The Perfect Checklist for Moving Into Your College Apartment

Every college student looks forward to moving from the tiny dorm they shared with their pesky roommates to their first college apartment. Now, you’ll have more room, more freedom, and more privacy.

However, a bigger room or space means more headache over how to decorate the space. This responsibility is often inevitable and doesn’t come cheap, either. And while you may be lucky to get basic furniture like a bed, desk and a chair in your new apartment, you would still need more than those few basics to truly feel at home.

However, just before you hit the road to start shopping at home stores, you should first take a moment to consider and make a list of everything you will need. How about we help you with curating that list? Check out our college apartment essential checklist for great ideas:


Your bedroom is your fortress, your comfort zone, your privacy hub, and your lazy day haven. This is the one part of your college apartment that you get to totally control. This is one space that you don’t have to share with your housemates, so it must be as good as you can make it. Here’s, a few things you’ll need:

Bed Frame and Mattress: You may be lucky to find a college apartment with a bed already in it; however, don’t count on it. If you aren’t going to have these items provided in the apartment, you should have the correct measurement of your bedroom. If you buy a king-sized bed, you don’t want to carry it along only to realize that it won’t fit. Nonetheless, a full-size bed is an excellent option for a college apartment — since they won’t take up too much space and are big enough for those night stretches.

Bedding: Regardless of the décor in your new apartment, buying a bedding of your own is a must (be sure to have the right measurement). Buy 2 sets so you can always have a spare for when one is in the laundry. Again, it’s best to pick a bedding with a neutral color as this will give you more freedom when it comes to choosing pillow covers and duvets.

Mattress Pad: College apartments don’t exactly treat you to luxury or special spring laden mattresses. For the comfort of your back and sleep, buy a mattress pad!

Desk and Chair: Desk and chairs are pretty standard for a college apartment, but don’t count on it. Your desk and chair will be the lifeblood of all your academic studies and tedious assignments, so invest wisely on one that is comfortable and durable.

Lamp: it is better to read under a lamp, rather than the full glare of your room light. This will help you focus better and also keeps you from straining your eyes.

Dry erase board: Well, you aren’t teaching a class, but a board is a good place to stand and visualize things from another perspective. When you get stuck on that calculus problem, write it out on your board and take a deep look at it look from a distance.

Lap desk: Well, on those lazy and drab days when you’ve still got to read for a test, a lap desk can be the motivation that helps you lay in bed and yet study read for that horrible course.

Organizational Tools

While your room in a college apartment is a step up from your tiny dorm, it’s only going to look as spacious and organized as you set it up to be. To take advantage of your extra space, you are going to have to arrange things properly. These few items will rid your room of clutter and help your room look much better:

Hangers: Imagine a well-arranged closet with hanged clothes? That bar in your closet, remember it? Hangers go there.

Shoe rack: Regardless of whether you have one or ten pairs, it’s always great to have a dedicated space for your shoes.

Laundry basket/hamper: Get one of these to save you from turning your bed and closet into a den of dirty and scattered clothes.

Desk trays/organizers: Too many random items laying on your desk can kill your motivation to study and cloud your ability to think.

Adhesive wall hooks: These will let you hang just about anything on your wall, without worrying about nails or screws. They will save you from clutter and a showdown with your landlord at some point.

Storage bins: Go for the ones that can fit into a tight corner in your room, under your bed or inside your closet. This will help you discard things that would otherwise find their way under your bed or desk.

Bookshelf/other shelves: A bookshelf will help you arrange books and class materials nicely, so you don’t have to turn over your room looking for a textbook that you are sure you brought back home. You can also place lovely flower vases and other decorative items on your shelves.

Additional items

These aren’t necessary, but they make for great additions.

Power strips, extension cords, and surge protectors: How else do you charge your phone, headset, wireless speaker and laptop at the same time? Better still, how else can you get the socket closer to your bed? With these!

Nightstands: On some nights, you don’t want to lay in total darkness, but you still don’t want too much light. Well, a nightstand is what you need.

Alarm clock: A dedicated alarm clock will never be on silent mode or not ring because you forgot to charge it. Remember, this is what will wake you up for class the morning after a wild night.

Fan: Your apartment may have a central air conditioning, but what if it goes bad or you still feel hot with it on? Well, a fan can help you make things as cold or breezy as you like.

Area rug: Well, it’s just one of those things that makes the room look good.

Blackout curtains: Who says you can’t create your own night in the middle of a hot afternoon or simulate your own cinema experience on a bright sunny day? With blackout curtains, you can.

