First Apartment Checklist: Everything You Need For Your First Apartment

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Whether you’re a young adult finally moving into your first apartment or you’re moving into a college dorm room for school — moving into your very own place is an exciting milestone in life. 

Maybe you’re at the stage of apartment shopping or perhaps your things are packed up and ready to go. Before you make the leap of moving into your first apartment, take a beat, because I’ve got some first apartment tips and a first apartment checklist that will make the experience a whole lot less overwhelming. 

Get this door mat on Etsy.

Moving into your first apartment? Wondering what first apartment essentials should be atop your list? In my first apartment guide 101, you’re going to uncover everything you need, everything you totally don’t, and everything you’ll need to buy and/or add to your first apartment checklist. 

For The Kitchen

woman enjoying hotel style expresso at home

When considering necessities for your first apartment, besides your mattress, (which this one by x is the absolute best value money can buy), the next checklist essentials for your first apartment are your kitchen basics. After all, a girl’s gotta eat. And that’s kinda hard to do (on a budget that doesn’t include Uber Eats) without plates, utensils, and cookery. 

1. Pots & Pans

Investing in quality pots and pans is a kind of cornerstone of successful adulting. But the good thing is, a minimalist approach to building your personal cookware collection is best. You can skip the cheap 20-piece cookware sets and opt instead to invest in the quality pots and pans you use the most.

2. Dishes & Bowls

For your first apartment, consider investing in stylish plates and dishes. When I moved into my first apartment I wanted to cook, I wanted to have people over, and damn it I want to entertain like Martha Stewart.

While your cooking skills come courtesy of a Skillshare course or following a YouTube video, even if your food is total trash, at least it will be served on the prettiest of plates. #domesticatedaf

3. Utensils & Cutlery

Because, duh! But what might not be so obvious however is how important is to have really good knives — or at the very least one excellent one. A lot of chefs will tell you that a lone chef’s knife will more than suffice.

My top pick is ripped right from the top-recommended list of Good Housekeeping. The Wusthof 8-inch chef’s knife is razor-sharp and super versatile, and it was one of the only knives in our test that could cleanly slice tomatoes, chop onions, and bone a chicken with ease.

4. Kitchen Gadgets

Oh how good it is to be a millennial. There are so many kitchen gadgets on the market today that making cooking incredibly easy and fast. Take the ninja foodie for example, is perhaps one of my favorite kitchen gadgets for your first apartment.

The Ninja Foodi, the pressure cooker that crisps. Its technology helps you achieve quick cooking and tenderizing and its crisping lid allows you to air fry, bake, roast, and broil in just minutes.

5. More kitchen essentials for first apartment:

  • Keurig/Teapot
  • Toaster
  • Mixer
  • Blender
  • Dish Towels
  • Dish Drying Rack (if you don’t have dishwasher)
  • Dish Sponges
  • Paper Towel Stand + Paper Towels
  • Trash Can
  • Brita Water Filter
  • All-Purpose Countertop Spray
  • Table + Chairs / Bar Stools
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Cups + Mugs + Wine Glasses
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Tupperware
  • Measuring Cups
  • Ice Trays

For The Living Room


I mentioned above that once you move into your first apartment you’ll want to get #domesticatedaf and entertain. Well if you plan on having company over, one major item you’ll need is a place for them to park their butts.

1. A Super Comfy Couch

Buying big furniture items is easier than you may think do totally online. If you’re on a super tight budget, you may consider having that couch delivered Amazon prime. Companies like this online brand also make it super easy to furnish your first apartment virtually.

2. Coffee table

In addition to a sturdy place to perch your beautiful and stylish coffee table books, you’ll also need to place to rest, you know, things in the living room. I personally love a coffee table that can double as storage and and ottoman you can kick your feet up on.

3. Tv

The TV for your first apartment is an essential items that you may consider buying around the holidays. The could be from presidents day or thanksgiving when you can snag a black Friday offer. If you’re a lover of apple, you may consider investing in a cutting edge Apple tv system.

4. More living room essentials for first apartment.

Admit it, the most exciting part about moving into your first apartment is getting to decorate and make it your own. Here are some living room basic that you can use to cultivate you style into your space.

