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8 Things To Buy For Your First Apartment

September 1, 2021 | Moving

Planning any move involves a number of important steps that require you to manage several things simultaneously. But perhaps the most fun thing will be to figure out what to buy for your first apartment. Whether you’re moving out of a dorm or your parents’ house into your own place, this is an amazing opportunity to let your style and personality shine.

Furniture and kitchenware are essential big-ticket things to buy for your first apartment, and you may need to make your purchases over several months. Our list below contains the smaller ticket items you’ll want to buy for your first apartment before moving day. 

These essentials, often easily overlooked, will add artistic touches to your space and make a dramatic difference in your comfort.

1. Noise Machine 

One of the biggest complaints people have about apartment life is noise. There is a good chance that at least one of your neighbors will play loud music, walk too loudly, or have a dog that barks all day.

Save your sanity and buy a white noise machine. These simple inventions will help drown out any unwanted sounds. You can also turn on your white noise machine during the day if you’re working from home or want a peaceful Sunday morning. 

Most white noise machines come with a selection of soothing sounds, like ocean waves, rainforest, and stormy weather making it easy to find the ambient sounds to give your ears a rest and put your mind at ease any time of day or night.

2. Hot Water Kettle 

Hot water kettles are the perfect thing to buy for your first apartment because they come in handy so often. If your stove is slow to heat water to boil pasta, fill up your hot water kettle and add the boiling water to your pot to speed things along. 

A hot water kettle is made to quickly heat water and will save you time in the mornings too. You’ll find it handy for everything from ramen noodles and oatmeal on the go to quickly sterilizing water bottles and dog dishes.

If you like a French press or pour-over coffee, both methods require water just under the boiling point. An electric kettle heats water quicker than you can imagine and much faster than your stovetop. Plus, it’s easier to pour from a kettle spout than a saucepan. 

3. Full Length Mirror

Mirrors are like magic because they visually extend any space to make it seem larger and brighter. When decorating your first apartment, a mirror can pull double duty as art while providing functionality. So, you don’t have to confine a full-length mirror to a bedroom.

If your apartment lacks personality, choose a decorative mirror, whether it has a unique frame or shape, to help elevate your look. A large mirror will also serve as a focal point in your space and give you an enjoyable way to check out your outfit before heading out the door.

Because mirrors are so good at reflecting light, even a small mirror hanging on an opposite wall will help make a dark bedroom or bathroom brighter and cheerier by bringing in more natural light.

4. Area Rug 

There is nothing like the power of area rugs when it comes to interior design tips and tricks. For example, if you have an open-plan loft apartment, a few well-placed area rugs become the foundation for creating well-defined spaces. 

A small rug under a coffee table and sofa will complete your living room—even for smaller or more traditional apartments. You can also employ this designer’s hack in your bedroom and dining room.

Choosing complementary color schemes and patterns for your area rugs is essential to creating a cohesive look. Most designers recommend choosing lighter shades on the color spectrum. But really, it depends on your space and design sensibilities. 

Newer, modern apartment communities frequently have hardwood floors, and if this describes your new apartment, you’re in luck. While there are no rules that you can’t place area rugs on top of carpet, placing them over hardwood floors will give you more options for colors and patterns.

Even so, beige tones and light creams do a great job separating spaces and blending in without competing with your existing decor. Moreover, neutral tones will allow you to change your style without having to purchase new rugs.

5. Extension Cords

Setting up your new apartment is a multi-step process that will take several days and maybe even weeks to get completely settled. Having what you need on hand is more efficient than taking multiple trips to pick up essentials. So be sure to add an extension cord (or two!) to your list of things to buy before you move into your new apartment. 

Extension cords allow you to design your space the way you’d like without having to place a lamp or desk near an electrical outlet. So, if you aren’t lucky enough to have electrical outlets where you need them to arrange your furniture, extension cords will be a lifesaver.

Other utility-type items to check off your list include batteries, flashlights, extra light bulbs, surge protectors, and a compact all-in-one toolset. 

6. Waste Basket

If you already own  a waste basket, be sure it fits in your new kitchen, preferably under the sink or tucked out of the way. When it comes to apartment life, staying organized is the key to keeping you efficient and your home clutter-free. 

Today’s trash cans can be as simple as a plastic bucket or as elaborate as a stainless steel rolling bin with automatic touchless sensors. Some styles have dual openings to place garbage on one side and recycle on the other. Whichever type works best in your apartment, be sure to remember to buy trash bags.

7. Shower Curtain

White bathroom with a gray storage shelf in the foreground.

A shower curtain (or at least a shower liner) is the first thing you’ll want to buy for your apartment if your bathtub doesn’t have a sliding door. After a day of moving boxes, you’ll want to take a shower. In addition, a shower curtain can take center stage in a small apartment bathroom.

Maybe you’re dealing with an old, dingy sliding shower door that is an eyesore. A shower curtain can complement your bathroom’s color scheme while hiding flaws. If your apartment is newer and has a shower unit with a built-in sliding glass door that looks bright and clean, you may want to skip the shower curtain altogether. 

Remember that an opaque shower curtain will make a small bathroom look even smaller because it cuts off the space. If your shower over tub doesn’t have a sliding glass door, tie the shower curtain back to one side when not in use to make the space appear larger. 

Shower curtains are available in a wide range of styles from neutral colors and subtle patterns to bold prints and screen-printed art, so have fun shopping for this often overlooked item that can greatly impact your apartment bathroom design. 

8. Bathroom Storage 

You can have the best intentions to stay organized, but if your bathroom doesn’t have built-in storage, you’ll need to find a storage solution. As it turns out, most apartments have small bathrooms making it essential to think about storage before move-in day. 

If there is space above your toilet, invest in a multi-tiered bathroom storage system to help keep your counter clutter-free. Any bathroom shelf system will come in handy to store extra toilet paper, washcloths, and other bathroom essentials.

If you still need more room in your bathroom, pick up some different-sized woven baskets with lids to hide cotton swabs and makeup brushes to set on the counter.

How Self Storage Helps 

Whether you live in a big city or an outlying suburb, apartment life can be a challenge when it comes to having enough space for your belongings. That’s where self storage comes in handy. Metro’s clean and well-maintained storage facilities are located where you need them and offer a wide selection of styles and prices to meet your needs and budget. Call or reserve your unit online today!