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The First Apartment Checklist – The Ultimate Moving Guide

Are you moving into a new apartment? Check out this ultimate moving guide with a first apartment checklist.

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a college couple moving into an apartmnet and laying on the floor with boxes all around them

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For many of us, finding our first apartment can be exciting and a bit nerve-wracking.

Usually, when finding our first apartment, we are either reaching adulthood, moving out for our studies, recent college graduates, or have just gained financial stability.

When relocating, there are many things to consider; these include many small essentials that we probably paid no mind to before moving out.

Small necessities such as toilet paper and kitchen essentials can add up to be costly. Having a plan before moving will help you stay on budget and avoid the headache of deciding what you need to purchase for your apartment.

Through my personal experiences and consulting with friends, I have gathered a ‘First Apartment Checklist’ that will get you moving in no time.

Keep in mind: if you are planning to buy any essentials online, you should take a look at this cashback app to get a percentage back on your orders. This is an excellent idea for big purchases! You will save a lot of money.

I would say that, to start, our first and foremost important category is bedroom essentials.

In this Post:

Bedroom Essentials

Kitchen Essentials

Living Room Essentials

Bathroom Essentials

Cleaning Essentials

Technology Essentials

Bedroom Essentials

man laying on a bed

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Get a Bed!

There are many different types of beds. Before buying, make sure to consider the size of your room. Measure your room and keep in mind the other spaces needed for your other bedroom essentials.

I have created a list of beds that would be a wise choice for your apartment. All of them are affordable options.

Types of Beds:

Platform

ZINUS Shalini Upholstered Platform Bed Frame / Mattress Foundation / Wood Slat Support / No Box Spring Needed / Easy Assembly, Dark Grey, Queen

I absolutely admire the appearance of this platform bed. It makes your room look sophisticated. Very chic!

The headboard, with its sophisticated stitching and button tufting, rises more than 2 feet over the top of the bed frame to create a focal point in your bedroom, even with a very thick mattress.

If you are looking for a modern-style bedroom, platform beds are the best choice. You can comfortably enjoy your movie night without needing an extra pillow to lean against!

Another great feature about this bed is that it is easy to assemble, and you can tuck away smaller items and most storage bins underneath the bed.

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Storage Beds

Bedbathandbeyond

Are you in need of many storage containers? I recommend storage beds if you are the type of person with many things lying around, or if you’re living with your partner – do they need storage space?

Personally, I have a hard time staying organized, which is why I have this type of bed. It allows your bedroom to look neat along with providing plenty of storage room for your essentials.

The best part is that you won’t need to buy as many storage bins as you would’ve had you gone with a regular bed. Saving money and space - what’s not to love?

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Adjustable Bed

LUCID L150 Bed Base – Upholstered Frame – Head and Foot Incline – Wireless Remote Control, Queen, Charcoal Adjustable

This type of bed usually enables you to increase or decrease the angle of the upper and lower part of the bed. It’s a good choice for when you want to read a book, watch TV, etc.

An adjustable bed has countless benefits, such as improved blood circulation, lessened back pain, and reduced acid reflux. It is best to take care of yourself before facing complications!

Also, who doesn’t like to adjust their bed perfectly how they like it?

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Futon Bed

DHP Lodge Convertible Futon Couch Bed with Microfiber Upholstery and Wood Legs, Charcoal

I remember the first time I saw one of these at a friend’s apartment – I never knew it was a bed! Futon beds are foldable beds that resemble a couch, which makes it no surprise that you can easily use them both ways.

This type of bed is great for college students moving out of their parent’s house for the first time. Why? The bed is affordable and doesn’t require much space, making it a good option when moving into a small apartment.

Not to mention, you are saving time and money not having to purchase both a bed and couch. In addition, this bed would be great for your guests looking to stay overnight.

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Standard Bed Sizes: 

Twin

A twin bed is the smallest size bed in the market. It’s typically made for one person.

Dimension (38” X 75”)

Twin XL

The Twin XL is slightly bigger than the original twin size bed. If you are tall, the extra space makes it a better option than a standard twin bed.

Dimension (39” X 80”)

Full (May fit two people)

Dimension (54” X 75”)

Full XL

Dimension (54” X 80”)

Queen

Dimension (60” x 80”)

King

Dimension (76” x 80”)

Check out more types of beds!

Related: 60 Best Dorm Room Ideas for Girls – The Ultimate Guide

Get a Mattress!

Finding a good mattress is just as important as buying a bed. Make sure to try it out before buying! Purchasing a mattress without trying puts you at risk of harming your back and other body parts.

Memory Foam Mattress

Bedbathandbeyond

As its name implies, the memory foam mattress has a layer of memory foam along with springs or other support foam.

The memory foam mattress is my favorite. I love the feeling of my body sinking into it. The mattress is soft yet firm, which supports your body while having all the benefits of a soft bed you can fall into.

