Moving Review- 8 Must Haves for Your First Apartment

Shopping for your first apartment is an exciting but sometimes overwhelming adventure. Your family and friends will usually foist more furniture and rugs on you than you can possibly use, and you can pick up whatever else you need between Goodwill, Craigslist, and IKEA. But furniture is just the beginning. Here's a list of the items you'll need to start your life in a new space.

Paper Goods

Toilet paper is the very first thing to put in your apartment. Buy a case of it, even if you'll be living alone. You will be shocked at how fast those rolls disappear, and the last roll never runs out at a convenient time. Trash bags are the next most important item, followed by paper towels, plastic wrap, and foil. Facial tissue is a bonus item, and not a necessity. 


At a bare minimum, you need plates, bowls, silverware, and drinking glasses. Try to resist the temptation to live off paper plates and plastic sporks; you'll spend more money in the long run, and you'll need your own private landfill. Think about your beverages of choice; aficionados of coffee, tea, wine, and beer usually want specialized cups or glasses. 

Even if you don't cook much, it's a good idea to have at least a skillet and a saucepan. One good chef's knife and a cutting board will take your culinary adventures pretty far. Some big spoons and spatulas will open whole new worlds of cookery for you. If you're serious about cooking, look for a boxed set of pots and pans, a block full of knives, a couple of cutting boards, and an assortment of basic utensils. 

Bathroom Decor

What kinds of things do you need for your bathroom? It depends. Different styles of Los Angeles apartments have very different bath fixtures. Older buildings will often need a shower curtain, while a new condo will probably have sliding shower doors. Older apartments might also lack towel bars and need a free-standing unit or over-the-door rack for towels. A soft, non-stick rug will make a world of difference after your shower if you have tile floors.


Bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, sheets, and pillowcases are essential. If your budget allows, buy at least two sets of sheets so you can have one set on your bed while you're washing the other. Two or three towels per person is enough to get you started. Most people like to have a nice comforter or bedspread, and those usually come with pillow shams and sometimes a dust ruffle. You might want a light blanket for cool evenings, too. 

Clothing Storage

You probably already have hangers and a dresser, but if you have a lot of clothes or shoes, you will want some extra organizers for your closet. A shoe rack, either freestanding or over-the-door, is helpful. So are plastic storage drawers and hanging shelving for your closet. 


Add light bulbs to your list, and try to find some lamps as soon as possible. Overhead lighting casts ugly shadows and will make your space feel industrial and impersonal. At the very least, you'll want a small lamp by your bed and one by your couch. 

Comfort Gear

What do you need to be comfortable in your new space? If your apartment doesn't have ceiling fans, you may need some floor or box fans to keep air circulating. Throws and throw pillows can help you feel cozy when you curl up to watch a movie or read a book. 

Cleaning Supplies

Don't forget to stock up on the things you'll need to keep your place sparkling. Dish detergent, all-purpose spray cleaner, glass cleaner, and laundry detergent are the bare essential products. Tools you'll need include a vacuum (especially if you have rugs or carpet), a broom and dustpan, a mop, and some sponges or microfiber cloths. 

Make sure you have toilet paper, light bulbs, drinking glasses, and cleaning supplies before you spend your first night in your apartment. You can accumulate the rest of these items over the next few weeks. 

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