The Minimum Apartment Essentials

Updated: Mar 8

"There is always a sadness about packing. I guess you wonder if where you're going is as good as where you've been. - Richard Proenneke"


Let's face it - the process of moving is stressful, tiring, and always takes up more time than we are willing to offer. Have you ever considered that maybe the process is so daunting because we try and go overboard to have the "ideal living space"? Of course, when moving from one place to another you want to make sure you have all of your belongings, but for the initial move, you really only need the essential apartment necessities.


With so much going on it's easy to forget to pack the everyday instruments. Imagine unpacking boxes late into the night, getting ready for bed, and then realizing your toothbrush and toothpaste are missing. Often times we are already overwhelmed by the move so remembering to pack the bare essentials is not always the first priority in our minds. When you move in, forget about getting everything to look nice or decorations, focus on the basics that help you to live comfortably until you are able to fully settle into your new home


To help with the unpacking and organizing of the essentials we have simplified the process by doing the research for you. Below we will discuss the importance of ensuring you have the minimal yet essential everyday instruments for your apartment move.


Our checklist focuses on each room with a breakdown of the items you need for your first few weeks of living in an apartment. We are here to help you plan and organize so things are less stressful and just a little bit easier!

Let’s start with the bedroom….


Do You Have Your Checklist Ready?


An Infographic of the basic essentials needed on your apartment checklist, from the bedroom, to the kitchen and even the bathroom.
The Minimum Apartment Essentials Infographic

The Bedroom

The primary bedroom necessities include clothing, the bed, sheets, pillows, side tables, and maybe a lamp or two. What you should pack in a separate box or bag are the following items:


  • A pillow

  • Blanket

  • Clothing for a few days including underwear!

This way you won’t have to rummage through boxes just to reach your clothes and essentials you need until you can pack your things into the new closet.

If you are looking at getting new bedroom items always consider the size of the room. However, for the initial move, all you need is a mattress for its essentiality, whereas a whole new bedroom set may be a bit nonessential.

Be sure to check the lighting. Some rooms have very poor lighting which can be taxing on your eyes. If you don’t have a lampstand or small side table lamp, think about getting one for your bedroom. Side tables hold importance as they are everyday storage that most people use frequently.

Image depicts a brown colored room with two lamps sitting on end tables on either side of the bed.
Simplistic Bedroom With Great Lighiting.

The Bathroom

The last thing you need to happen after a day of moving is bathroom essentials that you just can’t find. You want to use the bathroom, but you can’t find the tissue paper. You need to brush your teeth, but your toothbrush and toothpaste are under a heap of goodies! Ensuring you have the basic necessities such as the proper toiletries readily available will make for a more sustainable move.

When you move into your apartment, keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, and tissue paper separate so you can find it quickly and easily. You may also want to bring a bottle of disinfectant along to clean the shower, floors, and toilet before using it.

Other essential items that you will need for the next few weeks include:

  • Towels

  • A new shower curtain and hook

  • Toilet paper

  • Bathroom cleaning agents

If you can think of any other bathroom essentials you’ll need while unpacking, please leave those in the comment section below!



The image above shows basic bathroom toiletries such as toothbrush, toilet paper, Q-tips and etc.
Bathroom Toiletries Are Definitely an Apartment Essential.

Living Room

This is the last room you need to be concerned about when you move. Your living room will probably look like a tornado moved through it for the first week or two but that’s OK. You’ll organize what you need to in time. You should prioritize what you need to make the space practical until you can arrange everything properly.

If you are going to set up your television in the living room, keep all the connecting cables in one place. It will prevent you from losing cables and becoming frustrated because you can’t get your TV to work!

One everyday tool you shouldn’t forget for the living room is a curtain or suitable window treatment. If your new apartment does not have a curtain or blind and you’re on the ground floor, passers-by may be peering in! A window covering for when you first move in can provide privacy while you unpack your belongings.

What you should think about getting for the apartment living room once your ready and settled:

  • New curtains

  • A sofa

  • Table and chairs

  • A rug


The living room is a space you can take your time to decorate as you please. It is best not to rush the process but to consider the ways certain styles and sizes of furniture will work in the apartment. You can also decorate your apartment affordably with ready-to-assemble and multi-use furniture which will make your apartment living more sustainable.

A photo of a the living room with a chair and an end table.
Take a Break! The Living Room Can Wait!

The Kitchen

Ready-made foods are also great for the first few nights after moving in. Essentially Packing a few containers of premade meals will help you focus on organizing and unpacking your belongings.


You will need:

  • Plates

  • Bowls

  • Glasses

  • Dishtowels

  • Cutlery

  • Food storage containers

Be sure to pack in some detergent and disinfectant to give your countertops a wipe down.

Along with the cleaning agents, buy sponges and paper towels. I like to wipe the surface areas before I settle in. It creates freshness and removes any dust on the surfaces.

A photo of a white kitchen with orange accents and silver lighting. Also has a bar with barstools.
Keeping It Simple Will Keep It Easier

Renters Insurance


The next step to successful apartment living is to consider renters’ insurance. While landlords have insurance to protect the property, it does not cover tenant contents. Renters insurance is an affordable way to keep your goods protected against damages, loss, or theft. Renters insurance is a key essential to making sure you are covered for unexpected loss or damage.

From renter’s insurance to the utilities, careful consideration for the expenses in renting an apartment can prevent financial constraints and help you prepare for a year of renting.

Other Types of Essentials

Along with your living, bedroom, and bathroom essentials, a medical kit and some basic tools will help you in case of an emergency.

You should also have emergency maintenance numbers available should you need plumbing or electrical service in the middle of the night.

Ask your landlord for the contact information of the maintenance services for the apartment.

Do not pack your clothing in boxes that are impossible to reach! A few clothing items in a spare bag will allow you to change quickly and comfortably while you organize your goods.


Live Comfortably!

Preparing your checklist will help you breathe easier when you first move in.

Once you get organized, you can decorate each room as you please. If you rush and put pressure on yourself, you’ll end up frustrated and spending an unnecessary amount of extra cash! When first moving you should only worry about your essentials and everyday tools you need regularly.

To make the most of your new apartment, reach out to your neighbors and build a good tenant and landlord relationship.

If you have some moving stories to share with us, please comment below! We love to help our community of renters with personal experiences and valuable tips.

This is an image of a lady laying in the bed on a pillow relaxing.
Choose to Live Comfortably.



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