Renting Your First Apartment; Buying the Essentials

Renting you first apartment is your first experience of being on our own. You feel all grown up but also overwhelmed. As you walk in you see all kinds of potential for this empty space but where do you start, what do you buy, what do you need? These are the questions that you have to answer before you go shopping.

It is easy to get carried away and blow your hard earned money on nonessential items, so be aware. Start with the items you have to have in order to live. I have put together a list of essentials items to purchase for turning your first apartment into your own comfortable space, plus a checklist you can take with you when shopping.

1. Bed
This is the first thing to purchase. You can go to the thrift stores and find a bed frame but do go to a regular store to buy the mattress and box spring new. You may have to use your bed for eating, watching TV, and reading for a while before you can purchase anything else. Also consider the size of your bedroom and the price of sheets. Bedrooms in apartments are usually on the small size so a twin size will probably work for you. Twin sheets are much cheaper than Queen.

Apartments do not come with shower curtains and shower rings. You can purchase a shower curtain for as little as $3.00 and shower ring $1.00. Shower curtains come in all different colors and textures. This can really help that drab bath.

3.Window Coverings
If your apartment doesn’t have curtains or blinds, purchase these as soon as possible. Curtains help against the sounds of neighbors but blinds are more functional. If you do decide on blinds, don’t forget to measure the windows before you go purchase them. You also might need a drill and screwdriver to install.

4. Plates, Cups, Utensils
If you never want to wash dishes, purchase paper plates, plastic cups and utensils. This can get expensive but eating out can to. It’s cheaper if you purchase permanent plates, cups, utensils, and bowl. You can often find some very cool ones at a thrift market. Just wash them in hot water before using them.

5. Table, Desk
Your first table will probably function as your desk to pay bills, put your computer on and eat. If you can’t afford a table, just get a card table for now. They always come in handy later down the road.

6. Chair
You’ll need a chair to set at your table. You don’t have to purchase anything fancy. If you purchase a card table you can get a folding chair.

7. Lamp
You’ll need a lamp. A good one to look at is, one with a snake neck. You can bend it where you need the light and it is very portable. Plus they are cheap.

8. Dresser
If you have a dresser that great but if you don’t a chest of drawers is an alternative. If your room is small and your short on space you can purchase plastic drawers that you can stack.

9. Couch
All first apartments need a couch or sofa. When your friends visit they need a place to set. Check out garage sales. Lots of times you can get a great used couch no matter what color it is. You can always throw a sheet or blanket over it.

10. Bookshelves
If you have lots of books, don’t keep them in boxes or just setting on the floor. Bugs like the paper. Get bookshelves if you can. Check thrift stores, and displays that store have put out for people to see. Ask, lots of time they will mark them down because of scratches and chips.

11. Trash Cans
Don’t forget to buy at least three trashcans; one for your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom.

Here is a checklist of some items you will need and some you can consider. You can take this with you when you’re shopping. Don’t forget to mark them off as you purchase each time.

CD storage
Coffee Table
Desk Lamp
DVD/VHS storage
Floor Lamp
Magazine Rack
Office chair
TV stand
Wall hooks for hat and coats
Mattress/Box spring
Bed sheets and pillowcases
Mattress pad
Alarm clock
Clothing Hangers
Shower Curtain/Shower Rings
Trash cans
Soap dish
Toilet paper
Shower Caddy

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