New Apartment Checklist – All the Things You Will Need

There’s a lot to consider when moving to a new apartment.

With so much to plan for, it’s easy to forget even essential items. Some things you will need can get overlooked in the hustle.

This new apartment checklist will help you remember everything you need to bring or buy.

Start with the essentials, then add on the extras that fit your lifestyle and budget. 

Living Room

In most apartments, this is one of the first rooms you and your guests see. For this reason, you’ll want to make it feel as homey as possible.

Add in any items that make you feel joyful.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money, however. Even a sparsely furnished room can be a minimalist paradise with a bit of creativity.

All that matters is how it makes you feel.

If you do have the means and desire to splurge, consider doing so here.

Upscale decor can add a touch of luxury, and high-end electronics can provide endless entertainment. It’s all up to you.


If this is your first place, your new apartment checklist will probably include essential furniture.

Focus on living room furniture that will make your first apartment feel inviting. Start with:

  • Sofa
  • Coffee Table
  • TV Stand
  • Lamp

If your budget is tight, check out your local thrift store for these items. You may even find a unique statement piece that thrills you.

Thrifting can be a great way to jump-start your creativity.

From there, you can add in pieces that fit your lifestyle. If you like to entertain, you will probably need more seating.

Don’t forget places for your guests’ snacks and drinks. Consider:

  • End Tables
  • Accent Chair(s)
  • Ottoman

Entertainment and Leisure

The living room is the centerpiece of many people’s homes. This room is where you and your guests will watch movies and listen to music. At a minimum, you’ll want to have:

  • Television
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Streaming Device

If you already have these essential entertainment items, think about buying higher-end items. Depending on your interests and whether your budget allows it, you may also consider:

  • DVD/Blu-Ray Player
  • Gaming Console
  • Bookshelf


New apartment dwellers, or those with tight budgets, can save money in this category.

While not essential, however, a little bit of decor can go a long way to making a space your own. Try:

  • Curtains
  • Throw Blanket
  • Area Rug

These items are as functional as they are decorative and can be inexpensive. Even a tight budget can often accommodate them, and they are worth the splurge.

You can customize your space even more with a few extras. If personalizing your space means a lot to you, consider adding:

  • Wall Art
  • Throw Pillows

Kitchen & Dining Room

Your kitchen and dining area can serve a wide variety of purposes. Carefully selected tools and utensils can help you make this space work for you.

For some people, the kitchen is a space for meals and snacks, and little else.

Meanwhile, for apartment dwellers who enjoy cooking and entertaining, it’s the heart of the home.

Either way, you can expect to need some things reasonably frequently, so buy them now.

If this isn’t your first apartment, now’s the time to upgrade your cookware and utensils.


Some families are happy to eat dinner with plates in their laps around the television.

Other households might prefer a more formal mealtime experience. Either way, you’ll at least want:

  • Table
  • Chairs
  • Dish Rack


The first home-cooked meal in a new apartment is always an eventful experience.

Make sure you stock up on the things you need to avoid getting stuck mid-recipe. Start with:

  • Pots and Pans
  • Colander
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Potholders
  • Knives
  • Cutting Board
  • Food Storage

Depending on your lifestyle, it may be worth the additional expense to buy specialized items.

Amateur cooks, gourmet chefs, entertainers, and others may want to consider:

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Air Fryer
  • Food Processor
  • Stand Mixer


The items we use most frequently are sometimes the easiest to forget.

Make sure your new apartment checklist includes everything you need to eat that first meal, including:

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Silverware
  • Mugs
  • Glasses

Food connoisseurs and at-home entertainers who have more room in the budget can splurge here.

If you already have the basics, consider adding items that add a bit of luxury, like:

  • Wine Glasses
  • Placemats
  • Serving Dishes


Once you’ve got the essential cookware and tableware, you’ll need something to cook and eat.

You can wait to buy some one-off food items until you need them. But first, you’ll need:

  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Bread

Of course, you should adjust this list to fit your particular diet, allergies, or sensitivities.

Additional seasonings and specialty ingredients can wait until they come up in your recipes.


Kitchen gadgets might not be at the top of your new apartment checklist until you find yourself trying to open a can without a can opener.

Don’t forget about the essentials, such as:

  • Can Opener
  • Bottle Opener
  • Dish Cloths
  • Ice Cube Trays

You can almost always find some basic kitchen gadgets at your local thrift store. Don’t be afraid to buy used items.

Saving money on essentials leaves room in the budget for personalization. 


Your bedroom should be a calming, relaxing retreat to come home to each day. It can be tempting to skimp on this space just because it’s private. Resist that temptation.

Fill your bedroom with furniture and things that bring you joy. Keep in mind that comforts don’t have to be costly to be cozy. Soft linens and cheerful colors can add energy at any price.


If this is your first apartment, you may have to dedicate a lot of your budget to bedroom furniture. You can save money by thrifting, but you may want to buy some new things.

