First apartment checklist: Make moving day stress free

Worried you're forgetting something? Use our handy checklist to make sure you've got all your new home essentials sorted.

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While you may not have the cash to buy absolutely every furniture piece and decor item you want before you move out, there's nothing worse than realising too late that you haven't purchased something essential.

To save you eating off of paper plates because you forgot to buy a dining set or having to drop off your ironing at your mum's because you didn't think to buy an ironing board, we've got things to remember for every room in the house and a checklist of all the essentials you'll need for each one. We've also listed the best places to buy affordable appliances and furniture in case you need to do a last-minute shop.


Apartment bedroom

Even if you're waiting until you've got some more cash behind you to shop for a bed, you will still need to invest in a decent mattress. And while you can score yourself a relatively inexpensive one, a mattress is one product that's worth investing in as it reinforces good sleeping posture and supports your spine as you snooze. A good pillow suited to your sleeping style is also important for both your posture and a good night's sleep, so you should invest a few extra bucks there too if you can.


Messy kitchen

The kitchen is where you really need to take stock of what you have. You don't want to get halfway through preparing a meal only to realise that you don't have the tools to finish making it. Luckily, most kitchenware is relatively inexpensive and makes for a pretty great housewarming gift, so start hinting now. If you're in need of some cheaper kitchen appliances, you can also check out our first home essential appliance guide.


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The bathroom is one area that you can save a bit of cash on. The main priority here is a good towel set or two as well as a bath mat. If you're living with house mates, you may also want to invest in drawer dividers to separate your personal things and avoid arguments later on. You can also buy an inexpensive toiletries bag to keep your things in and store it either in the bathroom cupboard or just leave it in your bedroom until you need it.

Living Room

Apartment living room

Though it's important to purchase absolute essentials first, you don't need to feel bad about spending some money on items that will help make your house feel like a home. This could mean having an area where you can unwind and watch a movie or a comfortable reading space where you can curl up with a good book. Remember that you don't have to spend a fortune and splash out on the latest OLED television – a $200 one will do just fine until you can save enough for a better one.


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Unfortunately, white goods can be quite expensive and this includes washing machines and dryers. As they are appliances that you will need to use often though, they should be near the top of your purchase list. To save some cash, keep an eye out for package deals that offer both products at a much cheaper price than you would get buying them individually. It can also be worth going in-store to places like The Good Guys and making nice with the sales staff to see if they can get you a better deal.

Other essentials

Woman with cleaning supplies

It's often the little miscellaneous essentials that most people forget about until it's too late. Make sure that you're prepared for every situation by investing in a basic tool kit and a first aid kit. It also pays to have items like a flashlight and spare batteries in a convenient location in case your power goes out (it happens). If your new place doesn't come with curtains or window coverings, you may also want to start shopping around so that you don't have to cover your windows with cheap sheets in order to get some privacy.

First home checklist:


  • Mattress
  • Pillows and pillow covers
  • Sheets
  • Quilt and cover
  • Blankets
  • Coat hangers
  • Bed
  • Bedside tables
  • Bedside lamps
  • Storage solutions (boxes, shoe racks, etc.)
  • Full-length mirror


  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Dining chairs and table
  • Dinner plate set
  • Cutlery
  • Pots and pans
  • Drinking glasses
  • Spatulas, ladles, whisks
  • Can and bottle openers
  • Bin
  • Mugs
  • Oven gloves
  • Bakeware (trays and baking dishes)
  • Frying pan
  • Knife set
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Dish towels
  • Dish drying rack
  • Mixing bowls


  • At least one good towel set (two is better)
  • Bath mat
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Toilet brush
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower curtain (if needed)

Living Room

  • Couch
  • Television
  • Television stand (if needed)
  • Coffee table
  • Armchair
  • Bookshelf


  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Laundry hamper
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Mop

Other essentials

  • Curtains
  • Cleaning supplies (cloths, bleach, rubber gloves)
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Toolkit with basic tools (screwdriver, hammer, etc.)
  • Trash bags
  • Laundry liquid
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Spare batteries
  • Fan/small heater (if you don't have ducted air conditioning)

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