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First Apartment Must-Haves

Published May 23, 2024
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Moving into your first apartment is a major life milestone. While there may be some obvious pieces and products you need to buy, there may be some missed essentials that can help enhance your living situation. Let’s go over some of the must-have products for your first apartment that you may have overlooked.


Whether you’re new to cooking or are a seasoned chef, it is smart to stock up your kitchen before moving in. Beyond food, cutlery and small appliances, there are essential items you’ll need for any meal preparation:

  • Grab a variety pack of cookware. Some sets come with pots, pans and baking sheets in multiple sizes. These ensure you have the right tools for different types of cooking and baking.
  • Cutting boards are important to protect your countertops (and your security deposit) in the event of chopping up food. 
  • Invest in some good quality knives to help make food preparation easy and efficient.
  • If you have any hot appliances, make sure to pick up a set of oven mitts before you begin cooking. 
  • Even if cooking is not your thing, a can opener will help cracking into easy-to-make meals - like soups - much easier and safer. 
  • Grab the basic utensils like a spatula, whisk, measuring cups and tongs to handle a variety of cooking tasks.


While a bathroom often comes with the basic necessities, there are more that you need to pack beyond your hygiene products and devices:

  • Purchase a pack of towels that include all sizes. These should have bath, hand and washcloths included. They are handy if you plan to frequently host guests or simply need different sizes for different tasks.
  • Protect yourself from slipping (and your floors from water damage) by investing in a bathmat. Not only can this help increase safety, but it can also help enhance the overall aesthetic of your bathroom with fun patterns and designs. Pick up a matching shower curtain, including an inside liner, to ensure you're ready to shower after a long move-in day.
  • Get a toothbrush holder. While it is a small thing, no one wants to leave their toothbrush on the counter.
  • Buy a plunger. You never know when an incident could arise and you’ll be grateful to have one on hand to quickly resolve any unexpected plumbing issues.
  • Always have a first aid kit handy. This should include bandages, wipes, tweezers, scissors, adhesive tape and a variety of medications, from painkillers to personal prescriptions.


While some people may be fortunate enough to move with a previously owned bedroom set, others may need to prioritize that purchase first. Beyond having a mattress, bed frame and nightstands, there may be a few smaller items that will help make your room more functional:

  • Lamps can help make the space feel bigger and brighter. Depending on the natural or previously installed artificial lighting in your new space, lamps can either serve as a necessary source of light or change the ambience to help you relax.
  • Having a laundry hamper will help keep the clothes off the ground and create the habit of keeping your room clean. It will also make doing laundry - whether it is in-unit or in a shared laundry room – much easier.

Cleaning Supplies

Often when preparing to move, individuals focus more on everyday items, neglecting the things they would need on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Some items that fall by the wayside are cleaning supplies. While having a vacuum or broom and mop may be obvious, make sure to also pick up:

  • Trash bags
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dishwasher cleaner
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Any other supplies that may be necessary when cleaning day comes.


To ensure your new space stays functional and well-maintained, there are a few additional key items to have on hand:

  • Keep a small toolkit nearby to help with small repairs or assembly tasks. This should include a hammer, screwdriver (flat-headed and Phillips/star-headed), measuring tape and a level.
  • If you have a lot of electronics in your home, having power bars and extension cords will help conveniently manage your devices and limit the clutter in your space. 
  • Grab a jumbo pack of AA and AAA batteries to ensure you can power any and all devices and gadgets in your home.
  • Pick up a few coasters for your coffee table, counters and side tables. They would help protect these pieces, especially if you purchased them brand new.