If this is your first time moving into a place of your own (i.e. non-dorm living facility, such as your first apartment), whether you’ll have roommates or not, there are several things you’ll need for your new place. Here is an extensive (but not entirely comprehensive) list of what you need to have. (Please note that you do not need to outright buy everything listed below. Find thrift stores or garage sales for some of these items, or see if your friends and family have items you can take that they don’t want or need anymore.)
No matter what, you’re going to want to have some place to sleep in your new place. You’ll need a bed, meaning you at least need the basics – pillows, a mattress, mattress cover/protector, a sheet set and a bed frame. If you have the funds, consider whether or not you need pillow protectors, a blanket or duvet for warmth, and a mattress pad or mattress topper for more comfort. If even the basics aren’t in your budget yet, or you’re waiting to pick up your bed from the store, or you’re waiting for it to arrive via a truck shipment, at least get a blow-up mattress to sleep on until your bed comes in. You can always keep the blow-up mattress for unexpected guests if you don’t have an extra bed on hand.
You’ll also need a nightstand to store things in and set things on, like books, reading glasses, your cell phone, an alarm clock (P.S. – If you don’t have one, buy one; you need this even if you use your phone, because if your phone dies or gets stolen, you use the alarm clock and still get up on time for work and other engagements), your laptop or other small electronics, and a drink (water, tea, wine – whatever your preference). If you have a lot of things to store, consider getting two nightstands. (And no, they don’t have to match. You can always paint them to match each other later on.)
You also need a place to put your clothing and accessories. The closet is the obvious spot, so you’ll need hangers and possibly some storage totes designed for closet use. But you should also have a least one dresser on hand for your undergarments, socks and whatever basic things you normally wear around your house (t-shirts, boxer shorts, pajamas sets, etc.), and some drawer organizers to keep things organized. If your closet isn’t big enough, or you simply don’t have a closet for some reason, definitely get a second (and maybe even a third) dresser, or consider getting an armoire. Under-bed storage can be used as well.
Get a full-length mirror for dressing purposes and put it in your closet or on your bedroom door.
Also, consider buying a fan or space heater for your bedroom if your place doesn’t have sufficient heating or cooling and a lamp for extra lighting if you need it.
Now that we’ve discussed the bedroom and closet areas, here is what you’ll need for the rest of your living space.
For cleaning purposes in various areas of your home, you’ll need glass cleaner, surface cleaner or disinfectant (wipes are fine), a vacuum, a broom and dust pan, a mop and mop bucket (or just get a steam mop), garbage cans for each room in your home, along with garbage bags (you can use the plastic grocery bags for smaller trash cans if you want to save money), an ironing and ironing board (or a steamer), laundry detergent, fabric softener, a laundry basket, dish soap (which could also double as hand soap in your kitchen and bathroom if necessary), a drying rack for those same dishes, cloths (you can wash these and reuse them instead of buying disinfectant wipes or use up your paper towels) and gloves (if you want to avoid touching germy things).
For your bathroom, you’ll need toilet paper, a toilet brush, a plunger, hand soap (bar or liquid, or both), a soap dish, bath rugs, bath towels and wash cloths, a towel hook or bar, a shower curtain and liner, shower curtain rings, a shower caddy, a toothbrush holder (yes, even if you have an electric toothbrush, you should have a holder to fit extra toothbrushes in it for guests), hair styling tools and necessities (shampoo and conditioner at the least, a blow dryer, hot curler and hair straightener at the most), toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) and a first aid kit along with some over-the-counter medication and any of your own prescription medication. (If you’re ok with weighing yourself, you can also include a bath scale.)
For your kitchen, you’ll need a table, chairs (these don’t have to match, as you can paint or upholster them to match each other later), food storage containers (for microwave and oven purposes, glassware storage is better than plastic-ware), plates, bowls, glass and plastic cups, flatware, coffee mugs, a knife set (especially if you do a lot of cooking), pots, pans, mixing bowls (if you get glass instead of plastic, you can microwave them without an issue), measuring cups and spoons, bakeware (cupcake or muffin pan, cake pan, cookie and baking sheets), cooking and baking utensils (wooden spoons, silicone spatulas, whisks, tongs, ladle), an ice cream scoop, a cutting board, a can opener (can be manual or automatic), a colander or other type of strainer, dish towels, potholders or oven mitts, table cloths, placemats, napkins and paper towels, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, wax and parchment paper (and no, they are not the same thing, and it does matter when you cook or bake), and a fire extinguisher. Depending on your diet and how much food you make at home, you can decide whether or not you need or want larger kitchen appliances like a hand-mixer, a food processor, a blender/smoothie maker, a juicer, a coffee machine, a frother (manual or automatic), an ice cream maker, a bread maker.
For your living room, you’ll need a sofa/couch (at least 2 pieces), an end table, a coffee table, a throw blanket, a bookshelf (doesn’t haven’t to be a large one; just needs enough space to display and store things), an entertainment center (you can use a bookshelf or two as a replacement for this), a few extra chairs for seating, a lamp, a TV and a DVD or Blu-Ray player.
If you have designated office space in your home, you’ll need a desk (preferably with drawers), a chair, and possibly some extra storage space such as a cabinet for any papers or files that don’t fit in your desk.
Some extra items you might need for your home includes a welcome mat, coat rack for your entrance area (especially if you don’t have a coat closet), an internet router/modem, a surge protector for any area where you’ll have multiple electronics in use, extension cords, light bulbs, batteries, a flashlight, a tool set (make sure you have both a flat-head and philips screwdriver, a hammer, nails, screw, measuring tape, and a level), a humidifier (or de-humidifier), smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
While decorations might be the least necessary thing, they can add some personality to your home and help make it feel more like home. This includes picture frames, canvases, and other wall art, throw pillows, rugs, lamps, decorative vanity trays, mirrors, wall clocks, curtains, candles, flowers and plants (can be real or fake, whatever works best for you), and any quirky items or collectors’ items you might own. Even as a renter, you might be able to paint, which can give your home an entirely new look and feel.
As previously stated, this is not a comprehensive list of things you need for your new place. There might be things not listed here that you need to add to your checklist. But there is plenty listed to help get you situated in your new home.