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First Apartment Essentials Checklist for Renters

Renting is very in right now. Lots of people, especially young professionals are opting for renting instead of buying, because it accommodates their lifestyle, job, and goals! But when you’re renting a house for the first time, checklists are necessary so that you can get through the process as smoothly as possible. 

Here’s all the rental essentials for you in this efficient checklist. If you’re moving alone, it can seem daunting, but it’s not so hard if you start planning early.

Things You Need to Rent an Apartment

  • A co-signer: You may need to have someone you know who is in a good financial position to cosign the rental agreement with you. For students or those with no credit history, this is recommended, because it’s a way to show your landlord that you will be able to make payments. 
  • Proof of Income or Employment: Your landlord will probably want to see proof that you have income. Have a pay stub, previous year tax documents, or a bank statement ready for proof. 
  • Money saved for first and last month’s rent: When you’re planning to rent out a place, try to cut back on some things a few months ahead of time, because you will need to pay two months’ rent right away. 
    • A budget: Work on a budget before you move in, to get an idea how your income will be distributed for rent, groceries, transportation, debts, etc. Determine ahead of time what things you will need to cut back, so you get used to it before you move in. 
    • Moving arrangements: Plan your moving arrangements ahead of time. This includes arranging for a truck as well as friends or family members you can bring along with you to help. 
  • Tenant Insurance: You should get tenant insurance. Some landlords won’t require it, but it’s highly recommended to get it. It protects you from theft, fire, damage, liability, medical bills, and additional living expenses if your place becomes uninhabitable. To learn more about tenant insurance in British Columbia, click here.
  • Furniture and essential items for your house.

First Time Apartment Renter Checklist: Items to Buy for Your Place

Bedroom 

Bedroom

When you’re at IKEA or Pottery Barn and you see the perfect portrait for the wall, or a rustic ceramic vase that you feel will just complete your apartment. It’s incredibly tempting to buy it even when you don’t have everything finalized yet for your place. We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, these are the types of items you can keep in mind for later, but first things first, you need the basics.

  1. For your bedroom, start with a bed and mattress. Keep in mind that apartments and bedrooms are typically smaller than rooms in a house, so don’t go bigger than a queen bed. 
  2. Also, you’ll need two pillows, a comforter, and 2 sheets. It is recommended to not go all out on the bed linens. Simply put, it’s very possible that renting is a temporary living arrangement until you move to the next place.  
  3. A dresser for all your clothes! You’ll certainly have a closet, but it might not be enough for all the different types of clothes you own. 

And that’s it for all the bare essentials. Once you move in, you can start buying items like a nightstand, lamp, or other decor pieces in the next few months, but these are what you need to get started right away. 

Essential Bathroom Items

Essential Bathroom Items

These are all things you will be using right away. 

  1. Face and body wash. 
  2. Shampoo and conditioners.
  3. Soap and lotions. 
  4. Get all sizes of towels. Preferably two for each person because even alone, you need an extra for when you’re doing laundry. 
  5. A shower curtain, bath mat, trash bucket, and toilet paper.
  6. Essential toiletry items, like toothpaste, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, etc. 

Note: You may not need to buy all the toiletry items, because you can bring them from your previous place, unless you’re starting fresh. 

Living Room

Living Room

Your basic essentials will include furniture.

  1. A couch and an armchair or loveseat, depending on what the space if your apartment accommodates.
  2. In the case you’re taking courses or do work from home, you can choose to buy a desk provided there’s space. An option is to delay buying a desk as you probably could get by with a dining table for at least the first few months. 
  3. If you have a lot of books, frames, or kick knacks to bring with you, you might want to buy a bookshelf, or a few individual shelves to install in various areas of the living room. 

Kitchen

Kitchen

  1. Plates, bowls, and cups. It is recommended to get about five of each if you live alone, to account for hosting. 
  2. Get a cutlery set and basic cooking utensils like measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, stirring spoons, and a can opener. 
  3. Regarding cooking supplies you will need a small and medium pot, and a frying pan. Determine what kinds of cooking supplies to get, based on what you make, if you will be cooking a lot or going out to eat. 
  4. You will need kitchen linens and accessories: dish towels, pot holders, oven mitts, and trivets. 
  5. Some places will come with a microwave, so make sure you check that out while touring the place.

Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning Supplies

  1. Stock up on the essential cleaning supplies. You will need paper towels, sponges, a vacuum cleaner, and dusting cloths.
  2. Get laundry supplies, including detergent and fabric softener.
  3. Also, it’s necessary to get kitchen and bathroom-specific cleaning agents.

Groceries

Groceries

And of course, food. When you first move in, you have to get all the basic food items like milk, bread, eggs, and oil. Think about what you usually like to eat for breakfast and purchase those items. Also, purchase some fruits and vegetables. Once you cover the basic items, think about some first meals you want to make and buy the ingredients. 

Keep various canned foods, rice and pastas on hand, because these are items you can easily make meals into on days when you need to make something quickly.

Now all you have to do is unpack and organize and then you can kick your feet up!

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