List of Things to Buy When Moving Into An Apartment

Everything you need for a new apartment

Moving to a new apartment is exciting, especially when you’ll be living on your own for the first time. But what do you need to live comfortably, and how will you gather it all? You’ll want stuff to make the place feel like home, and it helps to have a plan and a list to get started. Remember you don’t have to get everything at once — it’s okay to purchase things as you can!

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


Room-by-room apartment checklist

Consult the list below or our printable version as you pack or shop for things for the new apartment. If you’ll be living with roommates, it’s helpful to coordinate who is bringing what to avoid duplicates in the shared spaces. 

Download a printable New Apartment Shopping List  



A bedroom should be a place to recharge and prepare for the next day. To keep it comfortable, consider the following:  

  • Alarm clock (if you don’t plan to use your phone) 
  • Bed (mattress and box spring or foundation) 
  • Bedding (blankets, comforter, mattress pad or protector, pillows and pillowcases/protectors, sheets) 
  • Dresser 
  • Fan/space heater 
  • Full-length mirror 
  • Nightstand 


If you like to cook (or want to learn how!) it’s a good idea to stock the new kitchen with essentials. If you prefer takeout, you may only want some basics. Choose what you might need based on your cooking habits: 

  • Bakeware and accessories (things like baking sheets, cake pans, casserole dishes, measuring cups/spoons, and mixing bowls) 
  • Cooking tools and utensils (can opener, colander, cooking spoons and turners, corkscrew, cutting board, ice cream scoop, kitchen timer) 
  • Dishes (bowls, coffee mugs, cups or glasses, plates) 
  • Fire extinguisher 
  • Flatware and knife set 
  • Linens (dish towels, napkins, oven mitts or potholders, tablecloth) 
  • Pots and pans (at least one large frying pan and a large pot for cooking pasta) 
  • Salt and pepper shakers (and other spices) 
  • Small appliances (blender, coffee maker, microwave) 
  • Table and chairs or stools 
  • Trash can 

Laundry and cleaning

These items will help with keeping the apartment clean: 

  • Cleaning gear (broom and dustpan, bucket, dish soap, garbage bags, garbage can, mop, vacuum) 
  • Laundry products (detergent, dryer sheets or fabric softener, drying rack, iron, ironing board, laundry basket, stain remover) 
  • Step stool 

Living Room

A cozy living space is great for downtime or entertaining guests. Here are things for a relaxing vibe: 

  • Bookshelf 
  • Chairs or recliner 
  • Coffee table/end table 
  • Computer or laptop 
  • Couch or love seat 
  • Desk and chair 
  • Internet modem/router and streaming device (Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku) 
  • Television (and TV stand or wall mount) 
  • Throw blanket 


Outfit the bathroom with these accessories: 

  • Bath rugs, towels and washcloths 
  • Bath scale 
  • Cosmetic mirror 
  • First aid kit/medications 
  • Hairstyling tools 
  • Hand soap/soap dish 
  • Laundry hamper 
  • Plunger and toilet brush 
  • Shower caddy 
  • Shower rings, curtain and liner 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Toiletries 
  • Towel hook (if the bathroom isn’t equipped with one) 
  • Wastebasket 

Other apartment necessities 

Once you have the main rooms established, there are other items to help keep the space tidy and give it a personal touch: 

Tools for organization 

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

Apartment décor 

  • Candles 
  • Curtains 
  • Decorative storage (baskets, trunks) 
  • Lamps 
  • Mirrors 
  • Picture frames 
  • Rugs 
  • Throw pillows 
  • Wall art 
  • Wall clock 


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


Where to find the best deals for apartment essentials

While you’ll need a lot of things for a new place, it doesn’t have to break the budget. It’s possible to find free and cheap household items if you know where to look.

  • Friends and family. People you know may have extra belongings like furniture or dishes they’ll give away or sell for cheap prices.   
  • Thrift stores. Thrift stores are great places to shop for gently used bedding, cookware or home décor. 
  • Social media. Check out social media marketplaces for free and cheap home items. You’re likely to find something within your budget. 
  • Clearance or sales. Look for sales or clearance deals at local or online retailers to get the most for your money. 
  • Discount stores. Dollar stores and retailers like Walmart will have options for cheap kitchen and bath items as well as home décor.  

Still planning your move?

U-Pack® has handled long-distance moves since 1997. Check out our ultimate guide to apartment moving and then get your free, no-obligation quote online. Or, if you prefer, call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. We’re happy to help!