6 Must-Haves for Your First Apartment

When you move into your first apartment, make a checklist of what your must have essentials.

Moving into your first apartment is a big deal. It’s the first real step to adulthood and independence. No more falling back on your ‘rents or your RA. You are responsible for everything from paying the bills to outfitting your apartment with all the accoutrements that make it home. Check out these 6 must-haves for your first apartment.

empty apartment room
Before you buy anything else, get your apartment essentials.

Invest a good set of dishes, bowls, forks, knives, and spoons. It will last you much longer and provide an extra dash of style to your home.

1. Actual plates and utensils

Your days of paper plates and plastic forks are long gone. As convenient as disposable dishes and utensils are, they’re not exactly good for the environment or good for hot food. If you plan to entertain guests, you won’t be impressing anyone by serving on paper plates. Invest a good set of dishes, bowls, forks, knives, and spoons. It will last you much longer and provide an extra dash of style to your home.

This also means you need to learn to wash your dishes properly. A dishwasher won’t deal with more stubborn food remnants.

2. Iron and ironing board

Wrinkly clothes aren’t doing anyone any favors. Whether you’re attending a friend’s wedding or interviewing for a job, you’ll need a good iron and ironing board. An iron and ironing board won’t cost you much but will give you so much back in return. The iron will keep your clothes looking crisp and steamed, and the ironing board makes a great folding and organizing station for your laundry. If you don’t have the space for a full board, at least consider purchasing an ironing blanket or making one of your own.


Unless you’re a craftsperson or a handyman, you don’t need a whole toolbox filled with a dozen different saws and a woodcarving set. Just a few basic tools can keep you prepared for potential future emergencies. A hammer, screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips), a tape measure, a wrench, and some nails go a long way, so you won’t need to call someone just to unscrew a light bulb, replace a fuse, or hang a picture on the wall.

4. Cleaning supplies

Glass cleaner doesn’t work on everything, nor is it meant to be used on everything. Unless you enjoy living in a pit of filth, it’s worth it to pick up some basic cleaning products. Keep some dish soap, bleach, and wood cleaner on hand along with a broom, mop, bucket, rubber gloves, and plenty of towels. Just because it’s your first apartment doesn’t mean you should turn it into a pigsty. Once a week cleanings should be standard.

5. A plunger

For most clogs, you should not need to call a plumber, and while there are several ways to fix a clogged toilet, nothing beats the old standby. However, most people are actually using the wrong plunger for their toilets. The cup plunger (with the red bit of rubber attached to a stick) is designed for use on flat surfaces, like the bottom of a sink or bathtub. What you need is the flange or ball plunger, which is designed to form a seal on the curved shape of the toilet for maximum unclogging ability.

6. Furniture—duh!

Ok, so this is obvious. Work with what you have and what you can get. A modest display of furniture is fine for your first place! But this is no episode of Friends. Lawn chairs and a foosball table do not make a dining room. Find a good, comfy couch, a coffee table, a dining set or bar stools if you have a bar, and maybe even stressless recliners for sale in local stores. For some great deals and awesome finds, check out thrift stores and yard sales. If you’re lucky, maybe a family member is giving away or selling some furniture for cheap.

With these simple tools, you can live in comfort, splendor, and responsibility in your first apartment. Now pop the bubbly and toast your new space!

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