Even when you still have to share with a roommate, a first apartment is a milestone, free from the restraints of your parents or college life. It is a really exciting move. But this is life, it never ends there. Signing of the rent cheque or paying of lease doesn’t cut it, there are still lots of this and that you need to buy to give it that home fittings. Though, it’s tempting to think you need to acquire a ton of items as soon as you move in, this is a very expensive undertaken. You don’t need to get everything right away, and some things you might be surprised to find you really don’t need at all. Spend wisely, and stick to immediate needs.
Below is the list of essential items you need to get started.
1. Cleaning Essentials
When you start living alone, you might be surprised at how much more invested you are to keep it clean and tidy. You don’t need an expensive vacuum cleaner to get the job done, just make sure you got the following.
- Trash bags: Kitchen-size and small
- Broom and dustpan
- Sponges: Separate sets for dishes and cleaning
- Soft rags and microfiber cloths
- Anti-bacterial wipes
- Paper towels
- Toilet scrubber
- Mop, if you have hard-surface floors
- Handheld vacuum: Sufficient until you can get something bigger
- Bathroom cleaning spray
- Multi-purpose spray
- Wood cleaner, if you have wood surfaces
- Laundry detergent
- Dish soap
- Baking soda and white vinegar
- Rubber gloves
- Hand soap
Your fancy vacuum, furniture polish, microfiber sweeper etc can come later.
2. Kitchen Essentials
Food is essential and unless you plan to eat out every evening, you are going to have to make use of your brand new kitchen. Here are your basic kitchen essentials
- pots and pans: One medium or large fry pan; one small pot; one large pot
- Coffee mugs (one should suffice for now) and glasses (four)
- Dishes: Plates and bowls (two of each)
- Dish towels: four to six
- Dish drying rack, if no dishwasher
- One serrated knife, one chef knife and a small paring knife
- Cutting board: One silicon, plastic, or wood board
- Measuring cups and spoons: one set of each
- Ice cube trays
- Can opener
- Serving spoon and spatula
- Paper towel holder
- Coffee maker and filters
- Garbage can
All these item doesn’t have to be top qualities. Your toaster oven, microwave, food processor, cake pans, serving dishes, crock pot or Instapot can come later.
3. Bathroom Essentials
Your toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and body wash won’t be enough. You still need to a few things to keep your bathroom organized. Here are some of the things you need to get
- Bath towels: Two to start
- Hand/face towels: Two to start
- Shower curtain and liner, if necessary
- Wall hook, if not supplied
- Toothbrush holder or case: A simple plastic cup can get the job done – just wash it regularly
- Toilet brush
- Toilet paper
- Small trash can
The fancy soap dispenser, extra storage, water cup, shower speaker etc can come later.
Last on our list of essentials is the furniture. The best way to save money on your first apartment furnishings is to purchase as much as you can use. Most of these items can be put off until you have the money/ find a great deal. You can even get some of these items as hand-me-down or second hand. We know you don’t want to eat your dinner on the floor, but if you have to do that until you get enough money to buy a dining table, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t rush it. Now here are the essentials for your furnishing
- Coffee table
- Small dining room table and chairs
- Additional lighting (just in case you get light issues)
Your favorite artwork, throw blankets, plants, décor, curtains, area rugs, sound system, TV and stand, air conditioners can come later.
That is it for you as a first time mover. It might be a bit rough in the beginning but eventually, you will build a home out of that empty apartment. Start with the things you really need, and then add on and upgrade as you can. A lot of these essentials will stay with you for years, so you won’t have to go through this every time you move.