I was so inspired to write this post because I have a few friends that are getting ready to move to new cities and start the next chapter of their lives. And with moving comes new apartments! For the past five years I have enjoyed decorating my various apartments and I’ve learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way between moving and what is necessary to have and not necessary. This post will go over my apartment history, a few simple things that I did and learned along the way with my apartment needs, my favorite places to shop furniture and decorations, plus I have a first apartment necessity checklist!
So I have moved quite a few times and in each different place that I lived I found that I’ve needed different things. To give a little background and context I want to give you my quick dorm and apartment history and then where I am now.
College Dorm vs. First Apartment
About five years ago I graduated from high school and my first big move was to college. I moved into a very traditional dorm with the “oh so fun” communal showers and everything. I had your basic college dorm necessities (I have some college content coming your way soon). After my freshman year of college I moved to my first off-campus apartment. That was a pretty big move for me because I found at the necessities between a dorm and my first college apartment were quite different. Let me start by saying that I opted in a fully furnished apartment while I was in school. I did not want to spend the money immediately in invest in a bed and couch. So my first apartment came with a bed, couch, dining room set, coffee table, end table, washer/dryer and bedroom desk.
One of the first huge differences between my dorm and my college apartment was that my college apartment I had a full kitchen. And in my first college apartment I also had a full bath, so that was very similar to how I lived back at home in high school but I found when moving into my first apartment that I wanted to upgrade and mature my bathroom necessities and decorations. So I got “towel sets” and the whole shebang! #Adulting
My second year of school is also when I started thinking about where I would want to live post graduation. I wanted to be sure that I was investing in some various furniture pieces that I knew I could take with me after I graduated college into my first apartment, house or whatever God would bless me with. Therefore colors were very important to me when I moved into my first off-campus apartment. I didn’t want to do anything too crazy because I knew that I would want to use them later, so I would never want to buy furniture pieces or decorations that could seem dated or too young. Mature and grown was definitely the vibe that I was going for. I found Pinterest to be extremely fun and helpful as I was trying to figure out my apartment vibe. I have a couple boards that I still use to this day to help me identify furniture and decoration pieces that I would like or need later down the line.
Over my second year of college and my junior year of college I bought some of these additional furniture pieces myself and also asked for various pieces over holidays and birthdays as gifts from my family. Outside of the additional furniture pieces I spent quite a bit on general decoration that I know I could take to my adult apartment.
First Apartment Lesson
So my first college apartment I decided to stock up on all of my kitchen needs, bathroom necessities and started to collect various furniture pieces that I knew that I would want in my future adult apartment. The decoration pieces were great “nice to have” items but weren’t needed to move into a new apartment.
For my junior year I stayed in that same apartment. And in my senior year I moved to a larger off-campus apartment. We moved from a two bedroom apartment to a three bedroom apartment so not that much changed luckily. I spent some time refining some of my decorative pieces and making sure that some of the furniture pieces they had were the ones that I would want to have post graduation. So I sold a few items I bought a few more but ultimately I still had the same additional furniture pieces that I had in my first off-campus apartment.
Now brings me to current day. I was blessed that I had a job as soon as I graduated. However I did move back home for a couple months to save a few dollars before moving into my first adult apartment. I now live in Atlanta and a one bedroom, one bath apartment and from living in apartments previously I did not have that many things to invest in prior to moving in to my current apartment. The big things were the bed and the couch. And man did those hurt my pockets! But after I got those items my apartment, it already looked pretty full which was a great feeling. I had some mini furniture pieces that I was able to bring with me from college that match so well (because they were neutral colors) into my current space. And I wasn’t in drastic need of many kitchen or bathroom things because I already lived in an apartment previously.
But from all the moving to different apartments that were all styled differently and had little nuances that were different I have picked up quite a few things that I think are necessities that everyone needs to have in their first adult apartment. So I’ve had some fun lately sharing with my friends what they should by now for their apartment necessities and what they can wait on later.
You only really need to furnish four different spaces: the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom and the bathroom. And with each of these there are bare necessities that you need in each of these rooms and I do understand that some needs vary based off of the type of apartment or house and just your every day style of living. However when sharing with friends they have never gone wrong with these necessities. I have a check off list of first apartment necessities that I can email you as you go shopping for your first apartment or house. These items are great for your first off-campus apartment or even your first adult apartment. Outside of these necessities there also a large list of things that are nice to have items. A lot of those items to be transparent are decoration items. These are the items that will definitely make your apartment feel extremely homey but you don’t need to have on your first day of moving in.
Must Haves or Apartment Necessities
Must have pieces include items like: a bed, bedding, couch, clothing storage, towels, shower curtains and kitchen cookware. Also something really important to add here is a laundry option. My checklist has all the must have necessities! (But something to note is that I do not consider a desk or dining room set a necessity for you to have immediately after moving in. As long as you have somewhere to sit you don’t need a dining room set right away. I took a couple months before buying a dining room table for my adult apartment. And as nice as a desk is, I personally opted for more closet space when I was in school, so I bought and additional wardrobe and got rid of my desk)
Good Various Pieces
Some of these various furniture pieces were things like: nightstands, TV stands, storage pieces, desk, bookshelves, and dressers.
How to Make it Feel Like Home
General decorations and homey pieces included: decorative comforters, mirrors, faux plants, lamps, picture frames, throw pillow and blankets, wall art and curtains.
My Favorite Home Shopping Place
I loved shopping at Ikea, Homegoods, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. Some people have mixed feeling about Ikea because you have to put the furniture together yourself which can be a lot sometimes and pieces can become really recongizable as “Ikea,” however I still love it. Their furniture has been easy to move and have match very easily from each apartment that I have moved to. Homegoods, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are a must! I live by them. They are great for accent pieces, necessities and decorations. However, you never know what you are going to find in these stores and when, so you would want to always stop by often.
This was quite a lengthy post, but I hope this helped explain some of the different living necessities. And now as you are moving into your first apartment that you find this extremely helpful and tailor my experience to your new living space.
*This post does contain a few affiliate links. However, do not worry, I would never include links of products that I have never used or loved 🙂