This site contains affiliate links, view the disclosure for more information.

Looking for the ultimate list of college apartment essentials everyone should have? Here’s a list of everything you’ll need.

college apartment essentials

Every single college apartment move-in experience I’ve had has been exciting. Sure carrying a crap ton of stuff up the stairs isn’t fun, but it’s a new school year, you’re back with your friends, the world is basically your oyster. 

This list of college apartment essentials goes into detail on everything you need when moving into a college apartment, from basic decor pieces to that emergency kit you’ll need when you least expect it – I’ve covered it all. 

All of these miscellaneous items can add up, so if you have roommates I highly recommend splitting the costs or determining who’s going to buy what (I’d go with the latter). 

And one more side note before you’re off to the races – if your college apartment is not furnished and you’re on a budget, Facebook Marketplace should be your best friend. You’ll be surprised what you can find.

college packing
college packing list

This post is all about college apartment essentials.

Kitchen Essentials:

Table & Chairs/ Barstools

Going to hit you with a harsh reality to start- bar chairs are hella expensive. I don’t understand it nor do I condone it, but it’s the truth. Here are the most affordable bar stools I could find- are they the cutest? No. But they’re simple and will do the job without being an eyesore.

Pots  & Pans

I love the colors and it’s everything you could want in every pan. Will save you space and money!!

Dishes & Bowls

When choosing dishes and bowls you can usually get the highest quality and the lowest price when they’re white so that’s always a safe choice!

Mixing Bowls

These mixing bowls stack well together so you can save a lot of space!

Cups & Mugs & Wine Glasses

Cookie Sheets

Two cooking sheets should do the job- unless you’re a professional chef.


Bottle Opener

Gold wine bottle openers are for the good days and the bad days.

Can Opener


Measuring Cups

I have gold measuring cups and they’re my favorite. I love when I can add cute items to places you wouldn’t normally think to add them!


If I’m being honest, I want a Vitamix. But they’re hella expensive and the Ninja is just as good and won’t break the bank.


Keurig/ Teapot

Toaster or Toaster Oven

My sophomore year my roommate brought a toaster oven with her for our kitchen, and I’ve never looked at toasters the same. Toaster ovens are one of the most amazing inventions ever and I would take it any day over a regular toaster.


Oven Mitts

Dish Towels

I used to have white dish towels and that was a mistake. When they stain they look horrible. It’s awful.

Dish Drying Rack

If you don’t have a dishwasher (it’s okay I’ve been there too) then a nice dish rack is a college apartment essentials must-have. 

Cleaning Sponges

Love this handle cleaning sponge. You don’t have to get your hands all wet and gross.

Paper Towels & Paper Towel Stand

Trash Can

I mean, you’re going to need a trash can. I prefer going for a metal one, you can do the cheapest you can find. I think they look much better than expensive plastic ones!

Water Pitcher with Filter

This is essential. Always.

Ice Trays

I’ve never been an ice cube girl, but if you are these seem to be the best ones because you don’t have to smash them on the counter. They’re silicone at the bottom which makes it really easy to get out the ice cubes!

Living Room:


I honestly had a lot of trouble finding a nice, cheap couch! This is where the Facebook market will be your best friend.

Coffee Table

Coffee tables will change the way your living room looks. Stay simple and let the decor you put on top do the job for you.


This TV has the best reviews!

TV Stand

Floor Lamp

Love this gold floor lamp. Will make your space look high end!

Curtains & Curtain Rod

Throw Pillows

You don’t need 300 throw pillows. Have a few and they’ll make an impact I promise!





Bed Frame

Bed frames are another Facebook Market search that is worth your while. Bed frames can be expensive and your best bet is to purchase second-hand.


Duvet & Cover





I love a plain white desk. I think it’s the best for a bedroom and I always use my desk for school and doing my makeup!

Desk Chair

Curtains/ Blinds


Velvet hangers are the way to go, always. Plastic hangers are bulky, clothing falls off of them- they’re just a bad idea.


In love with this arched mirror. I want it for myself!

Desk Lamp


Bring your clothing. Try not to bring your whole closet or you’ll get overwhelmed. Pick your favorite places! 


Bath Towels

Hand Towels

Bath Mat

Shower Curtain

Shower Curtain Liner & Hooks

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning supplies are a college apartment essentials must-have that some people actually forget to buy….!

Shower Organizer

Shower organizers are a necessity when you have roommates. You can each have a shelf and keep your things separate and organized!

Toilet Plunger & Brush

Toilet Paper & Toilet Paper Stand

Blow Dryer