  • Floor Lamp
  • Curtains
  • Throw Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Rug

For The Bedroom


1. Mattress

For your first apartment mattress, I highly recommend Puffy.

Puffy Lux

You’ll never go to a luxury five-star hotel and not have a good night’s sleep. That’s because hotels provides only the very best of mattresses for their guest. And so you too should have the very best mattress that money can buy.

Check out Puffy and save up to $300 on a new luxe mattress today

2. Pillows, sheets, and pretty duvet.

Amazon is definitely a good place to shop your bedding essentials. It’s a good idea to consider hotel like high quality white sheets and then add color and style with your throw pillows.

3. Bed frame and headboard.

In addition to a comfy mattress, of course, you’ll also need a beautiful bed frame. Decorate your bedroom by starting with this bedroom focal point and build from there.

4. Bedroom furniture.

Now, I’m personally not a big fan of lots of furniture in the bedroom of your first apartment. Especially so if you have a small space. Below are the absolute essentials for good storage space and a good decor aesthetic.

5. Closet essentials.

Having a well organized is so essential. If you’re like me and you absolutely disdain clutter and would rather hide it behind closed doors, consider hitting up Home Depot where you can get all the supplies you need to customize your own closet build.

6. More bedroom essentials for first apartment:

Here are some more bedroom basics to help make your first apartment cozy and cute.

  • Dresser
  • Nightstands
  • Desk + Desk Chair
  • Curtains
  • Mirror
  • Lamps 
  • Curtains
  • Throw Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Nightstand Decorations

For The Bathroom

how to make you house feel like a hotel

1. Bathroom essentials.

In addition to a luxurious bathroom floor mat, like this one, you’ll also be needing towels, rags, and robes — oh my! These items can really a touch of luxury to your first apartment. Don’t underestimate the significance of the little details like these that you use every day.

2. More misc. bathroom essentials for first apartment:

  • Hand Towels
  • Bath Mat
  • Shower Curtain
  • Shower Curtain Liner
  • Shower Organizer
  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Spray
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Brush/Plunger
  • Mirror Cleaner
  • Trash Can

3. Personal products.

Toiletries you likely already have and will just move them right on over. If you’re looking to try some new personal products however for your first apartment, here are some of my absolute favorites.

  • Blow Dryer
  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Makeup
  • Tooth Brush / Tooth Paste
  • Perfume
  • Conditioner and Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Loofah
  • Soap

Cleaning Supplies


When buying cleaning supplies for your first apartment, consider a minimalist approach and an environmentally friendly approach. You don’t for example need cleaning supplies for the kitchen, cleaning supplies for the bathroom, and yet and set of cleaning supplies for the rest of the house necessarily.

Consider making a DIY all natural solutions that are multi purpose or a solution like Dr. Brunner pure castle liquid soap. I use it for my body, to my floors, for the kitchen and bathroom too. Imagine making your apartment smell like a hotel — this stuff will do it.

Kitchen cleaning essentials:

  • Trash bags
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Dawn Soap

Bathroom Cleaning Essentials:

  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Spray
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Brush/Plunger
  • Mirror Cleaner
  • Trash Can

Laundry Essentials:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Steamer / Iron / Downy Wrinkle Releaser Spray
  • Laundry Bags
  • Dryer Sheets

For The Balcony/Patio

1. Table and Chair

If you’re anything like me, you get lots of pleasure from enjoying a meal outside. A small little breakfast or Frech cafe style table and chair is a wonderful addition to your balcony/patio area for your first apartment.

2. Lounge chair

For when you want to just relax with your kindle reader in hand, take in some sun, and savor in the sweetness that you’re sitting on the balcony of your very first apartment. Yas!

Misc Essentials for Your First Apartment

More random thing’s I recommend for your first apartment:

  • Key Hook
  • Flashlight
  • Tool Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Batteries
  • Light Bulbs
  • Fan
  • Space Heater
  • Candles
  • Wall Art
  • Picture Frames
  • Rugs
  • Coat Rack
  • Door Mat
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler