My First Apartment: A List of Things to Buy for Your New Place

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First Apartment

Your first apartment is an exciting milestone. You’re stepping out on your own (whether it’s from your parent’s place or you will finally be living without a roommate), and it’s something that should be celebrated. However, with that newfound independence come the responsibilities of maintaining an apartment and cooking for yourself — or at least re-heating the pizza you get delivered; whichever you prefer. Even for the tiniest of apartments, you’re going to need a heck of a lot of stuff to get started. Don’t worry, though. We’ve got you covered.

Here is a comprehensive list of the bare essentials (and then some) that you’ll need to make your new place cozy enough to call home. Of course, don’t feel like you need to get every one of these things all at once. Our advice is to start with the kitchen and the essentials that you’ll need to get a good night’s sleep. Everything else can be purchased in moderation. Happy shopping!


The kitchen is the heart of every home, and it subsequently requires the most items to get off to a proper start. Even though you may not think you’re much of a chef, the truth is that the best way to feel at home in your new apartment is to cook a meal in it. If you look at the length of this list and get overwhelmed, at least start with the cooking supplies (saucepan, stockpot, nonstick pan, glasses, flatware, plates, and bowls) and get the rest later:

  • One medium saucepan
  • One large stock pot
  • One medium nonstick pan
  • One cast iron skillet
  • A set of flatware (forks, spoons, knives)
  • A silverware organizer
  • A set of glasses (8-12)
  • A set of plates (6-8)
  • A set of bowls (6-8)
  • A set of coffee mugs (4-6)
  • A set of standard spices (usually you can find these in a rack all together)
  • A coffee maker
  • A teapot
  • A set of sharp knives in a block
  • A set of kitchen utensils (spatula, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, ladle, citrus reamer, garlic press)
  • A toaster or toaster oven
  • One to two cutting boards
  • One sheet pan
  • One glass baking dish
  • A couple of large mixing bowls
  • Pot holders
  • A hand mixer
  • A rolling pin
  • A corkscrew or bottle opener
  • A can opener
  • A microwave
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A few plastic or glass containers to hold staples like flour, sugar, pastas, etc.
  • Tin foil
  • Plastic Ziploc bags
  • A set of tupperware to save food in
  • A set of dish towels
  • A dining room table (depending on space)
  • Dining room chairs (2-4) or barstools if there isn’t space in your place for a table

Living Room

The living room may not require a lot of items at first, but the ones it does require are most likely the most expensive things in your apartment. For your very first place on your own, you might want to try to score some cheaper furniture on Craigslist, the Facebook marketplace, or at discount stores like IKEA and Target.

  • A couch
  • A loveseat or an armchair
  • An entertainment stand
  • Book shelves or other small storage units
  • A coffee table
  • A television
  • Lamps


The bathroom is luckily one of the easiest rooms to furnish with essentials. You’ll definitely want to have everything you need for a shower on the first night of living on your own, but most everything else isn’t an immediate necessity.

  • A shower curtain
  • A shower curtain liner
  • Shower curtain rings
  • One to two bath mats (one for in front of the shower, another for in front of the sink)
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper
  • A shower caddy to organize bath products
  • A toothbrush holder
  • A first-aid kit
  • A toilet brush
  • A plunger
  • One set of towels (4-6)
  • One set of washcloths (4-6)


Furnished Bathroom

Your bedroom (or your dedicated sleeping area, if you live in a studio) is one of the most important places in your apartment. While it might be tempting to go with the cheapest bedroom furniture possible, a good mattress is always the best thing to spend some money on. Trust us, your back will thank us later.

  • A mattress
  • Box springs
  • A bed frame
  • A Headboard/footboard
  • A fitted sheet
  • A flat sheet
  • A comforter
  • Extra blankets for cold nights
  • Four pillows
  • A bedside table
  • A lamp
  • A dresser
  • Hangers
  • Curtains
  • A curtain rod

Cleaning Supplies

The unfortunate part of living in your own apartment is that you have to clean it frequently. When messes happen in your apartment, you’ll want to be prepared to take care of them. Here’s a list of things you’ll want to get at your local big box store (or let’s be honest, on the internet).

  • A broom
  • A dust pan
  • A mop
  • A bucket
  • A vacuum
  • All-purpose cleaner to wipe down kitchen counters and other miscellaneous spills
  • Dish soap
  • A dish scrubber
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • A drying rack
  • Glass cleaner
  • Spray bleach or another kind of bathroom-specific cleaning spray
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • One box of Magic Erasers
  • Pledge or another type of wood furniture cleaner
  • A set of microfiber cloths
  • Paper towels
  • A laundry basket
  • A laundry tote (if you need to go to the laundromat)
  • A trash can (at least one for the kitchen/living area plus one for the bathroom)
  • A recycling bin


The good thing about apartments is that you won’t really have to do a whole lot of handiwork for them, but you will need a few tools to help you hang up pictures and repair a couple of minor things as needed. Plus, we’ve thrown in a couple of extra things that we think are necessities in every apartment but don’t quite fit into the other categories.

  • A Hammer
  • Nails
  • A Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Measuring tape
  • A few surge protectors/extension cords
  • A few Command hooks
  • A welcome mat for the front door
  • Extra light bulbs
  • A flashlight
  • Candles
  • A candle lighter

One Response to “My First Apartment: A List of Things to Buy for Your New Place”

  1. March 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm, Dewitt Ortuno-Davari said:

    very thorough… thank you.


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