Moving and setting up a home for the first time is exciting. But, it can also be stressful. That’s why you need this first apartment checklist to keep you organized, on track, and stress-free. Your first apartment checklist should include the basics for setting up, cleaning, eating, and hosting, among other tasks. So, from the beginning, make sure you give everything its place because this will help you minimize the necessity for decluttering later. Especially if you’re moving to a small apartment – NYC edition.

Moving into the first apartment

Moving into the first apartment is a momentous life moment. It means you have freed yourself from having to live with either your parents or with roommates But, the move into a person’s first apartment involves several steps.

  1. Sign the lease.
  2. Write out a rent check.
  3. Move-in with furniture and hand-me-downs. So, you must learn how to organize your moving.

But, even with that help from the last step, you’ll probably not fill your apartment enough to make it feel like home. Because you need a lot of major and minor things for an apartment to feel complete. So, you are going to check out stores and possibly even yard sales to complete a first apartment checklist. But, before you begin searching for the things you need for an apartment, plan, and stick to your budget. Spend your funds wisely and focus on covering important necessities first. To help with this assessment here’s a first apartment checklist. It covers all of the things you may need for an apartment.

Moving Box Key Apartment - First apartment checklist

Use the first apartment checklist and make your move easier.


There’s no need to buy fancy, brand new furniture for your first apartment. You can many major items you need from friends and family or buy them at garage sales, and discount stores. But, be cautious when buying used furniture. You can follow 20 tips for buying second-hand furniture. You need:

  • Bed
  • Dresser or shelving
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Desk and chair
  • Couch

Dishes and kitchenware

Your first apartment checklist should include the following kitchen basics:

  • Pot
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Spoons, forks, butter knives, steak knives
  • Large and small plates
  • Bowls
  • Glasses or cups
  • Mugs
  • Toaster
  • Blender
  • Microwave

First apartment checklist – Bathroom supplies

The bathroom is an essential and frequently used space. So, it’s worth making it comfortable and well-found. Therefore, include these items in your first apartment checklist:

  • Four towels
  • Four hand towels
  • Four washcloths
  • Hand soap
  • Toothbrush cup
  • Shower curtain with liner
  • Bathmat
  • Sink mat

First apartment checklist – Cleaning supplies

One of the first things you should buy before moving into your apartment is cleaning supplies. Here are some items to consider picking up:

  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning rags
  • Powder cleanser
  • Duster
  • Glass cleaner
  • Surface cleaner
  • Wood polish, if necessary
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Dish brush
  • Dishrag
  • Shower cleaner

Since there are many green cleaning benefits, where possible, opt for green products.

Cleaning Broom Ragpicker Mop

Cleaning supplies must be prominent on your first apartment checklist.

First apartment checklist – Hardware and tools

Even the lowest-maintenance apartment sometimes needs a little TLC. So, you’ll need a toolkit along with the essential household tools. Put these items on your first apartment checklist:

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screwdrivers, both Phillips and flat
  • Pliers
  • Tape measure
  • Wrench
  • Flashlight
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Level to help you hang things