The Ultimate Guide: First Apartment Essentials

The Ultimate Guide: First Apartment Essentials
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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 of the first apartment essentials you’ll need to fully furnish your new place.

If you feel a little overwhelmed, I don’t blame you!

If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | cleaning essentials | kitchen essentials | bedroom essentials | bathroom essentials | living essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #homedesign #roomdecor
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. | adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | kitchen essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #homedesign #kitchenideas #kitchendecor
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. | adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | living room essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #livingroomideas #livingroomdecor #livingroomfurniture #livingroom
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. | adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | bedroom essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #bedroomideas #bedroomdecor #bedroomdecoratingideas
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | bathroom essentials | washroom essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #bathroomideas #bathroomdecor #bathroom
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. | adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | cleaning essentials | cleaning tools | cleaning supplies #apartment #adulting #cleaningtips #cleaninghacks #cleaning #home
If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | miscellaneous essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #homedesign #roomdecor

First Apartment Essentials

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 things you need for your first apartment so you can be ready to take on this new chapter of your life.

Let’s start off with kitchen essentials, shall we?

Kitchen Essentials

brita filter

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.

glasslock glass food containers

Glass 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!

toaster oven

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 these circumstances because it’ll help you save time and hydro costs.

ice cube tray

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.

oven tray

Oven Tray – If you love to bake meals in the oven as well as desserts, an oven tray is definitely a must.

electric kettle

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 if you only need hot water once in a while.

Zojirushi water boiler

If you’re an avid hot water user though who constantly needs a steady flow of hot water, you might want check out the Zojirushi water boiler and warmer.  I have one myself and I love it so much because it allows me to use hot water at all times!  Once you boil the water, it keeps it warm for you so you don’t have to wait the next time you need it.

microwave oven

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 necessities I had bought when I’d first moved in.  I highly suggest you buy one early on if it doesn’t come with your apartment as it’s such a useful appliance.

I have a Panasonic Inverter microwave and would recommend it if you’re looking to purchase a powerful but affordable microwave.

oven mitts

Oven Mitts – It’s always a good precaution to use oven mitts to protect your hands from the heat if you’re going to be baking!

wine bottle 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.

dish rack

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 any kitchen.

knives set

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.  I’ve used them for years on a daily basis and they’re still in excellent condition so I suggest investing in a good set of knives.

stainless steel pots and pans

I also suggest buying both non-stick and stainless steel pots and pans from a reputable brand like Cuisinart.  They’re made to last and will allow you to save time by simultaneously cooking with multiple sized pots and pans.

dishware set

Dishware – A variety of cups, bowls, plates, and cutlery are definite apartment essentials especially if you like to host parties and have guests over.

keurig coffee maker

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 drip coffee maker if you’re more old school or invest a little more and get a Nespresso machine or Keurig machine.

trash can

Garbage Can – To keep your apartment clean from litter and bugs, a stainless steel garbage can is always a necessity.

can opener

Can Opener – A can opener is one of those apartment necessities that you might forget to buy when you first move in but you should definitely get one if you plan on adding canned food to your pantry.  You don’t want to spend an hour trying to hack open a can with a knife when you’re hungry!

nutribullet blender

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 NutriBullet and love how I can easily make a delicious and nutritious fruit or green smoothie in less than a minute.

Living Room Essentials

bean bag chair

Bean Bag Chair – A bean bag chair is such a fun addition and great alternative to a couch because it doesn’t take up as much space.  It can be easily shaped to your liking too and it’s super comfortable – so much that you might even fall asleep on it!

serta living room couch

Couch – A must-have item in every living room that can transform your home is a comfy couch. Check out this affordable one from Wayfair!

floor lamp

Floor Lamp – 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.

tv stand in living room

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 can help hide any visible TV cords running down from the TV and it can also be extra storage space for you if you’re lacking storage room in your apartment.

home sweet home throw pillow

Throw Pillows – Throw pillows are essential to help give your couch that homey feel.  This Home Sweet Home pillow is so cute and comfy and will add something a little extra to your couch.

area rug living room

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 definitely most welcomed when you live in a cold climate!).

fuzzy throw blanket

Throw Blanket – Another must-have item is a luxurious throw to add dimension to your sofa.  It’ll easily help turn your room into a super cozy haven and it’s also great to cuddle under when you’re watching a movie on the couch!

