What to Buy for Your First Apartment


So, you have found a new place, you signed the lease, you wrote the check. You have now successfully moved out and got yourself your first apartment. It’s thrilling and exciting, but then you remembered you need to get stuff for your apartment. More than a bed, a couch and a microwave oven, there are a lot of trivial things you might forget but could turn out to be some of your bare necessities.

This article would list everything you need to live comfortably on your own. Well, you don’t have to buy them all at once, but there might come a time when you would need these. Just a friendly tip: there are a lot of items that can be bought second-hand so you can save, or even picked up for free (ask your older friends who are upgrading).

1. Bedroom

Since this will be your comfort zone, let’s talk about it first. The major things you need are a bed frame, mattress, and a dresser. Get yourself a decent mattress so you can sleep well in your apartment because after all, you can only enjoy your own place if you are getting a good rest.

  • Mattress
  • Bed frame
  • Dresser
  • Pillows
  • Sets of blankets
  • Sets of beddings (sheets, pillowcases, comforters)
  • Shoe rack
  • Closet storage
  • Closet organizers
  • Jewelry box/knick knack baskets/organizers
  • Hangers
  • Full-length mirror
  • Under-the-bed boxes or storage containers
  • Nightlight

Living room2. Living room

In your living room, the most important thing that comes to mind is the sofa. For starters, you don’t need to splurge on a couch. As long as it’s still comfortable, durable and beautiful, you can use the second-hand sofa your family or friend had.

  • Couch
  • Chairs
  • TV
  • DVD player
  • Small TV cabinet with storage
  • Coffee table
  • Throw pillows
  • Beanbags and other seating alternatives for guests

kitchen3. Kitchen

First apartment kitchens are usually lacking in tools and gadgets because usually, the owners are busy young professionals who have little or no time to cook. But of course, since you don’t want to live forever eating cereals, take-outs, canned food, and microwavable meals, you would need kitchen tools to follow a recipe and cook. Those people who are more health-conscious are those who are most likely to have busy kitchens.

  • Pots and pans
  • Plates and bowls
  • Glasses, mugs and wine glasses
  • Spoons, forks and other cutlery
  • Knife set
  • Pot holders/oven mitts
  • Cooking utensils (wooden spoons, ladle, spatula, whisk, tongs, mixer etc)
  • Cutting board
  • Peelers and dicers
  • Cutlery tray/cutlery storage
  • Bottle opener and corkscrew
  • Can opener
  • Tupperware
  • Food storage containers
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Countertop storage containers
  • Microwavable food containers
  • Pitchers
  • Zip-top bags
  • Plastic wraps, aluminum foils, wax papers, and parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Cookie sheets
  • Strainer
  • Grater
  • Chip clips
  • Ice trays
  • Dish towels
  • Sponges
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Dish drying rack
  • Hand soap
  • Paper towels
  • Paper towel holders
  • Kitchen towels
  • Wastepaper basket
  • Garbage bags
  • Trash bins

These are also the kitchen appliances and gadgets you most probably need:

  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave oven
  • Oven toaster
  • Coffeemaker
  • Blender
  • Kettle or hotpot
  • Slow cooker

4. Bathroom

Bathroom items are usually the most forgotten. Here are some of the bathroom essentials:

  • Bath and hand towels
  • Shower curtain, liner, and rings
  • Bath mats
  • Toiletries
  • Toiletry holder
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Soap holders
  • Shaver
  • Loofah or scrubber
  • Shower caddy
  • Toilet plunger
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet brush
  • Scale

5. Cleaning materials

Don’t forget your cleaning needs. These can be used around the house:

  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Garbage cans
  • Garbage bags
  • Feather duster
  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Spray bottles
  • Sponges
  • Rags
  • Wiping cloths
  • Stove cleaner
  • Cleaning products (all-purpose cleaner, bleach, disinfectant, stain remover, baking soda, alcohol, etc.)
  • Toilet brush and toilet bowl cleaner
  • Air fresheners
  • Insect and pest killers

6. Laundry room

If your apartment has a laundry room, you’re lucky. But if you don’t you still have to make sure your laundry needs are met with these items:

  • Laundry detergent and bleach
  • Drying rack
  • Hamper and/or laundry bags
  • Hangers and clothespins
  • Laundry baskets
  • Basins
  • Ironing board
  • Iron

7. All-around items and other necessities

Here are the other important items you need for your home:

  • Fan and/or air conditioner
  • Curtains/blinds
  • Lamps
  • Light bulbs
  • Extension cords
  • Telephones
  • Wireless Internet router
  • Matches and/or lighters
  • Candles
  • Drawer organizers
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Duct tape
  • Mats and rags
  • Window treatments (for privacy and screening purposes)
  • Tool set (hammer, pliers, wrench, set of screwdrivers, nails, hooks, etc.) and toolbox
  • Sewing/mending tools (needles, pins, threads, measuring tape, etc.)
  • First aid kit (bandages, iodine solution, cotton, isopropyl alcohol, gauze, medical tape, etc.)
  • Nail grooming kit (nail cutter, nail file, nipper, etc.)
  • Pen and paper
  • Desk and a comfortable chair (if you are working from home)

What to buy later

There is stuff in your old home that you may have grown to be used to, but you may not need yet in your first apartment.

1. Rugs

Rugs are comfortable and decorative and can make a huge difference in creating a look for your space. But most of the good ones are pricey, and come to think of it – they are not really that important. You may save up first before buying a rug so you can match it with the rest of the items in a room.

2. Art

Obviously, artworks are only accessories. You may not need to splurge for these pieces yet, unless you really, really, really want to or if you think your living space is totally incomplete without them.

3. Dining table and chairs

Have you noticed that “dining room” is not on the list above? It’s because, for a first-time renter, a dining table is not yet necessary, unless you like throwing dinner parties. First apartments typically serve as a home for one or two people, so dining can be done on the sofa and coffee table, on a kitchen island or even on the floor. Also, first apartments don’t usually have enough space to accommodate these stuff.

4. Serving dishes

Platters, huge forks, and all those kitchen items meant for serving may be unnecessary when you first move in, especially if you are mostly alone or with a roommate most of the times. Save it when you have a home for your own family.

5. Side tables

Side tables are nice – that’s where you place your alarm clock, phone, and eyeglasses (if you wear one) before going to bed. They also serve as a place where telephones and lamps go. But having these can wait. Always invest for the more important stuff first, like a sturdy bed frame, a comfortable mattress, a nice couch and a dresser of the perfect size.