What do I need to buy before I move?
Moving Out: What You Should Buy Before You Move
It’s finally time. You’re moving out of the house and into your first apartment – whether it’s with roommates or solo. Congratulations! But a “Big Move” means making sure you have everything you need to survive. Most likely, the first months (or even years) will be spent collecting things to fill your home. But you’re probably asking yourself about the essentials: what do I need to buy before I move? The good news is that the list isn’t that long. You’ll need furniture, packing & cleaning supplies, and essentials for the kitchen and bathroom. And the better news is that we’re going to walk you through each of those categories.
You’ll want to mark furniture off your checklist before moving. Many items can be brought from your home (usually donated by parents) as long as you can move them to your new place. Anything you need to supplement can be purchased at garage sales and thrift stores. It’s not difficult to find budget furniture for an apartment if you know where to look! Just be sure that you check everything for the worst roommates – fleas, bedbugs, or roaches.
Over time, you might replace your thrift-store find with new furniture and add important items to your home. But these are the important items to have when you’re first moving:
- A bed – sleep is too important! A mattress and bed frame are vital to a good night’s rest and healthy living.
- A table and chairs – where else will you eat, work, and read? Get at least one table.
- A place to relax – this can be a couch, a comfy chair, or a futon. Don’t be a college student with nowhere to sit in your home!
- Storage – a moving box is not storage! Don’t forget a bookshelf and/or dresser.
Cleaning and Packing Supplies
These two sets of items go hand-in-hand. Why? Because as you’re packing and unpacking, you’ll also want to clean your new space and the things you’re using in it. You’ll be surprised how messy things will get without a trash can or broom when you’re tearing through boxes filled with packing peanuts and dust! We recommend a broom, a dustpan, garbage cans and bags, at least one laundry basket as well as detergent, cleaning wipes and sprays, white vinegar, and tools for cleaning (sponges and rags). A mop and vacuum are also good essentials for a clean home!
Packing supplies are critical to moving all your beloved games, movies, plates, clothes – and whatever else you’re bringing with you. Purchasing good packing materials will ensure that nothing gets broken during the move and everything is neatly packed for moving day. Here’s what the professionals recommend having on hand while you’re packing:
- A variety of boxes is the most important moving supply of all. Choose small boxes for heavy items and big boxes for bulky or light items.
- Padding will ensure that all your furniture stays un-scuffed and dishes remain whole.
- Labeling materials will help you organize. All your boxes will go to the right rooms, and you’ll be able to find everything after the move!
Provision the Essential Rooms
Your kitchen and bathroom have different essential items – but all are equally important to be prepared for! Here’s a short list for each of these spaces so that you won’t be missing the important things after move-in.
Kitchen – The Basics
- Cooking materials: a starting kit for your kitchen should include one medium pan, one big pot, one little pot, one oven-safe dish, a baking sheet, and one spatula and large stirring spoon.
- Utensils: you need to eat with something! Start with at least two forks, knives, and spoons. Don’t forget a big knife, too – a chef’s knife!
- Cooking Prep: a measuring cup, a cutting board, a set of oven mitts, and four or five dish towels.
- Dishes: Come prepared with two big plates, two little plates, and two cereal/soup bowls.
- Cups: Two or three drinking glasses and a single mug should set you up!
Bathroom – The Basics
- Basic Toiletries: don’t get caught without shampoo, deodorant, body wash, toothpaste, and a toothbrush.
- Shower Essentials: you can’t shower without a shower curtain and towels! We recommend at least three towels.
- Toilet Items: You won’t be prepared without toilet paper and a plunger!