So you’ve finally decided that you’re ready to move out for the very first time into your own place. You’ve figured out where you’re going to live and now, amongst many other things, you’re planning out all the stuff you’ll need to fully furnish your new place. If you feel a little overwhelmed, I don’t blame you!
Moving out on your own can be expensive because you’re buying everything you need for the first time and you aren’t sharing the costs with anyone. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how pricey it costs to set up a new home and all of it can start to add up real quick. Be sure to budget your money wisely and save up well before the big move.
In today’s post, I’ll be talking about all of the apartment essentials you’ll need to be ready to take on this new chapter of your life. Let’s start off with kitchen essentials, shall we?
- Microwave – I survived without a microwave for a long, long time (almost 1 and a half years until I bought mine) and I regretfully wish this was one of the first apartment essentials I had bought when I first moved in. I highly suggest you buy one early on if it doesn’t come with your apartment as it’s so useful appliance. I have a Panasonic Inverter microwave and would recommend it if you’re looking to purchase one.
- Electric Water Kettle – A water kettle is such a useful tool and a total time saver if you’re an avid tea or coffee drinker! You definitely won’t regret getting one if you like hot beverages and hate waiting for water to boil on the stove. I recommend something simple like the Hamilton Beach glass electric water kettle.
- Coffee Maker – If you’re addicted to coffee, lattes, or just anything caffeine-related, a coffee maker is a must if you want to save yourself from going on too many expensive trips to Starbucks! Either stick to a traditional coffee maker if you’re more old school or invest a little more and get a Tassimo machine or Keurig machine. I’ve owned both before but I personally prefer the Keurig because the K-cups are affordable and they have more selections of drinks.
- Cookware – You’re going to need cookware such as pots, frying pans, a spatula, knives, scissors, and a chopping board if you’re planning on cooking at home and saving money. For knives, I really like J.A. Henkel knives because they’re made to last even though they’re more expensive in price. I’ve used them for years on a daily basis and they’re still in excellent condition so I suggest investing in a set of good set of knives. For other cookware, I suggest buying both non-stick and stainless steel pots and pans from a reputable brand like Cuisinart. They’re made to last for years to come and will allow you to simultaneously cook with multiple sized pots and pans.
- Toaster Oven – For those times when you just want to toast a slice of bread in the morning or bake something small, a normal oven will take too long to heat up and it’ll also be a big waste of energy. A toaster oven is extremely useful in those circumstances because it’ll help you save time and hydro costs.
- Can Opener – A can opener is one of those apartment essentials that you might forget to buy when you first move in but you should definitely get one if you plan adding canned food to your pantry. You don’t want to spend time trying to hack open a can with a knife when you’re hungry!
- Ice Cube Tray – For those hot, summer days, it’s always nice to have frozen ice cubes ready to be put into a cold, refreshing drink.
9. Dish Rack / 10. Wine Bottle Opener / 11. Glass Storage Containers / 12. Water Filter / 13, Garbage Can / 14. Step Stool / 15. Blender / 16. Cutlery Set / 17. Dish Set / 18. Oven Tray / 19. Oven Mitts
- Cutlery, Dishware, & Cups – A variety of cups, bowls, plates, and cutlery are definite apartment essentials especially if you like to host parties and have guests over.
- Beer Opener & Wine Bottle Opener – If you’re hosting a party with some friends or you’re ready to relax at home with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine, a beer opener and/or wine bottle opener will definitely come in handy.
- Food Storage Containers – If you’re going to be cooking at home often, food storage containers will be necessary to store away leftover food that you can’t finish. You can also use them to bring lunches to work or school to help you to save money. I use and recommend both Pyrex and Glasslock glass containers for food that needs to be reheated in the microwave because heating up food in plastic isn’t good!
- Dish Rack – Regardless of whether or not you have a dishwasher, a dish rack where you can lay out your dishes to air dry is an essential tool in your kitchen.
- Water Filter – If you like the taste of clean filtered water and don’t like to drink tap water, a Brita Water Pitcher is a must! I’ve used one for over 10 years now because I’m not ready to install a full-blown water filter system yet so this gives me the peace of mind that what I’m drinking is clean and filtered. The plus side is that it helps make tap water taste great.
