7 Home Essentials Every First-Time Renter Needs

Young man researches home essentials as he prepares to settle in to his first apartment.

Moving into your first apartment is always exciting, but it also comes with a little work. Upon signing a lease agreement and securing a move-in date, it’ll be on you to round up everything you need to live comfortably.

Below is a list of everything you’ll need to make your new place feel like home – and don’t worry about breaking the bank, as it’s been specially tailored for renters with tighter budgets:

Cookware

Unless you plan to have food delivered every day (which gets expensive fast), you’re going to need at least a few kitchen basics. At the very least, make sure you have one large or medium frying pan, one large pot, and one small pot on hand. You’ll also need at least one oven-safe dish and one baking tray (though you’ll find it more convenient to get a couple different sizes of each). Dishes like plates and bowls will also be needed in pairs. Other kitchen essentials include utensils like forks, spoons, and knives.

A Good Bed and Bedding

A good bed and comfy bedding are the first steps to a solid night's sleep.

Your new apartment won’t be complete until you’ve got your bedroom in order. After all, sleep is super important for a healthy lifestyle, so you’ll find it in your best interest to make your sleep as comfortable and restorative as possible. Above all else, this requires a decent bed frame and mattress. If you’re on a really tight budget, you can start with an air mattress or futon. Some of the other items you’ll need in your bedroom include sheets (a single set will do, but you’re better off getting two if you know you won’t have time to wash them regularly), a pair of pillows, and a comforter. If the room’s low on light, you should also pick up a lamp.

Larger pieces like wardrobes and shoe racks can also come in handy in the bedroom. Of course, you don’t have to buy all of this in one go. Just get the things you feel are absolutely necessary to your health and happiness. For instance, if you have trouble keeping your clothes organized, you’re probably more in need of a good wardrobe than others.

Cleaning Supplies

Moving into a new apartment will also require you to maintain a clean living space. To do this, you’ll need at least a few key cleaning items. You don’t have to spend too much on expensive cleaning equipment like smart vacuum cleaners, but make sure you at least have the basics. This includes garbage bags (both small and large), a dustpan and broom, sponges (both for general cleaning and dirty dishes), microfiber cloths, and soft rags.

Personal Hygiene Products

Personal hygiene products are essential to every apartment – no exceptions.

Apart from the personal basics like body wash, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrush, you’ll need a few other things to keep your bathroom functional and organized. These include things like toilet paper, bath towels (two for a start), and (if applicable) a shower curtain and liner. You’ll also probably want some kind of toothbrush holder around for easy, hygienic brush storage.

Living and Dining Room Basics

Living in a place with no furniture can be…awkward, to say the least (imagine eating dinner on the floor every night). While you don’t necessarily need to go all out here, your new apartment will at least need some furniture to be made decent and comfortable. If you’re on a tight budget, start with the basics like a good coffee table, a sofa, chairs, and a small dining room table. It would also help if you also got additional lighting to brighten up your living room. Once you’ve got these essentials in place, you can start to curate a cool aesthetic based on your preferences.

Food

Keeping your kitchen stocked with food basics like rice, eggs, fruits, and veggies will go a long way towards saving you money and keeping you happy.

It wouldn’t make much sense to get cooking supplies without having food in your apartment. In fact, one of the most challenging things about moving into your first apartment is figuring out how to properly stock and store food essentials. Keeping your kitchen stocked with solid ingredients not only lets you eat well every night – it also saves you a ton of money you’d otherwise spend ordering takeout. To get everything you need, simply make a list of foods you know you’ll eat and head to the closest grocery store. Some good starting points include rice, beans, bread, sugar, all-purpose flour, coffee, and tea.

Tools and Emergency Supplies

Naturally, there are several other items you’ll eventually find you need for your new apartment. For example, you’ll probably want a good first aid kit around before too much time passes. It doesn’t matter whether you live alone or with a roommate: getting basic medical supplies is key to your health and well-being. You’ll also need other items like candles and a flashlight for when the electricity goes out, light bulbs, and a few basic tools like pliers and screwdrivers (one Phillips and one flat-head).

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