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Moving Out for the First Time - What You Need

Updated on November 25, 2014

When I was planning to move out of my parent's house I found it hard to find a really good definitive list of what I would need when I moved out. This is a culmination of many, many, many lists I looked at and a lot of stuff other lists overlooked. Remember this is only a starting point and you may need extra things where you move or a lot less.



  • Bed and Mattress - Please don't sleep on a mattress on the floor. There are plenty of cheap bed frames from places like IKEA, and you could even try building your own. If you're on a tight budget make sure to check out second-hand stores as well.
  • Bedside Table - A place to put a book, alarm clock or and a lamp
  • Sheets - Ideally 2 fitted sheets, 2 flat sheets, 4 pillow cases and a duvet cover
  • Duvet or Quilt - If you can find a nice quality duvet which will keep you toasty in winter. It's worth investing in.
  • Pillows - You can get reasonable quality pillows for $5 and under at budget stores.
  • Lamps - Check out second-hand stores for cheap lamps or try budget stores such as Walmart or Target
  • Mirror - A full-length mirror is a nice addition to any bedroom
  • Clothes Hangers - Because storing your clothes on the floor is not a good option


Dining Room

  • Table and Chairs - You pick up pretty decent sets of a table and four chairs at budget furniture stores. Make sure to also check out second hand stores.
  • Placemats and Tablecloth - These are really optional but are nice to have if you have people over.
  • Salt and Pepper Shakers - Because seasoned food is yummy food.

Study Space

You may not have a study room as such but if you/re studying these are nice to have.

  • Desk - If you're short on space look at getting a fold down desk.
  • Chair - You can get a nice comfy chair, or an office chair. Really up to you.
  • Bookcase - For all the textbooks, photo frames and other stuff you want to display


Living Room

  • Sofa - Try to find a nice comfy one to sink into. It's worth hunting around until you find a really comfortable one. After all this is where you're going to be napping, and surfing the internet on.
  • Coffee Table - Something that at least big enough to put a bowl of chips and some drinks on.
  • Rug - Something nice an fluffy to sink your feet into. This is more important if you're living in an apartment and don't want to disturb the downstairs neighbours with your foot steps.
  • Throw - To snuggle up with in winter, and to help dress up that depressing grey sofa you bought at the second hand shop
  • TV - You can get a pretty good TV for $100 or less these days.
  • TV Stand - It can be a milk crate, or something flat pack from IKEA. It helps if there is also some DVD and CD storage so there's not DVD cases lying around.



  • Bath Mat - It's nice to have something to soak up the water on you're feet, and an alternative to putting you're feet on cold tiles.
  • Toilet Brush - Otherwise the toilet will get really gross
  • Bath Towels - Two to four towels is a good amount to have so you're no reusing towels over and over again. Try to get the nice big towels which cover you're whole body. It's really worth it.
  • Hand Towels - Two to four as well to last in between washes
  • Shower Curtain - If your shower doesn't spray everywhere or already has some form of barrier around it this probably isn't necessary.
  • Bin - For tissues, ear buds and cotton balls (and other stuff for females). Even if you're a guy this is important.
  • Toothbrush Holder - So they're not just lying around on the counter top. It's harder for them to get knocked onto the floor this way, and it's more hygienic.


You can get cheap kitchen starter sets from places like IKEA and Target with most of this stuff in it for very reasonable prices.

For cooking:

  • Saucepans and Fry Pan
  • Casserole Dish - For lasagna and pasta bakes. Make sure the one you get fits in your oven
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups
  • Knife Set and Knife Sharpener
  • Ladle, Masher, Vegetable Peeler, Can Opener, Bottle Opener, Grater, Pizza Cutter, Tongs, Kitchen Scissors, Spatula, Funnel, Strainer, Whisk, and Wooden Spoon
  • Ice-cube Tray - Because ice in drinks is nice, especially in summer

For Dining:

  • Cutlery - So you have something to eat with
  • Large Serving Spoon
  • Container Set - For saving leftovers and taking them to work or school
  • Pot Holders and Oven Mitts - So you don't burn your hands
  • Plates, Side Plates, and Bowls - So you have something to eat on. You can get cheap sets which include 4 plates, 4 side plates and 4 bowls for $10 to $20 at IKEA and Target.
  • Glasses and Mugs - You can buy cheap from Target or get a mismatched set from second-hand stores. Just make sure to wash them before using them.
  • Serving Bowl - For salad, and to look like you're coping well with this independence thing when your parents visit.

And if you're into baking:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Baking Trays
  • Cake Tin and Pie Tin
  • Muffin Pan
  • Loaf Pan
  • Rolling Pin

For Cleaning:

  • Dish Drying Rack - Even if you have a dishwasher you may acquire some things that need to be hand-washed.
  • Sponges
  • Dish Towels

And electrical appliances:

  • Kettle
  • Electric Mixer
  • Food Processor
  • Toaster
  • Blender - If you love smoothies this is a must have. Try
  • Microwave - If you're renting some apartments already come with a microwave so check before buying one.
  • Coffee Making Device - Whether it's a percolator or drip machine everyone need their caffeine hit.


  • Drying Rack - If you happen to have a clothes-line or other clothes hanging apparatus where you're moving this won't be necessary. Try to find one that can easily be folded away and stored in a cupboard to save space.
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Clothes Basket - For transporting clothes to the washing machine


  • Broom and Dustpan or Vacuum Cleaner
  • Mop and Bucket

Odds and Ends

  • Flashlight and Candles- Just in case there is a blackout
  • Set of Tools - With at least a screwdriver and hammer. You never know when you're going to need to put a new battery in something or hang a picture frame.
  • First Aid Kit - Accident do happen. Make sure you are prepared which at least some bandaids and painkillers.


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