Guides, Tips & How-To

The Essential First Apartment Checklist

1-Guest Bedroom - Overall

The ink is dry on your diploma and the graduation confetti has been cleaned up. Next stop: the real world! The novelty of setting up your first place can wear off fast once you find yourself surrounded by a half-assembled bed (at 3AM) or trying to open a can without a can opener.  With the help of our Taskers, we’ve compiled some first apartment essentials and a first apartment checklist below!

From affordable decor to essentials you’ll want to stock up on before you actually need them, read on for everything you need to know about the transition from dorm to adulthood. Before getting into our tips for your first place, check out the first apartment checklist below:


Necessities For Your First Apartment

Remembering what necessities you need for your first apartment is stressful, so write it down! When you move in, walk through each room and note what you need to buy immediately vs. what you’d like to buy. Don’t forget to stock up on staples like toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, and batteries.

Choose your splurges

Decide What You Value Most

Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a couple statement pieces. Before you start decorating, determine what you’ll spend the most time doing at home. You may not be able to sleep in on weekdays anymore, but with sleep becoming even more precious, a comfortable mattress is worth the investment. If you’ll be cooking a lot, get a nice cast iron skillet or mixer. It’s all about what apartment essentials are most important to you.

Buy secondhand

Don’t Hesitate To Buy It Used

Rein in the temptation to let your imagination run wild on Pinterest — there’s no need to buy brand new for everything. Let friends and family know you’re willing to take any unwanted home items off their hands, or get ready to dig into Craigslist listings and yard sales. “Thrift shops are amazing, and usually support a good cause!” suggests Austin Tasker Zachary K.

Decorate in stages

Take Your Time, Find Your Style

A house doesn’t become a home overnight. Creating a space that reflects your personality takes time and budget, so space out projects as you settle in. Start with low-effort, cost-effective (and lease-friendly!) ways to create a cozy atmosphere, like plants, throw pillows, candles, area rugs, and colorful bedding. A gallery wall of personal photos is another inexpensive way to add a personal touch to a room.

We hope our first apartment checklist and tips help make your new home feel like home. Here’s to hoping your first steps in the real world deliberate, graceful and confident.

Adulthood can be daunting, but with the right help, it doesn’t have to be. Keep our checklist handy as you set up your first apartment, and book a Tasker for help with moving, furniture assembly, mounting, and more.


  1. Mats Wolff says

    Thanks for the suggestion of decorating in stages such as starting off with small items like area rugs and plants. My wife and I just moved into our first apartment a few days ago and we are looking to make this place feel it like its ours. We need to look into some companies with quality dining furniture so that our place can be welcome to any visitors.

  2. That’s a good idea to buy some things second hand. I could see how getting a second-hand dinner table, or couch could save you a lot of money. I’ll have to look around for stuff like that if I decide to move to an unfurnished apartment.

  3. I really liked the part of your article that talked about buying secondhand furniture when decorating your first apartment. As someone who doesn’t care much for the authenticity or luxury of my furniture, I could really do fine with buying some from other people to help them out as well. Once I find an apartment listing that suits my tastes, I’ll definitely look around for anyone that is selling off their secondhand pieces of furniture.

    • TaskRabbit says

      There is a lot of great second hand furniture out there! We can’t wait to hear about what you find!

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