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Here’s the List of Things You Need for Your First Apartment

Posted in Moving Tips & Tricks on November 16, 2022

Relocating from your parents’ place for the first time can be a thrilling and overwhelming experience all at the same time! There’s a lot to take into account when planning your new life on your own, including all the things you need for your first apartment. If you want to get your new place set up and ready to live in, check out our definite list of items you’ll require.

Which Items Should Be On Your New Apartment Checklist?

Relocating to a new city across the country can be both exciting and stressful. On the one hand, you get to start fresh in a new space. On the other hand, there’s a lot of coordination that goes into organizing a move. However, in the midst of all that planning, you need to think about what you need for your first apartment, which can be tough if you don’t have the practical experience of moving cross-country and living on your own. Luckily, we are here to help. So your move can go smoothly, we’ve put together a checklist of things you’ll require after the move.

Bedroom and Living Room Essentials

You need a bed to sleep in – so getting one is a no-brainer! But what else do you need when planning a move to another city? A dresser is essential for storing clothes and keeping your bedroom tidy. You just need to make sure to measure the space in your bedroom, so you know what size will fit.

Curtains or blinds are important for privacy and blocking out light when you want to sleep. But they can also add a pop of color or pattern to your bedroom and living room! When shopping for curtains or blinds, measure your windows to know what size to get.

A rug can help define the space in your room and make it feel cozier. When picking out a rug, make sure it is the right size and that it complements the other colors and patterns in your rooms. Additionally, make sure you come up with some creative storage ideas, so your place doesn’t get cluttered fast. Think about a good-quality multifunctional sofa or an entertainment center that serves as a divider between rooms.

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Bathroom Necessities

There’s nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower and into a cold, damp towel. Make sure you have plenty of bath towels on hand, so you always have one to dry off with. If you’re short on space, choose bath towels that are quick-drying and compact. In addition to bath towels, you’ll also need hand towels.

Of course, you’ll need all your usual toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other relocation essentials. But don’t forget about the less obvious items like toilet paper, mouthwash, toothpaste, and dental floss.

You’ll also need somewhere to store all of these, so they don’t end up cluttering up the counter space next to the sink. A shower caddy or toiletry organizer can help keep everything organized and within easy reach.

Stock up on supplies, as well, like toilet cleaner, tile cleaner, and something for cleaning the tub or shower. You’ll also don’t want to forget disinfectant wipes and a new shower curtain and rug.

Bathroom necessities unpacked after long-distance moving
You'll need bathroom essentials for the first night in your new home

Most Important Kitchen Items

One of the most important things on your kitchen essentials list is cookware, such as pots and pans. If you don’t have these, cooking anything beyond ramen noodles will be impossible. In addition to cookware, utensils are some other kitchen items you’ll need. This includes things like spatulas, wooden spoons, forks, knives, and even can openers.

Unless you want to eat all your meals off paper plates, you must pack dishes before the move or buy them after. The same goes for glasses. We recommend getting plates, bowls, mugs/glasses, and cutlery all in the same style so your kitchen has a cohesive look. Of course, this isn’t required, but it will make decoration much easier down the road.

Coffee makers, blenders, microwaves, and toasters are all easy to transport but are one of those things that can make your life a lot easier. The small appliances you love to use should be on your new apartment checklist, as well. However, keep in mind that you’ll also need big appliances, like a fridge, oven, washer, and dryer – if they don’t come with the place.

Other Items You Should Get Right From the Start

Aside from the aforementioned goods, there are other necessities that can’t be connected to any one room specifically – but that doesn’t make them any less important. Therefore, when it’s time to move and get cross-country moving services, make sure you have the following:

  • Tools – a hammer, screwdriver, wall pegs, nails, lightbulbs, and measuring tape are all relocation day necessities,
  • Cleaning supplies – a broom, dustpan, multi-purpose cleaner, trash bag, and sponges are needed for cleaning the apartment before you move in (just keep in mind that some of these items movers won’t move),
  • First-aid essentials – if you’re prone to accidents (and even if you’re not), make sure you have band-aids and anti-inflammatory cream handy. A thermometer and antibiotic ointment should also be a part of your first-aid kit.

Often neglected, safety supplies are another important part of new apartment necessities – things like smoke detectors or fire extinguishers must be part of the apartment from day one.