Ars and paintings: If you can, go a little extra and adorn your walls with inspiring and beautiful art and paintings — something you would love to wake up to every morning.


Away from personal spaces. You may have one or multiple bathrooms, but they are still bound to be shared by you and other housemates. You would need a few essential items to keep the bathroom looking nice and to also stop your other housemates from encroaching on your stuff.

Shower Caddy: Shower caddies are lovely poles that have springs to help them stay upright. These poles often come with baskets, and you can store a few essentials like soaps, hair cream, shampoo, and so on in them. Ensure that each housemate has one basket on the caddy. No more, no less.

Extra Towel Bars: Don’t leave towels hanging on the door handle. Get more towel bars or door hooks, so everyone has a place to hang their towels after using the bathroom.

Towels: Like beddings, you need two of these — one for when a friend comes over or for when one is in the laundry.

Shower Curtain: Shampoo laden water splashing out from the sides of the bathroom is never a great sight!

Plunger and Toilet Brush: Always buy these items before you ever need them. No brainer!

Bath rug: If you don’t have these, you’ll leave a sad footpath from the bathroom to your room.

Scale: Keep track of how fast you are putting on or shedding weight by having one of these.

Toiletries: Have the basics; trust me, you don’t want to share any of these: toothbrush, toilet paper, toothbrush holder, soap and hair products.


You don’t have to be the sole contributor to the kitchen items. Have a chat with your housemates to decide who’s going to bring what and when. Items you do not buy now, you are definitely going to need soon enough.

Dining Set: Get a big enough dining set, something that can accommodate all the housemates. This will encourage socializing and bonding.

Plates, Bowls, Mugs and Cups: Buy enough pieces in various shapes and colors for everybody in the house. You can all pool resources and buy a set of various sizes.

Silverware and Utensils: Have enough spoons, knives, forks, spatulas, and meal bowls. At least enough for everybody to use in one go.

Pots and Pans: How else are you going to cook, fry, and steam without these? Have enough so you can make several dishes at once if you need to.

Trash Cans: No, plastic bags will only attract rodents and make the house stink. Get a proper trash can and make arrangements to have it emptied frequently.

Coffee machine: Hopefully, you or one of your roommate likes coffee.

Microwave: How else are you going to heat that frozen pizza, the cold burger, or defrost the frozen poultry meal?

Toaster: Toasts can make for decent and straightforward breakfasts, especially when you are running late.

Living Room

This shared space is for inviting over friends, playing games, watching movies, and hosting late-night house parties.

Sofas and chairs: Buy slipcovers to give your sofas a little more style.

Coffee and End Tables: Do you expect your friends to hold their drinks all through their visit?

Lamps: You may only get to use it sparingly in the living room, but they do make the space look cozier and stylish.

Throw Blankets: For visitors or those friends that end up crashing on your sofa.

TV: How else are you going to enjoy movie nights? Preferably one you can hook up with Netflix or your laptop.

Cleaning Supplies

Even if you try not to make a mess, do know that one of your housemates probably will.

Broom and dustpan: These are must-have cleaning items.

Mop: This will help you clean the tiles and floor.

Paper Towels: Have these handy as napkins and for general cleaning.

Disinfectant wipes: This is a must for kitchens. Raw food contains lots of bacteria. Use them to clean your countertops.

Trash bags: It’s much easier to empty and clean your garbage can when you have one of these.

Vacuum: This will make cleaning the rug and other dusty places a breeze.


These items are not your go-to everyday items, but they can make all the difference for times when you need them.

First aid kit: Nothing too expensive or sophisticated. Buy a cheap one in a store near you. You basically need bandages, disinfectants, and other basic supplies. This can make all the difference when you need it.

Fire extinguisher: Well, just in case a small fire starts, this can ensure it stays that way…small!

Smoke/carbon monoxide detector: This is for your landlord to fix and install. Ensure you have one and test that it’s functional.

Basic tool kit: Have a few handy tools like screwdrivers, hammers, nails, screws, and electrical tape. You may need them for a small construction project or to fix something around the house.

Sewing kit: A few threads and needle to help you patch things till further notice.

Ideally, talk it through with your housemates before you make any major purchases. This will ensure you don’t buy or contribute too much or too little. Hopefully, you get to enjoy your new-found college apartment and housemates. If you need extra help moving into or setting up your new college apartment then be sure to contact a professional college moving company to help you get set up and settled in no time!

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