18 Essentials Every New Apartment Needs, According to a Home Shopping Writer

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Courtesy of World Market

I've moved a lot. Over the course of my life, I've lived in six different cities and gone through all types of long-distance moves, including intercity, cross-country, and overseas. So I'm well aware of the tremendous amount of work that goes into moving, how incredibly stressful it can be, all the things you need for a new apartment, and how to make that apartment feel like home.

One often overlooked trick I've developed is to create an apartment move-in checklist, even if your new place isn't your first apartment. The last thing you want after an exhausting move is to realize that you forgot to buy something essential. This happened to me many times; I once went to take a shower only to realize I forgot to buy a shower curtain. Another time, I lived in the dark for one too many evenings because I forgot to buy a lamp to compensate for a lack of overhead lighting.

Related: I've Moved 6 Times in 6 Years—Here Are the Moving Tips You Absolutely Need to Know

There are also a handful of things you need for an apartment that aren't commonly considered necessities but are pretty important for comfortable living. For example, without throw pillows, which usually don't come with couches, you won't have a lot of back support when sitting on your couch. Or, if window treatments don't seem like a top priority, you can apply privacy window film to let the light in while maintaining privacy. I've rounded up a handful of functional, money-saving apartment necessities that provide comfort or additional space for your new place.

Living Room

A Super Soft Throw Blanket

Everyone needs a super soft, warm throw blanket to snuggle up with on the couch. This fleece blanket boasts more than 49,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with customers saying "this blanket should come with a warning label!" and proclaiming that it's "probably the best blanket you can buy." Plus, with 22 color options and five different sizes to choose from, you can find something that blends with your apartment's color palette and is big enough to fit on your bed as well.

Accent Table That Doubles as Storage

Create more space for your stuff with a coffee table or accent table that features hidden storage. While this Urban Outfitters item is technically an ottoman, it could act as a small coffee table or accent table with its sturdy top. And considering its generous dimensions (21 inches diameter and 13.25 inches tall), you'll have plenty of room to fit sheets, pillows, blankets, and more.

A Pouf for Lounging

Putting your legs up on a coffee table can be both uncomfortable and damage the surface over time. This is where a pouf comes in handy. This Wayfair pouf is great because it is 17 inches tall (the height of an average couch), gives you generous leg space (27 length), and comes in three neutral colors.

Stylish Throw Pillows

Unless you order a sofa that includes accent pillows, you'll want at least one for optimal lounging. This velvet throw pillow from Cost Plus World Market comes in 19 colors, has a removable insert, and more than 700 five-star ratings. Most importantly, the texture of this pillow is flat and soft, which is comfortable to lay on as opposed to throw pillows with decorative accents.

A Floor Lamp

If your apartment has inadequate lighting and you don't have the surface space for an additional table lamp, a floor lamp is a fantastic alternative. This arc floor lamp's mid-century modern design and elegant antique brass color make it a cool addition to any space. It's also pretty affordable, with similar styles running upwards of hundreds of dollars.


Over-the-Sink Dish Rack

This clever dish rack can save you plenty of precious kitchen counter space, something apartments often lack. This dish rack can hold up to 70 pounds with its stainless-steel rods and non-slip grips, and comes in three sizes. Plus, you don't have to worry about water dripping onto your countertops, which can create a mess or, worse, damage them.

Over-the-Burner Cutting Board

Stoves take up precious counter space, which can be frustrating if you don't cook much or tend to use only one or two burners. Take back this space by turning it into a food prep station with this over-the-burner cutting board from Amazon. The cutting board is made of durable bamboo and comes in five sizes, so it's able to sit on a variety of burners. Even if you don't cook very much, you can use this cutting board to create additional counter space.

Long-Lasting Cookware

One of the most important things to have in your kitchen is quality cookware. All-Clad offers just that. This non-stick set, which includes a 10.5-inch frying pan and 4-quart pot, are worth the splurge. They are oven-safe up to 500 degrees and compatible with electric, gas, and ceramic cooktops.

Food Storage Containers

Whether you need to store dry or wet ingredients, it's important to have a solid set of food storage containers. Rubbermaid's Brilliance food storage containers are Amazon's Choice, boasting more than 29,000 five-star ratings. The containers, which come in multiple sizes and packs, are dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe. They're also leak-proof thanks to airtight seals and latches that lock the lids in place.


Plush Bath Towels

One of the best forms of self-care involves getting yourself some buttery-soft bath towels. American Soft Linen sells these Turkish cotton bath towels, which come in six different sets, sixteen colors, and currently have 23,300-plus five-star ratings on Amazon. Reviewers say they "couldn't be happier" with these towels, calling them "soft, fluffy, absorbent" and "towel-snob approved."

A Hair Catcher for the Shower

A drain hair catcher can save you hundreds of dollars on costly plumbing repairs. Often, apartment management doesn't cover the cost of a repair if they believe you are at fault for the damage. This includes a shower drain clogged with hair. The TubShroom is cheap, comes in six colors, and unlike other tub drain stoppers, hair collection is concealed. This works so well at catching hair that it was named one of Time's 50 Best Inventions in 2018.

An Electric Tub Scrubber

Cleaning your bathroom can be laborious. Reduce strain on your back and knees with the Tilswall Electric Spin Scrubber. This electric scrubber has four brush attachments and features an adjustable extension handle that stretches up to 3-1/2 feet. And once fully charged, which takes up to four hours, this scrubber can clean continuously for up to three hours.

Bathroom Wall Rack

Like kitchens, apartment bathrooms run small. If you don't have storage under your sink or behind a bathroom mirror, or simply need more space to put things, look to your walls for a storage solution. This Domax bamboo bathroom shelf offers three tiers of storage and adjustable slats that can be configured into five different styles. Happy customers say this rack is "sturdy and easy to assemble" and "perfect for a narrow space."


Privacy Film for Windows

If you live on the first floor, or you have a window that faces another apartment, privacy window film is a great alternative to keeping your blinds or curtains shut 24/7. Viseeko's striped window film gives you privacy without blocking your view of the outside world completely, a common problem with other privacy window films. This film is peel-and-stick, can be reused, and comes in six sizes and two colors.

Under-the-Bed Storage

People often overlook the storage space that exists right under their beds. Onlyeasy's foldable underbed bags are sold in sets of two, feature handles that make for easier accessibility, and are made of a non-woven fabric that allows your stored items to breathe a bit. One satisfied customer who lives in a tiny one-bedroom called these a "space saver," while another said "it freed up more space than we expected. I am thinking about getting another one."

Great Bed Pillows

When was the last time you replaced your pillows? If you don't know, it's time to get new ones. The Beckham Hotel Collection Pillows are the number one best-selling bed pillow on Amazon, featuring more than 114,600 five-star ratings. The pillows are machine-wash safe as well as soft and supportive, featuring a 250-thread count cover and a "bounce-back design" that adjusts to your preferred sleeping position.

A Fuzzy Rug

One of the nicest ways to start your day is by planting your feet on a soft, shaggy rug after waking up. Wayfair's Everly Quinn Eibo Abstract Shag Area Rug is made of a velvet pile and features a cushioned base for maximum comfort. There are five sizes currently available, though the 4 x 6.6, which is currently 60% off, is a true steal for the price.

Outlet Covers with Extension Cords

This product works for any room in your apartment, but in the bedroom it lessens the ugly cord mess created from plugging in necessities such as your phone charger, laptop charger, bedside lamp, electric blanket, humidifier, and more into the one or two available outlets. Plus, the extension cord comes with adhesive cord clips and strips so you can line up any cords neatly along your walls.