The Best First Apartment Checklist: Everything You Need For Your First Apartment

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Moving into your first apartment can be overwhelming. This first apartment checklist will help make sure you have everything you need for this new phase in your life.

first apartment checklist

Are you moving into your first apartment and putting a list together of everything you need?

There are so many products to consider that it can be difficult to remember everything. From kitchen utensils, to mattresses, to cleaning products...it can become very overwhelming!

I'm an extreme planner so for the last six months I've been putting lists together of everything I needed to buy for my first apartment.

I have made a printable version of this huge first apartment checklist so that you can use it and make sure you have everything you need.

You DO NOT need to buy everything (I didn't...it's expensive!) but having a list that you can refer back to makes life so much easier.

This post is all about the best first apartment checklist.

Interested in purchasing items you saw in the video? Click here to see where I bought everything in my first apartment.

First Apartment Checklist PDF:

Want a first apartment checklist PDF? You can download the exact packing list I made for myself directly to your phone or computer! It is guaranteed to make your life SO much easier.

first apartment checklist pdf

First Apartment Checklist Tips:

moving into your first apartment

Now that I literally just moved, I have a ton of great tips and tricks I learned throughout the last six months that saved me money and made my moving experience easier.

1. Get links to different products you want and buy during sales.

This was probably the best thing I did for myself. By making this list so early, I was able to get a ton of the products during huge sales like Black Friday & New Year's Eve sales.

This ended up saving my hundreds of dollars.

2. Shop around!!

I was shocked to see how so many online stores have the same exact products but at different prices. I was able to find my coffee table $100 less on Wayfair than another online store.

I bought almost everything in my apartment from Amazon, Target, Wayfair, Walmart, + Home Goods.

3. Try to get hand-me-down furniture from parents and relatives.

Let me tell you, one major thing I learned was how expensive everything is!! Like seriously, it's insane.

You can save a TON of money by using furniture your family members no longer want.

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Your Kitchen

first apartment checklist excel

The kitchen is the area in your apartment where you will probably have to buy the most for. I bought a lot of "starter-packs" in this area for things like my pots + pans, plates/bowls/mugs, and utensils.

I found that Amazon and Target had the best deals for all of this.

1. Pots + Pans

Pots and pans are a necessity for a kitchen and something that will definitely be put to good use. 

At a minimum you should get a frying pan, a few pots, and a cookie sheet. That should give you enough of a variety to allow you to cook different meals. 

2. Dishes + Bowls

I personally got my dishes and bowls from Target. Every once in awhile they run a sale when all kitchenware is $15 dollars off so I snagged them there.

Mine came in a set of dishes, bowls, and mugs which was perfect since it had everything I needed within it.

Ikea is also a great place to find a set of dishes and bowls!

3. Utensils

You obviously need utensils to eat! Let me tell you, utensils are EXPENSIVE! So much more expensive than I ever thought they were going to be.

I found for my first apartment that going the route of getting a 20-set was the best bargain. Because I love gold, I got mine from Wayfair and am obsessed with them but Amazon has even cheaper silver options!

4. Kitchen Gadgets

I use a microwave religiously so that is definitely something you would want to buy if it doesn't already come with your apartment.

Some other kitchen gadgets you may want:

  • Keurig/Teapot
  • Toaster
  • Mixer
  • Blender

5. Serving Utensils

This is another great thing to buy in a set. I went a little all out on this one and got an OXO Set from William Sonoma for this (Target and Amazon also sells it) but I wanted ones that would last since I will probably have them for years.

I also purchased the CUTEST set of serving utensils from Amazon that are white and gold. They were under $20 and feel really expensive. 

6. Kitchen Cleaning Supplies

I am an absolute clean freak so having a few cleaning supplies on hand was really important to me. 

You definitely don't need to go overboard on this but I recommend having:

  • Dish Towels
  • Dish Drying Rack (if you don't have dishwasher)
  • Dish Sponges
  • Paper Towel Stand + Paper Towels
  • Trash Can
  • Brita Water Filter
  • All-Purpose Countertop Spray

7. Other Random Kitchen Supplies

There are some random stuff that you may also want to pick up. A lot of these you can get after you move-in but there are some (like oven mitts) that you may want to consider buying right away.

Random Kitchen Supplies for First Apartment Checklist:

  • Table + Chairs / Bar Stools
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Cups + Mugs + Wine Glasses
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Tupperware
  • Measuring Cups
  • Ice Trays

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Your Living Room

1. Couch + Chairs

COUCHES ARE EXPENSIVE. Another thing that I was super annoyed when buying things was how dang expensive couches get.

 I searched for months for my couch (literally) and ended up finding the perfect one from Ashley's Furniture. It's a store all around the country so you may want to check out for yourself. I paid $1,100 and it's a BIG couch (you can see that in my Youtube video).

2. Coffee Table

Coffee tables double as a cute thing to decorate but also a perfect place to set your remotes, drinks, and food in your first apartment.

There are some coffee tables I love and you can find them from all different places. I had the best luck at Wayfair, Target, and Amazon looking for these.

3. TV

Shop sales weekends for this!! I got my TV on Black Friday and it was less than $300 if I remember correctly.

