A room-by-room guide to apartment essentials

You’ve signed the lease on your first apartment—congratulations! Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ house for the first time, or are transitioning from dorm living, getting your own place is an exciting (and eagerly anticipated) rite of passage. After all, both the thrilling freedoms and the daunting responsibilities of living on your own is what adulting is all about. 

You’ve probably already been thinking about some of the fun items you’ll need to buy (like a cozy reading chair, or the wall art you can’t wait to hang), but don’t forget to take stock of the day-to-day items like towels and toilet paper. If you’re moving in with roommates, check with them to see what they already have for the common spaces. If you’re moving into your own place, you’ll need to stock up on supplies yourself. 

Read on for a list of essentials for every room of your apartment.

Woman holds a clipboard sitting on top of a box with a pile of boxes next to her.

Table of contents

Kitchen Living roomBedroomBathroomMiscellaneous


If you’re new to grocery shopping and cooking for yourself, it’ll be much easier to get into the habit of preparing your own meals if you stock up on a few kitchen essentials. Most apartments will come with standard appliances like a stove, oven, refrigerator, and maybe even a microwave. You may also want a coffee machine or french press, a blender, a toaster, or specialty small appliances like a pressure cooker, air fryer, or electric mixer. 

You’ll also need cookware, dishes (you won’t feel truly at home if you’re eating off of paper plates), and pantry items. Don’t forget a table and chairs where you can sit down, set the table, and enjoy your meals. 

When making your shopping list, imagine what you might eat in a typical week and consider what tools you’ll need to make and serve those meals in addition to these essentials: 

  • Kitchen table and chairs (or barstools, depending on your space)

  • Microwave

  • Toaster

  • Blender

  • Coffee maker

  • Kettle

  • Pots and pans (you can save money by buying a set with a few different sizes)

  • Sheet pans (and a casserole dish, muffin tins, and anything else you might want to stick in the oven)

  • Cooking utensils (spatulas, ladles, spoons, etc.)

  • Oven mitts and potholders

  • Measuring cups

  • Knife set

  • Cutting board

  • Plates and bowls

  • Flatware (these are spoons, forks, knives, and anything else you use to eat)

  • Mugs and glasses

  • Barware 

  • Tupperware (for storing leftovers or taking food to work)

  • Trash can

Living room

In addition to the essential items below, you may want to consider getting a few things to make your living room feel cozy and custom to your taste. This might include lighting (like floor or table lamps), a projector (for movie nights), window dressing (like curtains or blinds), an area rug, wall art, throw blankets, and decorative pillows. 

These extra items can make your living space feel like home, but don’t feel like you need to buy them all at once. You can always add more decor when you have some wiggle room in your personal budget and as you become more accustomed to your space.

  • Couch

  • Other seating or lounge chairs (don’t forget the ottoman)

  • Coffee table

  • Television

  • TV stand


First-apartment bedrooms are often small, so you’ll need to get creative to make sure your bedroom is both a functional space to store your things and a comfortable place to sleep. Invest in organization if you can—think bins for your closet, or a bed with built-in storage. 

  • Mattress 

  • Bedding (pillows, sheets, duvet, and blankets)

  • Bed frame (perhaps with storage)

  • Bedside table

  • Lamp or hanging light

  • Dresser, if there’s room

  • Clothing storage (this might include drawers under your bed or bins for your closet)

  • Laundry hamper

  • Other furniture (bookshelf, desk, or cozy reading chair)

Apartment living room.


The good news about stocking your new bathroom is that you probably won’t have to purchase any furniture unless you need extra storage. Here are some smaller essential items you won’t want to forget. 

  • Towels (bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths)

  • Bath mat

  • Shower curtain and liner

  • Plunger

  • Toiletries (toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap, personal hygiene products)

  • Trash can


Even after furnishing and decorating your kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom, there are still a few miscellaneous items you need to have on hand now. Whether it’s for maintenance, safety, or cleaning, you’ll need the right tools to live on your own. 

  • First aid kit

  • Basic toolkit

  • Cleaning tools

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Carbon monoxide alarm

  • Extension cords

  • Light bulbs

  • Step stool

Bungalow homes are designed for shared living, located in the best neighborhoods, and take care of the details—like furnishing common spaces, scheduling monthly cleanings, and handling payments. Whether you already have roommates or are looking for new ones, there’s a Bungalow with your name on it. Find your Bungalow. 

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Move-in ready homes and a built-in community so you can feel at home, together — wherever you are.

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Move in ready homes and a built-in community so you can feel at home, together — wherever you are.