So you’ve survived the dorms (or your parents’ house) and you’re about to rent your first apartment. Exciting stuff! But moving is a lot of work, and thinking of everything you might need at your new pad might not be the most intuitive thing in the world. Luckily, we’ve simplified the list for you. Sure, you could go quite Spartan. But if you’re going to get a few extra things in each room of your new apartment, the following items are (really, really) nice to have.

Related link: 7 Apartment Hunting Tips to Help You Avoid a Meltdown



  • Dishes
  • Utensils
  • Cookware

You know you need dishes to eat from and utensils to eat with. And you may even already have a pan. But if you really want to enjoy your own kitchen to the best of your abilities, consider adding the following to your shopping list.

The (really, really) nice to haves:

  • All-in-one glass measuring cup

After checking out your budget, you’ve decided that you really can live off of mac-n-cheese and instant ramen for an inordinately long time. There’s just one problem: you have nothing to measure the milk or water with. Having a glass measuring cup is only one extra thing to purchase and will come in handy for tons of quick and easy feasts (like this mash-up of both first-apartment staples — yes, ram n’ cheese exists).

  • Foil

No one wants to cook all the time. Maybe you order pizza once or twice (a week). Or you might get Thai with a few friends. Often, these scenarios mean leftovers. And leftovers are the best. Know what’s not the best? A slice of pizza that tastes like the fridge. But let’s say you wrap that baby in a sheet of foil … boom, tomorrow’s breakfast just got a whole lot more delicious.

Living room


  • Seating

You could get away with simply having a couch or a few comfy chairs. But, as the name of this room suggests, it’s an area where you’re probably going to be doing a lot of your living. So why not make it a bit more welcoming (and utilitarian)?

The (really, really) nice to haves:

  • Rug(s)

There are 2 reasons to add rugs to your shopping list. First, if you have wood floors, rugs can help protect them from damage, potentially helping you hold on to some of that security deposit. Second, even if you have carpet, rugs look nice. And who doesn’t love a cozy living room?

  • Bookshelf

Bookshelves are versatile. They can house books, of course. But they can also store records, speakers, DVDs, lamps, and even that decorative vase (if you’re fancy). In other words, if you have things you don’t want sitting on the floor, you’ll probably enjoy having a bookshelf.

Related link: 8 Things You Don’t Want to Miss While Apartment Hunting



  • Bath towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning supplies

You’ve got everything to keep you and your bathroom clean. Nevertheless, if you want to really impress your guests (and yourself), add these 2 items to the room.

The (really, really) nice to haves:

  • Over-the-door towel hooks

If this is your first apartment, there’s a good chance you have a housemate or 2. And even if there are built-in towel racks (and even if your housemates are your best friends), towel-drying space is one of those things that’s better left unshared. These racks are also perfect for apartments because they don’t require you to make holes in the walls. You simply hang them over the top of the door and your towels can dry in peace.

  • Shower curtain

Obviously, this only goes for showers that don’t have glass doors. For cleanliness reasons, it’s nice to have your own brand-new curtain right when you move in. Plus, it’s another way to personalize the room without altering the bathroom itself.

Related link: 7 Surprising Ways You Might Be Violating Your Apartment’s Lease



  • Mattress
  • Blankets
  • Dresser

The (really, really) nice to haves:

  • Window dressings

If your apartment doesn’t come with blinds or shutters, you’re probably going to want some privacy. And even if you do have blinds, they might still let in a lot of light. Some nice, dark curtains can make sleeping in (after those late-night study sessions) a whole lot easier.

  • White noise

You live in an apartment. That means shared walls any way you look at it. To make sure you can get the sleep you need, an alarm clock that has white noise options, an app, or even just a fan can make all the difference when you and your neighbors are on different sleep schedules.

Don’t forget to protect your stuff

Now that you know what to put in your apartment, make sure it’s protected with renters insurance. Renters insurance helps keep your belongings safe whether they’re on your desk, under your couch, or, in some cases, even in your car’s glove box.

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about Rachael

After studying Literature and Writing in San Diego, Rachael said farewell to her sunny hometown and left for San Francisco to revel in the fog. When she’s not writing Tweets and blogs and all manner of copy for Esurance, Rachael spends her free time hiking, enjoying the sparse sunshine at Ocean Beach, and seeking out the best reading spots in the city.