coffee table in a living room

Coffee Table – A coffee table is extremely useful if you’re going to have guests over and if you want to add some centerpiece decorations to your living room.

dining room table

Dining Room Table – A dining room table is a definite essential for your apartment if you like having a designated place to eat and don’t have a kitchen bar.

dining room chairs

Dining Room Chairs – Along with a dining room table, dining room chairs are a must!

swivel bar stool

Adjustable Bar Stools – If you don’t have much room in your apartment to fit a dining room table and chairs, you can get bar stools to save space if you have an island or bar counter.

woven basket

Woven Basket – If you find that you tend to leave things out in your living room with no place to put them such as couch throws, pillows, and toys, storing them in a woven basket is great and it doubles as a nice addition to your home decor.

Bedroom Essentials

Your bed frame and your mattress are 2 important apartment necessities that you’ll be spending a lot of your time on so research a lot and invest in something that you really like.

Gwyneth Upholstered Panel Bed Frame

Bed Frame – Your bed is the center of attention in your bedroom so choose something that you really like! This elegant bedframe by Willa Arlo Interiors is absolutely beautiful and eye-catching!

Mattress – I also suggest thoroughly researching and testing out mattresses so you can find one that is high quality and comfortable.  Here are a few great mattresses from companies that allow you to try them for free:

white bookcase

Bookshelf – If you have a lot of books, CDs, or movies, a bookshelf is a definite asset in your bedroom or living room.

bedroom nightstand

Nightstand – Need a place to keep your phone, alarm clock, and nightstand lamp when you go to bed?  A nightstand (or two) is a must to keep your necessities close to you at night.

bedroom nightstand lamp

Nightstand Lamp – A nightstand lamp is a perfect addition to your nightstand table at the end of the night to help you relax and unwind.

blackout curtains

Blackout Curtains – If you’re planning on having some privacy in your apartment, blinds or curtains are absolute apartment essentials!  I recommend getting blackout curtains for your bedroom so you’ll have a dark, quiet sleeping space and any sunlight that comes into the room in the mornings won’t interrupt your sleep.

over the door hanging rack

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.


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.


Full-Length Mirror – A full-length mirror is an essential piece of 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 place is bigger than it actually is.

4 drawer chest

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 away from dust is always helpful.


Work Desk – 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.

office swivel chair

Office Chair – If you have a work desk, getting an office chair where you can sit at comfortably and work productively is a must!

desk lamp

Desk Lamp – Need more light when you’re working at your desk?  A desk lamp is a definite essential in your bedroom if you often need to work or study at your desk.

rolling laundry basket

Laundry Basket – If you’re one of the unlucky ones where you don’t have an en-suite laundry and you have to travel back and forth to the machines, a rolling hamper with wheels and a sturdy handle is extremely helpful and will probably be your best friend for those dreaded laundry nights!

Bathroom Essentials

shower curtain peach

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

Toilet Scrub Brush – A toilet scrub brush is a definite must if you want to keep your toilet nice and clean!

bath rug

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 don’t want to wet the floor.  I recommend getting a rug made of water-resistant material so that the rug will dry more quickly.

norris shower caddy

Shower Caddy – Don’t like cluttering your shower tub rim with dozens of bottles?  A shower caddy is an awesome apartment essential you’ll want to hang on your shower head which will solve that problem!

bathroom ensemble

Bath Ensemble – This 4-piece bath ensemble includes a soap or lotion dispenser pump, a toothbrush holder, a soap dish, and a tumbler.  House all of your daily necessities in your bathroom in these trendy and modern decor jars.

bathtub caddy tray

Bath Tub Caddy Tray – If you love taking baths to relax and unwind after a long day, this bathtub caddy tray is so useful if you want to use your laptop or tablet, eat, drink, or read a book while you relax in the water.

bathroom corner storage

Bathroom Shelf – If you need extra space to store things such as toilet paper rolls, soap, and bath necessities, a bathroom shelf comes in handy.

Cleaning Tools & Essentials

irobot roomba vacuum cleaner

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 to vacuum my floors without me having to lift a finger.  It’s also great because I can just turn it on when I’m about to go out and I’ll come back home to an already clean house.  It’s seriously a time saver if you’re a busy person and totally worth it even though it’s pricey.

hand-held vacuum

Hand-Held Vacuum – For those hard to reach places in the house that can’t be reached by a robot vacuum cleaner, a cordless hand-held vacuum is a really nice addition that you can consider purchasing.  If your apartment doesn’t have much space or you just don’t want to spend the money on an expensive and large vacuum cleaner, this is a great cleaning tool.


