’t belong in a specific room. However, you need these things more often and you can’t think about them until you get caught up in a situation where you need them badly. Here is an essential list of miscellaneous items t hay you need to have in your first apartment.

  • Lighter or matches, power strips or extension cords, light bulbs, flashlights
  • Batteries of all sizes, damage-free hooks, scissors
  • Tape (duct, clear, masking)
  • Paper clips, super glue, rubber bands, memo pad, tape measure
  • First aid kit along with pain reliever

Things that are nice to have – 

  • Most of the items mentioned above don’t cost you more. But try to buy them in moderate quantity so that they don’t end up on your storage shelves. And, try to get the basic ones first

Why you should use an essential checklist for your first apartment:

There is no denying that moving involves extensive planning. Also, it includes making plenty of decisions about the things to buy for your first apartment. So, the overall process could be overwhelming. 

Having an essential checklist helps you to stay right on your budget and prioritize the items that you need most. Moreover, if you don’t follow a comprehensive checklist, there are chances that you will overlook things that you need most when moving to your first apartment. 


So, those were the things that you need for your apartment to become fully functional. You may have to visit your nearby store especially at the beginning of your stay. So, start with the things that you need and upgrade later. Besides, a lot of the essentials mentioned above will stay with you for years. Hence, you don’t have to worry every time you move.

Related posts

Latest posts