Are you excited to finally move out of your parents’ and into your own new living space? Moving into your first apartment is nothing short of surreal. The opportunity to design every room from the ground up gives you a sense of freedom and pride that’s hard to duplicate. 

As with any relocation, planning and organizing are vital to keeping the process smooth. Otherwise, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the chaos. 

We want to help, so we wrote a whole checklist for moving into your first apartment. With this, your upcoming relocation will feel less of a burden and more like a fun adventure.


This is one main place you’ll spend your time after a busy day at work or school. Your bedroom should make you feel safe and cozy. So what are the bedroom essentials you should try to get right away?

Let’s start with sleep. As you know, getting proper sleep is critical to your mental and physical well-being. The first few nights you spend in your new home will be a little uncomfortable — this is natural since it’s a new space and you’re without the necessary bedroom furniture. 

checklist for moving into an apartment

This is why one of the most important things to get first for your bedroom is a mattress. If there’s anything you should splurge on, it should be this.

A good quality mattress will keep your back and neck pain-free. The bed frame and a headboard can come later. 

So, go ahead and buy a mattress, so you have something comfortable to sleep on. Along with that, here are a few other bedroom essentials to get right away:

  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Lamps
  • Nightstand 
  • Blankets
  • Hangers
  • Dresser
  • Trashcan
  • Hamper
  • Curtains
  • Mirror

Things to get later:

  • Rugs
  • Throw pillows
  • Bed frames

Living room

A living room is the heart of your apartment. This is the space you and your guests see when they first walk into your apartment. It’s where you will curl up to read a book, watch a movie, or host game nights with friends. 

checklist for moving into a new apartment

Also, the living room will house most of your big furniture, like the dining table, and such. But you don’t need to get them all right away. Save up and spend as you please — plenty of time for that.  There are just a few things you should consider buying when you move in:

  • Couch
  • A few chairs
  • Coffee table 
  • A basic TV stand 
  • Bookshelf

Things to get later: 

  • Rugs
  • Throws
  • Plants
  • Cushions and covers 
  • Wall decor
  • TV/entertainment unit
  • Dining table
  • End tables 
  • Lamps
  • Beanbags

Bathroom essentials

Your bathroom is where you go to get fresh first thing in the morning and where you come to relax at the end of the day. 

checklist for moving into first apartment

Soaking in the tub or taking a hot shower can’t feel good if you’re out of towels. The essential list of bathroom necessities may vary from person to person, but here are a few must’ve everyone needs: 

  • Bath and hand towels (at least two)
  • Shower curtain 
  • Anti-slip bath mat
  • Toilet paper holder
  • Plunger
  • Tissues
  • Hand soap
  • A mirror
  • Mini trash can 
  • Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, soap, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, etc

Things to get later: 

  • Toothbrush holder
  • Storage bins 
  • Over the door towel hook (if needed)

Cleaning supplies

Are you planning to deep-clean your new apartment, or maybe you want to outfit your cleaning cabinet with all the supplies that can tackle any mess you make?

checklist for moving into your first apartment

Whatever your reason, having a few cleaning products in handy will ensure your living space stays hygienic and pristine. 

  • Broom, dustpan, and mop
  • Dishwashing detergent
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stain remover
  • Garbage bags
  • A good sponge
  • A bucket
  • Toilet brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Mop

Things to get later: 

  • Fancy vacuum cleaner
  • Carpet cleaner
  • Stainless Steel Cleaner
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Wood cleaner
  • Furniture polish


Furniture is an expensive necessity. They give life to a new apartment and bring the rooms together with functionality and aesthetic elements. You don’t have to splurge on a shiny new sofa set right when you move in. 

Most of the big pieces of furniture can be bought at a later date once you have more money saved up. It’s best to slowly buy pieces here than to purchase more than you can afford. Here are some furniture pieces that you need sooner than the rest. 

  • Couch: a sleeper sofa is a great choice since it doubled down as a bed in case you have guests staying over
  • Small dining room table with chairs
  • Coffee table
  • TV shelf unit (if you own a TV or plan to)
  • A lamp

Things to get later:

  • Bedroom storage furniture (dresser) 
  • Desk and a chair
  • A fancy TV console and sound system
  • Accent chairs or recliners 
  • Plants
  • Rugs
  • Wall art
  • Curtains
  • Blankets


Ordering in all the time can take a strain on your bank account. Having basic kitchen supplies will make your life so much easier and cost-effective. Just a few essential items are enough to enable you to create numerous meals.

moving into an apartment for the first time checklist

So, rather than buying all the sleek appliances and gadgets at once, you can stock up on supplies gradually over time. 

