Everything You Actually Need For Your First College Apartment

Everything You Actually Need For Your First College Apartment

One minute you’re hanging posters that you find in the back of TigerBeat Magazine on your childhood bedroom wall –– the next minute you’re living on your own in a college apartment. This big move happens fast, how do you even know where to start?

I get it, moving into your first place off-campus can be super overwhelming. When I started college, I didn’t have a clue of what I needed or how I was going to afford to get all the things I did. I ended up getting a lot of things I didn’t need and needing things I didn’t have (Oops, guess I’ll eat this on my binder because I have no plates!) Although this big shift from living in the security of a tiny dorm room to taking on the world on your own seems scary, I promise you will figure it out along the way.

To help ease your stress, I made note of things I really used in my apartment. While you are wandering the aisles during your back-to-school shopping, this checklist may come in handy.

Furniture

Okay, let’s get started with the big stuff. Did your apartment come furnished? Lucky you. If not, I would get these:

Must-haves:

  • Couch
  • Lounge chair
  • Coffee table 
  • End table
  • Kitchen or dining room table and chairs
  • Bed frame, box spring, and mattress 
  • Bedside table
  • Desk 
  • Desk chair

Nice to have:

  • Rugs
  • Shelves
  • Coffee rack
  • Bar cart (21+)

Bedroom

Here are things you are going to invest in, but have fun decorating. This is your space, make it reflect who you are!

Must-haves:

  • Mattress topper 
  • Comforter or quilt
  • Bedsheets (Having two sets makes your life way easier.)
  • Bed pillows and pillowcases
  • Closet hangers
  • Bedside lamp
  • Desk lamp
  • Storage, storage, storage!

Nice to have:

  • Throw pillows
  • Throw blankets
  • Mirror
  • Rolling caddy
  • Printer
  • Clothes steamer (Easier than an iron and ironing board.)
  • Air diffuser and humidifier
  • Decor galore!

Kitchen

Now let’s move on to all the things you need to attempt to recreate mom’s classic recipe… or make a much-needed cup of noodles after a long day.

Must-haves:

  • Filter water pitcher (I use this every single day!)
  • Eating utensils set
  • Colander
  • Cutting board
  • Cookie sheet
  • Cooking cutlery (spatula, whisk, wooden spoon)
  • Pans (small saucepan, large saucepan, small fryingpan, large frying pan) 
  • Cooking knife (at least one –– you don’t need a whole knife set.)
  • Can opener
  • Oven mitt
  • Microwave-safe bowls 
  • Microwave-safe plates 
  • Glass tupperware (this saved my life!)
  • Drinking cups or glasses
  • Wine glasses (21+)
  • Mugs (you don’t need to bring the whole collection… but what’s the fun in that!) 
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Dish soap and sponges
  • Dishtowels
  • Dish drying rack
  • Papergoods (parchment paper, aluminum wrap, saran wrap)

Nice to have: 

  • Electric teapot
  • Toaster oven
  • Blender

Bathroom

What! I have to start buying my own hand soap? The answer is yes and here is everything else I needed. 

Must-haves:

  • Hand soap
  • Bath towels 
  • Hand towels
  • Bath rug
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower curtain liner
  • Shower rack or shower caddy
  • Toothbrush holder

Nice to have: 

  • Shower mat or shower shoes
  • Bathrobe or towel wrap
  • Storage and baskets

Cleaning Supplies

This is my least favorite part of living on my own! Here are the tools I actually used that made cleaning manageable.

Must-haves:

  • Broom or small vacuum
  • Mop
  • Trash bin and recycling bin
  • Cleaning spray
  • Laundry basket 
  • Laundry detergent
  • Trashbags
  • Paper towels and TP

Nice to have: 

  • Febreeze 
  • Lint roller 
  • Towel rack

Yes, this time is overwhelming. You are entering a new chapter in your life and change can be stressful. However, don’t forget to get excited! Watch some apartment tour vlogs from your favorite YouTubers. Hop on Pinterest and scroll for days looking for inspiration. Visit your local second-hand stores and browse Facebook Marketplace for the best deals. Your space does not need to be perfect, but it is yours. Use this checklist to allow your new apartment to reflect the person you want to be.

Featured photo by @alinnnaaaa