The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist, Whether You’re Moving Into a Tiny Studio or a Massive 2-Bedroom
There are few things as simultaneously exciting and anxiety-inducing as moving. You can’t wait to get settled in your new place—but the actual process of getting settled isn’t exactly easy. And these feelings are only compounded when it’s your very first apartment. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience, as someone who just moved into her first apartment a year ago. Honestly, I wish I had this in-depth first apartment checklist to help make the process a little less stressful. Here, you’ll find everything you need for your new home, from bedding necessities to kitchen essentials you would’ve otherwise forgotten about (plus, scroll down to find a printable checklist that will ensure you don’t miss a single item).
First Apartment Checklist: Kitchen
AmazonBasics 18-Piece Kitchen Dinnerware Set
This set contains six dinner plates, six salad plates and six bowls for just $42, which is an “awesome price for the quality,” according to one reviewer. While you’ll probably expand your dinnerware collection eventually, these 18 dishes are a great starting point. Psst, with six of each you’ll only have to run the dishwasher every few days—at most.
2. Tall and Short Glasses
Libbey Preston 16-Piece Tumbler and Rocks Glass Set
You’re going to want something to drink out of, too. This set of eight tall tumbler glasses and eight short rocks glasses will ensure that you’re stocked with more than enough clean cups—plus a few for guests—at all times. Bye, red Solo cups.
Salt Balance Mirror 20-Piece Flatware Set
This tarnish-resistant bundle of 20 stainless steel dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, dinner spoons and teaspoons is an ideal starter set. Place ‘em in an organizer like this to maximize your drawer space and make it a million times easier to find a fork when you need it most.
Sweese Porcelain Stackable Mugs (Set of 6)
Unless you want to be drinking out of Styrofoam cups for the foreseeable future (not the most cost effective or environmentally-friendly option, BTW) it’s worth investing in some mugs. This porcelain set from Sweese is stackable, which means they’ll take up less of your (probably) minimal cabinet space.
5. A Coffee Maker
Keurig K-Mini Plus Single Serve Coffee Maker
Now that you’re paying rent for the first time, you probably don’t have an extra $40 a week to devote to your iced latte habit. Enter: This single serve coffee maker. It’s currently on sale for $60, so it’ll pay for itself after just a few cups.
T-Fal Pure Cook Nonstick Aluminum 12-Piece Cookware Set
Knock out all of your cookware purchases in one fell swoop, thanks to this convenient set that even includes a spatula and a spoon. All of T-Fals pots and pans have a special nonstick coating which makes them ridiculously easy to clean. You’ll love the griddle for pancake making and get plenty of use out of the sizeable steamer basket—bring on the frozen dumplings.
Wilton Advance Select Premium Nonstick 6-Piece Bakeware Set
You never know when you might want to whip up some chocolate chip cookies or a personal pizza. And thanks to this set, you’ll be well-equipped to do just that. It includes two round baking pans, a loaf pan, a muffin pan and two rectangular baking pans.
8. An Oven Mitt
Bed Bath and Beyond Silicone Quilted Oven Mitt
Your mother would agree: It’s always wise to own an oven mitt, rather than trying to make do with a dish towel or old t-shirt. According to reviewers, this silicone version has saved them from countless burns and close calls.
9. A Toaster
Professional Series 2-Slice Stainless Steel Wide Slot Toaster
When it comes to toasters, you don’t have to spring for a KitchenAid. This basic model from Professional Series will make your avocado toast just as golden brown as you like. Bonus? The stainless steel exterior makes it look way fancier than it really is.
10. Scrub Brushes
Casabella Loop Dish Brushes (Set of 3)
Even if your apartment comes equipped with a dishwasher, you’ll need to scrub some pots by hand every now and then. The bottle brush will also work to clean narrow water bottles and glasses, while the dish brush and compact scrubber can tackle the rest of your dishes.
11. Dish Towels
Market Dishcloths (Set of 4)
Your dish towels will definitely end up on display at some point, so go with a cute color, texture or print. These waffle weave towels will look great whether they’re folded over the oven handle, or accidentally left strewn across the counter.
