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New Apartment Checklist

New Apartment Checklist

Moving out on your own is one of the most exciting moments of young adulthood. The moments that follow it, however, may not be as precious- for example, that moment when you try putting together a basic meal to the best of your culinary abilities and realize you don’t have a can opener to your name. Or a pot. Or a plate. You see, some of the bare necessities are so trivial they are often taken for granted. You won’t know how badly you need them until they’re not there when you reach for them. This is why Unpakt created this comprehensive moving checklist with all the things you need for a new apartment, organized by room. You don’t need to get everything on this list, and certainly not all at once, but it will give you a good start to life in your new fortress of privacy and independence.

Here’s a printer-friendly version:

First Apartment Moving Checklist

This is a time for creativity- your dining table can substitute for a desk or vice versa until you find something within your budget. Here are the items you will most likely need:



There’s no need to splurge on furniture for your first apartment. Try to get as many of the items you need from friends and family, or buy them at garage sales and discount stores.

This is a time for creativity- your dining table can substitute for a desk or vice versa until you find something within your budget. Here are the items you will most likely need:

  • Bed
  • Dresser
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Desk and chair
  • Couch



Again, you don’t need to buy every item on the list, but it will guide you in the right direction.

First apartment kitchens are notoriously under-equipped. Do you really want to be that guy who eats cereal out of a coffee mug while his only bowl is in the fridge storing leftover re-refried beans? Of course not.

  • Dish soap and sponges
  • Drying rack for dishes
  • Pots and Pans
  • Pot holders / oven mitts
  • Dish towels
  • Chip clips
  • Cutlery
  • Cutlery tray
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cooking utensils- ladle, spatula, whisk etc.
  • Food storage containers
  • Various sizes of zip-top bags
  • Bottle opener and corkscrew
  • Can opener
  • Cutting board
  • Plates and bowls
  • Serving dishes and serving spoons
  • Glasses, cups and coffee mugs
  • Wine glasses
  • Vegetable peeler
  • A high-quality knife set
  • Cookie sheets
  • Mixing bowls
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Toaster or toaster oven
  • Coffeemaker
  • Kettle or hotpot
  • Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, parchment paper, and wax paper
  • Strainer
  • Paper towels
  • Paper towel holder
  • Garbage bags
  • Trash and recycling bins
  • Ice trays
  • Countertop storage container


  • Hand and bath towels
  • Washcloths
  • Shower curtain and liner
  • Bath mats
  • Shower caddy
  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Trash bin
  • Scale
  • Toilet seat
  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet plunger
  • Toilet paper

Living Room

Living Room
  • Bookshelves
  • TV (and stand or fixtures to hang it)
  • Lamps
  • Desk and chair
  • Beanbags, cushions and other creative sitting alternatives for friends and guests


Bed Room
  • Mattress- with or without the pad, protector, and topper
  • Beddings- sheets, pillowcases
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Hangers
  • Curtains
  • Nightstand
  • Night light
  • Alarm clock
  • Full-length mirror
  • Under-bed storage containers
  • Closet storage baskets or boxes
  • Hamper

Cleaning Supplies

Paper Products and Cleaning Supplies
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mop
  • Bucket
  • Garbage can
  • Garbage bags
  • Ladder or step stool
  • Laundry basket
  • Cleaning supplies- disinfectant, vinegar, baking soda, all-purpose cleaner, stain remover, alcohol
  • Spray bottles
  • Feather duster
  • Sponges
  • Rags
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener

Odds and Ends

Odds and Ends
  • Drawer organizers
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Storage solutions
  • First aid kit
  • Extension cords
  • Multi-plugs
  • Light bulbs
  • Matches
  • Pen and paper

Before Moving In

Fumigate a New House
  • Replace the locks
  • Fumigate or exterminate the apartment
  • Clean and disinfect the fridge
  • Attach multi-plugs to power outlets in the areas you will need them before your stuff gets in the way
  • Take measurements of each room to plan for the placement of your belongings
  • Set up utilities in advance
  • Change your address at the USPS website

Upon Moving In

Assemble your bed
  • Document the condition of the property and save copies or send to your landlord
  • Assemble your bed and make it as soon as it arrives- trust us, you’ll be happy once it’s ready for you to crash in after a hard day of hurling boxes around
  • Put boxes away in their designated rooms
  • Introduce yourself to the neighbors you come across
  • Take a walk around and get to know your new neighborhood