July 28, 2021 / by Hignell Rentals Team
Picture this: The moving truck just left. Boxes are piled in the center of every room. You pick one to sit on, look around smiling, and think: “Finally here in my first apartment.” Then your smile slowly fades as you think, “…Now what?”
Now that you’re moved in it’s time to start unpacking. As you put things away, make a list of all the things you don't have but know you'll need. We’ll help you by going through the main rooms of your apartment.
Unpack this room first because it’s where the action is. Think about it. You’ll use the kitchen in your apartment every day because it’s where you’ll make your food. If you like to entertain, then you know that everyone always ends up near the kitchen.
Start by putting away the basics like dishes, cookware, utensils, etc. Since this is your first apartment, you might not even have dishes yet, or notice that you have knives and forks but no spoons. And don’t forget appliances and trash cans! At a bare minimum, your new kitchen needs:
- A set of utensils (ideally a set of 2 or 4)
- Plate, bowl, mug, glass (ideally a set of 2 or 4)
- Dish towel
- Dish soap and sponge
- Trash bag and trash can
- Cooking pan and baking sheet
- Spatula and tongs
Want a full list of all the kitchen items you'll need? Read them here!
Take an inventory of what you need and write those things down. Make a grocery list while you’re at it of at least the staples you like to have, such as milk, bread, cheese, etc. You’ll feel better with a fully-stocked fridge.
The Living Room
Let’s arrange your furniture. Wait, what? You saw in movies that you always sit on milk crates and use boxes as tables in a first apartment? Are you saying that you don’t have any furniture? That’s okay! Draw a basic layout of what you envision the room looking like. Which wall would you like to have the TV on? Will the couch be directly across from it? Would you like a coffee table or end tables? Are you into feng shui?
Once you have a picture of how you’d like the room to look, place any items that you do have around the room, and then schedule a time to visit yard sales, thrift stores and antique shops. You’ll be able to find some great pieces at affordable prices. Don't forget to look online at Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, soap and towels are your basics. Don’t worry about decorating or making it look all fancy yet. Once you have the basics in place, you can begin thinking more along the lines of items that you’ll need for the bathroom. Like cleaning supplies.
You’ll want to invest in some basic cleaning agents for your first apartment that have more than one purpose. An all purpose cleaner, Windex, Ajax, rags, sponges, mop and broom, trash bags, and a plunger are some good basics that you can easily get at the dollar store.
Most apartment complexes have a maintenance team, meaning you don't have to have a giant bag of tools handy at a moments notice. However, whether you are a do-it-yourself kind of person or not, it's a good idea to have some commonly used tools on hand. These might be a hammer and nails, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, Philips head and flat head screwdrivers. You can even grab a mini screwdriver and call it good. Don't forget a bag or box to hold all your tools so they are easy to store.
Then don't forget your other miscellaneous items that can easily fit in your hallway closet like extra linens, decorations, pillows, and any items from home you can't stand to have packed away (like a stuffed animal?) so you brought it with you to your first apartment.
Now that you have your list of items you need for your kitchen and living space, it’s time to go shopping. Don't get carried away, all things decor comes after you have the basics!
Be prepared for your new apartment, download our 13 Things To-Do Immediately After Move-In. You'll read all about unpacking tips, organizing and decor tips, how to get involved, and more!