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What to Buy for Your First Apartment

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You've gone through the process of searching for the perfect apartment and you've looked at place after place until you finally found the one that you could see yourself living in for years to come. You've paid the security deposit and the first and last month's rent to the landlord and you've even signed your name on the lease and gotten the key to your first place. It's an exciting time in a person's life - so exciting, that you may even forget that you now need to buy stuff to put in that apartment.

Well, where do you start? That's the question most people ask themselves when it comes time to buy things for their first apartment. Your major kitchen appliances like refrigerator, oven, microwave, etc. will most likely already be furnished for you, but besides that, where is the best place to begin when you're furnishing your new apartment. In other words, what are the most important things that you absolutely, positively need to have on Day 1 when you move in to your new place.

The best way to figure this out is to start out going room-by-room and determining what the most important items are for each room. Compile a short list of what is already in the apartment and what you'll need to buy. Then, once you've determined the priority of items that are absolutely essential for your first few days and weeks living in your new place, you can begin searching for the perfect items to round out your place and turn it from an ordinary apartment into your new home.


The most essential items you'll need when you first move into your new apartment fall into the furniture category. It's certainly possible to live for a while without a bed or a couch, but why would you want to? If you already have a bed that you particularly enjoy and you can't bear to part with, then you can bring it along with you to your new apartment, but if you've been sleeping on a box spring or air mattress then going out and buying a new bed should be your top priority. Now that you have a new place to live, celebrate the occasion by giving yourself a comfortable new bed to sleep on.

Along the same lines, you'll need some couches too for those sweet parties and get-togethers you're going to have with your friends once you move in and get settled. Don't be that person who makes his friends sit on beanbag chairs and upside-down milk crates because he hasn't gotten around to buying any furniture yet. You can head down to your nearest discount furniture store and pick up a sofa/loveseat set for cheap if you're on a tight budget.

One thing to remember when buying a bed and couches for your new apartment is to make sure that everything is the right size to fit nicely in your new place. While big beds and big couches may be comfortable, they may end up making your apartment look a lot smaller and cramped. Take measurements of all your rooms before you go shopping for furniture and buy things that you know will fit with the layout of your place.

Cleaning Supplies and Kitchen Supplies

When you buy a new pair of pants, what do you do before you wear them? You wash them. (Well, you should. I'm sure not everyone actually takes the time to do this.) Whenever you buy new things, it's always a good idea to wash them before you use them because you never know where they've been before. The same rule applies to your new apartment. While the previous tenants and your landlord will have likely gone through the place and given it a quick cleaning, you'll want to go through and do some cleaning of your own after you move in.

Cleaning supplies are important, so make sure you stock up on dish soap, a mop and broom, paper towels, a dust pan, bucket, sponges and cleaning solutions. Cleaning your kitchen and bathrooms should be one of your top priorities immediately after moving in, as those are the places where most germs and bacteria tend to reside. Plus, it's always good to have a full supply of cleaning materials around the apartment at all times.

Furthermore, go out and buy a set of kitchen utensils and plates and glasses as well. If not, you might find yourself living off nothing but plastic forks, red plastic cups and paper plates for longer than you'd like. Not only is that bad for the environment by producing tons of unnecessary waste, but it's not exactly what you'd like to set the dining room table with at your first dinner party.

Decorations and other necessities

When you first move into your new apartment, things are going to look pretty empty and barren, so it will help you to settle in and feel a little more at home if you add a few decorative touches. Since this is a guide about what the essential items are that you need to buy for when you first move in, you don't need to go all out from Day 1 and go crazy decorating the place. However, a nice matching shower curtain/bath towel set will help the bathroom feel a little cozier, and a few throw rugs in the living area, along with some well-placed framed pictures or paintings on the walls will turn your empty apartment into something more closely resembling your home in those first few weeks.

Also, make sure to fill out your apartment with any other necessary pieces of furniture, like a coffee table and some end tables for your living room and a small kitchen table with some chairs. Last but not least, don't forget the TV! While you may be too busy to even think about watching TV in those first few hectic days, you're going to need to catch up on your shows sooner or later, so make sure that TV is hooked up and ready to go when you move in.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on July 22, 2013

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