A furnished apartment living room

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If you’re moving into your first apartment and trying to figure out everything you need to settle into your new home, then you’re in luck because I’m sharing a comprehensive checklist of apartment furniture, decor, and supplies!

When I started preparing to move for my first job a few years ago, I spent months planning out all my furniture and decor, even before looking at apartments. I kept a Pinterest board of everything that caught my eye and put together a budgeting spreadsheet with every item I would need. If you don’t have the time or energy for such an extensive planning process, don’t worry because I’m here to help with the ultimate first apartment checklist.

You won’t need everything on this list right away, so it’s wise to focus on the most practical items at first, especially if you’re on a budget. Check out my list of essential apartment furniture, decor, and supplies so you’ll be sure to prioritize the right things before moving. For easy reference, each of those essentials will be listed here again, marked with an asterisk (*) to highlight their importance.

Once you’ve taken care of the must-haves, you can shift your attention to additional nice-to-have items that enhance your new apartment and make it feel even more like home. Everyone has different preferences for their living spaces, so there may be items on this checklist that you don’t need or want. Even so, this list is an excellent guide that will make it so much easier to pick furniture, decor, and supplies for your apartment. I’ve even included links to some items I own and love to make the shopping process that much simpler for you!

Free Download: The Ultimate First Apartment Checklist

Before we dive into all the furniture, decor, and supplies for your apartment, feel free to bookmark this page so you can come back to it anytime. Even better, download a free PDF copy of this first apartment checklist to refer to whenever and wherever you need it!

Setting Up Every Room in Your Apartment

Whether you’re saying goodbye to your parents’ house or upgrading from a college dorm, your new apartment is likely your first time with complete control over every room in a home. That can seem daunting, but this full list of all the furniture and supplies you need for each space in your apartment will simplify the process. Below you’ll find a breakdown of every room in your apartment and all the items you’ll want to consider when furnishing them.

Everything You Need for a Cozy Bedroom

  1. Mattress*
  2. Bed frame*
  3. Box spring*
  4. Bedding
  5. Nightstands
  6. Dresser
  7. Full-length mirror

A cozy bedroom is the key to making your new apartment feel like home. Naturally, the main priority should be your bed. Choose an appropriately-sized bed for your space (twin, full, queen, or king), and then consider adding items like nightstands and a dresser for extra storage, as well as a full-length mirror to make getting ready a breeze.

We’ll also dive into options for decorative items that can add a personal touch to your bedroom in another section all about decor later, so stay tuned for that!

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

My Favorite Bedroom Must-Haves

Everything You Need for a Complete Dining Room and Kitchen

Creating a functional and well-equipped kitchen and dining area will help to make your apartment truly feel like home, even if you don’t cook often. Let’s explore all the furniture and supplies you need for eating and cooking in your new space.

Dining Furniture

  1. Bar/counter-height stools*
  2. Dining table*
  3. Dining chairs*

The dining furniture you pick depends on your apartment size and layout. Some apartments only have space for stools in the kitchen. On the other hand, if your apartment lacks a breakfast bar or island in the kitchen, you’ll need a proper dining table and chairs. If you’re lucky, you may have room for both options!

If you’re wondering about non-furniture items to make your dining space more visually appealing, keep reading because we’ll explore other decorative elements in the decor section coming up.


  1. Dinner plates*
  2. Salad plates
  3. Bowls*
  4. Drinking glasses*
  5. Mugs
  6. Silverware*
  7. Coasters
  8. Napkins + napkin holder

Kitchen Cleaning Supplies

  1. Dish soap*
  2. Dish sponge*
  3. Dish towels*
  4. Paper towels* + paper towel holder
  5. Garbage can*
  6. Trash bags*
  7. Recycling bin
  8. Water filter

Cooking and Baking Supplies

Even if you’re like me and only cook once in a while, it’s important to have basic cooking and baking supplies in your kitchen:

  1. Pots + pans (frying pans, saucepans, stockpots, sauté pans)
  2. Cooking utensils (spatula, stirring spoon, tongs, ladle, pasta spoon)
  3. Knives
  4. Chopping board
  5. Measuring spoons
  6. Measuring cups
  7. Vegetable peeler
  8. Can opener
  9. Colander
  10. Baking tools (whisk, mixing bowls, sheet pans, parchment paper, aluminum foil)
  11. Oven mitts

Kitchen Appliances

  1. Microwave* (if your apartment kitchen doesn’t come with one)
  2. Rice cooker
  3. Toaster
  4. Air fryer/toaster oven
  5. Blender
  6. Food processer
  7. Kettle
  8. Coffee maker
  9. Slow cooker/pressure cooker (i.e. Crock Pot or Instant Pot)

Kitchen Organization

  1. Utensil organizer
  2. Spice organizer
  3. Dish drying rack
  4. Food storage containers

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

My Favorite Dining Room and Kitchen Must-Haves

Everything You Need for an Inviting Living Room

When I was planning for my apartment, the living room was the space I was most excited about setting up, and it’s now my favorite room in my home! You can achieve a well-furnished living room with just a few key pieces:

  1. Sofa*
  2. Coffee table*
  3. TV + TV stand
  4. End tables
  5. Armchairs

If you’re looking for living room decor ideas to complement your living room furniture, you don’t want to miss the decor section where we’ll explore all the decorative elements you can consider for your living space.