- Blender – If you’re the type of person who likes making your own smoothies, a blender is an essential tool in your kitchen. I have the Magic Bullet and love how I can easily make a delicious and nutritious fruit or green smoothie in less than a minute.
- Oven Tray & Oven Mitts – If you love to bake, an oven tray definitely comes in handy. And if you’re going to be baking, ensure you have oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat.
- Garbage Can – To keep your apartment clean from litter and bugs, a stainless steel garbage can is an essential tool in your kitchen.
- Step Stool – If you’re going to be living alone and you’re not a tall person, a step stool will be very helpful in situations where you need to reach high up for something in the cupboards or if you need to change a light bulb.
- Coasters – To protect your table from getting damaged when setting hot food on it, coasters come in handy.
Living Room Essentials
- Couch – Another big investment to research a lot on before purchasing is a couch. Go to local furniture stores and try out different couches to see what feels the most comfortable to you. I bought a good quality Ikea microfibre couch for only a few hundred dollars and it’s still serving me well since I bought it years ago.
- Coffee Table – A coffee table is extremely useful if you’re going to have guests over in the living room and if you want to add some centerpiece decorations in your living room.
- Pillows – Pillows are essential to help give your couch that homey feel and they help make your couch feel more comfortable.
- Dining Room Table & Chairs – A dining room table and matching chairs are definite apartment essentials. I bought a glass table and chairs from Ikea for under $100 and they’re still in great condition.
- Lamps – A lot of apartments don’t have built-in ceiling lights so depending on where you live and how much light you like, table lamps and floor lamps in the living room and bedroom may be necessary apartment essentials for you.
- Area Rug – A large area rug stationed under the coffee table and partly under the couches will really bring all of the living room furniture pieces together. It’ll also feel nice and cozy if you have hardwood floors (which is most welcomed when you live in a cold climate!).
- TV & TV Stand – You definitely need a TV in your living room for those days where you just want to chill out on the couch with a hot beverage in hand and curl up under the blankets. A TV stand will help hide any visible TV cords running down from the TV and it can also be an extra storage space for you if you’re lacking storage room in your apartment.
- Bed – Your bed frame and your mattress are 2 important apartment essentials that you’ll be spending a lot of your time on so research a lot and invest in something that you really like. I took a really long time to choose my current Ikea bed frame and I ultimately decided on getting it because of the affordable price, the girly design, and the quality. Luckily it has held up extremely well for over 4 years now! I also suggest thoroughly researching and testing out mattresses in stores so you can find one that is high quality and comfortable.
- Book Shelf – If you have a lot of books, CDs, or movies, a bookshelf is a definite asset in your bedroom or living room.
- Laundry Basket – If you’re one of the unlucky ones where you have to travel back and forth to the laundry machines in the basement of your apartment, a rolling hamper with wheels and a sturdy handle is extremely helpful and will probably be your best friend for those dreaded laundry nights!
- Over The Door Hanging Rack – If you’re low on storage space and need more hangers, a great way to utilize unused space is to get an over the door hanging rack.
- Full-Length Mirror – A full-length mirror is an essential piece in your apartment if it doesn’t come with any built-in full-length mirrors. It will really help open up your apartment if you don’t have that much square footage as the mirror gives off an illusion that the room is actually bigger than it is.
- Blinds or Curtains – If you’re planning on having some privacy in your apartment, blinds or curtains are an absolute apartment essentials! I recommend getting blackout curtains for your bedroom so that you’ll have a dark, quiet sleeping space and any sunlight that comes into the room in the mornings won’t interrupt your sleep.
- Fan – If you’re unlucky and have loud next door neighbors, a fan (or a white noise machine) is extremely helpful when you’re trying to drown out any noises that you don’t want hear. It’s also an essential if you live in an old building that doesn’t have air conditioning.
- Drawers – A lot of apartments don’t have quite that much closet space so having drawers where you can put your belongings away and shield them from dust is always helpful.
- Desk & Office Chair – If you’re planning on having a place to study or get work done in your apartment, it’s nice to have a designated work desk and office chair where you can sit at comfortably and work productively. Definitely test out office chairs in stores because they’re not all made equally and some are more comfortable and ergonomic than others. I highly recommend this Ikea office chair because it’s so comfortable for a low price.
