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Things For Your First Apartment

Updated on October 29, 2013

Moving Into Your First Apartment? Use This Moving Checklist!

When I moved out on my own, I had to figure out the things I needed for my apartment. The experience was an eye-opening one. I had no idea exactly how things were going to turn out until I went through with it.

For example, who knew that toilet paper didn't come from the toilet paper fairy? Okay, I'm kidding with that one, but still: you will find yourself buying things that you never even knew existed before.

Wondering what you'll need before your move? How about afterwards? Here are some of the things I learned from my brand-spanking-new apartment experience.

Things For the Move Into Your First Apartment

The Moving Into Your First Apartment Checklist

  • Boxes

  • tape

  • patience

  • ...and hopefully some friends who can be bought with free pizza!

Moving Books and Boxes - Some Things For Your First Apartment

Toilet Paper Roll
Toilet Paper Roll

Things For After the Move Into Your Apartment

You Need Stuff

The first thing you need to remember is this: the world won't come to a screeching halt after you step across your new threshold. Unless you're moving to Antarctica or some remote island in the Pacific, you'll always have a chance to buy more things.

It's better to go slow when stocking up your first apartment, because you won't be sure in the beginning what your new life is going to be like. Maybe there are some ridiculously cheap restaurants nearby, and you won't be cooking a lot. Or maybe the apartment has a washer and dryer that promply breaks the first time you use it. Who knows? You might not even be living here next year. Go with the flow, and you'll find yourself better off than if you had made too many assumptions in the beginning.

Image by bollin on Flickr.

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Personal Care Items - The Basics

Two words: toilet paper. You won't know how much you'll miss it until it's gone. Or until it was never there in the first place. While you're at it, pick up some shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and hand soap. Remember that just because you're in your first place doesn't mean that you'll need something fancy. Over time, you'll be able to work out the things you like best, but if you're in a rush you'll probably want to get whatever is easily available (and not too expensive).

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Sleeping - The Basics

The very first thing of importance that you will be doing in your new apartment, after running around admiring how awesome it is to have your own place and (probably) going to the bathroom, is sleeping. It's difficult to get a good night's sleep on a cold, hard floor without any blankets, so you should figure out some sort of a sleeping arrangement right off the bat. This can be anything from some pillows, a sleeping bag, and an air mattress, to satin sheets and a California King, but if you're going to buy a mattress, take these words of advice: buy new! A good new mattress costs a lot of money, but the lack of worries about where it's been and the nights free from mysterious creaking sounds are worth it.

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Cooking and Eating - The Basics

In our modern society, it's entirely possible for people to go days, weeks, or even years without eating in their own homes. However, unless you have access to some seriously cheap eats, this can put a big dent in your budget (and delay the purchase of the above-mentioned new mattress). Luckily, if you have a skillet, a saucepan, a spoon and a stove, you can make a wide variety of delicious meals, from scrambled eggs to hot dogs to ramen. Oh, and don't forget the can opener. There is nothing sadder than bringing home your very first can of soup and having no way to get into it.

As far as dishes and utensils go, you can take the easy route with paper and plastic, or pick up something a little sturdier at your local thrift store. If you want to splurge, stop by a big box store to get something nice for your new place. And don't forget that probably everyone you know has a few spare sets of dishes lying around in their basement.

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Checklist - Check it Once, Check it Twice!

These are just the basics to get you started.

  • Toilet Paper
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Hand Soap
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping Bag OR Sheets
  • Air Mattress OR Real Mattress
  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Silverware
  • Plates, Dishes and Cups
  • A Can Opener
  • Ramen
  • Paper Towels
  • General Cleaning Agent
  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Broom and Dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Trashbags
  • Lamps
  • Lightbulbs
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Fire Alarm
  • First Aid Kit
  • Batteries

Miscellaneous - The Basics

Don't forget about lighting. It's no good to spend your first night in your apartment, only to realize that all the lightbulbs in your bathroom are dead. You can never have too much lighting, so consider getting some extra lamps right off the bat.

A basic toolkit is also a good thing to have. Philips and flat-head screwdrivers, pliers, and a hammer are a good start; scissors will always come in handy, and it's difficult to find a substitute (trust me, I've tried).

When you get your first apartment, it's also a good idea to consider emergency supplies. Be prepared for an emergency by having a flashlight, matches and candles, bottled water, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and fire alarms (if your apartment doesn't already have any). Hopefully, you'll never have to use them, but it's good to have them just in case. Oh, and batteries, of course.

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Cleaning - The Basics

Messes will happen in your first apartment sooner than you think. Paper towels, a squirt bottle of general-purpose cleaning agent (preferably without too many harsh chemicals), dishwashing detergent, and a small broom and dustpan will go a long way to cleaning them up.

Note to first time apartment dwellers: the dishwasher does not use hand-washing dish soap! If you try this, you will get a clean floor, because you'll fill the kitchen with bubbles.

If your budget is tight, you can hold off on getting a vacuum for at least a month, or else make friends with your neighbors and borrow theirs. Garbage bags are another thing you don't want to forget, although in a pinch all of the bags you got from shopping for your apartment will work as well.

FlyLady is also a personal favorite of mine for great cleaning cloths and real feather dusters.

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Share Your Moving Into Your First Apartment Stories - Here!

How was it?

Share: Things You Found Useful - What things were you glad you had in your first apartment?

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    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      Mattresses, cooking equipment, toiletry, and I'm glad it came with a dining counter. :P

    • profile image

      IrmaRL 5 years ago

      Useful tips. I remember my first apartment way way back than... sleeping on the floor for a weeks, using plastic forks, spoons and paper cups.

