By Brandon on Apr 12 2022
Category: Moving Guides

Your First Apartment Checklist — Everything You Need to Know

After a long season of apartment hunting, your first apartment can mean freedom, adventure, new opportunities, and a lot of packing. Whether you’re moving in a few days or a few months, it’s time to get organized and consider the items you need to transform a few empty rooms into your own place. Make the most of this exciting time by de-stressing moving day with this ultimate first-time renter checklist. See what you should pack in a room-by-room checklist before reviewing helpful unpacking tips and tricks for your first move.

The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist

Start your first-apartment checklist by considering what, if anything, comes with your first apartment. Some apartments are furnished, which means it will already have a bed, chairs, tables, dressers, and even some kitchen appliances and utensils. College apartments often come with beds, desks, dressers, and roommates.

If you’re moving in with a roommate, you’ll also want to coordinate your checklist. The last thing you want to do is try to squeeze two dining room tables and several couches into your apartment. Compare this with your weekly checklist to know when to pack what items.


There’s nothing wrong with celebrating first apartments with take-out or dinner at a local restaurant. Once you settle into a daily routine, however, you’ll want to have a stocked kitchen. Whether your idea of cooking is a gourmet meal or a microwave entree, here are some basic items you should have:

Once you get settled, you may want to expand your kitchen checklist with a toaster, toaster oven, crockpot, cake pans, serving dishes, microwave, and other items. Use common moving hacks, like using dishtowels as packing material, so save on space while fitting all of these items into your moving truck.


Don’t forget to bring along all of these bathroom essentials:

Explore your bathroom to see if you’re missing a mirror, towel bar, toilet paper holder, or other helpful items.


A sleeping bag or air mattress may make your new apartment feel like a camping trip but you’ll want a fully furnished bedroom before long. College dorms typically come with a bed frame and mattress but renters are usually greeted with an empty room and need to bring along all these items:

Living Room

The amount of furniture and accessories you need depends on the size of your new apartment. A studio, one-bedroom apartment, or college dorm may make your first-apartment living checklist quite small. For most places, however, you should consider bringing or buying these items:

Cleaning Supplies

Unfortunately for most renters, first apartments don’t come with cleaning staff. Your apartment building should be professionally cleaned before you move in, but it’s always a good idea to check before filling it up with your personal belongings. You’ll probably need to wipe down surfaces and vacuum after moving day, so be prepared with these supplies:

These cleaning supplies will be invaluable when the time comes to move out- you'll need to leave your apartment squeaky clean if you want to get your security deposit back!

First Aid and Safety

Pack these first-aid kit items for moving day and the first time you get a cut, sprain, or headache in your new apartment:

Check your rental for smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher. These should be provided by the landlord and are important to have in your new home.

Bonus Points: Food

Did you pack like a pro and sail through that checklist? Consider buying food for the first few days or weeks as a first-time renter. Stock your pantry and fill your fridge for the first time to reduce the stress of moving week. Here are some examples of items from grocery stores that renters in first apartments may want to have on hand:

Move to Your First Apartment With

All that’s left is to review your lease agreement, pay your security deposit, consider hiring movers, and prepare to become a first-time renter, with or without a roommate. Find out how it works and how you can save money with a DIY move to your first apartment.

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