Moving into an apartment can be really exciting. Living on your own is a huge step toward grownup-hood. Most people go into apartment life in college, although some wait until after college. I moved into my first apartment with a roommate my junior year of college, and have lived the apartment life ever since.
If you have the option, living in an apartment in college is an awesome decision. It gives you the chance to learn to live on your own before you’re actually on your own after school. There is a learning curve, and for me, it was better to experience that while still in college, rather than after.
Whether you move into your first apartment in college or after, there are some items that are super useful to have on hand. They make life easier in some way, whether it’s cleaning or cooking for organizing.
Here are my 16 top recommended items for your first apartment. These are in addition to the necessary furniture, like a bed and dresser.
A good-quality couch: It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy or high-quality, but find a nice, comfortable couch that will last at least several years. In college and grad school, my furniture was rented, since I knew those weren’t permanent residences. When I moved to Tennessee, I got all my furniture from Rooms to Go. They have tons of options for every possible room, and were super easy to work with!
Solid, sturdy coffee table: These have many uses, from actual coffee table to desk to footrest and everything in between.
Bookshelf/TV stand: Gotta keep all of your books, movies, magazines, TV, what have you somewhere. My TV sits on a small bookshelf I found at Target. It’s only about 3 feet tall, but it holds my TV, cable and Internet boxes and my printer.
Lamp: Floor or table, it doesn’t matter. But get a good lamp (and a timer!) so you don’t have to turn on an overhead light if you don’t want to. I actually prefer lamps to overhead light later at night, when I still need some light but don’t want bright light.
Table and chairs (of some form): My apartment in college didn’t have room for a table set, but my roommate and I did have a few bar stools. My apartment now has a small eating area, just big enough for a table and chairs. It’s nice to have a place to eat breakfast or dinner (other than my coffee table).
Set of pots and pans: Again, doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a good set of pots and pans will go far. If you have a saucepan, a skillet, a deep pot for pasta and a wok-type pan, you should be set for almost anything.
Crock pot: Definitely one of the best investments you can make, especially if you cook a lot. Slow cookers come in a variety of sizes, so you can surely find one that fits your needs. I have a smaller one since I only cook for myself.
Small toaster/convection oven: Sometimes you just really don’t want to make a huge batch of something and mess with the big oven. You can find small, counter-top-size convection ovens at Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond for under $100.Are you moving to an apartment soon? These 16 items will make apartment life a breeze! Click To Tweet
Vacuum cleaner: It just makes cleaning the apartment so much easier. That’s really all there is to it.
Shoe rack: These are easy to find and usually cheap, and make closet organization so much easier. I like having a small shelf to hold my shoes, instead of tossing them across the back of my closet. It’s much neater that way.
Coffee maker: Maybe not super valuable if you aren’t an avid coffee drinker (like myself). But if you are a coffee aficionado, I definitely recommend having some kind of coffee maker. I’ll always vouch for my Keurig K-cup brewer, but there are tons of options out there.
Bar cart: I have limited counter space in my kitchen, so I found a bar cart to use for my coffee supplies and my wine. Coffee maker and K-cups on the top, and mugs and wine on the bottom. It works really well, and it’s great for entertaining (not that I entertain a lot, or at all…but if I ever did, it’d be great).
End table: Place one of these on one end of your couch to hold a lamp, small photo frame, or maybe even a little plant. They’re also great for drinks.
Over-the-toilet shelf: In my current apartment, my bathroom doesn’t have a ton of storage space. I found an over-the-toilet shelf at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and I use it to store extra tissues, toilet paper, and a basket with all of my hair tools. It’s not too obtrusive and holds everything I need it to hold.
Set of Tupperware containers: Definitely a must if you cook a lot and have leftovers! I found a 30-piece set of different-sized containers at my wholesale club for about $20. There are smaller sets available, of course, if you don’t want all those containers and lids.Moving to an apartment is fun & stressful. Get these 16 items to make apartment life easier. Click To Tweet
Wall art: Gotta liven up those walls somehow! I like creating my own wall decorations, but it is nice to buy something, if I find a piece I really like. Most of my wall art is VT or Hokie related. Still looking for some nice local photography for larger spaces.
Apartment life is fun and exciting. Having a space all to yourself for real (or at least more so than a college dorm) can make a huge difference in your daily routines. It also makes you feel like an actual adult. That’s cool, too.
What items would YOU recommend having in your first apartment? What makes life easier for you?