A Checklist for Moving Into Your First College Apartment

Apartment Moves · For Shippers · 27 August

A cosy small room with basic furniture and decoration

A cosy small room with basic furniture and decoration

Moving into your first own college apartment is very exciting – finally, you can create a space on your own, which will be your base for studying, friendships, and new adventures. For this new chapter of your life, we created a checklist with everything you need to set up your new home so your move and arrival go as smoothly as possible.

Pack a Box with First Night Essentials

Pack one box with everything you need on your first night; this will be the first thing to open in your new home, and it will help avoid long searches through all your boxes to find your toothbrush. The box should include bathroom essentials including a towel, soap, shampoo, and toilet paper, as well as everything you need for your first night of sleep, including linen and your pajama.

It seems surprising, but it also makes sense to put a shower curtain in this box. Having a shower curtain on your first morning in your new flat will guarantee you a cozy shower start in the day and avoid a flooded bathroom. And if you already buy a shower curtain, you can also grab a bathroom mat.

Safe Shipping for Household Items and Furniture

Cleaning Supplies

Ensure that you have cleaning supplies in reach when you enter your new house because you might want to clean everything before you start to unpack. You’ll need the absolute basics: a universal cleaner, a disinfectant bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner for your mirrors and windows, and don’t forget to buy dishwashing soap. Also, you should buy a mob, sponges, cleaning cloth, trash bags, a toilet brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a dustpan and broom. These essentials should give you a clean and fresh start to your new life!

Kitchen Supplies

If you didn’t do it before, now is the right moment to learn how to cook! But what do you need to prepare some basic meals? You should buy a set of cutlery, sharp knives, cups, glasses, a spatula, small and big plates, as well as bowls for morning cereal. You need at least one big bowl, a frying pan, and a big and small pot. Some handy and pleasurable extras would be a cheese grater and a blender.

And don’t forget the two survival essentials: A coffee machine and a kettle. First will bring you through early classes and long nights of studying, second will make you a tasty instant Ramen within minutes if you’re too lazy to cook.

Basic Tool Set

A basic toolset with a set of screwdrivers, a small saw, and a hammer is handy to have in every apartment. You can use it to put together your furniture, but it’s also great to find creative solutions to your flat’s interior. If you don’t have tools and you need a drill or an electric screwdriver, ask around at your campus – you can find a place to borrow equipment from.

Build Up Your Bed First

If you’re wondering where to start with furnishing your new apartment – begin with your bed. A good night’s sleep will make the rest of the furnishing and decorating much more effortless. Many students don’t have bed frames and put their mattresses on the floor or pallets instead; this can be a cheap and a great option. However, in small college apartments, a bed frame can provide you with more storage area for things you don’t need in your everyday life, like extra linen or towels. If you decided to get a bed frame, you might consider buying simple boxes which fit under your bed for storage.

Create a Good Space for Studying

Some students prefer to use the library for studying to separate working and living area – if this is not for you, a suitable desk for working is essential. You will spend a lot of time here, and you must have enough space and the necessary equipment to get started. You should buy a good and bright desk lamp because reading in the dark is tiring for your eyes and brain. Equip yourself with a set of text markers, good pens, post-it notes, and everything you need for long days at the desk. If you have space, devote this area only for work – this is your concentration space – and use other spaces in your flat for lunch breaks and chilling.

Plants, Furniture, and Decoration

It’s often underrated but is essential to make a home you feel comfortable and safe in. You might want to get posters you love, print friends and family pictures to hang them up, or buy plants to decorate your home. Whatever boosts your comfort or creativity is welcome here. This is for making your home your own.

Unique doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out the local buy and sell lists and pages for bargains, go to the second-hand market for new and unique pieces of furniture or beautiful rugs and ask around if anyone has plant babies that can find a new home in your flat.


If you organize these basics, you can turn an empty apartment into your new home very fast. But you should also be patient in this process – getting used to a new place and creating it in a way you feel comfortable always takes time. We wish you an excellent start to your new college life!

Updated September 17, 2021

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