Buying or renting your first home can always be an exciting prospect and it’s one that many of us dream of for years. One of the best parts of having your own space is having the ability to decorate and organize it according to your own terms.

But aside from the fun bits of having your first apartment, there’s a ton of checklists you have to tick off, and working towards that might not be your favorite. One of them includes buying essentials for your apartment that you might not have even thought about because you lived with family all these years and they took care of it.

You don’t have to worry though, since we’ve got you covered! Refer to our list of ten essentials you need to buy for your first apartment!

1. Cleaning Supplies

You can’t start living in a new place without giving it a good clean from top to bottom. This especially applies if your first apartment is a rental space, since you’ll definitely find some areas that are best off with a good scrub first.

Don’t leave buying cleaning supplies for the last minute because it’s something you have to do first thing when you move. And while you go to purchase these supplies, you might get confused as to what to buy; after all, there are so many different cleaners, cloths, and scrubs for so many different surfaces and areas!

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of cleaning supplies that you should be buying to give your first apartment a good scrub.

  • Microfiber cloths or rags
  • A bucket
  • Garbage bags
  • A mop
  • Multi-purpose spray
  • Spray for glass and wooden surfaces
  • Rubber gloves
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges for dishes and other surfaces

2. Kitchen Essentials

You can’t expect to move and keep eating takeaway for the days to come. You’ll have to start cooking at some point, and since it’s your first apartment it’s highly unlikely that you’ll already have everything you need to cook.

Since you’re just starting out, it’s not necessary that you visit Home Depot and pick an item from each shelf you see. All you need are a few basic items at the start to form an inventory that you can keep growing as the weeks go by.

You can start by purchasing the following items for your kitchen:

  • Small and medium-sized pans
  • Small and medium-sized pots
  • A ladle
  • A non-stick frying spatula
  • Dishware
  • Drinking glasses
  • Flatware
  • Mugs
  • Tupperware
  • Wine glasses
  • Measuring spoons
  • Can opener
  • Standard spoons and forks
  • Knives – one large and one small to start with
  • Aluminum foil/plastic foil/parchment paper
  • Dishtowels
  • Dish soap
  • Gloves
  • Garbage Can

If you’re someone who requires equipment like a coffee machine or a toaster, what you can do is wait for a Black Friday sale to buy these items if you want to save money.

Also Read: How To Pack Your Kitchen For Moving

3. For Your Bathroom

Like the other rooms of your new apartment, your bathroom is also one that will require a few essential items right from the minute you start living there. While you might get some of these items along with you like toothbrushes, there’s a lot that might have skipped your mind or you mightn’t have had space to bring.

When you’re making that trip to the store, add the following items to your list of things that your bathroom needs:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Towels (2 sets of big towels and hand towels)
  • Cup holder for your toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Plunger
  • Bathroom mats
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower gel and shampoo
  • Small trash can

In a scenario where you’re living with a roommate and sharing a bathroom, you can try keeping your toiletries in your room if you’re doubtful that they’ll be used. But you can take your roommate’s help to get items like a plunger, a shower curtain, and toilet paper.

4. For Your Bedroom

While you might be moving into your new apartment with a mattress that you already have, there’s also the likelihood that you’ve already ordered a new one that’s arriving soon. When you first move in, there’s nothing more important than having a mattress to sleep on, and since that’s checked off your list, you’ll have to buy the items that go along with it – clean sheets, pillows, pillow covers, and a duvet.

While sleeping with the mattress on the floor isn’t new, you might want to get a bed frame if you can afford it. If your bed gets placed on a frame, you’ll even have space underneath to store a few organization boxes and store items.

If your bedroom has an inbuilt closet, get yourself some hangers and start arranging all your clothing. We suggest you do this at the start itself instead of dumping all your clothes in and waiting for an opportune moment to get those hangers – that moment might never roll around!

One of the most important things you mustn’t forget to buy is curtains or blinds for your bedroom window, without which you’ll have no privacy whatsoever. If you’re planning to paint and redo your room and aren’t sure about which curtains to buy, buy the cheapest ones possible that aren’t very opaque. You can read our article on How To Choose A Color Scheme For Your Home for selecting colors for your bedrooms.

5. Lighting

Wondering why we’ve put lighting on the list? Many apartments come with lighting that can be very jarring to the eye and won’t really be something you can work, sleep or even live under. A simple fix is to always switch out these bulbs or tubes with those from the hardware store; these won’t even cost you too much.

There might even be areas in your new apartment that don’t have enough lighting. In such areas, you can buy a standing or table lamp to help with the problem. If you’re thinking of installing new overhead lights, don’t forget to check with your landlord before you do so because it’s not something everyone’s okay with!

6. Batteries

Another essential that you might just forget but will definitely need is batteries. You won’t know where you might need them at what point in time, but it’s always best to buy and keep a few batteries ready in your hardware drawer.