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 and smudge-free.  Forget about those 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!

swiffer duster

Duster – Does your furniture become dusty really easily?  If you live in a polluted area or open your windows a lot, you’ll be prone to quickly accumulating dust all over your apartment.

Get rid of dust fast with the Swifter Duster!  I like using this once a week and this helps keep my dust allergies at bay.


Toilet Plunger – A toilet plunger is such a useful tool that comes in handy when you experience a clogged toilet or sink.  You definitely want to have this on hand when you’re dealing with a messy clog so you can avoid paying a hefty price for a handyman or plumber to come fix the problem.


Dust Pan – For any spills that happen where you can’t vacuum up the pieces (such as when you break something made of glass), a dust pan always comes in handy.

lint roller brush

Lint Roller Brush – If you have pets, you’ll totally understand how annoying pet hair can get when it accumulates all over your couch, bed, blankets, and carpets.  And if you own those sticky tape lint rollers, you’ll know that they don’t really even pick up hair much anyways.

On the other hand, this ChomChom lint roller brush is a serious lifesaver and is an essential item you need to have in your apartment if you want to remove the endless clumps of hair that accumulates.  This brush is great because it’s reusable, compact, battery-free, and it really gets the job done!  Your guests will definitely appreciate how clean and hair-free your furniture looks!

magic eraser

Magic Eraser – This little sponge literally works like magic just like its name!  Whether you need to clean up any messes in the kitchen, wash off built up grime in your washroom, or remove dirt and grime anywhere else in the house, this handy little versatile eraser will do it all.  Just add a little bit of water and scrub away.

windex glass cleaner

Glass Cleaner – The Windex glass cleaner is a definite cleaning essential if you like to keep your mirrors and glass windows clean from smudges and dirt.


Cif – This creamy liquid is liquid magic if you’re facing tough stains, dirt, and grime build up in your washroom.  I use it all the time to clean my bathrooms and it makes everything sparkling, shiny, and clean feeling again.

lysol toilet bowl cleaner

Toilet Bowl Cleaner – The Lysol toilet bowl cleaner is a must if you want shiny and clean toilet bowls in your home.  Just squeeze the tube until the liquid spreads around the bowl and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Then scrub the bowl with your toilet scrub brush, flush, and you’re good to go.

lysol multi-surface cleaner

Multi-Surface Cleaner – This Lysol multi-surface cleaner is an essential multi-purpose cleaner if you like to keep your place fresh and clean.  It’s great for large surfaces such as mopping your floors or spot cleaning greasy messes.

clorox disinfecting wipes

Disinfecting Wipes – Keep your kitchen and bathroom counters clean with these convenient bacteria fighting Clorox disinfectant wipes.

kleenex tissue boxes

Tissue – Tissue boxes are definite must-haves in every room around the house.  They’re convenient and oh-so-functional!

charmin toilet paper

Toilet Paper Rolls – Don’t forget to stock up on toilet paper rolls for your bathrooms.  I like the Charmin 2-ply toilet rolls because they’re super soft and are relatively strong for a great price.

bounty paper towels

Paper Towel Rolls – For those tough stains and spills around the house, Bounty paper towel is my go-to cleaning essential to clean up any messes fast.  They’re quite durable and strong so I can often reuse them a few times when I’m cleaning up a mess if I wash them with water.

Miscellaneous Essentials

shoe rack

Shoe Rack – If you have dozens of shoes and want to organize your space near the front door, a shoe rack is an absolute essential.

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 won’t have to leave your shoes all over the place anymore and this will free up a lot of space and create a more clean and tidy look.

hello front door mat

Doormat – A doormat is a great piece that is both functional and decorative and it’s also a great way to show off your personality!  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

Boot Tray – If you live in a cold climate with a lot of snow, you’re going to want to put all of your wet shoes on a boot tray so that your front hallway doesn’t get soaked.

clear storage box

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 keep dust out.  You can put these under your bed (if possible) to save space, in your closets, or in an external storage room.

power outlet strip

Electric Power Outlet Strip – If you have multiple 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

Coat Rack – If your apartment closets don’t have a lot of room to put all of your coats and jackets, 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 emergencies

First Aid Kit – For those rare times where you hurt yourself and need bandages or gauze, a first aid kit is a definite essential that you need to add to your home just in case of emergencies.

fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher – If a fire starts up in your apartment, a fire extinguisher is one of those must-have first 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 an emergency happens as you won’t have time to figure out how it works on the spot.

toolbox kit

Toolbox Kit – For those times when you need multiple tools such as a hammer, screwdriver, or screws, a toolbox is always handy to have to help you fix anything around the house.

step stool

Step Stool – For all you shorties who live alone, a step stool is so useful especially if you need to reach for something in the kitchen cupboards.  And even if you’re not part of the short girl club, having a step stool around is so useful if you’re changing a light bulb high up on the ceiling.

velvet hangers

Hangers – Hangers are household essentials especially if you have a lot of clothes!  I prefer velvet hangers because they prevent your clothes from sliding off.

mail and key holder

Mail & Key Hanger – If you always have a bunch of keys or loose mail lying all over your front hallway, a great essential to add near the door is a mail and key hanger.  Keep all of your keys and mail in one handy place!

foldable drying rack

Drying Rack – A drying rack is so useful especially in the summer when you only have a few things to dry and don’t want to use the drying machine.  It’s also compact and can be easily folded and stored away when it’s not in use.

blackout buddy flashlight

Emergency Flashlight – It’s always good to be ready for when a blackout happens by keeping an emergency flashlight around the house just in case the electricity goes out.

This Blackout Buddy emergency flashlight has a dual purpose: It can be continuously plugged into the wall and used as a night light or when a blackout occurs, it automatically lights up and can be disconnected to use as a handheld flashlight.

This is a great way to be prepared so you don’t have to fumble around the house for a light source when a blackout occurs.

tealight soy candles

Candles – Having candles around as a backup source of light and warmth is also a good idea to have tucked away in case of emergencies.  These unscented tealight candles are made of soy, are vegan-friendly, and will run for up to 7 hours before they burn out.  These are also great for everyday candle use and to keep food warm!

bic utility-lighter

Utility Lighter – And lastly, having a utility lighter around the house is great for all sorts of occasions and they’re easier and more convenient to use compared to matches.  They are great to have during emergencies where you need to light up a few candles or for more joyous occasions such as lighting up candles on a birthday cake.


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 absolutely 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.

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.

And if you live in a tiny apartment or loft, I recommend you check out my post on awesome furniture ideas you’ll want to have in your home to maximize your living space.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my posts on how to adult:

If you're about to move out into your first apartment, here are the most important apartment essentials you'll need to be ready to move out on your own. adulting | move out for the first time | moving out | independence | college essentials | college dorm | room essentials | home decor | cleaning essentials | kitchen essentials | bedroom essentials | bathroom essentials | living essentials #apartment #furniture #furnitureideas #adulting #homedecor #homedesign #roomdecor

What are some essentials for your first apartment that you’ll be buying?  Feel free to share in the comments!


  1. haha the first thing i’m putting in my apartment when i get one is a coffee machine. i don’t think id actually be able to live without one! โ™ฅ

    this is such an extensive and useful list, bookmarking for when i get moving my butt out!

    katie. xx

  2. Awesome list. The iroomba roboot is my must have item. I don’t currently have one but I must have one!! A microwave, I agree is totally essential. I went a time without one in an apartment, and was not as happy. It just makes everything easier. Again, awesome list!

    1. Yes, I totally agree! Once I got the roomba, I could never go back to using a regular handheld vacuum! ? It’s so convenient and such a time saver!

  3. Such a great post for anyone getting ready to move out! I love how you also added miscellaneous items that are super important especially for emergency situations that some people might not think of when they’re first moving. Love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Such an amazingly thorough post. I LOVE how you have put together everything. And coincidently I have owned EVERY SINGLE Item. ๐Ÿ™‚ Lol … I am so happy you made sure to include the emergency items …

  5. There were many of these things that I forgot about when I did get my first apartment. We had people over for a fancy dinner and we didn’t have a knife big enough to cut the meat with.

    1. Haha I guess we learn from our mistakes! I didn’t have a wine bottle opener when I first moved in and we had to figure out a way to get it open!

  6. This is such an amazing low down on what you need. SO many go into it thinking that they don’t need so much.

  7. Wow this is a comprehensive list for sure. My advice – never ever skimp on pans. Get yourself an awesome set of pans and you will never regret it.

  8. Excellent suggestions. My partner and I moved into our first home over a year ago and we’re still getting ourselves together. It’s great to have a clear idea of what you need to get started.

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