Essential Things To Buy For A New Apartment Before & After Move In


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Our list of things to buy for a new apartment will have you covered before and after you move in from covering the essentials to making you feel right at home.

You have just signed the rental agreement for your new apartment and you are already thinking things like, “I will put this in that room, hang that in this corner, lay this out that way…”

Well, let us be the first to say congratulations on your new apartment!  Then, we’ll have to tell you don’t let your excitement cause you to overlook some essential things you’ll need for this fancy new pad!

Things to Buy for Your New Apartment Before You Move in

If this is your first apartment, you’ll be able to use our list of essential things to buy for a new apartment to make your move successful and to get you settled in. 

We have compiled a must-have list to cover the basics you will need to feel at home on the first day.

You don’t have to run out and buy everything on this list brand new from some expensive store.

If money is a little tight after your security deposit and first month’s rent, these items can be borrowed, found in your parent’s dusty attic or basement, or easily purchased at a local peddler’s mall.

Essentials For Bedrooms

One of the first things you will want to acquire is a mattress.  Let’s face it, you’re indebted to your landlord now and you have just climbed onto life’s hamster wheel. You’re going to need your rest.

No need to blow your tax check on an organic, exotic animal hair mattress.  Just something comfortable, so you can save your money for a unique bedding set that will show off your personality.

You’ll need some comfortable covers, sheets, and pillows to seal the deal on a good night’s rest and some good window treatment, especially if you are a shift worker.

While you’re at it grab some hangers for your closet, the quicker you can get things put up the more you will feel right at home.

  • Bed Frame / Mattress
  • Bed Sheet Set
  • Clothes/Coat Hangers
  • Clothes Hamper
  • Duvet, Comforter or Quilt
  • Pillows
  • Pillow Cases
  • Mattress Topper
  • Window Treatments (Curtains/Blinds/Window Shades)
Essential Things To Buy For New Apartment

Essentials For A Living Room

You will need a place to stretch your back and relax after a long day of moving. There are some important considerations in the living room when considering what things to buy.

There is lots of room to grow here, but we can get you started on the essentials.

Coffee tables are great for setting drinks, repurposed as an ottoman if you’re a foot raiser, you can also use them for your laptop or have a large area for snacks and drinks on movie night.

A sofa is the most versatile first choice because you can get a sleeper or futon to have a functional bed for overnight guests.

Televisions are not a must, but you’re going to want to chill out for a while after moving.  TVs are getting cheaper by the month, it seems, and you can get a decent one very affordably.

When you have recouped from your move, you can binge-watch with friends or check out your favorite movies as they become available.

  • Coffee Table
  • Sofa and or Chair(s)
  • Television

Kitchen Essentials

It may be a moving day, but you still have to load up on caffeine, eat, and stay hydrated. 

Regardless of if you are brown bagging it or eating cereal all day, these are some kitchen things to buy for a new apartment upfront to get you through.

  • Cereal Bowl
  • Coffee Mug
  • Dish Towels
  • Drink Cups or Glasses
  • Eating Utensils
  • Kitchen Waste Basket
  • Sandwich Bags / Sealable Food Containers

Bathroom Essentials

Cold beer and fast food can bring on situations where a bathroom is needed quickly.  You will need some things for those situations and a good hot shower when you are done sweating.

Here are the absolute basics for bathroom use you will need right away.

  • Air Freshener
  • Bath and Hand towels
  • Hand and Bath Soap
  • Shower Curtain and Liner
  • Shower Hooks / Curtain Rod
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toilet Plunger

Home Tool Kit / Home Supplies

There is likely going to be some need for these things right away.  You may need to change out a dryer plug to match your dryer or hang some wall decor. 

Now that you are settled in, this quick list of tool supplies is going to be handy to get those initial DIY things done in your new apartment.

  • Batteries
  • Duct Tape
  • Hammer
  • Light Bulbs
  • Measuring Tape
  • Power strips / Extension Cords
  • Screw Drivers (Flathead / Phillips)
  • Step Stool
  • Wall Hangers

Cleaning Essentials For New Apartment

Apartments tend to be pretty clean when you move in.  However, you will need a few things to wash the few dishes you will use prior to getting all of your stuff unpacked. 

This shortlist will ensure you will have what you initially need and a few extras.

  • Dish Rags or Sponges
  • Duster / Broom and Dust Pan
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • Paper Towels
  • Surface Cleaner for Sink and Countertops
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Toilet Bowl Scrubber
  • Trash Bags
  • Vacuum
  • Window Cleaner

First Aid Kit & Safety Essentials

No doubt there could be some bumps and bruises while moving in.  You may want to include some first aid items in the list of things to buy for a new apartment.

Here is a list of things to get for both short-term and long-term use as your budget may dictate.

  • Adhesive Bandages Standard / Knuckle / Fingertip
  • Antiseptic cleansing wipes
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Cold Compress
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • First Aid Tape Roll
  • Gauze Dressing Pads (various sizes)
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Scissors
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Thermometer
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Tweezers

Laundry Essentials

When the moving day is over there will be lots of sweaty clothes, moving blankets, and cleaning rags that will need to be washed.

Make sure you have these essentials to ensure you can get everything washed after the move.

  • Laundry Basket
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Stain Remover

Things to Buy for a New Apartment After You Move In

Essential Things To Buy For New Apartment

So now you’ve moved in and are probably a little worn out. Although you may be done moving, there are a few more things to buy for your new apartment in the coming days and weeks, if you don’t already have them.

When you are ready to equip your new apartment with more essentials and start styling the place with new furnishings, and decor, here are a few more things to consider.

Kitchen Area

Utensils and Dinnerware

  • Plates Dinner/Salad
  • Cereal Bowls
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Glasses or Preferred Drinkware
  • Serving and Cooking Utensils (Spatula, Ladle, Slotted Ladle, Large spoons)
  • Silverware
  • Silverware organizer
  • Pots, Pans, and Other Cookware

At some point, you will get tired of ramen and microwave macaroni and cheese. You may want to start building your own collection of cookware.

Here are some basic things to get started on for your home culinary experience.

Kitchen Appliances

Living Room

Whether you plan to entertain or set up a room to just relax at the end of the day you want to make this area fit your style and needs.

Some just hook their brain to the TV, others will want to splash it with their own unique style, and yet others, like me don’t know how to relax and need some semi-relaxing place to get more work done.

Below are some general ideas of things to buy for new apartments to move forward with your own unique living space.

  • Decor Accents (Wall art, Plants, Picture Frames, Vases, Candles)
  • Extra lighting (Table Lamps, Floor Lamps)
  • Extra Seating
  • Media Stand
  • Side Tables
  • Sound Bar / Sound System
  • Throw Blankets / Pillows
  • Wall-mounted desk for laptops

Bathroom Space

If there is any place in your new apartment you will need to stock up, it is the bathroom.  You will need towels, washcloths, and plenty of TP to get you through the “shortages.” 

But, there are some other items you will need or just want to get to equip your bathroom as well.

During this time, you will find that you will be back and forth to the stores A LOT! The biggest considerations as you list things to buy for new apartments should be budget and priorities.

Start with things you will need right away. Then reward yourself with some really cool things to express your personality.

Many essential things to buy for new apartments you will have for years, so next time you won’t have to go through all of this again.

Now go relax. You have been busy. You deserve a break! 

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