First Apartment Checklist

Preparing to move in to your first apartment can be a daunting task. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the chaos of move-in day. You want a space that’s homey and stocked with all the essentials. No one wants to run to the store for a few forgotten items after a long day of moving boxes, so why not start by creating a checklist?  We’ve created a rundown of the items you’ll want to have handy as you settle into your new home. As you create your list, be sure to consider what storage options and amenities your apartment comes with so you can fill in any gaps. 



The bedroom is a haven of comfort and relaxation. A finished bedroom will help you feel right at home in a new living situation, so don’t skimp on the items that will help you settle in. Your main priority should be bed that will help you drift off after a long day of work or classes.  Start with a comfortable mattress, of course. Then, when your budget allows, invest in a bedframe that fits well with your style. Remember to pack your beloved bedding from home, or pick up a new comforter if you’re looking for a fresh start.  

You can build out the rest of your room from here. Treat yourself to a nightstand or two so you can keep your bedtime essentials close at hand, and grab a table lamp or some fairy lights to fill your space with a warm, calming glow. Don’t forget hangers and organizers for your clothes and shoes so your room stays neat and tidy! You’ll want to have this space ready for you to crash in once you’ve finished moving and unpacking, so make it a priority as you get to setting up the new place. 

The Checklist: 

  • Mattress 
  • Bedframe 
  • Bedding 
  • Nightstand 
  • Table lamp 
  • Hangers 
  • Storage or organizers 




The kitchen will require a little extra attention to detail. There are a wide variety of items you’ll need to create an effective space. Dishes and silverware are an important first step, but where do you go from there? Consider how frequently you cook and what tools you use. A toaster, microwave, and coffee maker are some typical essentials. For those who cook often, make sure to grab measuring cups, pots and pans, kitchen knives, and a cutting board. 

Don’t forget the basic cleaning supplies! You’ll be glad you remembered the dish soap and sponges when that first load of dishes comes around. A drying rack and some paper towels will add convenience to your kitchen setup. To make things easier for moving day, pick up a couple meals or snack items that will keep you going through the hours of moving and unpacking. 

The Checklist: 

  • Plates and bowls 
  • Silverware 
  • Toaster 
  • Microwave 
  • Coffee maker 
  • Measuring cups 
  • Pots and pans 
  • Kitchen knives 
  • Cutting board 
  • Dish soap 
  • Sponges 
  • Drying rack 
  • Paper towels 



Give some focus to your spa space. We start and end our days in the bathroom, so it’s important to create a spot where you can prep for a day out on the town or slather on your favorite face mask in the evening. First priority is to have toilet paper and hand soap, but the list doesn’t stop there. A shower after a long day of hard work is a must, so make sure you have a shower curtain, bathmat, and towels at the ready. Hair care and body wash are essential, as is a toothbrush and toothbrush holder. A few organizational bins can help you keep your skincare and makeup items neat and tidy and make the most out of your storage spaces. If you want a fully finished setup right off the bat, make sure to add a plunger and toilet bowl cleaner to the cart!  

The Checklist: 

  • Toilet paper 
  • Hand soap 
  • Shower curtain 
  • Bathmat 
  • Bath towels 
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Body wash 
  • Toothbrush and holder 
  • Storage bins 
  • Plunger 
  • Toilet bowl cleaner 


Living Room 

As the focal point of your home, the living room deserves a little love. You’ll want to create a space that makes it easy to host study parties or game nights. If you’re on a budget, start with a cozy loveseat or futon that will accommodate you and a few friends. As time goes on, you can save up for larger furniture items or extra seating. A TV stand will help the room feel homey and put together, and make it easier to host your first movie night. Whether you’re working from home or looking for a spot to place drinks and snacks, a coffee table will make for the perfect living room companion. If you’re living in a smaller apartment, opt for functional items like a lift-top coffee table or a side table with plenty of storage to make the most of your living space. 

The Checklist: 

  • Seating 
  • TV Stand 
  • Coffee table 
  • Side table 


Storage Solutions 

Extra apartment storage is vital, especially if you’re living with roommates. Some rolling storage bins will let you tuck extra items out of sight and under your bed, while taller chests of drawers can provide more room for clothes or supplies. Kitchen space may be scarce, so consider grabbing some additional shelving for dishes and food. Wall hooks are the perfect solution to help keep coats or towels organized, and an over-the-door pocket organizer can house anything from hats and shoes to makeup or cleaning supplies.   

The Checklist: 

  • Storage bins 
  • Chest of drawers 
  • Kitchen shelving 
  • Over-the-door organizer 


It’s the Little Things 

In the rush to furnish your new digs, you may find that some of the smaller essentials fall through the cracks. A set of tools, including things like hex keys, a measuring tape, and a screwdriver, will become invaluable as you put your space together. Grab light bulbs, power strips, and trash bags to make setup and cleanup a breeze, and make sure to pick up some cleaning products to help you tidy up after the messy moving process is complete. You can relax knowing you have everything you need to make the big day a success.  

The Checklist: 

  • Tool kit 
  • Light bulbs 
  • Power strips 
  • Trash bags 
  • Cleaning essentials 


Make it Your Own 

Once you have all the essentials, you can customize to your heart’s content. Pack wall art and decorative items to add a personal element that will instantly make you feel right at home. Grab an area rug and some cute curtains for an easy upgrade that will make your living room and bedroom even cozier. Houseplants can be hard to move, but if you’ve got some, make a moving plan that keeps them safe from the elements and let them add that special welcoming touch to your new space. Whatever décor you choose, it’s sure to help you settle into your new abode with ease. 


Excited for your first apartment? Show us how you set up your new space by tagging @walkeredisonco on social media.