If you’re going all out, you can buy both AA and AAA batteries for all your remotes and other tiny appliances. Buy bigger batteries for a flashlight and other equipment that might need them. Don’t forget to keep these safe and don’t open them till you actually need them!

7. Toolbox

When you’re moving into your first new apartment, it calls for a new toolbox purchase. While you might wonder if you’ll really need it in the future, trust us when we say that you will. Since you now have your own home, there are numerous things that you’ll have to do on your own, which cost a lot of money if you have to hire someone.

Be it changing a light fixture or hanging a new picture frame in your living room, all you need is a toolbox and a little confidence in yourself to get the job done. We don’t need to tell you about all the other things a toolbox will help you with, so go ahead and add it to your list of purchases to be made.

8. Food

Food is something you won’t be able to do without, and once you have your own home with your own utensils and appliances, it’s best to make use of it all with some cooking. After all, cooking your own meals has its own charm.

But you might have a pantry for the first time, and you might be confused as to what to fill it with. We’ll help you get your first grocery haul for your pantry if you can’t decide what to get:

  • Milk
  • Instant Oats
  • Sugar
  • Coffee/tea
  • Rice
  • Cooking oil
  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Grains
  • Canned goods like beans
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spices of your choice
  • Vinegar
  • Sauces of choice
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fruit
  • Butter and jams

Also Read: How To Find A Food Pantry Near Your House?

Additional Items You Might Want To Get For Your First Apartment

  • If you have pets, then you have to make your apartment pet-friendly before you get them to live with you. You could only make a part of the apartment available for your dog till it’s housebroken.
  • Buy items like scissors, tape, loose rubber bands and box cutters, and put them all together in a drawer that already has your batteries and other such items.
  • If you’re moving into a bigger apartment, you might want to consider installing a security system if you don’t already have one. Do this as soon as you move into your new place.
  • Buy a doormat for your entryway. You don’t want your whole house to have dirt from the outside.
  • If you’re going to follow a no-shoe policy inside your apartment, get a shoe rack or build one using wood from the hardware store for guests to store their shoes in.
  • If you have a small budget, buy a handheld vacuum cleaner for your surfaces. You can invest in a bigger one when you have enough savings.

See More: Moving with Pets – A Detailed Guide


How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving Into My First Apartment?

It’s a rule of thumb that more than 30% of your gross income every month should not be spent on rent. This means that you should be earning an amount that’s 3 times what you’ll be paying as monthly rent for your first apartment. As an example, if your rent is $1,000 a month, then you should ideally have an income of $3,000 per month.

What To Do When You First Move Into An Apartment?

When you first move into an apartment, we suggest you do the following:

  • Contact your landlord and speak about changes you’re allowed to make in the house.
  • Change your address.
  • Get all your utilities in order.
  • Try to have renter’s insurance.
  • Clean the house before you get in new furniture.
  • Talk a walk around the neighborhood and look for grocery stores and other necessities.

How Can I Increase My Chances Of Getting An Apartment?

Keep the following points in mind if you want to increase your chances of getting an apartment that you desire:

  • Have a great credit score.
  • Get renters insurance.
  • Have money ready if you’re asked for a security deposit.

Also See: Top Apartment Moving Companies in the US | What is a Mother-in-Law Apartment

Frequently Asked Questions

What are must-haves for a new apartment?

Well, first off, the bed should be the biggest must-have. Just make sure it’s a twin or a double bed and not a queen because those always seem to take up too much space. Second, I’m going to go with a desk and some storage for clothes and other necessities. A nice chair would also be good, as it seems these things are hard to come by these days. Finally, don’t forget those kitchen supplies! You’ll want pots and pans along with cups for cereal in the morning. Other than that, you might need stuff like blankets and pillows, so look at what you need before getting any of this “extra” junk lying around your old place before heading over to your new one.

Is $5000 enough to move out?

Save up as much money as you can before moving out. A good amount of money is three months of rent and expenses. If you live in a place with expensive rent, then more than three months might be necessary to save for.

How can I afford my first apartment?

Rent a small one-bedroom apartment in a decent but not too flashy neighborhood. Practice good credit, buy almost everything with cash, and be content with essential banking services provided by an online provider for free. Be willing to share living space with someone you know because doing so will trim the housing costs in half at least. In short, use all your available resources wisely and pay attention to what it takes to maintain your financial responsibilities while also enjoying the rockstar life of being young and free-wheeling!


Purchasing items for your new home can be extremely exciting! Even though we’ve given you a list of all the essential items you might need once you move into your new apartment, we suggest you go through these items individually and decide for yourself if you want them or not. You might even tend to overdo it, after all, you’ll be excited, but make a list prior to visiting the department store and stick to it!