List of Things to Buy When Moving Into an Apartment

Get your apartment essentials 

Congratulations on your new apartment! It’s a super exciting milestone. And we’re here to help you make the transition from blank space to a fully furnished home. Use our new apartment checklist to make sure you have everything you need, then check out some tips for filling your apartment on a budget.   

New apartment checklist 

Before moving day, take this apartment shopping list and gather the things you’ll need for  your new place.  

Click here for a printable version of the new apartment checklist 

  • Alarm clock
  • Armoire
  • Bed
  • Blankets
  • Dresser
  • Fan/space heater
  • Full-length mirror
  • Mattress pad
  • Nightstand
  • Pillow protectors
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Sheets
Laundry Room
  • Vacuum
  • Garbage bags
  • Laundry basket
  • Broom/dust pan
  • Cleaning products
  • Drying rack
  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Mop/steam mop
  • Laundry detergent
  • Step stool
  • Garbage can
  • Fabric softener
  • Table and chairs
  • Cooking utensils
  • Microwave
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Blender
  • Flatware
  • Can opener
  • Dish towels
  • Coffee mugs
  • Colander
  • Oven mitts/potholders
  • Knife set
  • Corkscrew
  • Table cloths
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Trash can
  • Pots and pans
  • Kitchen timer
  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Bakeware
  • Coffee maker
Living Room
  • Couch
  • End table
  • Entertainment center
  • Love seat
  • Coffee table
  • Television
  • Recliner
  • Throw blanket
  • DVD player
  • Chairs
  • Bookshelf
  • Bath rugs
  • Bath scale
  • Cosmetic mirror
  • Curtain rings
  • First aid kit/medications
  • Hair styling tools
  • Hand soap
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower curtain liner
  • Soap dish
  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet plunger
  • Toiletries
  • Towel hook
  • Towels/wash cloths
  • Waste basket
  • Light bulbs
  • Surge protector
  • Internet router/modem
  • Batteries
  • Extension cords
  • Other electronics
  • Flashlight
  • Tool set
  • Computer desk/chair
  • Hangers
  • Under-bed storage
  • Drawer organizers
  • Storage totes
  • Food storage containers
  • Candles
  • Curtains
  • Picture frames
  • Lamps
  • Mirrors
  • Throw pillows
  • Decorative storage
  • Rugs
  • Wall art
  • Wall clock


Start here before you buy 

Remember, you don’t have to start out with everything listed — just use the checklist as a reference to make sure you have all your bases covered. If you’re furnishing an apartment on a budget, these tips will help you fill your apartment without breaking the bank: 

Ask for apartment items as gifts 

When family or friends ask you for gift ideas, send them something from the apartment checklist. Tool kits, small appliances and linens make for great presents.  

Focus on the essentials  

While a fully furnished apartment may be the goal, you can move in with just the necessities and add everything else over time. At a minimum you’ll want a bed and bedding, somewhere to sit (chair, couch, stools), cookware, cleaning supplies, towels, a shower curtain and hangers.  

Talk with your roommates 

If you’re sharing the apartment, find out what your roommates are bringing. There are some things you won’t need multiple of, like living room furniture and small appliances, so you’ll want to be sure you’re not buying something you won’t have space for. 

Check your apartment and the lease  

Some appliances or furniture may be included or built-in, like a microwave or bookshelves, and the lease may prohibit items such as candles. 

Buy with your apartment in mind 

If you’re planning to purchase items like furniture, measure before you buy! For example, you’ll want to make sure stools fit under the countertops and the couch fits in the living room. It’s also smart to consider how difficult it will be to move them into the apartment. Is there an elevator, or do you have to carry them up a winding staircase?  

Use a comparison-shopping app 

If you’re hunting for a deal on a certain item, take the time to compare prices. You can easily search for the item online and check the “shopping” tab on the search results (make sure to filter by price!). Or use a barcode scanner app, like ShopSavvy, when shopping in person to make sure you’re getting the best deal. These apps allow you to scan the item and compares prices both online and in-store. 

Go bargain hunting 

While items that are difficult to clean, like couches and mattresses, may not be ideal to purchase secondhand, if you’re into thrifting, things like linens, pots and pans, dishes and wooden furniture are great buys because they don’t hold odors and can be a good bargain. Check online marketplaces, antique malls and thrift shops to get some of the things you need from our apartment checklist on a budget. You may also consider asking family and friends for things they no longer need. It’s common for people to have extra stuff like dishes, lamps or blankets laying around that they’d be happy to pass along to you! 

Don’t forget to plan for the move 

While you’re gathering the new things you’ll need to live in an apartment, don’t forget  moving supplies and boxes to move the things you already have! Use our apartment moving guide to make sure you don’t overlook anything you need for moving day.  

Have questions about the first apartment checklist? 

Moving long distance to a new apartment can come with some challenges, like parking and limited space. The experts at U-Pack know the ins and outs and are ready to help. If you have any questions about what you need for your new apartment or moving in general, let us know! We’re happy to help.