Why You Will Need A Checklist For Your New Apartment



Everything You Need To Know Before You Move In…


Taking your first step out into the world of running your own home is an important milestone but it won’t be without its pitfalls. You can make life a little easier on yourself by taking the time to sit down and using a new apartment checklist that has everything you need to get yourself set up.
It can be surprising to see just how much stuff it takes to start a home, so it is important to stick to the basics at first. You can always add the luxuries later. It is also important that you are prepared for what will happen when you walk through your apartment before you sign your lease.


Here is a new apartment checklist with all the basics that you need to start your new adventure. We’ll also help you to find the best places to buy the things that you need and tell you the important questions that you will need to ask when doing your apartment walk through with the building manager, rental agent, or landlord.


New apartment checklist – kitchen

The kitchen really is the heart of any home and if you want to be able to eat from it once you’re in your apartment there are quite a few basics that you will need. You can add extra appliances and tools as you see fit later.

  • Dishes – two plates and two bowls should do to start off with
  • Flatware – you will need spoons, knives, and forks
  • Pots and pans – a frying pan, a large pot, and a small pot
  • Cooking knives – you only really need three knives to start – a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Can opener
  • Drinking glasses
  • A mug
  • A baking sheet
  • An oven dish
  • Oven mitts
  • Dishtowels
  • Sponges
  • A dish drying rack
  • A coffee maker/French press
  • A microwave
  • Plastic food containers
  • Dish soap
  • A garbage bin

New apartment checklist – bedroom

You can make your bedroom your own with accessories and design pieces later but what you really need from your bedroom, to begin with, is a comfortable area that is going to help you get to sleep.
  • Comfortable mattress
  • Bed sheets – one set can be enough as long as you are able to wash and dry them quickly. Otherwise getting two can save some hassle.
  • Two comfortable pillows
  • Pillowcases – again, one or two sets depending on how you can wash and dry them.
  • A comforter or a duvet
  • A duvet cover (if needed)
  • A nightstand
  • A lamp
  • Clothes hangers
  • Curtains
  • A trash can
  • A laundry hamper
  • A dresser and other storage solutions (e.g., under bed boxes)

New apartment checklist – bathroom

You will be spending a lot of time in your bathroom and stocking it with everything you need won’t just make you feel better, but it is also important for your personal hygiene.
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet brush
  • Plunger
  • Trashcan
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Towels – two big and two small
  • A shower curtain (if needed)
  • Hand soap
  • Air freshener
  • Shampoo and shower gel/soap
  • Razors (if needed)
  • Sanitary products (if needed)
  • Bathmat
  • Washcloth


New apartment checklist – furniture

You don’t always need to get lots of furniture because some apartments come already furnished. If you do need to get furniture, however, it can make the cost of moving in a lot higher. So, we have split this section into furniture you will need right away and furniture that you can pick up later.

Furniture you will need right away

  • Couch
  • Bed frame
  • Nightstand

Furniture you can pick up later

  • Dining table and chairs
  • Desk and chair
  • Coffee table
  • Floor lamp


New apartment checklist – cleaning supplies

Cleaning Supplies For An Apartment

It can be amazing how quickly an apartment can get dirty even when you feel like you have barely been there. Getting the right cleaning supplies can help you to keep on top of the mess and keep your apartment livable and presentable.
  • Bucket
  • Mop (if needed for hard floors)
  • Paper towels
  • Rags
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Antibacterial spray
  • Bathroom cleaner spray
  • Wood cleaner spray (if needed)
  • Vacuum (a handheld one can do at first)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Rubber gloves
  • Trash bags (big and small)
  • Sponges
  • Duster


New apartment checklist – general supplies

Common tools found in an apartment

There are a few things that every home needs but you don’t realize you need them until the day you don’t have any. These are items that will be kept in a drawer the majority of the time but will be absolutely essential when particular circumstances happen.
  • First aid kit – learn what’s in it and how to use it so that you can be ready in case of an emergency.
  • A fire extinguisher – again, make sure that you learn how to use it as soon as you pick it up so that you will be ready to go if the worst happens.
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Candles and matches
  • Screwdriver and hammer
  • Batteries – of various sizes
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Sellotape
  • Superglue


New apartment checklist – food supplies

A shopping basket full of fresh colorful vegetables

When you first enter your apartment, your cupboards are going to be bare. Stocking a kitchen from scratch can be a time-consuming and expensive process, so it’s a good idea to get started with the basic essentials. You can add more items when you want them later.



