21 Things You Need for an Apartment

These handy apartment essentials will help your apartment feel like home.

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Moving can be an overwhelming process. If you are moving into an apartment for the first time, there’s a lot to keep in mind. You’ll want all the necessities to make it feel like home, such as cozy furniture and lease-friendly decor. You’ll also want to consider functional items that make your life easier, such as products that help your home stay clean and organized, improve your security, and make it more comfortable overall.

From decor that won’t put your lease agreement at risk to kitchen essentials and must-have furniture pieces, we’ve researched the things you need (and will want) to buy once you’ve signed your apartment lease. These items will improve your apartment living without upsetting your neighbors and make your new place feel like home without taking up too much space.

1. Kitchen Utensils Set

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Kitchen Utensils Set
Photo: Amazon

If you plan to do a lot of cooking, you’ll want to have all the right supplies in your kitchen. The Home Hero 25-piece Kitchen Utensils Set will cover almost all your basic cooking needs, from a can opener to a grater to spatulas to vegetable peelers. 

Get the Home Hero utensils set at Amazon for $22.99.

2. Adjustable Drawer Dividers Organizers

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Adjustable Drawer Dividers Organizers
Photo: Lowe’s

Staying organized in your apartment will help you make better use of space. Whether it’s for junk, utensils, or bathroom supplies, the Style Selections Bamboo Wood Expandable Drawer Divider will keep your stuff in its proper section. This two-pack can fit almost any drawer size. Made of sturdy bamboo with a built-in spring that keeps items in place, this drawer organizer will help you transform the appearance of your apartment’s bathroom and kitchen drawers. 

Get the Style Selections drawer divider at Lowe’s for $16.98.

3. Recliner Chair 

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Recliner Chair
Photo: Amazon

Having a comfortable chair is of the utmost importance for relaxing in your new apartment. The Jummico Recliner Chair was our pick for the best recliner for small spaces. At only 38.6 inches high by 19.8 inches wide, it won’t take up too much room in your living room. Despite its smaller size, you can still expect a relaxing experience thanks to its breathable linen fabric and added padding for extra cushioning.

Get the Jummico chair at Amazon for $99.99.

4. Household Tool Set

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Household Tool Set
Photo: Lowe’s

While your apartment management will likely offer you help from maintenance when needed, you may want to do some minor repairs on your own. The Kobalt 119-Piece Household Tool Set will give you the necessary tools you’ll want to have on hand. It includes everything from a hammer to a tape measure to pliers. All the tools fit comfortably inside of a clear case that you can easily store away in a drawer.

Get the Kobalt tool set at Lowe’s for $119.

5. Drawer Dresser

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Drawer Dresser
Photo: Wayfair

A dresser is an essential piece of furniture for your apartment’s bedroom. The Grain Wood Furniture Shaker 5-Drawer Dresser was our selection for the best overall dresser. At 49.5 inches high by 34 inches wide, it won’t take up too much room in your bedroom. You can select from four different colors including walnut, cherry, espresso, or natural to best match your room’s aesthetic.

Get the Grain Wood Furniture dresser at Wayfair from $369.59

6. Storage Ottoman

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Storage Ottoman
Photo: Amazon

A storage ottoman, like the Ao Lei Storage Ottoman, is a great way to minimize clutter. It’s attractive and affordable, offering plenty of space to hide away board games, books, blankets, and more. Place it in front of your couch to use it as a footrest, or add a wooden serving tray on top to make it double as a coffee table. 

Get the Ao Lei ottoman at Amazon for $90.97.

7. Cordless Vacuum

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Cordless Vacuum
Photo: Amazon

This Levoit LVAC-200 Cordless Vacuum was one of our top picks tested for apartment dwellers. It’s a lightweight, quiet option that is easy to maneuver between furniture and from room to room. Although it takes up to 5 hours to gain a full charge, its battery life is significant. It even has a pet tool attachment if you need to collect any hair left behind by your best friend.

Get the Levoit vacuum at Amazon for $199.99.

8. Cabinet Door Bumpers

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Cabinet Door Bumpers
Photo: Amazon

One major item for your apartment essentials list is Anicco Cabinet Door Bumpers. If your neighbor happens to be noise sensitive, you’ll make a better impression on them if you buy these bumpers to muffle the sounds of cabinets closing. You’ll receive 200 bumpers in one package, and they are easy to install. Simply stick them to the inside of the cabinet doors or drawers.

Get the Anicco bumpers at Amazon for $9.99.

9. Frosted Shower Curtain 

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Frosted Shower Curtain
Photo: Amazon

You may be surprised to learn that your apartment’s bathroom doesn’t already have a shower curtain in place. That’s why it’s important to add this to your list of first apartment essentials. The AmazerBath Frosted Shower Curtain was our choice for the best overall shower curtain liner. This inexpensive option fits almost all standard shower sizes and comes in various colors. The curtain is designed with weights at the bottom of the curtain to keep it in place. In addition, its smooth surface can help prevent water accumulation on your bathroom floor.

Get the AmazerBath shower curtain at Amazon for $12.99.

10. Underbed Storage Containers

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Underbed Storage Containers
Photo: Amazon

Placing a storage container underneath your bed is a fantastic way to minimize clutter in your apartment. These StorageLab Underbed Storage Containers measure 6 inches high by 33 inches long, giving you enough room to store out-of-season clothing, extra blankets, and more. Reinforced handles are in place on all sides, allowing you to pull this out from under the bed with ease.

