List of Things to Buy When Moving Into an Apartment

Stock your new place with the apartment essentials 

Even the smallest apartments need to be stocked with the basics for cooking, cleaning and sleeping. But beyond that, you’ll probably want to make your space feel like home with stuff for decorating, organizing and entertaining. Whether you’ve got a move-in date on the calendar or are planning to move out sometime in the future, use this new apartment checklist as you shop to make sure you’ve got everything covered.  

Woman moving boxes, furniture and other apartment essentials into her new apartment.


New (or first) apartment checklist 

The list below includes many things to buy before moving out on your own. You might need to adjust the list based on your lifestyle, the setup of your apartment, or roommates bringing things with them.  

Click to download and print a version of this list, then read through the checklist below to make sure you’ve gathered the stuff you need for your first apartment. 

Download a printable New Apartment Shopping List  



Setting up your space for quality rest is important. While some of these can be considered extra luxuries, the bed and bedding are essentials. 


  • Alarm clock 
  • Bed 
  • Bedding (blankets or comforter) 
  • Dresser 
  • Fan/space heater 
  • Full-length mirror 
  • Mattress 
  • Mattress pad 
  • Nightstand 
  • Pillow protectors 
  • Pillows/pillowcases 
  • Sheets 


Even if you plan on eating more takeout than home cooking in your apartment kitchen, you’ll want to have basic stuff like plates, cups, utensils and a few pieces of cookware on hand. If your new place has a bar with stools, you may not need a table and chairs, but make sure you have everything to at least reheat and enjoy your food. 


  • Bakeware 
  • Blender 
  • Can opener 
  • Coffee maker 
  • Coffee mugs 
  • Colander 
  • Cooking utensils 
  • Corkscrew 
  • Cups 
  • Cutting board 
  • Dish towels 
  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Flatware 
  • Ice cream scoop 
  • Kitchen timer 
  • Knife set 
  • Measuring cups and spoons 
  • Microwave 
  • Mixing bowls 
  • Napkins/paper towels 
  • Oven mitts/potholders 
  • Plates and bowls 
  • Pots and pans 
  • Salt and pepper shakers 
  • Spices 
  • Table and chairs or stools 
  • Tablecloth 
  • Trash can 

Keep everything clean

You’ll want to have most of these items on hand before moving in, so you can deep clean the apartment before unloading your stuff. 

Cleaning and laundry  

  • Broom/dustpan 
  • Bucket 
  • Cleaning products 
  • Dish soap 
  • Dryer sheets 
  • Drying rack 
  • Fabric softener 
  • Garbage bags 
  • Garbage can 
  • Iron/ironing board 
  • Laundry basket 
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Mop/steam mop 
  • Stain remover 
  • Step stool 
  • Vacuum 

Relax and hang out

Set up your space to fit your needs, whether it’s a couple of chairs and a TV or a place to work from home. If you’re looking to purchase big furniture, measure before buying to make sure couches or entertainment centers will fit. It’s also smart to consider how difficult it will be to move them in based on if you have an elevator or winding staircase to work with.  

Living Room 

  • Bookshelf 
  • Chairs 
  • Coffee table 
  • Couch 
  • Desk and chair 
  • DVD player 
  • End table 
  • Internet modem/router 
  • Love seat 
  • Recliner 
  • Streaming device 
  • Television 
  • TV stand 
  • Throw blanket 

Shower and get ready

Pay close attention to the design elements in the bathroom before going shopping, as many of these things may be built-in or not applicable. For example, there could be towel hooks and shower shelves installed, and a glass shower won’t require a curtain. 


  • Bath rugs 
  • Bath scale 
  • Cosmetic mirror 
  • Curtain rings 
  • First aid kit/medications 
  • Hairstyling tools 
  • Hand soap 
  • Plunger 
  • Shower caddy 
  • Shower curtain 
  • Shower curtain liner 
  • Soap dish 
  • Toilet brush 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Toiletries 
  • Towel hook 
  • Towels/washcloths 
  • Wastebasket 

Keep it tidy

Aside from hangers, most of these items can wait until you’ve moved in and figured out what you need to make your space as organized as you want. 


  • Drawer organizers 
  • Food storage containers 
  • Hangers 
  • Storage totes
  • Under-bed storage 

Personalize the apartment

Before you buy lots of décor items, check your lease agreement to make sure things are allowed. For example, candles with wicks might be prohibited. Or you might be limited to hanging stuff on the walls with removable adhesive strips, which can limit the weight of any wall décor. 


  • Candles
  • Curtains 
  • Decorative storage 
  • Lamps 
  • Mirrors 
  • Picture frames 
  • Rugs 
  • Throw pillows 
  • Wall art 
  • Wall clock 

Be prepared

The rest of these items are things you might need when moving in, like tools and extension cords, or something you’ll need just in case, like a flashlight.  


  • Batteries 
  • Extension cords 
  • Flashlight 
  • Light bulbs 
  • Surge protector 
  • Tool set 

How to get everything you need for a new apartment  

Don’t let this long list overwhelm you! You can begin with the basics and fill the apartment over time. Use these tips to help you gather what you need to move in: 

  • Ask family or friends for these items as gifts. For your birthday or holidays, things like small appliances, linens and tools can make great presents. 

  • Use a comparison-shopping app, like ShopSavvy, or the “shopping” tab in online search results to filter by price and compare discounts across several retailers.  

  • Check online marketplaces, antique malls and thrift shops for easy-to-clean items like linens, dishes, wooden furniture and décor. 

  • Ask family and friends for things they no longer need. They might have extra lamps or blankets that they’d be happy to pass along to you. 

  • Don’t forget the things you’ll need to move in, like boxes and moving supplies. Use this apartment moving guide to make sure you’ve fully prepped for move-in day.  

Have questions about the things you need when moving into an apartment? 

If you need help figuring out what all you need to buy before moving into your new place, let us know. We’re here to help!