It is just the TCL brand but it works perfect for me and I would never notice the difference between that and a TV that is $1,000+.

4. TV Stand

Don't forget about a TV stand! I have a fireplace and completely forgot that I would need one of those wall brackets to attach my TV to the wall.

 It ended up costing $70+ which was not something I needed the weekend I moved in haha. 

You can also find some cheap but really cute console tables at other places.

5. Apartment Living Room Decorations

Our favorite part!! Seriously, I would fall asleep at night thinking about how I was going to decorate my apartment. I know, I'm crazy hahah.

Here are the decorations you're going to want to consider:

  • Floor Lamp
  • Curtains
  • Throw Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Rug

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Your Bedroom

1. Bed Frame

If you want a bed like I have, look up "Queen upholstered bed" OR just click here to go to Macy's for the exact link. Beds are super expensive and this was the bed with by far the best deal.

If you want to spend even less money, you can just get a headboard and then a bed frame base for the bottom of it.

2. Mattress

I was not ready to drop $1000+ on a mattress so I went to Amazon and found the best (cheapest) mattress with the most reviews. It landed me on this mattress which is a 14" Memory Foam Mattress.

To make it even more comfortable, I ended putting this mattress topper on top and IT IS SO COMFORTABLE.

Literally the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on.

3. Sheets + Pillows + Duvet

Amazon came THROUGH with all of this bedding essentials for me. I got everything white and then I am going to add in some color with throw pillows.

Here are the bedding essentials I got:

4. Bedroom Furniture (Nightstands, Dresser, Desk, etc)

Of course there is the "extra" furniture for your first apartment bedroom. Once again, these are things that add up quickly so you definitely don't need to get them right away.

Some Apartment Bedroom Furniture To Consider:

  • Dresser
  • Nightstands
  • Desk + Desk Chair
  • Curtains
  • Mirror
  • Lamps 

5. Closet Essentials

My closet is the main place that I put my clothing so I made sure to stock up on velvet hangers. I like to get mine at Costco because you can get 50 for less than $10.

6. Apartment Bedroom Decorations

And once again, the fun part of this First Apartment Checklist...bedroom decorations! 

I got majority of my decorations from Target and HomeGoods (aka heaven on earth). 

Decorations to consider:

  • Curtains
  • Throw Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Nightstand Decorations

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Your Bathroom

1. Shower Essentials

There are all kinds of shower supplies you need from towels to shower liners. Luckily, you can find these all pretty cheap at places like Target, Costco, and Amazon.

Here are some shower essentials to consider:

  • Bath Towels
  • Hand Towels
  • Bath Mat
  • Shower Curtain
  • Shower Curtain Liner
  • Shower Organizer

2. Bathroom Cleaning Supplies

There are just a few bathroom cleaning supplies that you'll want to have on hand. 

I would recommend:

  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Spray
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Brush/Plunger
  • Mirror Cleaner
  • Trash Can

3. Personal Products

Lastly for this bathroom section, personal products. Luckily, you probably already have all of these and can just pack them up and bring them over.

Here are the personal supplies you can't forget:

  • Blow Dryer
  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron
  • Makeup
  • Tooth Brush / Tooth Paste
  • Perfume
  • Conditioner and Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Loofah
  • Soap

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Technology

1. Technology Must-Haves

This section is easy and straightforward. I've already mentioned a few of these things above but wanted to mention them in a section of their own.

Technology Essentials:

  • TV
  • Apple TV / Roku
  • Computer / Laptop
  • Wifi Router
  • Chargers
  • Speakers

First Apartment Checklist: What You Should Buy For Cleaning & Laundry

1. Laundry Cleaning Essentials

How lame am I for being so excited over cleaning supplies?! Guess I am really turning into an adult ;).

There is nothing better than getting into a freshly cleaned bed that smells super good.

Here are the laundry essentials you need:

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Steamer / Iron / Downy Wrinkle Releaser Spray
  • Laundry Bags
  • Dryer Sheets

2. Kitchen Cleaning Essentials

A kitchen needs to be cleaned pretty often to make sure that bacteria doesn't spread after using meats.

Here are the kitchen cleaning essentials I recommend:

  • Trash bags
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Dawn Soap

3. Bathroom Cleaning Essentials

I already went over this in the bathroom section above, but I like to keep these cleaning products under my bathroom sink. That way it makes it really easy to clean.

Bathroom Cleaning Essentials I Recommend:

  • Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Spray
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Brush/Plunger
  • Mirror Cleaner
  • Trash Can

4. Random Cleaning Essentials

And then of course there is some random cleaning essentials like a vacuum, mop, and duster.

First Apartment Checklist: Random Things You Should Buy

There had to be a section in here where there was a bunch of random things to consider buying. Honestly, I have bought barely any of these but slowly I'm going to start acquiring them.

Here is a list of all the random products:

  • Key Hook
  • Flashlight
  • Tool Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Batteries
  • Light Bulbs
  • Fan
  • Space Heater
  • Candles
  • Wall Art
  • Picture Frames
  • Rugs
  • Coat Rack
  • Door Mat
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Stapler

Free First Apartment Packing List:

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apartment checklist

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This post was all about the best first apartment checklist.

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