5 Essential Things You Need For Your First Apartment

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

If you’re moving into your first apartment, you are probably both excited and scared. If this is your first time living alone (or with roommates other than family members), you will have a lot of new experiences in the next few months. Paying bills, being responsible for cleaning and caring for the apartment, and even remembering to lock the doors and windows might all be new to you. As you prepare to move in, there are certain items that you will want to make sure that you remember to purchase. Sometimes apartments come partially furnished, so if that is the case, ask the landlord or property manager ahead of time to make sure that all the items you need are provided. Although some items might be included, for the most part you will probably need to bring your own stuff. Here are five items you don’t want to forget.

1. Curtains

While it would be great if your first apartment came equipped with nice neighbors, who happen to be quiet and keep to themselves, few of us experience that luxury. Most likely, you will have at least one nosy neighbor, and even if you don’t, you will need protection against the outside world in case strangers walk by. Make sure that you purchase curtains, or at least, blinds, if the apartment doesn’t come with them.

Another type of “curtain” that you will want to remember is a shower curtain. Shower curtains can be kept for a long time if you purchase cheap shower liners, which go inside the shower. Then you can change those every three months to a year (depending on how often you use the shower, and if you have roommates, etc.) You will want the privacy if you have roommates, and even if you don’t, having a shower liner and curtain helps keep the water inside the shower.

2. Cleaning supplies

To go along with your beautiful new shower curtain, you will need some basic cleaning supplies. If you’ve never been responsible for cleaning a bathroom or kitchen before, a House-Cleaning Kit Checklist (like this one from Real Simple) can help. You will need rubber gloves, microfiber cloths, sponges, a mop, an all-purpose cleaner, and more. You will also probably need a vacuum or a broom (or both) depending on what kind of flooring you have in your apartment. You also might want a duster, and a fan-duster if you have high ceilings. Cleaning isn’t fun, and it can be hard to get used to. Developing a cleaning schedule can help, as can regularly wiping down counters and scraping dishes when you use them, so that the mess doesn’t build up.

3. Pots and dishes

You’ve probably known someone who has existed on just paper plates and cups for weeks or months on end, and maybe you’ve done it yourself. However, in addition to being expensive after a while, using paper products regularly is wasteful and inefficient. You should invest in at least one set of durable dishes and silverware, as well as cups. If you have a roommate, you will probably need more than one set, but it depends how often you use your dishwasher or wash dishes.

You will also need pots to cook in. If you are living by yourself and you don’t cook very often, don’t run out and purchase an expensive set of pots and pans that you won’t need; a few pans will probably be sufficient. It’s also a good idea to purchase food storage containers for leftovers. Other kitchen items will depend on your desires: if you like coffee, you will need a coffee pot, and if you like tea, you might want a tea pot, and so on. A microwave is also usually a must-have for a first apartment, and you will need basic supplies for your kitchen (spices, canned food, etc.)

4. Furniture

One of the biggest expenses when moving to a new apartment is often the furniture. If you are moving out of your parents’ house, or you previously lived in a college dorm or with a friend, you will need furniture. Hopefully you at least have a bed, but many items will be necessary for your first apartment. You will probably want a couch or loveseat, possibly end tables, and a dining room table and chairs. Other furniture will depend on your style and your need, but most people like to have a dresser, a bed, and storage. Storage is one of the most important items you will need at your first apartment, because without storage, your stuff will take over your apartment. If you have a small budget, buy the most necessary items first. Also, consider purchasing the items used at a garage sale or used furniture store, to save money.

5. A small toolkit

Hopefully your new landlord will be prompt about fixing any major problems that arise in your apartment, but you should have a basic toolkit for issues you can handle yourself. There are many tools you could include, but some of the most important include a hammer, screw driver, power drill, tape measure, utility knife, flashlight, and scissors. Having multiple flashlights, or extra batteries, is a good idea. It’s also a good idea to assemble an emergency kit, especially if you live in a part of the country that is prone to natural disasters. You should have enough food, water, and necessary supplies for at least seventy-two hours, or more.

There are many other items you might need for your first apartment, but make sure you have these essentials.

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