  • Pots and pans: Get both in medium and large sizes. It’s best to get a non-stick frying pan, too, if you like cooking eggs and pancakes and don’t want it to stick on the bottom. 
  • Baking sheet pans and dishes: One of each is good. They will come in handy if you want to bake cookies or casseroles. 
  • Knives: A paring knife for finely slicing and mincing garlic and slicing fruits and vegetables; a serrated knife for cutting bread; and a chef’s knife to slice and dice all large vegetables. 
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Grater
  • Cutting board: a plastic and a wooden cutting board
  • Can opener
  • Coffee mug
  • Coffee maker: If you love coffee, buying a basic coffee maker (or even French press) is way less expensive than getting Starbucks every day. You can get a kettle or just use your small pot to boil water if you’re a tea drinker.
  • Toaster
  • Dishtowels
  • Wooden spatulas
  • Plates and bowls: 2 each
  • Flatware: spoons, forks, knives
  • Glasses: 2-4 

Things to get later:

  • Dutch oven 
  • Crockpot
  • Toaster oven
  • Microwave 
  • Food processor
  • Cake pans
  • Waffle maker
  • Panini press
  • Instapot

t in the long run. Here are the essentials to get:


  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nut butter 
  • Vinegar
  • Eggs
  • Coffee and tea
  • Grains (lentils)
  • Oats 
  • Cereal
  • Spices 
  • Ketchup, mustard
  • Dried beans


  • Milk or nut-based milk
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Jelly
  • Cheese
  • Fruits and vegetables 


  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Frozen meals

Things to get later:

  • Seeds (flax, pumpkin, chia seeds)
  • Nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, pistachios)


  • Ethnic spices: Turmeric, cumin, chilli, saffron, etc
  • Herbs: Basil, chives, mint, oregano, cilantro, dill, thyme, sage, rosemary, etc

Things to do before moving in

Before you settle into your new apartment, there are a few things you should do to prepare the space for the movers and yourself. 

  • Deep clean: Once you get the keys, spend some time deep cleaning every surface, cabinets, windows, bathroom fixtures, etc. This will help disinfect the space and give you a spotless slate to make your own later. 
  • Re-key: This is critical for your safety. You can never be sure who has copies of the previous owner’s keys. You can change locks yourself, get a locksmith, or in most cases, your landlord will do it for you. 
  • Fumigate your new space: Pests are common, and if you don’t want to get surprised by spiders and roaches chilling in your walls and pantries, fumigation will get rid of them all for you. This process involves the use of gaseous chemicals to kill all pests inside an apartment. You will have to be away from the house while it gets fumigated, so it’s best to get it done before moving in. 
  • Know the measurements: It’s nice to know the dimensions and design of your living space so you can plan where everything will go. You don’t want to buy a couch that just doesn’t fit or takes too much space if you’re in a small apartment.
  • Set up utilities: You want to get your internet, electricity, and water up and running before moving in. The companies can take a few days (sometimes even weeks) to onboard and service new customers, so it’s best to get these taken care of in advance.

Things to do during the move

We know you’re eager to get all unpacked and settled in for good. But hold up, just a little bit of planning in this stage can help you be way quicker and efficient, 

  • Get your bed assembled: Set it up with a bedsheet and pillow if you only have a mattress. Having this part taken care of ensures that you have a safe and comfortable space to rest your head at the end of a busy day. 
  • Take pics and notes: You want to document the current state of the apartment with both pictures and written notes. Send a copy of this to your landlord and keep the original to yourself. It will come in handy later on when you decide to move out. 
  • Separate the boxes by room: Place each box in the room it belongs. You don’t have to open them all yet. When it comes to unboxing, get to the essentials first. This includes toiletries, basic kitchen utensils, blankets, clothes, etc. You can unpack the rest slowly through the days or weeks. 
  • Say Hi to your neighbors: If you see your neighbor around, go by and introduce yourself. It’s always good to know who you’re living next to. 

Things to do after moving out

These tips are applicable for whether you’re moving out of your parent’s house or from an old apartment to a new one. 

  • Start decluttering: If you know what your new apartment looks like, you will have a good idea of how much stuff you can take. Moving items are hectic and also adds to the transportation cost. If there are things that don’t serve any purpose in your life, then consider donating them. 
  • Sell what you don’t need: You can sell unneeded items on Craigslist, thrift stores, or a garage sale. Doing this, not only are you helping your items find new owners, but you can also use the funds to put towards moving expenses. 
  • Pack strategically: When it comes to packing, it’s best to start with items you don’t use often but want to keep. This way, you won’t be reaching for it before the move. Pack frequently used items like toiletries and dishes last because you will need them till the last day. 
  • Repair: If there are broken light fixtures, stained carpet, etc., get them cleaned and fixed before moving out. Otherwise, the old landlord won’t return your security deposit.
  • Hire movers: Save yourself from weeks of stress and exhaustion by hiring a professional moving team. They can handle everything from packing to transportation and unpacking. All you have to do is give them your new address.

We hope this list helps you move into new apartment smoothly. If you, or anyone you know, needs help moving with local or long distance moves in Boston and throughout the US, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Here is a list of our most popular services:

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