    • AnzE02 profile image

      AnzE02 5 years ago

      This is really a useful lens, your checklist will give a big help for people who are going to move out for the first time.

    • alicia65 profile image

      alicia65 5 years ago

      for me moving for the first time in an apartment makes me fun and exciting! not unless you are not totally prepared with the things that are completely listed on this lens, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 5 years ago

      I find that the first things you should get before you move into an apartment, are lightbulbs, toiletries/bathroom supplies, and some sort of bedding. At the very least, you can find something to eat but you won't be able to make due without light or toilet paper.

    • profile image

      homerepellent 5 years ago

      Great items on the checklist. I believe its got everything covered from the kitchen to the shower room. Thanks for saving me the trouble!

      Cheers,

      Homerepellent

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      @GypsyPirate LM: I loved having plants in my first place, it did make it feel like a home!

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 6 years ago

      Once I was in my apartment, I was really glad I had a plant. It might sound weird, but it made the place more homey. Not to mention that it seemed like a really grown up thing to have.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Boxes. A lot of boxes. They can come handy if you have to wait for furniture too;)

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      @szieja: Yeah, no matter where you're moving, you'll need a lot of the same things!

    • profile image

      szieja 6 years ago

      Thanks for this! I will definitely be keeping this lens handy. I'm in college and last year I moved from the dorms to the new "suites" that were built on campus. They are brand new and like apartments. So a lot of this is still good info for that haha :)

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Nicely presented lens on your experience, top marks

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I've spent a lot of time living at home, and it's a great way to save up some money. You'll be amazed at how much the costs can add up when you're living on your own!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i just graduated last march and i love to move out from home but i think i'm yet that oriented and prepared to lived alone without my parents and my side.I don't know how to cook for myself and i don't enough money to pay for an apartment and utility billing Well this lens help me to to be aware on what to do.Thank for the info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Your suggestions and guidance are excellent here and I especially appreciate the practicality of it all; as well as the patience and pizza!

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      First apartment had very attractive neighbour girls that pretty much let me borrow whatever I needed and taught me how to cook good food, I was very lucky :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Make up a wish list of things you need and talk to relatives. Sometimes they have something they aren't using or can loan to you until you can budget to buy one yourself.

    • dperry1 profile image

      dperry1 6 years ago

      I love your lens.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You did a great job of picking the most needed items when one moved into their own apartment. The main thing is to plan it out and have a list of basic necessities. I'm glad that the apartment that we have moved in was well maintained so setting it up was fairly easy. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • profile image

      StallionMoving 6 years ago

      Sorry for the double post, wouldn't let me take the first one down. Didn't close the html tag in the first.

    • profile image

      StallionMoving 6 years ago

      This entire article could be a useful resource for potential clients. When college season arrives, there will be many which will be referred to this. If you decide you need assistance moving or relocating in Denver, check out Stallion Moving Services , a small local Denver moving company. We will guide you through your entire move with our moving checklist . Our moving tips page is also a wonderful resource for those getting ready to relocate. Thanks for the great lens! Good luck to all those moving our for the first time.

    • profile image

      StallionMoving 6 years ago

      This entire article could be a useful resource for potential clients. When college season arrives, there will be many which will be referred to this. If you decide you need assistance moving or relocating in Denver, check out Stallion Moving Services , a small local Denver moving company. We will guide you through your entire move with our moving checklist. Our moving tips page is also a wonderful resource for those getting ready to relocate. Thanks for the great lens! Good luck to all those moving our for the first time.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      A can opener.

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      A can opener.

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      Thank you for the blessings! And yes - internet is very important - although I think TP might win out for me!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Yes, dont forge the toilet paper :) Thumbs up!

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 7 years ago from Cheshire UK

      What a great idea for a lens and some really super content which you can keep adding you as other ideas and options occur - blessed by a passing Squid Angel :-)

    • carny profile image

      carny 7 years ago

      My internet connection of course. It's the #1 priority after hot water and a place to sleep :)

    • Home Interior D profile image

      Home Interior D 7 years ago

      Space. It was very spacious although that sometimes left it a little cold in the ambiance arena especially for a young and poor post-graduate who couldn't afford décor.

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      Very witty and natural...love your lens...

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      These are very useful tips! Love the humor in your writing. (:

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      I remember my first apartment. I bought a box springs and a matress but no bed frame. I had a card table and chairs and a borrowed TV.

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 7 years ago

      Thanks! And yes, toilet paper is VERY important :)

    • LotusMalas profile image

      LotusMalas 7 years ago

      Congrats on your first apartment! Great advice - you're right, never forget the TP!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      My first apartment was furnished. I think that is rare theses days. Nice work!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Just move this guestbook to the bottom of the lens so that people read to the end. It's interesting lens for anyone who's moving to their first apartment. Moreover, even if they move to their second or third as most of us lose things over the time...

      And blessed by another SquidAngel.

    • emmaklarkins profile image
      Author

      emmaklarkins 7 years ago

      @ZenandChic: Omigosh! Thank you so much!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      First apartment - pretty cool. Congrats

    • aidenw profile image

      aidenw 7 years ago from USA

      My first apartment was furnished and I really appreciated that.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Nicely done! Blessed by an angel!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Cool!

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Congratulations on the new place!

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      My record player! (Yes, it was a long time ago.) Living alone, there were times when I really needed to hear another human voice. I wasn't into TV, so listening to music was very important.