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The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist: Everything I Own & Love In My Apartment

When I moved into my first apartment (and the months leading up to the move-in) I was OBSESSED. It’s all I thought about. I made list on list of every single thing I thought I needed to buy. 

Fast forward two years of me living in my first apartment and I can confirm all the things that you absolutely 100% need to have for your first apartment and all the things that you don’t need to buy. 

first apartment checklist

Moving into your first apartment is SO exciting! However, I did think I was going to be broke after realizing how much I had to buy. hah! There is so much to consider for your first solo place. I searched the internet for the best first apartment checklist, and I couldn’t find one that honestly told me what they liked, didn’t like, and actually used. 

So… I made this one to show you what you really need. I own all of these products and have loved them in my apartment for the past two years. To make things a little easier on you, I also made the best printable version of this checklist that you can use to really be on top of it.

I want to make sure I make this clear; you do not need to buy everything on this list at once. I don’t want to make it seem like I bought all of this the week before I moved into my apartment. These are items I have accumulated over time and love having, and by no means do you need every last thing the day you move in. I’ll put an asterisk next to all the things I think you need to buy right away!

I hope this is a helpful tool for you as you move into your first apartment and as you continue to collect all of your apartment essentials.

This post is all about the ultimate first apartment checklist.

Interested in purchasing items you saw in the video? Click here to see where I bought everything in my first apartment.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST PDF

Want a first apartment checklist PDF? I made this for myself when I first moved into my apartment and SWORE by it. I figured out a way for you to download it and print it out so you can use it!

apartment packing list

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

apartment kitchen essentials

The kitchen was definitely where I had to buy the most stuff for my apartment. I bought almost everything from Amazon and Target (with a few exceptions), and I have really loved everything I bought over the past couple of years. One specific recommendation I have for you is to buy your plates during Target’s sales when they have amazing deals on large dish sets. Black Friday will be your best friend. 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own!!

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE KITCHEN ESSENTIALS

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

LIVING ROOM ESSENTIALS

living room essentials

My living room is probably where I spent the most money when moving into my apartment. I had to buy a couch, and I LOVE the one I got. I bought it on a great sale at Ashely, and I would recommend it to anyone moving into their first apartment. To save a little bit of money, I DIYed the wall art in my living room and used inexpensive frames and lights for the other wall decor. 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE LIVING ROOM ESSENTIALS

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

BEDROOM ESSENTIALS

bedroom essentials

My bedroom was another space where I really wanted it to look and feel luxurious (without the luxury price tag). The key to achieving this luxury look with your bedding is to layer layer layer! Another hack I have for decorating your bedroom is to use baby changing stations as side tables; this works perfectly in my apartment bedroom! 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BEDROOM ESSENTIALS

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

BATHROOM ESSENTIALS

bathroom essentials

I have two bathrooms in my apartment, and they were the two spaces I put off for sooo long. When I decorated the guest bathroom, I finally felt like my apartment was complete. My most important tips for decorating your bathroom are keeping it simple, using high-quality towels, and spending a little extra (if possible) on the cabinet and drawer organization. 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BATHROOM ESSENTIALS

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

TECH ESSENTIALS

tech essentials

Wow, I really underestimated how many “techy” things I would need to buy for my first apartment. Make sure you have all of the proper items, so you’re not stranded without WiFi while moving in. 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

CLEANING ESSENTIALS

cleaning essentials

Okay, if you’re crazy like me, you probably will want to bring a ton of cleaning products. Totally fine, but also just know that you do not need all of these items (but I highly recommend them). 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE CLEANING ESSENTIALS

FIRST APARTMENT CHECKLIST:

(NON-ESSENTIAL) “ESSENTIALS”

first apartment essentials

I’ll be honest with you, a lot of the things I SWEAR BY are not reallllyyy essentials. But I still highly recommend bringing all of these items. Most of these items are for safety and basic functionality, but some of them are just things I am absolutely obsessed with. 

In the checklist below, each item is linked to the exact item I own or a BSL blog post with all of my favorites.

☐ Key Hook

☐ Flashlight

☐ Tool Kit

☐ First Aid Kit

☐ Batteries

☐ Light Bulbs

☐ Fan

☐ Space Heater

☐ Candles

Patio Furniture

To see the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the FREE PDF version. 

 MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE NON – ESSENTIALS

ESSENTIALS PURCHASING TIPS

kitchen essentials

After moving for the first time, I learned a LOT. There are definitely some things I would do differently, so here are my top three tips for you. As I have continued to accumulate apartment essentials, here is what I have learned about the smartest ways to buy things. 

1. Make a list of favorites and continuously check until the item goes on sale.

This is something that will require you to be thinking ahead of time, but when I tell you this saved me hundreds of dollars, I’m not kidding. If you make a list with links to everything you want for your apartment and then check in around every two weeks to see if anything went on sale, you will likely catch all the good deals, and those savings will add up! 

2. Look for the same item at multiple stores.

I was so surprised to find the same exact product at such varying price points across websites like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Wayfair, etc.. My coffee table was $100 cheaper on Wayfair than any other website I could find it on!

I also think it’s important to address that almost everything in my apartment is from Amazon, HomeGoods, Target, Wayfair, and Walmart. I love the expensive look, but not the price tag, so I stick with what I know and love! 

3. See if relatives are giving away hand-me-down furniture. 

My biggest misconception when moving into my apartment was thinking I would be able to buy all new furniture on a reasonable budget. I knew everything was expensive, but I had no idea it would be that expensive.

As I watched my friends move into their apartments, I realized that you could save a TON of money by asking your family and friends if they have any old hand-me-down furniture they are getting rid of. Most of the time, you can find ways to style it pretty cute, and it will be worth it when you save hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars. 

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