  • Breakfast cereal/oatmeal
  • Canned fruit and veg
  • Canned beans (having a variety of bean types can be useful)
  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)
  • Jarred sauces (e.g., pasta sauce)
  • Stock
  • Tea and/or coffee
  • Dried fruit
  • Canned tuna
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Honey (or honey alternative)
  • Bread
  • Dried pasta
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Grains (e.g., lentils, quinoa)
  • Snacks (e.g., crackers, popcorn, nuts, seeds)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar (white, brown)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cooking oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Spices – it is a good idea to buy as you go for each recipe to save costs. Some common spices are basil, oregano, coriander, and cumin.
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressing



  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Milk (or milk alternative)
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit and veg – aim for a rainbow of colors to make sure that you get all the nutrients you need
  • Butter/margarine
  • Luncheon meat
  • Fish



  • Fruit and veg
  • Meat and seafood
  • Pizza
  • Burger patties
  • Potatoes


New apartment checklist – the best places to buy furniture and home goods

When you first rent your apartment, you are likely going to be leaning towards reducing your costs as much as possible. Starting a brand-new home can get very expensive very quickly. But there are so many options for places to buy furniture and home goods that are good quality and won’t break the bank.

Brand new items


Shopping online is often the easiest and quickest way of getting the things you need. Plus, it makes it really easy to shop around to find the best items at the best prices.
  • Overstock – they have a huge range of home goods and furniture at low prices. And they have free shipping on absolutely everything.
  • The Home Depot – they don’t just sell home improvement items. You can also pick up a range of home goods at affordable prices.
  • Dot and Bo – they sell modern style home decor and furniture, and it is all up to 60% off.
  • Wayfair – they have furniture to suit all styles and budgets and their sales are definitely worth keeping your eye out for.
  • Amazon – there is a huge range of furniture and home goods on Amazon and if you have Prime, you can often get free delivery as well.


Sometimes you just want to browse around a store and see what takes your fancy. There are plenty of home decor and furniture brick and mortar stores where you can get a great deal on some good quality pieces.
  • Target – this is truly a one-stop shop for all your home needs, and the prices are reasonable.
  • Walmart – you can find some great deals at Walmart on home goods and furniture.
  • T.J. Maxx – they sell designer goods at a discount so you can pick up some great quality pieces at a fraction of their original price.
  • IKEA – quality affordable furniture is how IKEA made its name, and you can be sure that the style will be simple, modern, and classic.

Second-hand items

To truly get the best price, a good option is to look for second-hand pieces. And it’s the more environmentally conscious choice than buying new. You can often get better quality pieces that would have been very expensive when they were first bought at a steal and, because they are great quality, they will still have plenty of life left in them.
  • Goodwill – there are Goodwill locations all over the USA and they stock just about everything you will need to get set up in your new apartment. And buying at Goodwill means that you are giving back to your local community.
  • eBay – this can be a great choice for second-hand furniture (you can also find brand new on there as well). You will often need to pick up bigger pieces, however, so it’s important to make sure that you are able to transport them.
  • Facebook Marketplace – this is becoming a really popular option for buying furniture and other home goods and you can be sure that the location will be local to you. It is often also a good idea to check out your local community selling pages as people will post items for sale on them. And there are sometimes pages of people giving away items for free.
  • Craigslist – you can find some real bargains on Craigslist and it’s a popular place for people to post their items for sale.

Important questions to ask during your apartment walk through

A walk through is just what it sounds like. You will walk through the apartment with the rental agent, landlord, or building manager before you sign the lease. You will often be given a checklist that notes the condition of each room and any damages that are present before you move in. It is very, very important that you look for any signs of damage during your walk through that aren’t noted on the checklist because if they aren’t documented as being present before you move in, there’s a chance that you could lose your security deposit.
Ask yourself, or the rental agent, some of these questions as you walk through your new potential apartment:


Kitchen walk through

  • Do all the appliances work? Are they clean inside and out?
  • Is the temperature of the fridge and the freezer, correct? Check that there isn’t any ice buildup in the freezer.
  • Does the sink drain? Does the garbage disposal work?
  • Are there any signs of mold underneath the sink?
  • Do all the cabinets and drawers open?

Bathroom walk through

  • Does the shower work? Is the water pressure, ok?
  • Are there any leaks?
  • Does the sink drain?
  • Does the toilet flush properly?
  • Are there any cracked or damaged tiles?


General walk through

  • Do all the doors and windows open and close properly?
  • Are the carpets clean and free from stains?
  • Are the walls discolored anywhere? Are there signs of mold or condensation?
  • Do all of the electrical outlets work? You can use your phone charger to check.


Security walk through

  • Do the locks work on both the windows and the doors?
  • Are there smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Are these in working order?
  • If there is a security system, is this working as it should?
If you have noticed anything that you think could be a problem during your walk through, it is important to bring it to the attention of the rental agent. If you find any signs of damage, make sure that you take photographs as proof.

The bottom line

It is easy to become overwhelmed with everything that you will need to do in preparation for moving into an apartment for the first time. Using a new apartment checklist can help you to stay on top of your organization so that moving will be a breeze and making sure that you are prepared for your walk through will keep you protected throughout your lease.