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Ultimate move-in list of necessities for a new apartment

Young playful couple at their new apartment - Stock image

If you decided to make a rather important and responsible step in your life and move into your first apartment, you might find it challenging to think about what must-have necessities you’ll have to buy in the first place to make your new home comfortable and equipped with the stuff every normal person would need to have at his/her apartment.

Moving into the place you may call your own for the first time in your life is really exciting. You literally can’t wait till the movers deliver all your belongings to the new apartment to start decorating and setting up everything in it. At the same time, you need to restrain yourself not to waste too much money when shopping for your first apartment.

Going on a splurge to buy all the furniture you might want to have in your apartment at once is, in fact, quite tempting, but you need to take into account monthly rent and utility bills you’ll have to pay from now, security deposit your landlord will charge, moving expenses and the money you have to put away to buy the absolute necessities like cleaning supplies and stock up on basic groceries.

While some of the things have to be purchased right before or shortly after the move-in day, some of the stuff (like wall décor, living room furniture like coffee tables or chairs, extra pots and pans) may totally wait till later. Determining a realistic budget and compiling a list of moving in necessities will help you eliminate overspending and purchase all the basics you normally use in your daily routine. Buying second hand, especially when it comes to furniture, cookware and kitchen appliances, will allow you to save more money and include more essentials in your move-in shopping list. Coupons, supermarket sales and yard sales will also help anyone who’s on a tight budget.

With the moving hustle and overwhelming financial responsibilities, you’ll still remember to buy the big things like a bed or a microwave, but a lot of smaller essentials may end up lost in your memory. This list of things to buy when moving into an apartment will save you a lot of shopping trips, help you think about what necessities you have to get first and equip your home with basic necessities without going broke.

Essentials for moving into a first apartment


Furnishing the entire apartment would be quite an unreasonable, as well as extremely expensive thing to do for a person, who’s moving out to live on his own for the first time, especially regarding the expenses and fees related to renting out an apartment and moving into it. You’ll surely be able to live without a dining table, a nightstand, a vanity and even a couch for a while. And, even with the most important pieces of furniture (a bed, a couple of chairs for the kitchen area, a dresser and a desk), remember about the numerous options of purchasing used items in a great condition.

Cleaning necessities

These are the ones you want to have in your cleaning cabinet on a moving day to clean up the mess the movers will make in your apartment, as well as to conduct a spring cleaning to ensure that your place is completely cleared out after the previous renters. So, your cleaning essentials are:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Broom and mop (make sure to get the ones that are compatible with the flooring in your apartment)
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Microfiber rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bleach
  • Window cleaner
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Dishwashing machine products (if there’s one in your apartment)
  • Sanitizing wipes

Bedroom essentials

It’s the area you may want to spend most of your money on, as it’s the place you have to feel the most comfortable in. Apart from the furnishing essentials, these are the things you need to buy for a bedroom in your first apartment:

  • Mattress and mattress topper
  • Pillows and comforter
  • 2 sets of bedding
  • Blinds/curtains
  • Mirror
  • Lamp
  • Hangers for the closet
  • Hamper for dirty clothes
  • Area rug (may also wait till later)
  • Storage containers for closet or storing things under the bed

Kitchen necessities

  • Pots and pans (one medium pan, one big and one small pot to start with)
  • Dishes and cutlery
  • Tupperware
  • Cling film and tin foil
  • Spatulas and wooden spoon
  • A few mugs and glasses
  • Water bottle and mason jar
  • Microwave
  • Can and bottle opener
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Towels
  • Apron
  • Dish-washing sponges
  • Cutting boards
  • Some sort of coffee maker or a kettle
  • Paper towels
  • Garbage bags
  • Storage containers for dry food
  • Big mixing bowls
  • Baking tins
  • Table mats
  • Toaster and blender (may wait till later if out of the budget)


Bathroom must-haves

  • Area mats
  • Toilet brush and cleaner
  • Toilet bowl clip on cleaner
  • Toilet seat cover
  • Air freshener
  • Plunger
  • Toilet paper
  • Bath and hand towels
  • Shower curtain
  • Organizer for shower and skin care products
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush holder

Living room and entryway

With the living room, anything on the list may wait till you save up a little bit more money after you move into your first apartment, as these things get quite expensive, and, to be honest, they’re not that necessary. But, if you have time and budget, you may also buy:

  • Couch
  • TV and TV cabinet
  • Shoe storage
  • Coat rack
  • Doormat
  • Area rug
  • Floor lamps
  • Comfy chair
  • Bookshelves
  • Decorations
  • Mirror for the entryway

Miscellaneous things:

  • 2-3 garbage cans (kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom)
  • Laundry basket
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Drawer organizers
  • Batteries
  • Command hooks
  • Extension cords
  • First aid kit
  • Spray bottle
  • Water filter
  • Duct tape

    Young male movers unloading furniture and cardboard boxes from truck on street

    Young male movers unloading furniture and cardboard boxes from truck on street

Got everything you need to move out? Contact movers from HireRush.com to get your stuff, along with the first apartment necessities, delivered to your new place and start an independent life.

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