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First Apartment Essentials: Everything You Need to Outfit Your Pad

Moving into your own place holds a special place in every man’s heart – especially if you’re living alone without roommates.  No more sharing rooms, being mindful of someone else’s needs, or not being able to walk naked into the kitchen for a snack.

So you’ve got your place…but what to put in it?  If you’re like us, when we moved into our own places we remember sitting there and thinking, “Uh…now what?”  Even if you grab something like a studio or a small 1 bedroom place, you still need to figure out how to make it look awesome and inviting for girlfriends or guests and give it your own sense of style.

Check out this quick checklist on what to make sure you have in a new place.  If you see anything we missed, feel free to drop us a line in the comments and we’ll add it in!

Living Room


Keeping it simple in the living room is often the best choice.  All you really need to create an inviting space are the following:

  • Couch
  • Coffee Table
  • TV Stand
  • TV (but ditch your cable subscription)
  • Media Player

You should definitely consider some wall art (hint: that doesn’t mean your old college posters) to add your own personal flavor to the living room, but honestly as long as you’ve got enough seating to entertain, you should be all set here.

You don’t need to go balls out here either – scout the Craigslist free section and you’re practically guaranteed to find someone giving away awesome couches and coffee tables for nothing at all.



If you do a lot of your own cooking (you should), your kitchen is going to be your playground.  It’s where you’ll entertain, impress, and bond with anyone that’s over at your place.  Here are the absolute essentials for your kitchen.


Don’t be tempted to go super cheap here.  Grab enough to have 4-8 people over and get a sturdy set.  You’ll have them for life, so spending extra now will save you more in the long run.  While you’re at it, pic up a silverware tray to stash your new set.


  • 4 coffee cups
  • 6 drinking glasses – buy quality here, the last thing you want are a mismatching set of chipped glasses
  • 2 wine glasses – perfect for relaxing with your girl or a date and some cheap wine
  • Plates – 6 large, 6 small.  Go all white for best table appearance
  • Bowls – 6 big microwave safe bowls

Cooking Essentials

  • 2 quart saucepan
  • 4 quart soup pan
  • Large frying pan
  • Metal spatula
  • Plastic spatula
  • Big plastic spoon
  • Plastic pitcher

Cleaning Supplies

  • Scrubbing brush for the dishes
  • Sponge / scrubber pad
  • Dish soap
  • Dish rack
  • Sink plug
  • Pan rack
  • Trash Can
  • Trash bags

Appliances / Gadgets

  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Utensil Holder
  • Ice cube tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Ziploc bags
  • Glass food storage containers – don’t retain smells or tastes, wash easier
  • Tongs
  • Knife set – Invest in quality here.  Buy it for life.  Should have a set of bigger knives as well as around 6 serrated knives
  • Measuring cups – Grab a Pyrex 2 cup measure as well as the standard cup measures,
  • Mixing bowls
  • Can opener – this is one of those “why don’t I have this” items, so pick one up!
  • Beer & wine bottle opener



Your bathroom is your sanctuary, whether you’re shaving like a man or entertaining guests.  Make sure it’s clean at all times.  Here are the essentials:

Towels / Washing

  • Body towels
  • Hand towels
  • Wash cloths
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bars of soap
  • Soap dish


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss


  • Band-aids
  • Gauss pads
  • Medical tape to wrap Gauss
  • Thermometer
  • Antibacterial cream


  • Deodorant
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Toenail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Razor (give wet shaving a try)
  • Shave soap
  • Aftershave


  • Small trashcan
  • Toilet paper
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower curtain rings
  • Curtain rod
  • Tub plug
  • Toilet brush

 Toilet plunger

If you only buy one thing for your bathroom, please buy a toilet plunger.  It’s been said that people fear public speaking more than they fear death, but I’m pretty sure that clogged toilets are scarier than both of those fears combined.  Buy one and hope you never have to use it.



Finally, the bedroom.  Where the magic happens.  While none of our bedrooms look as badass as the one in the above picture, we can all do our best to design a space that’s inviting, comfortable, and uniquely our own.  That being said, there are some must-haves that make a bedroom complete:

  • Mattress
  • Box-spring
  • Bed-frame
  • 2 pillows
  • 2 pillow cases
  • Bed Skirt
  • 1 sheet
  • 1 comforter (quilt)
  • Pillow protectors
  • Laundry basket
  • Dresser
  • Plastic hangers
  • Small garbage can
  • Bookcase or nightstand
  • Alarm Clock

Random Stuff You Should Buy

All of this stuff seems trivial but it’s these ‘use once every 2 month’ items that can make living in your own place so smooth.  We put together some of the essentials that you’ll need every now and then.

  • Scissors
  • Laundry soap
  • Pens – Buy a quality pack of pens off of Amazon and put them in a place where they don’t disappear into the magical pen and pencil void of the universe (you know what we’re talking about)
  • Scotch tape, duct tape, and electrical tape
  • Box cutter – retractable and metal casing
  • Drain cleaner – Draino is fine here.  Hopefully you never have to use it, but you definitely won’t want to go out and buy it when you actually need it.
  • Scented candles – you can never go wrong with some mildly scented candles.
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • Mop
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum cleaner

Want this in downloadable form?  Grab the PDF here.

About the author

Kevin Espiritu

Cofounder of GreatMate. Lover of sandwiches, music-playing, weird hobbies, and building cool things.

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