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x - Reminder List of Necessities

When you’re moving up, out, and away, you’ll need to pull
together your new life with style and substance, and probably
on a restricted budget or subsidized basis. Apartment life
presents new needs. In many cities you’ll be renting
relatively small space—and you’ll have even less time to get
stuff done. Get organized early, before your first week on
the job. Use these convenient tips and coordinate with
your roommates on who supplies what.

The Thinking Tips
  • Shop and buy at reasonable cost, but buy the best you can afford on larger items. Large pieces such as a sofa or dresser are your most important investment. Remember you will move again. Get stuff that lives up to your needs and anticipates where you’re headed.
  • Think double duty, such as furniture that provides storage (trunk for coffee table, that sort of thing).
  • Borrow and beg from family and friends. What they don’t need might be just what you’re looking for.
  • Check out consignment shops for accessories, used furniture and artwork.
  • Keep editing yourself and your possessions. Get down to true needs.
  • Once edited, buy or select things you really love. Figure it out. Is it the color, the shape, the overall design? You’ll have it awhile, and if it’s chosen for the right reasons, it will move on with you as a treasured part of what makes you feel at home.
  • Don’t duplicate your college dorm or apartment. See yourself at the next stage and buy accordingly.
  • This is your HOME—think of it as more permanent than the college rooming situation. 


  • telephone/answering machine
  • personal computer
  • TV and VCR
  • stereo system
  • all necessary wiring for above
  • CDs
  • video tapes



  • sofa (preferably sofa bed)
  • chair (1 or 2 depending on space)
  • coffee table
  • end tables
  • 2 table lamps (task lighting)
  • up lamps for room lighting (ambient lighting)
  • pictures/posters/frames
  • large floor pillows (2) to expand seating
  • area rug
  • entertainment center or shelving for TV/VCR/Stereo
  • framed mirror (expands small room, try to reflect window)
  • window wear: blinds or shades for privacy;
  • draperies, curtains, valances, shutters, matchstick blinds for decor
  • plants/containers
  • vase
  • ashtrays
  • blanket, afghan or throw for sofa sitting
  • decorative pillows
  • folding screen (privacy for guests using sofabed)



  • table
  • 4 chairs minimum
  • lighting, ceiling fixture or floor uplights
  • centerpiece for table—can be fruit bowl (try big glass bowl filled with limes, or lemons) or flowers;
  • for more masculine look use a non-flowering plant, or a wooden tray filled with some interesting collection.



  • pots and pans—small and medium saucepan with lids, medium and large fry pan (one with lid),
  • large pot for pasta with lid
  • colander
  • salad spinner
  • bowls—3 sizes
  • oil and vinegar jars
  • sugar bowl, creamer
  • pitcher
  • glassware for kitchen
  • glassware for bar setup/shaker
  • pitcher with lid for juices, iced tea, etc.
  • plastic containers
  • salad bowl
  • microwave oven
  • toaster oven or toaster
  • cutlery for 8 (min. 4)
  • steak knives (4)
  • large sharp knife
  • cooking knives (1 or 2)
  • wooden spoons (for Teflon pots)
  • slotted spoon
  • large cooking and serving spoons
  • spatula
  • tray
  • large serving platter
  • dinnerware minimum service for 4, preferably 6-8
  • mugs
  • napkins holder
  • can opener
  • bottle opener
  • canisters or large plastic jars
  • table and chairs if space allows, or stools for counter sitting
  • plastic wrap
  • foil
  • plastic zip loc bags
  • dishwasher soap
  • dishwashing liquid
  • cleanser
  • sponges
  • oven cleaner (if not self-cleaning)
  • matches



  • bed/mattress/boxspring (buy the largest and best quality bed your space allows—it will move with you)
  • mattress pad
  • pillows
  • cotton pillow protectors (guys, this is what you wash instead of the pillow when you sweat a lot)
  • sheets (2 sets minimum)
  • comforter or duvet/blanket
  • duvet cover
  • bed skirt (also hides underbed storage)
  • night table
  • bedside lamp
  • dresser
  • lamp at dresser
  • window wear—blinds or shades for privacy, plus curtains, draperies, shutters, valances for decor
  • hangers
  • laundry bag or hamper
  • plant and container
  • pictures/posters



  • shower curtain (cotton, decorative)
  • shower curtain liner (waterproof)
  • 12 shower curtain rings
  • shower caddy
  • waste basket
  • tissue holder
  • cup
  • towels
  • hardware (if not existing): towel bars, cup and soap holder
  • door hooks (can install towel bars on back of door)
  • additional mirror to the one on medicine cabinet (expands small bathroom)
  • toilet brush



  • 2 buckets—one for wet cleaning, other for storing cleaning items (store one stacked inside other)
  • sponge mop
  • glass cleaner
  • lysol/pine sol
  • drano
  • terry cloths (cut up old towel)
  • cotton cloths
  • sponges
  • carpet and rug spray cleaner (Resolve is great!)
  • upholstery spray cleaner
  • vacuum
  • vacuum bags
  • ironing board, ironing board cover, iron



  • salt and pepper
  • oil and vinegar
  • pasta and rice
  • jarred sauces
  • bread
  • butter
  • eggs
  • milk
  • juice
  • cookies/crackers
  • cheese
  • cream cheese
  • catsup
  • barbecue sauce
  • mustard
  • salad dressing
  • chips and dips and nuts
  • telephone numbers of all the best take-out food in your area (laminate the list and tack it to your fridge)



  • picture hooks
  • picture wire
  • wood patch (small jar)
  • wall patch spackle (small jar)
  • hammer
  • philips head screwdriver
  • regular screwdriver
  • small level
  • tape measure
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