Muriel Vega
happy women in apartment

You’ve seen more apartments than you can count – different layouts, weird smells and inconvenient locations. But now you’ve found your dream apartment with the right amenities, signed the lease and have your official moving date.

And with your first apartment comes a checklist of things you need to have that veteran renters don’t. Here are the essentials you need for your first apartment.

1. Bed, pillows and linens

Let’s start with the bedroom. Stop by your local mattress store to pick up a bed frame and mattress, and since you already have your move-in date, let them know when and where to deliver it. When that’s done, add bed linens, pillows and a comforter to your shopping list.

Once you’re more settled you can start adding more furniture to your bedroom, such as bedside tables and storage. To save some money, try to find deals at local thrift stores or other spots where you can find cheap furniture.

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2. Clothing storage

You may already have hangers from your previous living situation, but you may need more. Pick up some plastic hangers for your new closet and select a spot for your dresser to store the rest of your foldable clothes.

If you don’t have a closet in your bedroom or you need a bigger one, you can always add a freestanding wardrobe to hang the rest of your clothes. If space is at a premium, look for a wardrobe that has both drawers and a hanging rod, so you can eliminate your dresser altogether.

3. Towels, shower curtain and toilet paper

Your bathroom doesn’t have to be fully stocked from the get-go. However, you’ll have to start with three main essentials – towels, a shower curtain and one thing you can’t get enough of, toilet paper.

Take a look around to assess your bathroom storage layout to see where everything can be put away, including your toiletries. Make sure you only buy enough towels as you need, so you’re not using up precious storage space with bulky towels that never get used.

4. Cleaning supplies

Even if the rental management team did a once-over with a mop, you’ll want to do your own deep cleaning and get in those crevices that may have not been cleaned for years. Suggestions for cleaning supplies to get right away include:

  • Rubber gloves
  • A broom with a dustpan and a mop to clean hardwood floors
  • A small vacuum for carpets
  • Trash bags
  • Multi-use cleaning spray and reusable microfiber towels to clean multiple surfaces
  • Dish soap and sponges
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet bowl scrub, bathroom cleaner with bleach and a plunger

5. Living room furniture

While some people may not be TV fans, you still need a place to lounge, read a book or greet any guests you have over. Pick up a comfy couch at a furniture store or do a search online or at thrift stores if you’re on a budget.

Depending on the size of your living room, buy a lamp or two and a coffee table and end tables to complete the set. You’ll be hosting happy hours at your home in no time.

6. Laundry detergent and hamper

If you’re lucky, you’ll have laundry facilities in your apartment complex, whether they’re in-unit or easily accessible from another building. Even if you don’t, you’ll need a hamper to hold and transport your dirty clothes to the washer, as well as laundry detergent and fabric softener.

7. Kitchenware

Your first night at your new apartment may be delivery pizza but at some point, you’ll want to cook a warm meal in your new kitchen. You’ll need a few things to get started as you get comfortable in your new space.

First, get the basics to cook your food. Pots and pans and bakeware are a necessity in any kitchen. We recommend at least a sauté pan, a sauce pan and a casserole dish, but the options are endless.

If you’re into convenience, think about adding a crock pot or a microwave. Just don’t go too overboard on your kitchen if you don’t have the space to store them out of sight when not in use.

Next, you’ll need pieces to eat with. Dishes, silverware and glasses are a must. It’s always a good idea to add a couple of serving pieces to your collection as well as a few good knives, both for your meals and to prep.

A few other necessities you’ll need are a can opener and bottle opener. If you have a dishwasher, then you’ll need dish detergent, and if you’ll be cleaning your dishes by hand, a dish drying rack will be key.

Last but not least, you’ll need to stock your kitchen with all your favorite foods and drinks.

Cheers and welcome home!

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About The Author

Muriel Vega

Muriel Vega is an Atlanta-based journalist and editor who writes mostly about technology and its intersection with food and culture. She’s the managing editor of tech news publication Hypepotamus, and has contributed to The Guardian, Atlanta magazine, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, VICE and more. She spends her time eating her way through Buford Highway and exploring Atlanta's arts scene.

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