List of Things to Buy When Moving Into an Apartment

What you need to buy when moving into a new apartment

On moving day, you’re going to walk into an empty apartment and make it home. Many items come together to take the space from bare bones to livable. Having things like appliances, furniture and furnishings will create a space that is both functional and comfortable. Whether you’re wondering what things you need for your first apartment or just want an apartment moving checklist to ensure nothing is forgotten, the list below will help. 

Moving into a new apartment checklist

If you’re moving into your first apartment, use this checklist to make sure you’ve acquired everything necessary. Or if you’re downsizing or simply relocating to a new space, consider this a useful refresher of all the things you need. 

 Take this with you when shopping so you don’t forget anything.

Download the moving checklist

While a fully-furnished apartment is the goal, there are some essential items to focus on gathering first. Prioritize your shopping list to focus on the everyday items you need:

Bed and bedding

Items like a mattress and a box spring, pillows and bedding should be one of the first things you purchase (if you don’t have them already). You’ll want a place to rest right off the bat. 


Whether it’s for hosting a game night with friends or just having a place to binge watch Netflix, a sofa is a must-have. 

Small kitchen table, chairs 

Every apartment has a different layout with different space available. But one thing is for certain — you’ll need a place to eat. If you have room, a small table and chairs makes meal time more enjoyable and can also provide seating for guests or for working at home. If you have a bar, some bar stools might be all you need. 


Paper or plastic plates and takeout utensils may work temporarily, but you’ll probably want a set of dishes, silverware, cookware, cooking utensils and drinking mugs for your new place. Don’t have money for a new set? Piece together a fun and quirky set at thrift or variety stores. 

Cleaning supplies

To keep all your belongings clean, get the essentials, like laundry and dishwashing detergent, a mop and broom, disinfectant surface spray, glass cleaner, a toilet scrubber and bowl cleaning solution on hand.  Multi-surface cleaning wipes are also great to have on hand for quick cleaning. Don’t forget to buy a trash can and some trash bags as well. 

Clothes hangers, closet organizers

In an apartment, maximizing space is key. To help keep your apartment in order, pick up some clothes hangers and storage containers or closet organizers.

Picture hanging hardware

Putting décor on the walls can make a space feel cozy. Check your lease to see what’s allowed for hanging (nails, removable picture hanging strips, etc.) and have it ready to go. 

Blinds or curtains

Does the apartment come with blinds or curtains? If not, check your rental agreement to make sure you can hang them, then measure the windows for the perfect fit. This gives you some shade and privacy. 


Some apartments come furnished with a microwave oven and others don’t, so consider checking into this before moving in. Most models are relatively inexpensive, or you might easily find a used one through an online marketplace. 

TV, DVD player, cable box or streaming service

While not essential, it’s nice to have some home entertainment available in short order. If you’re cord-cutting and don’t want to pay for cable, pick up a DVD player or streaming device to watch your favorite movies or TV shows.  

Tips for getting the things you need in a new apartment 

Gathering all of these items doesn’t have to add stress to the move. Here are some other helpful tips to make the process easier:

  • Consult with your roommates. If you’re splitting the place with roommates, check in advance to see what they’re buying so you don’t double up. 
  • Check your apartment lease. Certain items may be prohibited by the rental agreement, like specific small appliances, candles or pets. Bringing these items in could result in a fine, so pay close attention to the paperwork. 
  • Look for bargains. Along with searching for sales, preowned items can be a great way to furnish a new apartment. While you may not want some things secondhand, like bedding or mattresses, other things like tables and plates could be a great deal. Check local online marketplaces, antique malls and thrift shops for used items at a discount. 

Have questions about the new apartment list?

Leave us a question or comment below. For more information on the entire move, check out our guide to apartment moving for lots of tips and tricks.