12. A Refrigerator Deodorizer
NonScents Refrigerator Deodorizer
Look, even the cleanest refrigerators succumb to a nasty odor now and then. And after you throw out the spoiled broccoli that was the culprit, the smell can linger for days. So yeah, you’re going to want to have a refrigerator deodorizer on hand. According to over 600 five-star reviews, this one is a total game-changer when it comes to eliminating pesky odors.
13. Dishwasher Pods
Blueland Dishwasher Starter Set
These dishwashing tablets come plastic-free in a reusable aluminum container, making them eco-friendly and space-saving. Just stick one in your dishwasher’s detergent slot and you’ll wonder how you ever bothered with bottles or clunky pod containers in the past.
14. Two Types of Soap
Seventh Generation Dish Liquid Soap
Self-explanatory? Yes. Worth including in your first apartment checklist? Also, yes. This 97 percent plant-based dish soap is strong enough to cut through grease and grime, leaving your dishes squeaky clean.
Method Foaming Hand Soap (Pack of 6)
We’ve been washing our hands more than ever lately, and we’re guessing you’re in the same boat. So, hand soap (and lots of it) is a must. This pack of six bottles should keep you stocked for at least a few months.
First Apartment Checklist: Bedroom
15. A Bed Frame with Storage
Prepac Queen Wood Storage Bed
A bed frame with built-in storage is key if your new bedroom isn’t exactly spacious. This one has six drawers on each side to store your out of season clothes or extra linens.
16. A Bed-in-a-Box Mattress
Nectar Queen Memory Foam Mattress
Setting up your home ASAP is much easier if you opt for a bed-in-a-box style mattress—since it will save you a trip to a mattress store and the requisite wait time for delivery. Nectar’s Memory Foam Mattress ships quickly and arrives in a compact box, so all you have to do is carry it upstairs, unroll it onto the bed frame and cut open the plastic casing. BTW, it’s on sale right now.
17. A Bedding Bundle
Brooklinen Classic Move-In Bundle
Good news: When you buy a bedding bundle, you save both time and money—and ensure that your bedding is perfectly coordinated. Brooklinen’s Classic Move-In Bundle contains a comforter, two pillows, sheets, a duvet cover, four pillowcases and some complimentary Laundress detergent. Not bad.
18. A Nightstand
If you’re looking to save a few bucks, opt for just one nightstand at the moment. Sure, matching ones look nice but unless you’re moving in with a partner, you really don’t need a second one any time soon. Make sure to pick one with adequate storage, like this two-tier option from Homfa to house all of your charging cords and miscellaneous items.
19. A Wardrobe
South Shore Acapella Wardrobe Armoire
Unless you really luck out, your closets are probably going to be on the smaller side, so a wardrobe is your best friend. Choose one like this hybrid design, which has space for hanging clothes, as well as a couple of drawers for folded items.
The Container Store Non-Slip Velvet Hangers (Set of 10)
Organizing experts agree that slim velvet hangers are best for maximizing your closet space and ensuring that your clothes aren’t constantly slipping onto the floor. This pack of 10 is on sale right now; we suggest getting at least three or four packs to start.
21. Some Wall Art
Deny Designs Bree Madden 5th Street Framed Wall Art
There’s no need to go overboard with wall decor right away, but you don’t want your walls to be totally bare either. This $49 print from Deny Designs is a good place to start. Since it’s already framed, all you have to do is figure out where to hang it up.
22. A Clothes Hamper
The Container Store Infinity Laundry Hamper
Sure, you could probably get by without one of these for a few months, but why would you want to? This simple design from The Container Store will keep your dirty clothes out of sight and out of mind—until laundry day rolls around.
First Apartment Checklist: Bathroom
24. A Towel Bundle
Parachute Classic Starter Bathroom Bundle
Still using your threadbare towels from college? It’s time for an upgrade. This ultra-plush set from Parachute includes four bath towels, four hand towels, four washcloths and a bath mat, so your bathroom will be good to go.
25. A Makeup or Toiletry Organizer
The Container Store Luxe Acrylic Makeup Organizer Storage Kit
As long as you have the counter or shelf space for it, this makeup organizer will keep your makeup, skincare or shaving products looking neat. Plus, the clear acrylic material means that you can see where everything is at all times.