Get the StorageLab storage containers at Amazon for $33.85.

11. Lift Top Coffee Table

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Lift Top Coffee Table
Photo: Amazon

The Tangkula Wood Lift Top Coffee Table, our selection for the best overall coffee table, provides extra storage while enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your apartment’s living room. The top table lifts, allowing extra space for magazines, books, and electronics. The open shelves underneath provide additional room for items you want easily accessible.

Get the Tangkula coffee table at Amazon for $129.99.

12. Portable LED Table Lamp

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Portable LED Table Lamp
Photo: Amazon

There are only so many outlets in an apartment. If you want a lamp that you don’t have to plug in, you’ll love the O’Bright Portable LED Table Lamp, our pick for the best cordless lamp. Fully charged, it can illuminate your room for up to 48 hours. You can switch to three brightness levels, with the lowest setting appropriate for use as a night-light. 

Get the O’Bright lamp at Amazon for $27.95.

13. Wall-Mounted Home Office Desk

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Wall-Mounted Home Office Desk
Photo: Amazon

You may not have the space in your apartment bedroom for a full-size desk. That’s why you’ll appreciate the Haotian Wall-Mounted Home Office Desk. It can be mounted to your wall at any height, with the option to become a sitting or standing desk. You can use it for working on your computer or as a vanity.

Get the Haotian desk at Amazon for $93.99.

14. Magnetic Stove Shelf

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Magnetic Stove Shelf
Photo: Amazon

If you plan on cooking a lot, you’ll probably want to grab your most common spices without hunting through a cabinet. The StoveShelf Magnetic Shelf is a helpful addition to your apartment kitchen. It’s made of stainless steel and completely magnetic, so no installation is required. You can line up the ingredients you use the most without clogging up your counter space. The shelf fits most stoves at 20-, 24- or 30-inch lengths.

Get the StoveShelf magnetic shelf at Amazon for $34.99.

15. Folding Security Bar

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Folding Security Bar
Photo: Amazon

Security is of the utmost importance, especially if you live alone in a home or an apartment. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot for that extra sense of safety. The Master Lock Folding Security Bar allows you to block unwanted visitors from entering your front, patio, or sliding glass doors. The bar is adjustable up to 43.5 inches and can be propped up against tile, hardwood, vinyl, or carpet. 

Get the Master Lock security bar at Amazon for $28.99.

16. Low-Light Plant 

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Low-Light Plant
Photo: Arbor Day Foundation

Having a plant can enhance the ambience of any apartment. The ZZ Plant from Arbor Day is ideal if you don’t have much light coming in and need a plant that can thrive otherwise. Plus, it can still do well without requiring a lot of water, making it perfect if you have a busy schedule and can’t commit to tending to a plant with many needs. 

Get the Arbor Day plant at Arbor Day for $59.99.

17. Mattress

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Mattress
Photo: Saatva

Investing in a high-quality mattress can make your apartment feel much more comfortable. Saatva’s Classic Mattress is our favorite mattress overall because of its customizable height levels and firmness options. It also offers free white-glove delivery, so the entire setup can be completed by someone else, reducing your stress levels of moving into a new place.

Get the Saatva mattress from $1,195.

18. Stick Wallpaper

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Stick Wallpaper
Photo: Amazon

Putting up wallpaper can give your apartment color and pizzazz. However, not all wallpaper is suitable for a rented space. The Tempaper and Stick Wallpaper is a great option as it doesn’t require any adhesive and can be removed without leaving residue. The feather flock style is suitable for several styles and comes in six colors.

Get the Tempaper wallpaper at Amazon for $25.99.

19. Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Indoor Outdoor Electric Grill
Photo: Amazon

Barbecuing is a highlight of the warm weather season. However, most apartment complexes restrict you from using gas or charcoal grills. To grill on your balcony, you’ll want an electric option like the George Foreman Indoor/Outdoor Electric Grill. It’s 19.5 inches wide by 11 inches deep, so it will fit even the smallest of patios. However, its 240-square-inch design lends plenty of space to grill, so you can host your summer party with ease.

Get the George Foreman grill at Amazon for $129.99.

20. Deck Rail Planter

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Deck Rail Planter
Photo: The Home Depot

You can easily enhance your apartment balcony by incorporating plants. However, if you have a limited amount of space, you may not want planters taking up too much room. That’s why you’ll love the Bloem Deck Rail Planter. It easily anchors to your railing and can stay more stable with the help of cable ties. Plant anything from herbs to flowers and flex that green thumb. 

Get the Bloem rail planter at The Home Depot for $12.88.

21. Pots and Pans Set

Things You Need for an Apartment Option Pots and Pans Set
Photo: Amazon

Calphalon is one of our recommendations for the best cookware brands. The brand’s 11-Piece Pots and Pans Set will meet almost any need in your new apartment kitchen. You receive a frying pan, three different-size saucepans with lids, and a stockpot with a cover. It’s dishwasher-safe and can endure temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can easily transfer it to the stove if necessary. 

Get the Calphalon pots and pans Set at Amazon for $340.23.


Nicole Pyles Avatar

Nicole Pyles

Contributing Writer

Nicole Pyles is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. She has been freelance writing for many years and has written for the Bob Vila team since 2023. Nicole loves covering topics that help readers make their homes a more comforting, well-organized, or welcoming space.