What makes this mattress very cool is that It sinks when you lie into it, but bounces back when you get up; however, over time, the bed will slowly “memorize” your sleeping position and shape.

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Benefits:

      • Retains body heat (Excellent for keeping warm in the winter!)
      • Helps lower pressure points
      • Supports back and neck
      • Hypoallergenic
      • Modern style

Gel-Foam Mattress

Bedbathandbeyond

Memory foam and gel foam mattresses are alike, but have a heat difference.

Benefits:

  • Allows the body to stay cool (Recommended if you get hot quickly)
  • Helps decrease back pain
  • Supports back and neck
  • Remembers and contours to your sleep form (With a partner, you wouldn’t feel their consistent movements!)
  • Immune to dust mites
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Innerspring Mattress

Full Mattress, Molblly 12 inch Individually Wrapped Coils Innerspring Mattress, Pocket Spring Hybrid Mattresses Full Size

This type of mattress is the standard, making it affordable. However, there is a wide range in cost, depending on the materials used and the manufacturer.

The mattress consists of springs that support the bed, along with metal wires.

It was the first kind of modern mattress released in the market, taking over traditional wool, hay, straws, etc.

Benefits:

  • Metal wires generate a lifting effect
  • Low-cost (Recommended for students looking to save money)
  • Firm & sturdy
  • Durable (Very long-lasting!)
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Latex Mattress

Sunrising Bedding 10" Natural Latex Full Mattress, Individually Encased Pocket Coil, Firm, Supportive, Naturally Cooling, Organic Mattress, 120-Night Free Trial, 20-Year Warranty

Latex mattresses are made with simple latex materials or with other elements of natural wool and cotton.

It doesn’t let your body sink in as memory foam does, which gives you it added benefit of letting your body stay cool, as it is open to more air.

Most latex mattresses are known to be antibacterial and low maintenance. If you like a firm yet bouncy bed, I highly recommend latex.

Benefits:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Firm
  • Long-lasting
  • Bouncy
  • Easy to clean
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Hybrid Mattress

Olee Sleep 13 inch Galaxy Hybrid Gel Infused Memory Foam and Pocket Spring Mattress (Full)

As its name implies, hybrid mattresses combine the various types of mattresses into one. The hybrid mattress consists of innerspring, memory foam, gel, and latex.

You are getting the best of all mattresses in one; the foam helps lower pressure points while the construction of innerspring coils brings durability. Keep in mind, it’s generally more costly than memory foam, although it may last longer.

Benefits:

  • Lower pressure points
  • Firm and sturdy
  • Eco- friendly
  • Even weight distribution
  • Easy to clean (It comes with removable covers)
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To save room, you may want to invest in a Portable Closet

More Bedroom Essentials!

  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Bed Stand/Frame
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Desk
  • Mirror
  • Curtains (don’t forget your windows!)
  • TV Stand
  • Trash Bin
  • Nightstand

I recommend a nightstand for resting your phone and charger on. In addition, you should consider a lamp for your nightstand!

  • TV

Common sizes: (in inches)

32, 40, 42, 46-49, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, and 80.

Check out the difference in sizes!

Kitchen Essentials

How much cooking are you planning on doing? Factor that in as you look at this list. Here are the basic necessities for the kitchen.

Get a Few Pans!

My friends and I usually use non-stick pans; it helps save time with cleaning, because foods don’t annoyingly stick to the pan. However, stainless steel pans are recommended if you are cooking with high heat, although they may more cleaning.

Generally, non-stick pans are coated with Teflon, giving them their non-stick quality. This type of coating cannot be used with high heat as it can release harmful chemicals.

Furthermore, if you find yourself using butter in many of your meals as opposed to cooking oil, a nonstick pan would be suitable for you due to its requirement of low-to-medium heat.

However, I recommend buying both stainless steel and non-stick pans for your apartment, because both types of pans have their unique usages.

Nonstick Pans:

Amazon Basics 3-Piece Non-Stick Frying Pan Set - 8 Inch, 10 Inch, and 12 Inch, Black

Remember, you don’t need to use a lot of cooking oil (use with low-to-medium heat)

Great Uses:

  • Frying and scrambling eggs
  • Making pancakes & waffles
  • Frying bacon
  • Creamy, cheesy recipes (Doesn’t stick to the pan)

Don’t Use:

  • Acidic recipes (such as tomatoes) (Using nonstick pans would ruin coating)
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Stainless Steel Pans:

Misen Stainless Steel Frying Pan Set - 5 Ply Steel Skillet - Professional Grade Pans for Cooking - 8, 10, and 12 Inch

Use a generous amount of coating

Great uses:

  • Deep frying
  • Searing and charring meats
  • Acidic recipes
  • Preparing soups and sauces
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Get Some Pots!

