Regardless of the season, one thing is always certain: people are always moving to NYC. It doesn’t matter if this is your first or fifth time moving and it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, there are some things you should be sure to have before you move into your new apartment. Moving into a new apartment will almost always feel like moving for the first time (unless you move annually, in which case you probably already have an apartment essentials checklist of your own). Signing a lease, writing a few checks and booking your movers is simply not enough  to ensure a stress-free move. In order to move seamless from one home to the next, you’ll need everything listed on our apartment essentials checklist.

What you need to do to avoid headaches when moving in your new apartment

Step 1: Start by creating a move-in plan:

Go over the terms of the lease and check the conditions to remind yourself of the dates and see when your things need to be ready for moving in and when you should do the shopping. Go over:

  • What are the working hours of your apartment building office?
  • When is your move-in date? If your move-in date is Sunday, and the leasing office is closed, ask when can you move in?
  • Ask to get your keys before the move-in day rolls around, especially if your move-in date is on a day when the apartment manager and leasing may be closed.
  • Maintenance policies: who should you call if and when your apartment needs repairs?

Step 2: Assess your belongings that need to be moved in:

Create a list of your possessions that you will need to move & define your budget for this; then review some moving companies and choose one within your budget. Be sure to discuss with the moving companies when they are available, what their price is, how long it usually takes them to complete a move, and make sure it all works for you.

Step 3: Follow the apartment essentials checklist – everything you need for complete comfort

Basically, there are two types of essentials you’ll need: ones that you simply must have and ones that you like or need but you can buy later. It is really important, especially if you are on a tight budget, that you first buy the necessary items.

Apartment essentials checklist:

apartment essentials checklist bedroom

 1. Bedroom essentials: A good night’s sleep is key to productivity, so you’ll need to start here:

  • Mattress
  • Sheets & pillows
  • Blanket & duvet
  • Storage (dresser/armoire)
  • Hangers for closet
  • Lamp

You can buy later: decorative pillows, rugs, extra storage furniture, bedside tables, decorative curtains, large mirrors.

 2. Kitchen essentials: You most-likely have a kitchen in your new home which includes  a refrigerator, stove/oven, and some cabinets. These aren’t really things you can change, so stick to buying the essentials needed for cooking.

  • Pots and pans (2 of each)
  • Dishes (2 plates, 2 bowls)
  • Kettle & mugs
  • Baking pan
  • Utensils (4 forks, 4spoons, 1 spatula, 1 knife)
  • Oven mitts
  • Cutting board
  • Garbage can
  • Sponge and dish soap (unless your apartment comes with a dishwasher)
  • Dish drying rack (unless your apartment comes with a dishwasher)

You can buy later: Different sized pots and pans, serving plates, decorative cups, wine glasses, microwave, coffeemaker, blender, toaster, knife set.

apartment essentials checklist bathroom

 3. Bathroom essentials:  In the bathroom there are two types of essentials you need: basic toiletries and items that help you keep your bathroom functional, organized and clean. For now, let’s consider the latter:

  • Laundry basket
  • Shower curtain and liner
  • Towels
  • Bathmat
  • Small trash can
  • Toilet brush
  • Plunger

You can buy later: Air fresheners, decorative soap dispensers and containers, rinsing cup, shower speakers, several bathroom mats, additional lighting, extra storage, more towels.

apartment essentials checklist living room

 4. Living room essentials: You can put off buying the bigger furniture items if it’ll hurt your pockets. But, if you have the cash on hand, you should get these necessary furniture pieces:

  • Sofa
  • Coffee table
  • Small dining room table & 2-4 chairs (depending on your preference and whether you are alone, with roommates or with your family)
  • Lighting (such as floor lamps)

You can buy later: Decorative pillows and blankets, work desk, side tables, rugs, artwork, book shelves, vases, house plants, and decorations.

 5. Cleaning essentials: There are certain supplies that you’ll need to have in order to keep your new home tidy and organized:

  • A broom with a dustpan (or a vacuum if you have carpeted floors)
  • A mop & cleaning bucket (or a Swiffer mop)
  • Trash bags
  • Rubber cleaning gloves
  • Cleaning rags (microfiber is best)
  • Multi-use cleaning spray (or glass cleaner, floor cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, sink cleaner, furniture cleaner)

These are just the basic things that you’ll need when you move into your new apartment. Follow our apartment essentials checklist and you’ll certainly have a seamless move into your new place.  And remember, if you already have some of the items listed above, you can go ahead and scratch them off your list; it’ll feel like a little head start!


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