What You Need to Buy for Your First Apartment
By Samantha Brazeau Wilson

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to venture out and get your own place – how exciting. Whether you’re fresh out of mom and dad’s, or are starting a new chapter in life, getting your own dwelling is the epitome of adulting.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to filling out your new pad? Here’s is a list of household items you should invest in that will help make the transition smooth and simple.

The Kitchen 

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Useful utensils

Aside from basic forks, knives and spoons; a good cutting knife, wooden spoons, spatula and ladle are kitchen staples you’ll use often. You’ll also want to have a wine opener handy for the nights you really need that glass of pinot.

Small appliances

Invest in a decent microwave to heat up leftovers, and cook an excellent mug brownie for your sweet tooth. You’ll also appreciate a toaster and kettle to help you tackle breakfast in the morning.

Pots and pans

Even if you’re not a master chef, it’s essential to have a few good cooking vessels to get started with. Non-stick pots and pans will save your life when you don’t have time to wash dishes right after cooking. You may also consider investing in a wok – it’s perfect for stir-fries and larger dishes.

Food prep from start to finish

Food prep is much easier when you have the proper tools to do it. Purchase a cutting board to save your countertop from getting chopped up, and a colander to strain pasta and rinse fruit. Also, invest in food storage containers for the tasty leftovers.

Everything else

Some other kitchen items that are handy to have are mixing bowls and measuring cups, as well as cookie sheets and casserole dishes.

The Living Room 

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Consider a futon or pull-out couch

Most first time units consist of a one-bedroom that’s the size of a shoebox. Consider investing in a futon instead of a traditional sofa in order to give friends and family a decent place to crash.

Invest in a desk to stay productive

If you work from home, or have a creative side hustle, having a dedicated workspace is a must. Many creatives convert their dining area into an office space by simply starting with a desk and working up from there. A small desk will help you stay productive with school work, DIY projects and helps separate work from play.

Take time to decorate

Patience is something you will have to master when it comes to decking out your place. Decorating is different for everyone and takes time. From wall art to throw pillows, don’t rush it! Take time to explore your options. Feeling lost? Check out these fabulous Instagram feeds for decor inspiration.

Plan around the space

What do you plan on doing most in this space? If you’re a book lover then it’s a definite must to invest in a good bookcase. If you frequently watch movies or game, then a TV unit is a good start to house all of your entertainment odds and ends.

A good scented candle

Filling the room with your favourite scent while you unpack is the perfect way to make it start to feel like home – not to mention it covers up the smell of fresh paint and cleaning products. It’s also a great way to freshen up your space before your friends (or cute neighbour) come over to visit.

The Bathroom 

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Towels and washcloths

Beach towels are okay, but now is the perfect time to invest in a set of nice towels that actually match. Make sure to have a few face cloths and hand towels as well.

Shower linens

We recommend purchasing a bath mat to save you from slipping while getting out of the tub. A shower curtain is also something you’ll need – preferably with a plastic liner to catch all the water.

Shower caddy or storage

Your shower will often contain shampoo, conditioner, face scrubs, bars of soap, shower gel — there’s a lot going on in there. Since the side of the tub isn’t big enough to hold everything, a small shower shelf or caddy that hangs on the shower head is the perfect hack to keep everything in order.

Plunger and toilet brush

Real talk – the Indian food place down the street is great … until it’s not. You’ve got to be prepared for the unexpected!

The Bedroom

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Bedside table

A simple end table that’s big enough for a catch-all dish, alarm clock, lamp and glass of water is a great way to end and start your day. It’s better than the floor, and helps keep you organized.

Laundry hamper

If you have a washer and dryer in your space, a small basket or laundry bag will work fine. But, if you have to travel down the hall or off-site, a hamper with wheels makes doing laundry a lot easier.

Baskets and extra storage

Baskets are great for extra storage, and they work in every room. They can be used for an endless array of options. Living in a space with limited clothing storage? Try this DIY copper pipe clothing rack. It’s a great backup to hang everyday essentials.

Everything Else

Sarah Pflug/Burst

Toolkit

Whether you purchase an all-in-one kit or build it yourself, at least invest in a hammer, multi-head screwdriver, measuring tape, and small nails or screws – you never know when you’ll want to hang your latest DIY project.

Mop, broom, and vacuum

If you have hardwood or ceramic floors, purchase a microfiber mop. If you have carpet (even if it’s just an area rug) invest in a good vacuum that will pick up pet hair and other dirt. You’ll also find a broom and dustpan handy.

Extension cords and power bars

You never know when you’re going to run out of outlets in your space. A power bar makes it possible to have all your electric needs met without a sweat.

A key hook or catch-all dish

Never lose your keys again by hanging a key hook, or placing a catch-all dish in your entranceway. You can store change, keys and any other odds and ends you may need while running out the door.

Did we miss an item you found helpful when you got your own place? Share them with us by tagging @BeMakeful on social!

Samantha Brazeau Wilson

Samantha is an Ottawa-based writer who runs a crafty side hustle creating jewellery for her nature-inspired brand. When she's not killing the craft show game, she indulges in good food frequently, enjoys cuddling with her pug, and is a sucker for a good Netflix binge. Learn more about Samantha @samanthadolly on Instagram.

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