Can’t Forget Kitchen Knives!

Chef’s Knife 

Utility Knife

HENCKELS Forged Premio Utility Knife, 6 inch, Black/Stainless Steel

Chef’s knives and utility knives are both multipurpose. However, a chef’s knife has a larger blade, making it a better choice for bigger ingredients. The utility knife is wider in width and shorter in length, serving a purpose for smaller ingredients.

Uses:

  • Multifunctional
  • Ideal for small ingredients
  • Suitable for mincing and creating small precise cuts
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Santoku knife

Santoku Knife - imarku 7 inch Kitchen Knife Ultra Sharp Asian Knife Japanese Chef Knife - German HC Stainless Steel 7Cr17Mov - Ergonomic Pakkawood Handle, Best Choice for Home Kitchen, Brown

I love the santoku knife due to its light weight. In addition, the tip of the blade isn’t sharp, making it a safe choice for beginners in the kitchen.

Many people confuse a Santoku knife with a chef’s knife, as they look quite similar. However, it is important to note that the Santoku knife has a thinner blade.

Uses

  • Dicing
  • Mincing
  • Cutting fruits and veggies
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Bread Knife

8-Inch Bread Knife, Serrated Bread Knife, Bread Cutter & Bread Slicers For Homemade Bread, Cake and Bagels, Ultra-Sharp German Stainless Steel-ABS Handle

As its name implies, this knife is suitable for all types of bread. Nevertheless, you may also use it for countless other foods.

Uses:

  • Loaves of bread
  • Bagels
  • Bars of chocolate
  • Biscuits
  • Cake
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Check out more types of knives.

      • Knife Sharpener
      • Kitchen Scissors
      • Cutting Board
      • Oven Mitts/Potholders
      • Bowls
      • Forks, Spoons, Butterknives
      • Whisk
      • Can Opener
      • Colander
      • Measuring Cups (liquid & dry)

Related: 50 Dorm Room Must-Haves for College Students

Dry Ingredients

Liquids

Pick Up a Few Measuring Spoons!

      • Spatula
      • Tongs
      • Mixing Spoons
      • Soup Ladle
      • Kitchen Tables & Chairs
      • Microwave

Check Out These Living Room Essentials!

This is the most exciting category in the ‘First Apartment Checklist’- well, in my opinion. But don’t you agree?

A Comfortable Couch

      • Throw Pillows
      • Blankets
      • TV
      • TV Stand
      • Rug
      • TV Speakers
      • Trash Can
      • Shoe Rack
      • Coffee Table
      • Small Side Table (so you’ll stop losing the remote control!)

Lights

Related: 70 Best Dorm Gifts For College Students – The Complete Guide

Bathroom Essentials

      • Toothbrush Holder

      • Air Freshener

      • Washrag

      • Bathroom Mirror

      • Bathroom Mat

      • Bathtub Mat

      • Toilet Plunger

      • Shower Curtains

      • Curtains Hook

      • Toiletries

        • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

        • Floss

        • Mouthwash

        • Body Soap

        • Hand Soap

        • Shampoo & Conditioner

        • Razors & Shaving Cream

Remember Those Cleaning Essentials!

Cleaning products in a bin

Source

Bathroom Cleaning Products

      • Vacuum

      • Tech Vacuum

      • Dish Soap

      • Laundry Detergent & Fabric Softener

      • Broom & Dustpan

      • Cleaning Gloves

      • Cleaning Rag

      • Bleach or Baking Soda

Related: 30 Best Dorm Room Ideas You Will Absolutely Need in College

Technology Essentials

      • Smart Thermostat

I recommend a smart thermostat for your apartment. Why? Because you can adjust the temperature of your apartment to your preference using a smart thermostat. The thermostat will turn on and off at certain times, making it convenient and cost-effective!

      • Coffee Maker

      • Air Purifier

      • Smoke Detector

      • Touchless Trash Bins

      • Charging Lamps

      • Amazon Echo

I highly recommend that you purchase Amazon Echo for your first apartment if you haven’t already! It is an intelligent speaker that listens to your commands and answers your questions.

The speaker would help assist you with specific tasks without you having to move an inch. This is extremely useful for just about anyone, especially if you are busy running errands all day.

General Uses

      • Answers phone calls
      • Turns your lights on and off with voice commands
      • Controls the thermostat
      • Searches for things on the internet with voice commands

Check out the Amazon Echo and its capabilities.

Check out other smart Amazon devices!

There you have it! These are the top essentials you should include on your ‘First Apartment Checklist.’

Having a checklist keeps you organized and helps reduce the stress of shopping, which will allow you to enjoy your first apartment. Need any ideas for decorating your apartment?

Check out the 50 best college apartment decor ideas!

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By Tina Dieu

First apartment checklist for college students

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