What to Buy for Your First Apartment (Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom & More)

What to Buy for Your First Apartment (Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom & More)

First of all, congratulations! Your first apartment is a pretty cool and adulty thing, and needs to be celebrated. Whether you are moving out on your own for the first time or finally able to afford a place without needing a handful of roommates, getting your first apartment on your own is great.

While it’s all exciting and new, it can also be overwhelming.

Do you have enough things for your new apartment? Are you going to have to buy everything new? Do you need to buy everything right away?

Let’s see what you need to get now and what you can wait to get until you absolutely need to.

For The Bathroom

You don’t need a ton of things, or have to spend a lot to set up your bathroom. You just need essentials to start out. You can go back and get cute and fun decorations and things later.

what to buy for your first apartment - bathroom


Non-negotiable. How are you going to shower? You don’t need a whole lot. Just a couple. Only 2 or 3 would be fine to start. Go ahead and get the nicer ones too. If you’re only get a few, it’s worth the extra few bucks.

Bath mats

Unless you want to line your floor with your other towels, you’ll need some bath mats. Make sure you measure and get one that’s big enough for by your tub and a smaller one for your sink.


Is there anything scarier than going to flush and the water rises and you can’t find the plunger when you’re in someone else’s house? Do not do that to your guests. Don’t do that to yourself. Get a really good quality, heavy duty plunger. Sometimes taco Tuesday turns against you.

Tooth cleaning set up

Basics. You should have everything from where you were before, but if you are moving from your parent’s house you might not have all of it. Tooth paste, toothbrush holder, and a rinse cup if you want that.

Shower curtain and liner

Again, these would be if you were moving from your parent’s house. If you had an apartment with other roommates and had your own bathroom you'd already have these. The important thing is that you get the liner. Don’t forget the liner.

Toilet paper

Seriously, this might sound silly, but you don’t want to think you have everything set up and then go to the bathroom and oops.

Trash can

A smaller, cutesy one will be fine. Just something to toss your cotton balls and tissues in. You won’t want to keep running from room to room to throw something away.

For The Bedroom

Your bedroom is going to be your go to place for relaxing and hanging out. You want a few items to make it your sanctuary. Obviously, you need a bed and furniture, so that’s going to be a given.

what to buy for your first apartment - bedroom

Laundry basket

The plastic ones are fine, but if you want something a bit more grown up, wicker or cloth would be nice.

Night lamp

Okay, so it’s just a lamp, but you’ll use it at night. In case you want to read or don’t want the blinding blue light of your phone to burn your retina out, having a lamp is helpful.

Extra bedding

Just in case. Accidents happen, things happen, spills happen, pets happen, and you don’t want to sleep on the couch.

Closet stuff

Whether that’s extra drawers, baskets, hangers, storage, or whatever to keep your closet organized, get it. If you don’t set your closet up right the first time it’s going to be a mess. An organized closet makes you feel so much more grown up.

For The Kitchen

This is where you might accidentally go overboard or not know what you need versus what you want. Basics first. Fancy stuff later.

what to buy for your first apartment - kitchen


Pots, pans, baking sheet, casserole dish, and a strainer. Just the bare minimum to make pasta, a frozen pizza, and bake some chicken and veggies. A few staples so when you don’t have any more money to spend ordering delivery, you can make a few simple meals.

Don’t forget oven mitts. You don’t want to go to take your first meal out of the oven and have to use a pair of jeans or something random.


A small set is fine. Unless you are planning on having a formal welcoming dinner, you only need a few of each.

Your coffee life line

However you like to get your coffee fix. Pour over, French press, Keurig, or the good old Mr. Coffee. As long as you can make your coffee at home, get it set up.

Measuring bits and bobs

Now, as an Italian, we measure with a pinch of this and a dash of that. But if you like to be a bit more formal with your cooking, a set of measure cups and spoons would be helpful.

Stuff to do dishes

Dish towels for drying, a drying rack, sponges, and soap. Just enough to get your dishes from dirty to clean to put away.

Dishes would be helpful

Speaking of dishes, get some dishes. Bowls, plates, and cups. Again, you don’t have to get super fancy ones. A small set that will get the job done. You can get a really nice set later.

Trash can

One with a lid would be best. Even if you don’t have pets or anything, you don’t want that smell lingering around. It’s best to get a smaller one if you can. You shouldn’t produce too much trash as one person. They make really compact ones that can hide easily in cabinets or in small spaces to keep clutter to a minimum.

Knives and a cutting board

A small cutting board is handy. A set of basic knives is better than nothing. Those charcuterie boards won’t cut themselves.

For Cleaning

There are just a few cleaning supplies you need to keep your place looking nice enough for a friend to drop by.

what to buy for your first apartment - cleaning


Self-explanatory, but necessary. If your place is all hardwood then you may not need one. But most apartments have carpet.

Not sure which one to buy? Take a look at our picks for the best vacuums for apartments.

Cleaning supplies

Glass cleaner, counter spray, bathroom cleaner, shower cleaner, toilet cleaner, duster, mop, and bucket. Extra sponges are always handy. There are most specific cleaners and things, but these basic cleaners will get you through for a bit. At least until you go to clean something and realize you need a certain something.

Well guys, if you get at least what we’ve run down, you should be okay to start your new journey in your new apartment.

Some notable runner-up items would be a door mat, a wine cork/beer bottle opener, paper towel stand, basic tools, and smaller kitchen appliances.

As you go along, an easy thing would be to keep a running list. Have a whiteboard or a notebook out. Every time you go to do something and find you don’t have it, write it down. Then you can get the rest of the stuff you need as you go.

The important thing is not to stress. If you don’t have a can opener, make something else. If you don’t have a kettle, heat your water up in the microwave. If you don’t have a microwave, well, write that one down.

Enjoy living on your own and not having to mow the grass or clean out the gutters while you can.