26. A Shower Caddy
The Container Store Rockford Shower Caddy
Storing your shampoo, conditioner and body wash on the shower floor is basically asking for soap scum buildup. Instead, get a shower caddy so you can store them in a neater (and more convenient way). This particular model even has space for your soap and loofah.
27. An Under the Sink Organizer
iDesign Cabrini Under Sink Organizer Shelf
If your bathroom doesn’t have a ton of square footage, make the most of your under sink space. This iDesign organizer is expandable and has adjustable shelves so you can customize it to your specific space and needs.
28. Toilet Paper
Charmin Ultra Strong Clean Touch Toilet Paper (18 Family Rolls)
Toilet paper is something you’ll need from day one, so it’s definitely worth including on your pre move-in checklist. We recommend buying a value pack, so you’ll be stocked for the foreseeable future.
29. Toothbrush Holder
HB Life Stainless Steel Toothbrush Holder
Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste organized and germ-free by storing them in this convenient holder. Your toothpaste-stained mug could never.
First Apartment Checklist: Living Room
30. A Sleeper Sofa
Carson Carrington Salsater Convertible Sleeper Sofa
Invest in a sleeper sofa so your guests aren’t relegated to an air mattress when they come to stay. This mid-century modern style from Carson Carrington is so chic, you’d never guess that it’s hiding a full bed inside. Plus, you just can’t beat that price.
31. A Coffee Table
IWell Mid-Century Boho Coffee Table
By now, you can probably tell we’re all about storage, which is why we love this mid-century modern coffee table. It has a surprisingly spacious drawer to hide your various remotes, plus a storage shelf where you can display books or magazines.
32. An Area Rug
Safavieh Hudson Shag Collection 4 x 6 Foot Area Rug
Adding an area rug to your living room is one of the easiest ways to make it feel more comfortable and home-y. This four by six foot design from Safavieh gets amazing reviews—and won’t break the bank.
33. A TV
Samsung 43 Inch Class TU7000 Crystal UHD 4K Smart TV
A good TV that you’ll have for years is definitely worth the investment. This minimalist style was designed so that you can focus on the picture—not the TV itself. Plus, it’s a smart TV, so once you set up the Wifi you can use it to access Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more.
35. A Storage Ottoman
Spatial Order Dinah Modern Storage Ottoman
This baby provides a place to rest your feet while you’re watching Netflix and room to store your 10 throw blankets. Speaking of which…
36. A Throw Blanket
Sophie Faux Fur Throw Blanket
Amp up the cozy vibes by draping a throw blanket over the back of the couch. This incredibly soft faux fur one from Anthropologie has an impressive 4.9/5-Star rating from over 250 customers.
First Apartment Checklist: Cleaning Essentials
37. A Vacuum
Dyson V7 Motorhead Cord-Free Vacuum
Dyson vacuums are known for being top-of-the-line for a reason. This cord-free model makes sucking up dust bunnies from hard-to-reach areas a breeze. And since it’s not the newest model, it’s a little more affordable—but still works incredibly well.
38. A Swiffer
Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet All Purpose Floor Mopping and Cleaning Starter Kit
This starter set includes a Swiffer, plus 19 dry sweeping and wet mopping pads. Thanks to the two-in-one design, this baby can effectively be your broom and your mop.
39. A Dustpan
Oxo Good Grips Dustpan and Brush Set
Hey, spills happen. And whether you’re wiping up excess flour after a baking incident or broken glass after one takes a tumble, you’ll be happy to have a dustpan on hand. Oxo’s Good Grips version has racked up over 1,000 five-star reviews, so we’re sold.
40. A Multi-Surface Cleaner
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner (Pack of 3)
According to the brand, this formula is safe to use on the floor, tiles, countertops, walls and more. That sounds way easier than buying a separate spray for each, right?
41. Laundry Detergent
Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods
Never run out of laundry detergent again, thanks to Dropps’ convenient subscription system. Just select a wash plan and the company will send you a box of pods accordingly.