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

My Favorite Living Room Must-Haves

Everything You Need for a Productive Home Office

Having a dedicated office space in your apartment is valuable for all young adults, whether you need it for studying, working remotely, or simply managing personal tasks and projects. If your apartment has a spare room, consider using it as a dedicated office. Otherwise, you can easily integrate office furniture into another room in your apartment: I keep my workspace in my bedroom, but the living room is another popular option in apartments.

  1. Desk*
  2. Desk chair*
  3. Bookshelf
  4. Filing cabinet/file organizer
  5. Office supplies (stapler, tape, scissors)

For decor ideas to enhance your office’s aesthetic, be sure to check out the decor section coming up soon.

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

Everything You Need for a Functional Bathroom

In addition to your personal care products, items that help keep your bathroom well-organized and functional are essential:

  1. Hand soap* + soap dispenser
  2. Toothbrush holder
  3. Towels* (bath towels, hand towels, washcloths)
  4. Shower curtain* + liner* + hooks* (if your apartment has a tub-shower combo)
  5. Shower organizer
  6. Bath mat*
  7. Toilet paper*
  8. Toilet paper storage
  9. Toilet brush
  10. Toilet plunger
  11. Wastebasket*
  12. Over-the-toilet storage
  13. Air freshener

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

Decor to Add Personal Touches to Your Apartment

Now for the fun part! Unlike all the furniture and supplies we covered above, decor isn’t confined to any specific room. It’s versatile and can be used throughout your entire apartment to add a personal touch to your home. This section is a one-stop shop for all the decorative items you may want in your apartment, no matter the room.

  1. Curtains* + hooks* + rod* (especially crucial for bare windows)
  2. Lamps* (floor lamps and table lamps are especially crucial for rooms or spaces with poor overhead lighting)
  3. Rugs (the perfect finishing touch in bedrooms, dining rooms, and living rooms, even if your floors are carpeted)
  4. Wall decor (art, photography, tapestries, floating shelves, mirrors)
  5. Throw pillows (for beds and sofas)
  6. Throw blankets (for beds and sofas, but I also use one at my desk to stay cozy on work-from-home days!)
  7. Houseplants (plants, as well as the pots they go in, are a creative way to decorate)
  8. Decorative knick-knacks (candles, vases, small souvenirs)

For all of these decorative items, pick colors and styles that align with the aesthetic you want in your home. With the right decor choices, you can infuse your space with your unique tastes and preferences, making your apartment a true reflection of your personality.

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!

Useful Supplies You Need in Your Apartment

A well-equipped apartment goes beyond furniture and decor. The right supplies are essential to keep your new home tidy, functional, and comfortable. We already discussed supplies for your kitchen and bathroom, but let’s dive into all the other supplies you need in your apartment!

Apartment Cleaning Supplies

  1. Disinfectant wipes*
  2. Multipurpose cleaner*
  3. Microfiber cloths*
  4. Broom + dustpan*
  5. Vacuum cleaner*
  6. Mop*
  7. Duster
  8. Dusting spray
  9. Glass cleaner

Apartment Laundry Supplies

  1. Laundry detergent
  2. Dryer sheets
  3. Stain remover
  4. Iron + ironing board
  5. Garment steamer

Apartment Closet Supplies

  1. Clothing hangers
  2. Laundry hamper
  3. Drawer organizers
  4. Jewelry organizer

Apartment Entryway Supplies

  1. Doormat
  2. Shoe rack
  3. Coat tree
  4. Key hooks

Miscellaneous Apartment Supplies

  1. Tool kit (screwdriver, power drill, hammer, nails, measuring tape, leveling tool, box cutter)
  2. Masking tape
  3. Duct tape
  4. Super glue
  5. Step stool/ladder
  6. Light bulbs
  7. Flashlight
  8. Batteries
  9. Extension cords
  10. Wi-fi router
  11. First aid kit
  12. Sewing kit

For the complete first apartment checklist, click here to download the free PDF version!


As you settle into your new apartment, don’t forget that decorating a home is a journey, so take it one step at a time. Prioritize the essentials and allow yourself to collect additional furniture, decor, and supplies that match your own tastes and needs over time. If you haven’t already, remember to download your free PDF copy of this first apartment checklist so you can refer to it anytime. I hope it serves as a valuable resource throughout your first apartment adventures! Check back soon for more apartment guides and tips!

Happy decorating!

The ultimate first apartment checklist - free download

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