- Shower Curtain – A shower curtain is a must-have item for your tub and it’s also a great way to decorate your bathroom and inject a little bit of personality into the room.
- Toilet Scrub Brush – A toilet scrub brush is a definite must if you want to keep your toilet clean and white!
- Bath Rug – A bath rug with a non-skid rubber bottom is great to have when you’re coming out of the shower and you want to avoid wetting the floor. The more water resistant the material is made out of, the better.
- Shower Caddy – Don’t like cluttering your shower tub with dozens of bottles? A shower caddy will be one of the apartment essentials you’ll want to hang inside your shower which will solve that problem!
Cleaning Supply Essentials
- Vacuum Cleaner/Roomba – A good quality vacuum cleaner is really important if you want to keep your place clean from dust and hair. It’s even more important if you have pets! I love my iRobot Roomba because it helps me vacuums my floors without myself having to even lift a finger. I also like to turn it on when I’m going out so that I can come home to a clean house. It’s seriously a time saver if you’re a busy person and totally worth it even though it’s pricey.
- Mop – If your apartment has hardwood floors, a vacuum cleaner won’t be enough to get all the dirt off the ground. I have the GoPlus 360 Spin Mop which helps keep my floors in pristine condition. Forget about annoying mops where you have to wet the mop and manually wring out the water yourself. This one is built to help you spin the water out automatically and you don’t have to break a sweat!
- Duster – Does your furniture become dusty really easily? If you live in a polluted area or open your windows a lot, you’ll most likely be more prone to dust accumulating all over your apartment. Get rid of dust fast with the Swifter Duster! I like using this once a week and this helps my dust allergies at bay.
- Plunger – A toilet plunger is such a useful tool that will come in handy when your toilet is clogged. You definitely want to have this on hand when you’re dealing with a messy clog so that you can avoid paying for a handyman or plumber to come fix the problem.
Miscellaneous Apartment Essentials
- Shoe Rack – If you have dozens of shoes and want to organize your space near the front door, a shoe rack will be a godsend. This 3-tiered shoe rack from Seville is amazing because it’s sturdy, looks like wood (it’s actually made of plastic), and can even be stacked on top of one another if you have lots of shoes and need more space. You don’t want to leave your shoes all over the place because they take up unnecessary space and it looks messy.
- Doormat – A doormat is a great piece to put in your apartment that is both functional and decorative. If you live in a snowy or wet climate, a doormat is especially useful to keep your front hallway clean of water and snow.
- Boot Tray – If you live in a cold climate with a lot of snow, you’re going to want to put your wet shoes on a boot tray so that your front hallway doesn’t get soaked.
- Storage Boxes – If your apartment lacks space, large plastic storage boxes or cardboard boxes will be helpful apartment essentials to store extra stuff that you don’t use often and to also keep dust out. You can put these under your bed (if possible) to save space, in your closets, or in an external storage room.
- Electric Power Outlet Strip – If you have lots of electronics and appliances that need to be used at the same time but not enough electrical outlets, electric power outlet strips in each room will be absolute apartment essentials.
- Coat Rack – If your apartment closets don’t have a lot of room to put all of your coats, a wall mounted coat rack is extremely helpful to save room. It also allows easy on and off access to your most worn jackets of the season.
- First Aid Kit – For those rare times where you hurt yourself and need bandages, a first aid kit is a definite essential that you need to add to your home just in case of emergencies.
- Fire Extinguisher – If a fire starts up in your apartment, a fire extinguisher is one of those must-have apartment essentials you’ll need that could save your life! Don’t forget to learn how to use it if you’ve never used one before as you won’t have time to figure out how it works in an emergency.
- Toolbox – For those times when you need certain tools to help you fix something in your apartment, a toolbox kit is always handy to have.
I hope this list gives you a general idea of the apartment essentials you’ll need when you move out on your own for the first time. This list is in no way complete! Just switch some of the items out or add to it if you feel that some are not exactly appropriate for your living situation. And lastly, don’t forget to incorporate some home decor pieces that are unique to you to really show off your personality!
If you’re still unsure of whether or not you’re ready to move out on your own yet, head on over to my post about how to move out on your own for the first time.
What are some of the apartment essentials you’ll be buying to furnish your first apartment? Feel free to share!