a close up of a pink background with a striped pattern

First Apartment Checklist

1st Apartment Checklist Cover

Moving into your first apartment is among life’s most thrilling and rewarding experiences. However, the process can quickly become overwhelming if you’re unsure what items you will need. We created a first apartment checklist to help you prepare for the big move. 

We broke the checklists down into two major categories. The first is what you’ll need before the move — these are the bare necessities to live and sleep in your new home comfortably. The second is what you’ll need to get after the move to start enjoying your apartment. Ultimately, what you buy before and after your move will depend on various factors, like your budget, the space available for storing bigger items and what’s most important to you. 

This apartment furnishing checklist is a helpful starting place for anyone moving out into an apartment for the first time. 

What to Buy Before Moving Into Your First Apartment

We’ve organized this checklist according to the specific spaces and rooms in your apartment. Getting these items before you get the keys to your new home will make your first days more convenient and easygoing. 

Remember that some furniture pieces will likely take a while for delivery, and ordering them ahead of your move can be helpful. Another thing to factor in is measurements — before committing to larger purchases, be sure to have accurate dimensions of your space, and any potential issues with moving in, like steep staircases or narrow hallways. 

Checkout our lists of items to grab before the move:


When prepping items for your kitchen, you can start off by getting the necessities needed to eat and clean up afterward. You’ll need to pick up additional items when it is time to start cooking, but these items will get you through a day or two of eating takeout while you settle in. 

The key kitchen items to buy include the following:

  • Plates and bowls
  • Mugs and cups
  • Utensils
  • Handtowels
  • Paper towels
  • Trash can and trash bags
  • Recycling bin
  • Dish soap 
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Dish rack or drying mat


As you get ready for the big move, a few items will make life significantly easier while carrying boxes and setting up your space. 

It can be highly beneficial to get your bathroom set up with some essential items in case you need to make a pit stop. You may also want to prep your shower, too, so that you can effortlessly rinse off after a long day of unpacking.

Explore the bathroom items to purchase before your move:

  • Towels, washcloths and hand towels
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Trash can and liners
  • Shower liner and hooks
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower mat
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste


The first items you will need for your bedroom are solely for sleeping. Getting your bedding ready before the move can make the first few nights in your new place more cozy and relaxing.

List of items to buy for your bedroom before move-in day

Explore the following bedroom items to purchase before move-in day:

  • Bed frame
  • Mattress
  • Sheets, cover and duvet
  • Pillows

We should note that bed frames and mattresses can be big-ticket items, and you’ll need plenty of space to store them before you get your apartment keys. 

Living Room

You will probably want a place to sit and chill out during the moving process. While many people choose to invest the most money into their living room, you can start out with a few key items, including the following:

  • Sofa
  • Television
  • Television stand or entertainment center

You may need to order your sofa in advance as some deliveries can take weeks on end.

Essential Items For Your First Apartment

What to Buy After Moving Into Your First Apartment

This moving into your first apartment checklist includes the items you’ll want to pick up after receiving the keys to your new place. Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty of things you’ll need in the long term. 

You’ll find both small and large-ticket items on these lists. Purchasing them after your move can make the process easier and get your home ready for comfortable living. 


When you’re in your apartment, it is time to stock up on some kitchen tools and products that will make cooking at home simple. 

Explore the items you’ll want to pick up for your new kitchen:

  • Dining table and chairs 
  • Pots and pans
  • Drawer organizers
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Oven mitts
  • Ice cube trays
  • Cutting board
  • Knives
  • Appliances, like a toaster, air fryer, microwave and coffee maker
  • Mixing bowls 
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Strainer
  • Chip clips
  • Food containers
  • Sandwich bags

While you’ll likely be able to pick up many of these things at your local grocery store, we have purposefully not included any food or drink items on this list.  


Once you’ve already stocked up on essentials like toilet paper and hand soap, you’ll need to grab a few extra items to complete your bathroom. Check out the must-have items for your apartment’s restroom:

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Shower cleaner
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tissues
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Toilet brush
  • Other toiletries like shaving cream, razors and deodorant


With your apartment keys in hand, you can start collecting items for your bedroom to make it feel more like home and keep your space organized. 

The following include items you’ll need to get your bedroom in order:

  • Dresser
  • Nightstands or side tables
  • Mirror
  • Under the bed organizers 
  • Clothing hangers

If you enjoy watching shows or movies before bed, you might want to get a television for your bedroom as well.

Living Room

Here are some of the key items that will help you round out your living space after you’ve moved into your new home:

  • Throw pillows
  • Throw blankets
  • Coffee table
  • Side tables
  • Lamps
  • Bookshelf

Storage, Cleaning and Miscellaneous Items

In addition to the items for specific spaces in your new apartment, you’ll also likely need to pick up some miscellaneous pieces to keep your home looking and feeling its best. Don’t forget about the following items:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Laundry baskets
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Cleaning bucket
  • Light bulbs 
  • Tools, like a hammer, nails and screwdrivers
  • Batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Extension cords
  • Welcome mat
  • Decor, like rugs, plants and candles

Find a Rental Community from Triple Crown Corporation Today

Once you’ve reviewed this new apartment checklist and you’re ready to move out for the first time, turn to Triple Crown Corporation. We offer a wide selection of rental communities across Central Pennsylvania. 

Whether you’re looking to start in a studio apartment or a three-bedroom townhome, our team can help you find what you are looking for. Find your rental and apply entirely online. You can depend on us to help you with your questions and concerns along the way. 

Ready to get started? Browse rental communities from Triple Crown Corporation, or contact us to learn more today!

Find Your Rental Community