The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist

When it comes to furnishing a new apartment – especially the first – it’s often difficult to know where to start. What will you need today and what should you prioritize?

To help you answer these questions, we’ve compiled a first apartment checklist, complete with move-in day essentials, common items for each area of ​​the apartment, and even check-in tasks before. the big day.


Essentials for moving day

Everyone’s been there: you need scissors to unpack your boxes, but you put the scissors somewhere in the boxes. To avoid that last-minute rush for a screwdriver and other move-in day necessities, here is a list of tools you might find useful during your move:

  • Mesureing tape
  • Hammer and nails
  • Screwdrivers and flathead screws and Phillips
  • Allen key kit (especially if furniture assembly is involved)
  • Wall hooks
  • Extensions
  • The scissors
  • Tape
  • Stool
  • Flash light
  • Batteries (take AAA, AA and D to cover your bases)

You might also want to clean up a bit before you settle in. Here are some basic principles for this part of the process:

  • All purpose cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Piston
  • Broom or mop

As well as unpacking and assembling furniture, you’ll probably be living in your new space for the first time as well. Here are some essentials to remember:

  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Fabrics
  • Paper napkins
  • Garbage bag
  • Bottled water or a water filter
  • Chargers

Finally, it never hurts to be over-prepared! Have these items on hand to ensure a smooth and safe first day:

  • Small first aid kit with all the necessary over-the-counter medications
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fan or radiator depending on the climate
  • Smoke detectors if your apartment needs them
  • Carbon monoxide detector


After you’ve packed your bags, the bedroom will probably be the first place you spend your time! To make sure you have the things you need to make that first night’s sleep a good night’s sleep, here’s a list of some bedroom basics.

  • Mattress and mattress topper if you wish
  • Sheet and duvet set
  • Pillows
  • Bedframe
  • Window treatments

Pro tip: To make sure you have as much firmness as you need those first nights in a new location, as well as some privacy, consider prioritizing window treatments. If your apartment doesn’t come with blinds, get a temporary set at a hardware store to give yourself some privacy while you shop for something long term.

Bathroom and laundry room

Another part of your first apartment that you will probably want to furnish as quickly as possible is the bathroom. The first apartment bathroom necessities include:

  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Bath mat
  • Shower curtain and rings
  • Toiletries needed (don’t forget this toothbrush!)
  • Trash can

Did you know you will be doing a lot of laundry this first week? Take these essentials:

  • Laundry basket or hamper
  • Hangers
  • Laundry

Living room

Although lower on the totem pole, you will eventually need a space to relax. To help you create your new living space, here are some common furniture:

  • Sofa
  • Table
  • TV
  • TV stand
  • Lighting (especially if the room does not yet have one)
  • WIFI router

Kitchen and dining room

Once the novelty of take out wears off, you’ll need basic items in your kitchen and dining room to start fending for yourself. Some of the necessities include:

  • Silverware
  • A saucepan or a pot
  • Coffee cups and glasses
  • Plates
  • Bowls (a mixing bowl may be useful)
  • Serving spoon and spatula
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Can opener
  • Food containers
  • Aluminum foil and plastic wrap
  • Tea towels
  • Dish soap and sponge
  • Trash can

Some more expensive kitchen and dining items include:

  • Table and chairs
  • Coffee machine
  • Toaster
  • Microwave

Tips for the first apartment checklist

Now that you know everything you need for your apartment, it’s important to think about what you need to do to prepare to move in. Review these tips for a successful move-in day:

  • Pack in advance: There is always one who will challenge himself to pack it all the same day. Save yourself the stress by starting early and boxing a little every day.
  • Ask your landlord about the moving day requirements: Some buildings may require you to reserve an elevator or parking space for the move-in process. Check things like this in advance to save time.
  • Measure your new space: If you can get into your apartment ahead of time, take the opportunity to measure door frames and rooms to make sure all of your furniture will fit.
  • Book a moving company or rent a moving truck: If you are planning to move on your own, reserve a moving truck in advance. If you are hiring professionals, schedule an in-home estimate.
  • Ask for help: Recruit friends and family to help you with the packing process or on move-in day.
  • Buy or collect the packaging boxes: Many businesses, including grocery stores or even bookstores, give away their discarded boxes for free. If you don’t mind second-hand materials, accepting used boxes can really help save you money.
  • Get tenant insurance: Renter’s insurance will cover your personal effects in the event of fire, theft or damage.
  • Configure Internet and Cable: Make an installation appointment with the cable and Internet providers in your new neighborhood.
  • Update your address: Change your address with anyone who will need to reach you. This includes your bank, credit card companies, employer, credit providers, etc. Make a request to have your mail forwarded to catch anything you might have missed.
  • Update your voter registration: You can complete this simple process by mail or online.
  • Make sure you have all your important documents: From passports to medical records, marriage license to financial documents, gather all your necessary papers. Remember to take them with you to keep track of them on the day of your move.

Are you moving on a tight budget? These tips might help:

  • Set a moving budget in advance: This will help you save money where it matters most, helping you choose whether to hire professionals or bribe friends for help.
  • Take advantage of special sales: Shop for furniture and essentials online and monitor sales. Especially if you are sailing during the holidays, annual sales could help save you a lot of money.
  • Check prices: Whether you’re splurging on a couch or finding the right internet provider, checking out the included costs and benefits – warranties, trial periods, free shipping – can help you find an option that meets your needs. needs without breaking the bank.
  • Ask your friends and family: Chances are your loved ones have furniture they are more than happy to give away, and often times they have real gems! Before spending more on a new dining table, see if someone you know donates one. It’s no different from shopping at a thrift store, but this way you know the previous owner.

Moving into your first apartment is never easy. Give yourself an edge with these first-time apartment checklists and tips. Don’t have an apartment yet but are ready to find one? Search thousands of apartments for rent on Zumper and find your next home.

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