Things You Need For Your First Apartment

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting milestone. Even if it’s already furnished, you’ll likely need additional items to enhance your comfort. Here’s a practical list of must-haves to create a cozy living space.

Essential Kitchen Items

Properly setting up your kitchen is crucial for a smooth transition. Unless you plan on eating takeout indefinitely, having reliable kitchen tools is a must. Here are essential kitchen items, tools, and other necessities for your first apartment:

  • Fridge and/or freezer
  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Stove
  • Kitchen table and chairs
  • Kitchen towel
  • Toaster
  • Dishwasher or drying rack
  • Trashcan

Cooking Must-Haves:

While there are specialized cooking gadgets like lemon squeezers and garlic presses, they’re not essential for starters. For a basic kitchen setup, focus on these essential cooking tools:

  • Pot
  • Pan
  • Spatula
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Oven mitt
  • Strainer
  • Measuring cups

Equipping your kitchen with these tools and appliances will make cooking in your new space much more convenient.


Although you can eat directly from a pot or use disposable plates and utensils, opting for a more sustainable approach is recommended. Consider getting the following tableware:

  • Plates
  • Spoons, knives, and forks
  • Bowls
  • Glasses
  • Mugs

Stocking Your Pantry:

To make use of your appliances and tools, you’ll need to stock your pantry with basic food items. Here’s a traditional list of pantry essentials (checking for allergens and reading nutrition labels is important):

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Salt
  • Cans of tomato sauce, pickles
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Herbs and spices

Having these items on hand ensures that your kitchen is ready for cooking as you settle into your new apartment

Must-Have Items for Different Spaces in Your New Apartment

Essential Bedroom Items:

A good night’s sleep is crucial, and the right furniture plays a key role. Invest in quality items for your bedroom, starting with a high-quality mattress. This is a vital investment in your overall health, mood, and productivity. Consider adding a bed frame for both mattress care and hygiene. Furnishing your bedroom, even in an unfurnished apartment, is relatively straightforward with these essentials:

  • Mattress
  • Bed frame
  • Pillows
  • Duvet
  • Sheets
  • Wardrobe
  • Dresser
  • Bedside table
  • Lamp
  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Hangers

Essential Living Room Items:

The living room is a reflection of your style and a space for socializing. Ensure it’s comfortable for both you and your guests with these key items:

  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • TV
  • Plants
  • Decorative pillows
  • Storage solutions

Essential Bathroom Items:

While most apartments come with basic bathroom fixtures, you’ll need a few additional items to make it functional and welcoming:

  • Shower curtain (with rings)
  • Toilet brush
  • Plunger
  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, shower gel)
  • Towels
  • Air freshener

Essential Cleaning Supplies:

Maintaining a clean living space is essential. Invest in these cleaning supplies to keep your apartment tidy:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop and bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Dishwasher liquid
  • Window cleaner spray
  • Detergent
  • Bleach

Essential Cleaning Supplies for Your New Apartment:

Maintaining a clean living space is vital for a comfortable and healthy home. Investing in these cleaning supplies is a smart move, as you’ll use them regularly. It’s worth spending a little extra initially to ensure your cleaning closet is well-stocked:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop and bucket
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Dishwasher liquid
  • Window cleaner spray
  • Detergent
  • Bleach

Safety Essentials for Your Apartment:

Prioritizing safety is crucial when moving to a new place. While you may not need these tools every day, having them in your apartment is essential:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit

First Aid Kit Essentials:

In case of minor injuries, a well-equipped first aid kit is a must. Whether you buy a pre-assembled kit or create your own, include these essential items:

  • Band-aids
  • Bandages
  • Sterile wipes
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Thermometer

Essential Maintenance Tools for Your Apartment

Even in new apartments, things may need fixing. Keep these maintenance tools on hand for DIY solutions:

  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flat head)
  • Hammer
  • Silicone spray
  • Nails and wall hooks
  • Step stool
  • Power strips and extension cords
  • Batteries
  • Light bulbs
  • Measuring tape
  • Duct tape

Other Must-Haves Every First Apartment Needs

Personalizing your space is the enjoyable part of moving. While decor is a matter of taste, these additional items are essential for every new renter:

  • Sewing kit
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Clothes hanger (if you don’t have a dryer)
  • Scissors
  • Space heater
  • Fan
  • Umbrella

Tips for Affordable Apartment Furnishing

Moving can be costly, especially when it comes to setting up your new living space. The expenses of furnishing a new apartment can quickly add up, but there are savvy ways to save money. Here’s how you can get essential items for your apartment without breaking the bank:

1. Tap into Friends and Family Resources:

Don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends and family members. They might have spare furniture or living essentials tucked away in their garages. Take the opportunity to ask if they have items you need. Additionally, if your birthday is around the corner, dropping subtle hints about specific items can be a tactful way to receive thoughtful gifts.

2. Explore Secondhand Options on Craigslist:

You don’t always need to buy brand-new items for your first apartment. Platforms like Craigslist offer a treasure trove of used items in good condition at lower prices. Consider browsing through these listings to find affordable and gently-used furniture and essentials.

3. Hunt for Deals at Furniture Stores:

Keep an eye on sales and promotions at furniture stores and shops that sell essentials for your apartment. Many establishments offer discounts, coupons, or package deals. Taking advantage of these deals can significantly reduce the cost of acquiring items from your essential checklist.

By employing these strategies, you can furnish your first apartment without straining your budget, making the transition to your new space more financially manageable.

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