Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › Buying Furniture for Your Apartment: the Checklist

So you’ve signed the paperwork and you are getting ready to move into your new apartment. Whether it is your first time living in an apartment or if you are expanding to a bigger space, figuring out what you need to fill your new living area can be a daunting task.

If you haven’t bought your own appliances or furniture in the past, you may also want to figure out which items are worth spending a bit more on, and which you can try to save some money on.

Figure out Your Budget

It’s best to start by figuring out how much you’re able to spend on furnishings. This will give you room to spend more on items that are essential and useful, and less on items you may not use as much. If you know how much you have to spend, you might also avoid buying items that later become unnecessary.

Start with the Essentials

Everyone has a different idea of what they want in their apartment, so start with what you need over what you’d like:

A bed
Sheets and comforter
A couch
Kitchen basics: silverware, plates, glasses, and appliances you use often.
Pots and pans
Shower curtain and liner
Dining table and chairs
Trash can
Cleaning supplies for your kitchen and bathroom

Once you have the basics down, you can figure out what other pieces of furniture are important. Make a list of furniture and appliances you frequently use in your current living space. This way, you can skip buying appliances like a panini press (and other novelty appliances) if you don’t make sandwiches often. Stick with the basics and you can improve what you need to later, especially if you’re aiming to fill your apartment on the budget.

Spend More, Save More

Everybody likes a bargain, but you may want to be careful what kind of bargains you take advantage of when furnishing your apartment. You may see the “college dorm room” sales and think that a $10 blender is a fantastic buy, but consider your options beforehand. If you have to replace that blender four to five times over the next two years, you would be better off buying a nicer, well-built machine.

This goes for your furniture as well. Buying a $50 couch at a garage sale might save you a little bit of money, but if it is something you end up replacing more than once, it might be worth investing in something a bit sturdier, especially if you intend to get a lot of use out of your furniture.

Don’t Forget to Make It Feel Like Home

Once you’ve got the essential furnishings you need to fill your apartment, you may want to consider looking at pieces to decorate it. Buying art that you like, accent blankets, and throws may help your new apartment to feel more like home. Here are Tips on Decorating Your Apartment to get your brainstorming started, but remember:

There is also something to be said about coming home to a space that you feel happy and inspired in. It may take a bit more time, but adding to your decor during the first few months in your new apartment may go a long way toward making your apartment a cozy and comfortable place to live.

Living with Roommates? Make Joint Purchases Carefully

Sharing the cost of a new TV may save you some money in the short term, but figuring out who takes this item when you move out can be awkward. Unless your budget is very tight, it’s best to make your own big purchases on things like televisions, couches, gaming systems, or other expensive items, so it’s easy to determine who owns what part of your furnishings.

Items You May Want to Skip

There are a few items that may seem either essential or like a good idea, but consider them carefully. Many people buy things like wine glasses or champagne flutes when they furnish their apartment, only to have those glasses sit in a cupboard.

Remember, the best place to start is with your budget and your basics. Once you have determined those, it can be easy to figure out what else you want to buy to fill your new apartment’s space. That final touch will be what really makes the space yours.

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Amber is the Social Media & Content Manager for For Rent Media Solutions™ and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber helps execute and optimize a social media strategic plan across multiple channels, as well as manages the company's social media product. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of For Rent Media Solutions brand. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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