Congratulations on moving into your new apartment! All the effort spent researching how to find a place to rent paid off, and now you found the perfect home. But what do you need for an apartment? If you’ve never lived in your own place before, you are probably lacking most apartment essentials.

No matter what apartment community you choose to move to, you’ll need a few important items to get started. Creating and using a first apartment checklist will help make your apartment functional and, more importantly, feel like home.

Cross these must-haves off your first apartment checklist to make sure you don’t find yourself in a pinch without a shower curtain or scrambling to borrow a can opener from a neighbor.

Why Use A First Apartment Checklist?

Moving requires extensive planning. If you’re wondering, “What do I need for my first apartment?” you can use a list to stay organized as you take inventory of what you already have and note what you still need.

Although everyone will have a slightly different list of essentials, Southern Management has compiled an exhaustive checklist of what you need for your first apartment. Use this list as a template to create your own so you don’t miss a thing as you settle into your new home.

What Do You Need For Your First Apartment?

If you have lived in your own space before you might have most of the basics, but if you are a new renter you are probably starting from scratch. Without a comprehensive checklist, there’s a possibility that you’ll overlook at least some of what you need for your first apartment. Here’s a list of all the necessities.

Apartment Bedroom Essentials

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, especially if you’re living with roommates. The goal is to create a space that maximizes comfort while maintaining functionality and provide you with storage if you need it.

  • Bedframe
  • Headboard
  • Nightstands
  • Mattress
  • Bedding (mattress protector, sheets, pillowcases, duvet insert, and cover)
  • Pillows
  • Hangers
  • Shoe rack
  • Rug
  • Mirror
  • Laundry hamper
  • Desk
  • Desk chair
  • Dresser
  • Storage solutions (bookcases, storage bins, baskets, etc.)
  • Curtains and curtain rod(s)
  • Lamp(s)
  • Artwork

Apartment Kitchen Essentials

Known as the heart of the home, the kitchen is a room with many moving parts. Whether you’re cooking, entertaining, or dining, there are numerous components needed to make your kitchen tasks a delight instead of a drag. This one comes with a caveat: the price of non-essential kitchen items can add up quickly, so be realistic about what you’ll use before buying up the whole list.

Kitchen Staples

  • Trash can
  • Trash bags
  • Recycling container
  • Silverware organizer
  • Spice rack
  • Hand towels
  • Dish drying rack
  • Paper towels
  • Paper towel holder
  • Aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Magnets
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Dish brush
  • Food storage containers

Dining Items

  • Cups, glasses, mugs
  • Silverware
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Placemats
  • Serving utensils
  • Serving bowls and platters

Cooking and Baking Tools

  • Oven mitts
  • Baking sheet and pans
  • Pots and pans
  • Skillet
  • Spatula, ladle, whisk
  • Colander
  • Knives
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Mixing bowls
  • Grater

Kitchen Electronics

  • Blender
  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster
  • Hand mixer
  • Toaster oven
  • Kettle
  • Slow Cooker
  • Pressure Cooker
  • Microwave

Apartment Living Room Essentials

Your living room can be a tricky room. Your personal list of essentials will depend on how you intend to use it the most. Are you more likely to be entertaining guests, snuggling up with a good book, or binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix? Regardless of how you’ll be using your living room, you’ll want to strike a balance between seating/lounging areas, storage, and open space (to keep it from feeling too cramped). Here are a few living room essentials to get you started.

  • Couch
  • Chairs
  • Ottoman
  • Coffee Table
  • Side/end tables
  • Sofa table
  • Television
  • Television stand
  • Table lamps
  • Floor lamps
  • Coasters
  • Curtains
  • Blankets
  • Decorative pillows
  • Rug
  • Artwork

Apartment Bathroom Essentials

It’s easy for the bathroom to become an afterthought. But you will probably be starting and ending each day in this space, so you want your bathroom to evoke a sense of positivity and be set up for efficiency. In addition to personal toiletries and products, consider adding these items to your bathroom “must-have” list.

  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Hand towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain, liner, and hooks
  • Plunger
  • Toilet Brush
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Soap holder
  • Bath mat
  • Rug
  • Trash can
  • Storage containers
  • Drawer and/or shelf organizers
  • Make-up mirror

Apartment Laundry Essentials

Regardless of whether you do your laundry in your apartment or you have a common laundry room, you’ll need the same supplies. It’s easy to know where to store your laundry supplies if you have your own washer and dryer. If your washer and dryer are outside of your apartment we recommend keeping all of these essentials corralled in once space for easy access.

  • Laundry Detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Bleach
  • Stain remover
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Drying rack

Apartment Entryway Essentials

A well-appointed entryway can make the difference between a chaotic day and a calm one. It’s another space that’s easy to overlook, but trust us, just a few items to help you create an efficient entryway will have a big impact.

  • Coat hangers
  • Key holder
  • Door mat
  • Mail holder
  • Small table
  • Hooks
  • Artwork

Apartment Cleaning Supply Essentials

Keeping your apartment clean makes a huge difference to the general feel of the space. Have these useful items on-hand to keep your apartment in tip-top shape.

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Dustpan
  • Sponge
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning rags
  • Dusting spray
  • Dry duster
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Bathtub/shower cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Air freshener
  • Rubber gloves

Miscellaneous Apartment Essentials

And lastly, here’s the list of general home essentials and items that don’t belong in any particular room. They’re the things you won’t think about until you need them. If you add these items to your first apartment checklist, you’ll be prepared for any situation.

  • Extension cords and power strips
  • Light bulbs
  • Tool kit (hammer, screwdrivers, level, nails, screws)
  • Damage-free hooks (such as Command)
  • Scissors
  • Tape (masking, clear, duct)
  • First aid kit
  • Pain reliever
  • Super glue
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Tape measure
  • Thumbtacks
  • Batteries of all sizes
  • Sewing kit
  • Memo pad

The Most Important Thing To Check Off Your Ultimate First Apartment Checklist

Before assembling all the items on your first apartment checklist, you need to find the perfect apartment community to move to. If you’ve begun to figure out how to rent an apartment but haven’t found the perfect place, consider visiting one of Southern Management’s communities or attending one of our open houses.

At Southern Management, our team’s number one priority is giving our residents the highest quality care and service. Each future resident is treated with the utmost respect as they try to find their perfect apartment. Our uncompromising level of customer service leads to long-term relationships with our residents.

As you compile your ultimate first apartment checklist don’t forget to make Southern Management a necessity!

Call (703) 902-9555, or contact us to set up a tour of any of our apartment communities.