What You Need for Your First Apartment

Spring is here, and with it comes the start of the moving busy season … especially for new grads and young people who are moving out on their own for the first time. If you’re moving into your first apartment, you might be overwhelmed at everything you’ll need in order to officially be out on your own. But the best way to ensure a smooth transition is to get prepared. Make a list of everything you need for your first apartment, and then start finding it now. That way, by the time your move-in day comes, you’ll have a dent in your to-buy list. So what, exactly, do you need for your first apartment? Here’s a list by room to get you started.

first apartment list

What you Need for the Kitchen

This is often the room that requires the most purchasing, since you’ve likely shared kitchen supplies with roommates or your parents until now. In general, the following will get you off to a good start:

Must haves:

6-8 each plates, bowls, cups, mugs
Set of silverware
Set of knives (paring knife, butcher knife, bread knife)
2 sauce pans (one small, one large)
2 frying pans (one small, one large)
A mixing bowl, which can double as a serving bowl
Cutting board
2 oven mits
Basic cooking utensils like a spatula, wooden spoon, tongs, measuring spoons, a whisk
Bakeware like a cookie sheet, casserole dish, and cake pan, depending on your cooking habits
Coffeepot and/or tea kettle
Toaster oven
Dish soap
Drying towels
Trash can


Blender or food processor
Specialized kitchen utensils like a cheese grater, garlic press, mortar and pestle, rolling pin, etc.
Meat thermometer
Wine/beer/cocktail glasses
Cocktail shaker
Ice bucket
Kitchen scale
Additional bakeware, saucepans, frying pans
Serving pieces

What you Need for a Bathroom

Shower curtain
Bath mat
3-4 bath towels
Toothbrush holder
Soap dish
Hair dryer

What you Need for a Living Room

Coffee table
Area rug
TV stand

What you Need for a Bedroom

Bed linens
1-2 nightstands
Table lamp
Area rug
Clothes hangers

Additional Cleaning Supplies & Utilities:

Glass cleaner
All-purpose anti-bacterial cleaner
Toilet bowl cleaner
Broom and dustpan
Laundry detergent/Fabric softener/Stain remover
A laundry basket and/or hamper
Clothes iron or steamer

Again, these are just the basics, but if you focus on getting these items first, you’ll be able to comfortably get settled into your new place while you decide how to decorate and arrange your space. Good luck with your first move!