10 Things You Definitely Need When You Move Into Your First Apartment

10 Things You Definitely Need When You Move Into Your First Apartment
Image: StockPlanets
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

When you move into your first apartment, after you overcome the stress of actually moving, you have these grand ideas about how you’re going to furnish it. You think you’re going to hang expensive art on the walls, buy a funky couch you can happily put a butt groove in, and towels so fluffy you’ll wish they were robes.

However, the reality is that before you buy lush towels and wall art, you should probably buy yourself a few essential items. Aside from your usual mattress, sheets, lounge etc., you need things like kitchen utensil kits, clothes drying racks, a carriable laundry hamper, a tool kit and of course, a bottle opener!

Ahead, we’ve pulled together a bunch of must-have items that you might not have thought about buying but definitely should when you move into your first apartment.

1. Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set, $32.99

It might seem obvious, but the first on our list is an at-home tool kit. They’re perfect for those little DIY jobs that’ll pop up around your new home. Try to buy a kit that has all the essential pieces like a hammer, screwdriver, pliers, Allen keys, measuring tape, a box cutter, and so on. This one from Cartman is super affordable and has all the bits and bobs you need.

You can buy the Cartman 148-Piece Tool Set ($32.99) from Amazon here.

2. Mibote 15 Pcs Silicone Kitchen Utensils Set, $42.99

first apartment

The more you start cooking meals for yourself, the more you start to realise that you need a wide variety of kitchen utensils to see you through. Get yourself a kitchen utensil set like this 15-piece one from Mibote. It includes a slotted turner, solid turner, deep soup ladle, flexible spatula, pasta server, spreader spatula, slotted spatula, bating brush, egg whisk, slotted spoon, solid spoon, kitchen tongs and holder.

You can buy the Mibote 15 Pcs Silicone Kitchen Utensils Set ($42,99) from Amazon here.

3. GreenLife 16pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set, $159.99

first apartment

The same goes for a set of pots and pans. There the more you cook, the more you realise you need a good set. The only tricky part is that a good set can be somewhat expensive, so you have to do some shopping around to find a good bargain. Luckily for you, we’ve gone ahead and done the hard work for you. This 16-piece ceramic non-stick cookware set from GreenLife is pretty good value for money. It comes with a 10cm mini frypan, 18cm and 24cm open fry pans, 15cm and 18cm saucepans with lids, 22cm stockpot with lid, 24cm saute pan with lid, 18cm stainless steel steamer, and four kitchen utensils, for just $219.

You can buy the GreenLife 16pc Ceramic Non-Stick Cookware Set ($159.99) from Amazon here.

4. Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block Set, $116.36

Every kitchen needs a decent knife set that comes with multiple knives of all different sizes and edges. This 15-piece set from Cuisinart includes an 8″ Chef Knife, 8″ Slicing Knife, 7″ Santoku Knife, 5.5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife, 3.5″ Bird’s Beak Paring Knife, 8″ Sharpening Steel, All-Purpose Household Shears, and block to hold them all in.

You can buy the Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set ($116.36) from Amazon here.

5. L.T. Williams Clothes Airer

Moving out of the kitchen and into the laundry room, you’re going to want to get yourself an inside clothes drying rack like this one from L.T. Williams. It’s sturdy, comes with 14 meters of drying space and folds up, so you can store it easily.

You can buy the L.T. Williams Clothes Airer ($37.97) from Amazon here.

6. Laundry Basket, $25.43

Depending on where you move, you may or may not have a laundry inside your apartment. In which case, you’re going to want to purchase a laundry hamper that’s easily carried. There are a few types you can go for — you can get ones with drawstring closures, some with sturdy twin handles and some even have wheels. Whichever type suits you best, there are many affordable options on Amazon and eBay.

You can buy this Laundry Basket ($25.43) from eBay here.

7. Ruomeng Full-Length Mirror Tiles, $72.76

Sounds silly, but having a full-length mirror in your apartment is an absolute lifesaver — especially if you can mount it on the back of a door or to a wall. And you can pick them up from places like Amazon for under $100. What a win.

You can buy the Ruomeng Full Length Mirror Tiles ($72.76) from Amazon here.

8. Adoric Manual Can Opener, $16.99

first apartment

I can’t tell you the frustration you feel when you buy a nice bottle of wine only to go and open it at the end of a long, hard day and realise it’s a corked bottle and you don’t own a corkscrew. The same goes for when you’re cooking something delicious for dinner, and you need a can opened only to find yourself without a can opener. I highly recommend investing in both a can and bottle opener for when you move into your first apartment.

You can buy the Adoric Manual Can Openers ($16.99) from Amazon here.

9. Panasonic 32L Inverter Sensor Microwave Oven, $299

If you have no idea where to start in terms of appliances, might we suggest a microwave? (AKA the holy grail kitchen essential, if you ask me).

Not only will it tide you over for dinners in the first few weeks of unpacking chaos, but it’s an absolute staple that’ll last through many years of frozen meals, reheated leftovers and trialling random TikTok mug cake recipes.

You can buy the Panasonic 32L Inverter Sensor Microwave Oven ($299) from Amazon here.

10. Large Under Bed Storage Bags, $24.79

If you’re moving out of your childhood home, you might be bringing a lot of random stuff with you to your new apartment. However, if space doesn’t permit, these easily-tucked-away storage containers can help you stack and store your off-season clothes or the bits n’ bobs you don’t want to be seen in plain sight (ahem, that is, your action figurine collection you got when you were six).

You can buy these Large Under Bed Storage Bags ($24.79) from eBay here.


  • You absolutely DO NOT need a knife set. In fact, pretty much every chef recommends against it. You’ll get much better value for money just buying the specific knives you need. For most people you’ll do pretty much everything with just three knives – that’s a chef’s knife (8″ is a good start), a paring knife (3-4″), and a serrated bread knife.

Log in to comment on this story!