A fire extinguisher placed on the wall
What do I need for my first apartment? Safety items should be one of your top priorities

Where to Find Things You Need for Your First Apartment?

When you pick a city to live in and find the perfect apartment, it’s time to start collecting the stuff you’ll need for it once you move. We presented you with the list of apartment essentials, but where can you find them?

If you have a tight relocation budget, you should first check what your parents have to offer. Chances are, your parents are looking to get rid of some furniture and other belongings they no longer need or want. Before you start creating a new apartment shopping list, see if your parents have any pieces that they’re willing to give you. If there are plenty of things, they are willing to part ways with, consider getting packing services so all of it arrives safely at your new home.

When moving across the country, you should also check if your new apartment already has some furnishing pieces you can use. If you choose a furnished or semi-furnished apartment, it’s important to find out what exactly is included in the lease. Some landlords include everything from dishes and silverware to towels and bedding, while others only provide the bare minimum, like a bed and a couch.

Of course, chances are there will also be some things to buy for the first apartment, so make an effort to find the best deals.

Places to Consider When You Start Looking for Things to Buy for a New Apartment

One of the most important things on your to-do list should be setting up your budget. How much can you afford to spend on furniture and other household items? Once you’ve figured that out, you can start looking for places to buy things for your new home. Here are a few cheap places to consider after long-distance moving:

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are always a good bet when you’re looking for cheap furniture. You can find everything from couches and chairs to coffee tables and end tables. Just make sure you inspect the furniture carefully before you buy it – you don’t want to end up with something that’s in bad condition.

Yard Sales

Yard sales are another great place to find cheap furniture and other household items. Keep an eye on your local newspaper and websites such as Nextdoor, so you’ll know when one is happening in your area.

Online Marketplaces

Platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, and others are also worth checking. You’ll probably have to arrange to pick items up yourself or pay shipping fees, but you can sometimes find some really great deals.

Dollar Stores

Dollar stores are great for picking up small household items like towels, dishes, and kitchen utensils. You might not be able to find everything you need, but it’s a great place to start – and it’s hard to beat the prices!

Distinguish Necessities From Things That Are Nice to Have

One of the most challenging things about relocating for the first time is figuring out what you need to buy and what you can live without. First of all, consider your lifestyle – for example, a bicycle stand can be a necessity if you’re an outdoorsy type but absolutely unnecessary if you love staying at home with a good book.

When renting an apartment, you should also think about your storage situation. If you’re relocating into a small space, you’ll want to be mindful of the amount of stuff you bring. A nightstand, for example, is nice to have next to your bed so you can easily reach items like your alarm clock, lamp, and books – but is it necessary? That doesn’t mean you have to live like a minimalist, but bulky furniture or lots of decorations may not be good small apartment ideas.

That is why it’s a good idea to create a list of must-haves but also a list of things that would be nice to have – and see which of those items you can fit into your apartment (and budget). Still, note that your needs may change over time. Just because something isn’t essential when you first move doesn’t mean it won’t become indispensable later on down the road.

Woman sitting in a new apartment after moving cross-country
Before you start packing for the move, make sure you have a list of your must-haves prepared

Decorate Your Place to Make It More Comfortable

Once the boxes are unpacked and the furniture is in place, you may find yourself feeling a little bit lost. Your new house doesn’t feel like home yet – and that’s normal! It takes time to adjust to a new place. But there are things you can do to speed up the process and make your new house feel more like home sooner.

One of the best ways to do this is to personalize it in your style. Hang pictures of your family and friends, put up artwork that you love, and arrange your furniture in a way that makes sense for you and your lifestyle. The more personal touches you add, the more comfortable you will feel in your new space.

Take a look at the video below for some helpful tips on how to decorate your new place on a tight budget:

Make Your Household Goods Safe With the Help of the Best Cross-Country Movers

Relocating to a new home is an exciting time. After all, you get to start fresh in a new place and make it your own. But before you can enjoy your new home, you have to actually move there. And that’s where long-distance movers come in. Get your household goods from point A to point B without any hassle and secure yourself a stress-free move with the help of professionals. It will allow you to move without worries and enjoy your new place and all of the relocation benefits it offers right from the start.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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