First Apartment Checklist: Essential Items for Your New Home

By: Harrison Gough Last Updated: Sep 20, 2023

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Moving into your first apartment can be an exciting but also nerve-wracking experience. To make the transition smoother, we've put together a comprehensive checklist to help you cover all the essential items you need to set up your new home.

First Apartment Checklist: Essential Items for Your New Home

Moving into your first apartment can be both exciting and daunting. It’s a significant milestone, marking a significant shift in your life. It’s an opportunity to set up your own space, decorate it according to your tastes, and make it your own.

However, with this newfound freedom comes a host of responsibilities, including budgeting, finding the right location, and purchasing the essential items to make your new home comfortable and functional.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up your first apartment by providing a comprehensive checklist of essential items. From budgeting for the move to purchasing household essentials and miscellaneous items, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

In this article

Before the Move

Before you move, there are a few things you need to consider to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some essential tips:

1. Budgeting for the move

Moving can be expensive, so it’s essential to set a budget for the move. Consider the cost of renting a truck, hiring best movers, and purchasing packing supplies.

Additionally, factor in any fees associated with setting up utilities in your new apartment.

2. Researching neighborhoods

Do your research on different neighborhoods to find the best fit for your lifestyle. Consider the location’s proximity to your workplace, grocery stores, and other essential services.

Look for neighborhoods that meet your needs and that you feel comfortable living in.

3. Apartment hunting tips

When hunting for an apartment, be sure to keep your budget in mind. You may also want to consider the apartment’s size, amenities, and location.

Consider what features are most important to you and prioritize them accordingly.

4. Signing the lease

Before signing a lease, read it thoroughly to ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions. Ask questions if anything is unclear, and don’t be afraid to negotiate the terms of the lease.

Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant and what the landlord’s responsibilities are as well.

Essential Furniture and Household Items

Once you’ve signed the lease and secured your new apartment, it’s time to start thinking about furnishing your space.

Here are some essential items to consider:

  • Bedroom: Your bedroom should be a comfortable, relaxing space that promotes restful sleep. Essential items include a bed, mattress, dresser, nightstand, and bedding. Consider the size of your room and your storage needs when selecting these items.
  • Living Room: The living room is the heart of the home and the space where you will spend most of your time. Essential items include a sofa, coffee table, television, entertainment center, and curtains or blinds. Consider the size and shape of your living room when selecting these items.
  • Kitchen: The kitchen is where you will prepare meals and entertain guests. Essential items include a dining table and chairs, refrigerator, stove and oven, microwave, and dishware and utensils. Consider your cooking and dining needs when selecting these items.

Household Essentials

In addition to furniture, there are several household essentials that you will need to purchase to make your new apartment functional.

Here are some essential items to consider:

1. Cleaning Supplies

Keeping your new apartment clean is important. Essential cleaning supplies include a vacuum, mop, broom and dustpan, and cleaning solutions. Consider the type of flooring in your apartment and any specific cleaning needs you may have.

2. Laundry Supplies

You will need to do laundry regularly. Essential laundry supplies include a washer and dryer, detergent, and an iron and ironing board. Consider the size of your laundry area and your laundry needs when selecting these items.

3. Bathroom Supplies

You will need to stock up on bathroom supplies such as towels, a shower curtain, and toiletries. Consider the size and layout of your bathroom when selecting these items.

Miscellaneous Items

Last but not least, there are several miscellaneous items that you will need to consider when setting up your first apartment.

Here are some essential items to consider:

  • First Aid Kit: A first aid kit is an essential item that you should have in your apartment in case of emergencies. Stock it with basic medical supplies such as bandages, antiseptic solutions, and pain relievers.
  • Tool Kit: You never know when you might need to fix something in your apartment, so it’s essential to have a basic tool kit on hand. Stock it with basic tools such as a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, and a wrench.
  • Home Security: Keeping your apartment secure is essential for your safety and peace of mind. Consider investing in a security system or purchasing a deadbolt lock for your front door. Make sure to follow any security guidelines set forth by your landlord or apartment complex.
  • Mail and Bills: Set up a system for receiving and paying your bills. Consider setting up automatic payments to ensure that you don’t miss any payments. Make sure to keep your personal information secure and protect yourself against identity theft.


Here are some frequently asked questions about moving into your first apartment:

How much should I budget for my first apartment?

It’s crucial to create a budget for your first apartment that includes moving expenses, rent, and utility costs. A good rule of thumb is to budget no more than 30% of your monthly income for rent.

Do long-distance movers offer packing services?

Yes, many long-distance moving companies offer packing services as part of their comprehensive moving packages. These services are designed to make the moving process more convenient and efficient for customers.

Do I need renter’s insurance for my first apartment?

Yes, it’s necessary to have renter’s insurance to protect your belongings in case of theft, fire, or other unexpected events. Renter’s insurance is relatively inexpensive and provides peace of mind.

What should I consider when choosing an apartment?

When choosing an apartment, consider factors such as location, size, amenities, and cost. Think about your lifestyle and what you need to be comfortable in your new space.

What items should I prioritize when setting up my first apartment?

It’s important to prioritize essential items such as a bed, mattress, and basic kitchen supplies when setting up your first apartment. Focus on purchasing items that are necessary for your daily life.

What should I do if I have trouble paying my rent?

If you have trouble paying your rent, speak with your landlord as soon as possible. They may be able to work out a payment plan or refer you to resources that can help you pay your rent.

Welcome Home: Your First Apartment Checklist is Complete!

Moving into your first apartment is an exciting and significant milestone. It’s an opportunity to set up your own space, decorate it according to your tastes, and make it your own. We hope that this comprehensive checklist of essential items for your first apartment has helped you feel more prepared for the transition. Remember to budget wisely, research different neighborhoods, and carefully consider the essential items you need to purchase to make your new home comfortable and functional.