First Apartment Checklist – A Printable PDF Checklist For Your First Apartment

By: Nick Vinken

Getting your first apartment is a big step in your life. And usually it’s part of an even bigger step: going to college, getting your first job or moving in with your partner. Exciting times! But all that excitement can be a bit overwhelming as well. You’ve got a lot on your mind, a lot of things to take care of and a huge amount of stuff you need to get. Things like furniture, cookware, cutlery, shelves, bedsheets… seems like a lot to remember.

Wouldn’t it be much easier if there was a checklist for all of these things, so you’re sure you aren’t forgetting anything essential? Lucky for you, there is! We created the first apartment checklist: a printable document, listing every essential item you’ll need for your first apartment. Download it now.


Free Downloadable PDF Checklist

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The First Apartment Checklist

NEW: For every checklist item, we’ve added a link to a corresponding product on Amazon. We’ve made sure these products are the best value-for-money products in their categorie. So if you’re in a hurry to get stuff, you can directly order them from the first apartment checklist.

Entrance / front door area

When entering the apartment you at least want to have a doormat to wipe your feet and a place to hang your coat. A room saving solution is to make a coat rack on the door.

Living area

  • Couch / sofa
  • Cushions
  • Chairs
  • Coffee table
  • TV / media unit 

  • Book case / shelf
  • Floor lamp
  • TV
  • Speakers
  • DVD / mediaplayer 

  • Power socket
  • Curtains / blinds
  • Curtain rails
  • Wall Art
  • Ceiling light 

In the living area you’ll want a cosy seating area with a couch and / or comfy chairs. Don’t forget cushions for your couch. Of course the TV is often going to be the centerpiece of the living area (though some people might disagree about that). If you have a TV, you can either attach it to the wall or you can put it on a special cabinet. You can also think of something more creative. A coffee table and/or side table is a must-have as well, this is also an item you can get quite creative with. Depending on the room you have, you might want to have some storage space in there as well. A room saving solution might be to make some shelves on the wall next to / above you’re TV.

Dining Area

  • Dining table
  • Chairs
  • Placemats
  • Tablecloth
  • Pot holders 

Your dining area might be situated in the kitchen or may be part of the living room. A room saving tip on dining tables: get an extendable table like thisone. Most of the time you won’t need a large table, but if you’re having guests over you can quickly extend your table space.

Office / Study area

  • Desk (with drawers)
  • Desk light
  • Book shelf
  • Desk chair
  • Keyboard/ mouse
  • Mouse mat
  • Speakers
  • Printer
  • Computer / laptop
  • Laptop stand
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Markers
  • Paper
  • Post-it notes
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Paperclips
  • Tape
  • Organizers 

Not everyone is going to need a special office or study area, but if you’re a student, you can’t go without one. A desk, some shelving space for your books and a good office chair is basically what you’ll need. If you’re going to spend a lot of time sitting here, do yourself a favor and get a chair with lumbar support, your back will be grateful!

Have a laptop? Consider a laptop stand and an extra mouse and keyboard. It’s better for your neck and overall posture, plus it saves room on your desk. Tight budget? Make your own laptop stand.



  • Fridge / freezer
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Cooktop
  • Water cooker / kettle
  • Toaster
  • Coffee machine


  • Plates
  • Side Plates
  • Bowls
  • Deep plates
  • Serving Bowl
  • Oven / Serving Dish
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Tea Cups

Flatware set:

  • Knives
  • Fork 
  • Spoons
  • Teaspoons 


  • Cook’s knife
  • Paring knife
  • Slicing knife
  • Bread knife
  • Utility knife
  • Cutting board


  • Wine glasses
  • Water glasses
  • Pitcher / carafe
  • Cookware
  • Frying pan
  • Wok
  • Pot with lid
  • Saucepan

Kitchen utensils

  • Serving spoon
  • Ladle
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Tongs
  • Pizza cutter
  • Peeler
  • Scissors
  • Bottle opener
  • Cork screw
  • Colander
  • Measuring cup 

Cleaning / dishes

  • Dishwashing brush
  • Dishwashing tub
  • Dish rags
  • Towels
  • Dish drainer
  • Papertowel holder
  • Viscose cloths
  • Dish soap
  • Garbage can
  • Garbage bags


  • Food containers
  • Jars
  • Spice Rack
  • Bin
  • Oven Mitts
  • Cutlery Tray
  • Lighter 

The kitchen is a difficult category. Depending on your level of cooking expertise, you may find that this part of the checklist is missing some items. However, do keep in mind that this is a checklist for essential items, which we think are all present.

Tiny kitchen? Don’t have enough kitchen cabinets to put all your stuff in? Consider hanging stuff on the walls with racks and hooks, or use any of these kitchen room saving tips


  • Matrass
  • Duvet
  • Duvet covers
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillows
  • Pillow cases
  • Wardrobe / closet
  • Chest of drawers
  • Night table / shelf
  • Night light
  • Chair
  • Under-bed storageboxes 
  • Curtains
  • Curtain rails
  • Alarm clock
  • Clothing hangers
  • Ceiling light 

Ideally the sleeping area is in a separate room, the bedroom. However, in a studio apartment this is not the case. To still separate the sleeping area from the rest of your room, you can use a room divider. Check out some of our creative ideas for room dividers.

Another tip to make maximum use of your bedroom space is to use the space under your bed. Get some under-bed storage boxes to store your duvets, duvet covers, pillow covers, etc.


  • Bath mat
  • Shower curtain
  • Mirror
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Towel holder
  • Towel rail
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Shower shelf / caddy
  • Scale
  • Hair dryer
  • Waste bin
  • Shelfes
  • Soap holder / dispenser
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Shower Gel
  • Tooth paste
  • Tooth brush

The bathroom is a place that can quickly get cluttered up, so thinking of a good system to organize all your hair gels, beauty products, lotions, etc. is important. Tip: get a set of baskets or small containers and divide your products into categories.

If you don’t have a lot of space in your bathroom to put cabinets, consider the same tip as the kitchen: put stuff on the wall. Towel racks, shelves, hooks, they’re all inexpensive ways to store your bathroom supplies.


  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet paper holder
  • Toilet plunger
  • waste bin
  • air refreshner
  • soap
  • towel

Cleaning and Laundry

  • Cleaning gloves
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Toilet Cleaner
  • Window Cleaner
  • Glass Wipes
  • Stepping Stool 
  • Washing machine
  • Laundry basket
  • Drying rack
  • Detergent
  • Iron
  • Ironing Board 

Keep a designated spot for your cleaning and laundry materials. First time renters often don’t do their laundry at home, because they don’t have the space or the budget for a washing machine. However, on the long term, you can save a lot of money (and a lot of time) if you’re able to get your own washing machine. Check out this cost comparison run by the simple dollar.

Tools and other stuff

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Screwdriver set
  • Screws
  • Saw
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Tape-measure
  • Multi-tool 
  • Smoke detector
  • Batteries
  • Power outlet
  • Power extension cords
  • Storage boxes
  • Candles
  • Light bulbs
  • Flash light
  • Memo-bord
  • Magnets
  • Vase 

Having some basic tools in your house always comes in handy if you have to fix something or do a little minor home improvement. Put them in a small toolbox so you can easily reach them.

Then there’s some stuff that really doesn’t fit in any of the area categories, but is really useful to have in your house. The two most important items listed here are the smoke detector and the carbon monoxide detector. Don’t save up on these, as they could save your life!

That’s it for the walkthrough. Hope our first apartment checklist will help you out with finding the right things for your first apartment. Think we forgot to add something? Let us know!