The Ultimate First Apartment Moving Checklist [2023]

I took these for AirBnb, but they’re so pretty

Congratulations on your new apartment! You're about to begin an exciting new chapter of your life, but before you can start enjoying your new place, you need to move in first. Our team at Moving Checklist™ understands that moving can be overwhelming, especially for first-timers. That's why we've put together this ultimate guide to help make your move-in day a breeze. We've compiled a comprehensive list of everything you'll need to make your new space feel like home. So, let's get started.

Kitchen Essentials

Moving into your first apartment means you'll need to stock up on all the necessary kitchen essentials. Whether you're an experienced cook or just learning, having a well-stocked kitchen is essential. Here are some items to add to your shopping list:

  • Cookware: pots, pans, baking sheets, and a skillet
  • Utensils: spatulas, ladles, tongs, and a can opener
  • Silverware: forks, spoons, and knives
  • Plates, bowls, glasses, and mugs
  • Cutting board and knives
  • Dish towels and dish soap
  • Trash can and recycling bin

Pro tip: Check to see if your apartment complex has any restrictions on what can be put in the garbage or recycling.

Cleaning Supplies

Before moving into your new apartment, you want to ensure the space is clean and ready for you to live in. Here are some cleaning supplies you should have on hand:

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Bucket and mop
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Sponges and scrub brushes
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Vacuum cleaner or sweeper
  • Trash bags

Pro tip: If you're on a tight budget, consider buying generic brand cleaning supplies. They're just as effective but cost less.

Bedroom Essentials

Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so make sure to stock up on the essentials to create a peaceful and comfortable space. Here's what to consider:

  • Bedding: sheets, pillows, and comforter
  • Hangers for clothes
  • Dresser or drawers
  • Alarm clock
  • Lamps or lighting
  • Curtains or shades

Pro tip: Consider investing in a sturdy bed frame. A good quality bed frame is more durable and will last you longer than a cheaper alternative.

Bathroom Necessities

Having a well-stocked bathroom is important for your daily hygiene routine. Here are some items to include:

  • Towels: bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths
  • Shower curtain
  • Toiletries: soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Toilet paper and plunger
  • Trash can

Pro tip: If your bathroom doesn't have a lot of storage space, consider using over-the-door organizers or shelves to maximize your space.


Furniture can be one of the biggest expenses when moving into your first apartment. Here are some pieces to consider:

  • Sofa or loveseat
  • Coffee table or accent table
  • TV stand
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Bed frame and mattress

Pro tip: Consider purchasing used furniture instead of buying everything brand new. There are many second-hand stores and online marketplaces where you can find quality pieces at a fraction of the cost.


Now that you have your kitchen stocked with essentials, it's time to fill it with food. Here are some items to add to your grocery list:

  • Canned goods: soups, vegetables, and fruits
  • Pasta and sauce
  • Rice and beans
  • Bread and spreads
  • Snacks
  • Beverages: water, juice, and tea

Pro tip: Don't forget to buy some basic spices and condiments, so you can add flavor to your meals.

First Aid and Wellness Essentials

It's always better to be prepared for unexpected injuries or illnesses, so make sure to stock up on first aid and wellness essentials:

  • First aid kit
  • Over-the-counter medicines: pain relievers, antacids, and cold medicine
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Exercise equipment or gym membership

Pro tip: If you're not currently on any medications, consider getting a basic first aid kit and adding it to your apartment's medicine cabinet.

Other Apartment Essentials

Here are some additional items that can be helpful to have on hand:

  • Tool kit: hammer, screwdriver, and pliers
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Extension cords and power strips
  • Laundry basket and detergent
  • Air fresheners

Pro tip: Consider investing in a good quality surge protector to protect your electronics from power surges and outages.

What Do I Need for First Time Moving?

Moving for the first time can be overwhelming, so it's important to have a plan. Here are some things you'll need:

  • Moving boxes
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts
  • Labels and markers
  • Friends or professional movers

Pro tip: Pack a box or bag with essentials like toiletries, a change of clothes, and important documents. It'll be the first thing you unpack, so you'll have everything you need.

What Essentials Do You Need to Move into an Apartment?

Moving into your first apartment requires a different set of essentials than moving into a house. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Furniture: bed, sofa, chairs, and dining table
  • Household items: cleaning supplies, trash cans, and hangers
  • Kitchen essentials: cookware, utensils, and dishware
  • Bathroom necessities: towels, toiletries, and toilet paper

Pro tip: Check with your landlord or apartment complex to see what is provided in your space.

What Should I Know Before Getting My First Apartment?

Before getting your first apartment, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Budget for rent and other expenses
  • Research different neighborhoods and apartments
  • Understand the rental agreement and what's included
  • Ask about move-in specials or deals

Pro tip: Visit the apartment during different times of the day to get a sense of the noise level and lighting.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in the United States is $1,124 per month.
  • You should start packing at least a month in advance of your move-in date.
  • Always keep an eye on your budget and try to negotiate on rent or other expenses.
  • Consider purchasing renter's insurance to protect your belongings in case of theft, fire, or other damage.

Pro tip: Download a moving checklist app to help you stay organized and keep track of your progress.

Moving into your first apartment can feel overwhelming, but with the right planning and preparation, it can be a smooth transition. Our team at Moving Checklist™ hopes that this ultimate first apartment moving checklist has given you all the information you need to make your move-in day a success. Remember to prioritize your budget and focus on the essentials, so you can enjoy your new home to the fullest. Good luck and happy moving!

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