Many people are uncomfortable with sleeping on a used mattress, for example. But most bedroom furniture can be found second-hand. Start furnishing your new bedroom with:

  • Mattress
  • Box Spring or Platform
  • Dresser
  • Night Stand

You can also splurge here to take your sanctuary to the next level. If there’s room in your budget, consider adding accent furniture. Some of the upgrades you might consider include:

  • Accent Chair
  • Armoire
  • Full-Length Mirror

Take this opportunity to personalize your space with bold colors and styles. Whether thrifted or new, the customization opportunities are nearly limitless. Let yourself have some fun.


While not strictly essential, items in this category can have a significant impact. Simple touches can add character to any bedroom, even on a budget. For your first apartment, start with:

  • Lamp
  • Laundry Basket
  • Alarm Clock

To make this room your own, incorporate your tastes and interests. If your bedroom is more than just a place to sleep, make it feel special. You might want to add:

  • Makeup Organizer
  • Jewelry Box
  • Curtains

Of course, the accessories you choose will be highly personal to you. You can use this section as a starting point for inspiration. Make your home into a place you love.


Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep every day. Make sure the place where you spend a third of your life is comfortable. Even on a budget, good linens are worth a little more money. Start with:

  • Pillows
  • Sheets
  • Comforter or Duvet
  • Pillowcases

If you want to make your bedroom cozy, you can buy specialty items. While not essential, these items can improve your quality of life and may even ease anxiety. Consider spending more on:

  • Decorative Pillows
  • Weighted Blanket

Not everyone wants or needs these additional items. But the people who love them say they make their lives more enjoyable. For some people, that’s worth spending a bit more.


While arguably not the most glamorous room, the bathroom is one of the most important. A few simple touches can make your time in this room more enjoyable.

If you’ve been sharing a bathroom until now, you may overlook items in this category. It’s incredibly unpleasant to realize you forgot an essential item when you need it most.

Use this new apartment checklist to remember things you might take for granted otherwise. Also, be willing to spend more on things that add value to your daily routine. 


There are certain items that you simply can’t do without, even on a budget. These items are so mundane that they’re easy to forget. Remember to either pack or buy new, at least:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash
  • Lotion
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand Soap
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toilet Brush
  • Plunger

Upgraded personal care items are more expensive than their essential counterparts but often worth it. If you have the money to spend, these items can brighten your life in unexpected ways:

Even if you only buy the essentials, consider spending more on higher-end versions. They sometimes last longer, and you’ll appreciate the extra joy in your daily routine.


Many first-time apartment dwellers have forgotten these items during their move. Realizing you’ve forgotten something when you need it the most is inconvenient. Remember:

  • Shower Curtain and Liner
  • Trash Bin
  • Bath Mat

Your guests will appreciate not having to ask you where to find the trash. And you will appreciate having a dry bathroom floor to step on.


You don’t want to remember halfway through a shower that you forgot to buy towels. Make sure you have the needed bath linens for yourself and your guests, such as:

  • Hand Towels
  • Bath Towels
  • Wash Cloths

New renters may want to save money here by buying from discount stores and warehouses. Regardless of whether you splurge or save, though, make them last by avoiding fabric softener.

Often-Overlooked Essentials

These are some of the most forgettable items on this list, but they are vital. You will probably need some of these just to get settled in. Others you may not require for a while.

Don’t wait until you realize you need these items to purchase them. Pick them up now, so you don’t get caught without them at an inconvenient moment.

Cleaning Supplies

Lots of new renters overlook cleaning supplies, and it’s easy to see why. Once you’ve brought in your box, you’ll probably want to clean up a bit. To make it spic and span, you’ll want at least:

  • Cleaning Rags
  • Paper Towels
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Window Cleaner
  • Trash Bags
  • Laundry Detergent

If you’re moving from one apartment to another, you may have cleaning supplies in stock. If you’ve run out of any during the move, make sure to buy more now. You’ll be glad you did.

Safety Essentials

It’s critical to think about household safety items before you need them. If this is your first apartment, you’ll need all of the following items:

Even if you already have one, check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher. If the date has passed, get it recharged or buy new. Don’t throw the old one in the trash – recycle it.

Tools and Miscellaneous Items

Finally, some items don’t seem to fit into any other category. This makes them even more forgettable, especially if this is your first apartment. You’ll regret not having:

  • Clothes Hangers
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Multiple Battery Sizes
  • Tape
  • Lightbulbs
  • Nails
  • Ironing Board
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Power Strip
  • Extension Cord

Final Thoughts on Your Apartment Checklist

Whether it’s your first move or your tenth, there are plenty of things to remember. It’s easy to forget even the most essential items in the process. This new apartment checklist can help. 

First-time renters will probably need to dedicate a lot of their budget to furniture. Buy your mattress new, but consider thrifting as much else as you can. This will help you save money.

If you’ve already established a home with the necessities, consider upgrading what you have. New decor and updated items don’t have to cost much money. Make your home your own.

Most importantly, remember to consider the safety necessities you’ll need in your new home. That way, you’ll have peace of mind as you settle into your new favorite place.

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