Decorating Ideas

The First Apartment Essentials You Need for a Healthy, Cozy, Organized Home

Tehrene Firman

Tehrene FirmanFebruary 5, 2020

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Moving into your first apartment is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. It’s a major move that makes you feel independent and shows all your hard work has paid off. Officially having a space that’s entirely yours also means it’s one without rules or judgements about how many TV episodes you can binge-watch in one sitting. Clearly, adulting is going to be awesome. But to set yourself on the right track, you’ll want to pick up a few first apartment essentials before moving day.

Since furnishing your first space can be a little intimidating, we compiled all the items you’ll need to ensure your home is healthy, efficient, and cozy. From stocking the kitchen with the items that will allow you to make nutritious homemade dinners to making sure your bedroom is a relaxing retreat, consider this your first apartment checklist.

These are the first apartment essentials you need, room by room

1. Kitchen

Since you’re just starting out, there are some things you’ll need in order to cook up your favorite meals. You don’t have to go on a spending spree—just stick to the basics first, then add to your collection over time.

T-fal Ceramic Nonstick and Toxic-Free 14-Piece Cookware Set, $78

With this set, you’ll have all the pots and pans (and basic cooking utensils!) you’ll need to cook up your go-to recipes.

Instant Pot Duo Mini 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, $60

The perfect size for an apartment, this compact InstantPot will make your life ridiculously easy. You can use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and more.

Threshold 20-Piece Stainless Steel Silverware Set, $35

When I tell you this silverware set will last you forever, I mean it. It holds up in the dishwasher and won’t rust—something I can’t say about other (and much pricier!) options available.

Simplehuman Dual Compartment Trash Can Recycler, $150

Okay, it might sound crazy to splurge on a trash can. But trust me—this one is worth it. It’s a space- and planet-saver thanks to its convenient dual compartment design. The small side is for garbage, and the bigger side is for recycling.

DII 100% Cotton, Terry Pot Holder Set, $9

Don’t forget your odds and ends on your list of first apartment essentials. Grab some pot holders, kitchen towels, and everything else you need to cook in your new space.

first apartment essentials

Project 62 Stoneware Avesta Dinnerware Set Gray, $20

This gray stoneware dinnerware set will get you started with big plates, small plates, and bowls.

Bayco Glass Storage Containers, $30

Ditch the plastic and buy a set of these glass containers for all your meal prep and leftover storage needs.

2. Living room

Your living room should be a place you can come home and relax after a long day at work. To make sure it eases your mind—not stresses you out!—keep it clean, minimal, and extra cozy.

Zinus Jackie Classic Upholstered Sofa, $370

You don’t have to spend thousands on a cozy couch. This easy-to-assemble sofa is high-quality, has soft and comfy cushions, and comes to your doorstep in one box.

Costa Farms 3-Pack of Air-Purifying Plants and Pots, $29

Kickstart your urban jungle with this three-pack of air-purifying plants. They even come with chic white pots.

first apartment essentials

Loloi II Skye Collection Printed Distressed Vintage Area Rug, $144

This distressed vintage area rug adds a subtle pop of color to any space. It’s also easy to clean, which is always a plus.

Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser, $101

What’s more relaxing than breathing in your favorite essential oils? This hand-crafted ceramic diffuser looks just as great as it works.

Threshold Acacia Wood Magazine Holder Brown, $40

If you don’t have space for a ton of books and a big shelf (#apartmentlife), keep your favorite reading materials organized in this wooden magazine rack. Because everyone knows grabbing a good book is one of the most relaxing ways to decompress at night.

3. Bedroom

Your bedroom should be a relaxing oasis that helps you get all the rest your body needs after a long day. With these must-haves, you’ll surely get those eight hours in.

first apartment essentials

Allswell Mattress, $375

If you want to get quality, restorative sleep every night, never skimp on your mattress. Despite being more affordable than other options on the market, this one has just the right about of firmness with its charcoal and copper gel-infused memory foam.

Buffy Cloud Comforter, $130-$200

Every time you wrap yourself up in this comforter, you’ll feel like you’re sleeping in a cloud. It’s extra fluffy, has recycled fill, is made from soft eucalyptus fabric, and helps keep you cool while you’re sleeping—aka no more waking up sweaty night after night.

first apartment essentials

Casper The Glow Light, $110

This glow light has multi-uses. It’s self-dimming, helping soothe you into bedtime-mode for a deeper sleep. It also wakes you up in the morning (much more gently than an alarm clock, I might add!) as it becomes increasingly brighter over time.

PLX Cooling Bamboo Memory Foam Pillows, $29 for two

You can’t sleep without great pillows. This memory foam option is made from bamboo and polyester, helps keep you cool at night, and makes sure your neck and back stay in proper alignment.

4. Bathroom

Yep, it’s possible to have a healthy bathroom, too. Make sure it’s a space you love by grabbing soft, comfy towels, organizers that keep things nice and neat, and decor that makes you happy.

Wonwo 100% Cotton Bath Towel Set, $34

You can’t have a list of first apartment essentials without a towel set. This one includes everything you need to get started: two bath towels, two hand towels, and two washcloths.

first apartment essentials

STORi Clear Plastic Vanity and Desk Drawer Organizers Set, $15

Keep everything Marie Kondo-level tidy with this set of clear drawer organizers that are perfect for storing your makeup, skincare, and other beauty products.

Rail19 Fluted Glass Nouveau Soap Dispenser, $25

Have you seen a prettier soap dispenser? Instead of buying single-use plastic soap dispensers over and over again, invest in an eco-friendly glass option that you can simply fill up.

Umbra Grey Flex Shower Caddy, $20

This shower caddy is rust-proof and has strong suction cups that make sure it’s not going anywhere, no matter how many beauty products you stack up.

first apartment essentials

AmazonBasics Grey Herringbone Shower Curtain, $13

This shower curtain adds a little style to your bathroom with a subtle herringbone pattern. Plus, you can’t beat the price at just $13.

mDesign Modern Toilet Brush Cleaner and Plunger Set, $22

Trust me: Get a plunger. It not only comes in handy for you, but it saves your guests a whole lot of embarrassment. This one comes with a toilet bowl brush and allows you to store them in a chic, discreet way. (Yep, I just used “chic” and “plunger” in the same sentence.)

Give your workspace a healthy upgrade, too:

These reusable paper towels are the prettiest way to kickstart a zero-waste kitchen. Then check out the “it” plant that’s going to make your place look so rich.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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