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Home/Mor Furniture Blog/Buying Guides/The Ultimate Checklist to Furnishing Your First Apartment

The Ultimate Checklist to Furnishing Your First Apartment

Moving out on your own can seem overwhelming, but it becomes much more manageable when you create a first apartment checklist to help yourself get organized. There may be things you're taking from your existing home. However, you'll still have many things to purchase for your new digs. The endless list can make it hard to think straight from cleaning supplies to decorative accents, curtains to toilet paper, and everything in-between. Not to mention all the new furniture pieces you're going to need.

When it comes to furniture for your first apartment, you may be starting entirely from scratch. That big sectional in your living room likely belongs to your parents — plus, it's too big to take anyway. The bedroom set you've had for years may be a little too worn down for that brand-new feeling you're looking for in a new space. Lamps, area rugs, and a suitable dining table for your small space? You haven't even begun to think about these things yet.

At Mor Furniture for Less, we have plenty of options for furniture for small apartments. We know that you're probably on a budget if you're just starting out. That's why we offer our exclusive Double the Difference Guarantee, to make sure that you get the absolute lowest prices in town. Additionally, just because you may have a price limit, it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style or design. You can create the interior aesthetic of your dreams in your new apartment, helping to turn the space into not just a place to crash but into a cozy new home that's all yours.

What to Buy Before You Move

There are certain pieces of furniture you'll want to make sure to buy before you move and items that you're better off waiting to get until you're all settled in. Before splurging on fancy wall art and a big screen T.V., there are bedroom essentials and other key items you should have for your first day.

Here's our list of furniture essentials to purchase before you move.

1) Bedroom Essentials

First thing's first, you need a place to sleep. If you've been living with your parents, you may have been using the same bedroom furniture you've had since high school–or even before then. To bring fresh energy into your new apartment, get new apartment bedroom furniture to make the space your very own.

Take an inventory of what you'll be taking with you and which items you'll need to purchase separately. It's also a good idea to take measurements of your new bedroom beforehand to ensure there's enough space for the items you want. Remember to leave a 36-inch pathway between pieces such as beds and dressers so you can comfortably open drawers and walk through the room.

If you aren't bringing anything with you from your previous living arrangement, make sure a complete bedroom set is on your first apartment checklist. A full bedroom set includes multiple items, such as a dresser, bed frame, nightstand, and even a mirror. Best of all, when you purchase a full set, you can be sure that everything is sure to match perfectly. It will tie the room together and help set the stage for your interior design scheme.

A Mattress

It's important to note that bed frames, and even full bedroom sets, usually don't include a mattress. Find a mattress that fits the size of your new bed frame and meets your sleeping preferences. Whether you prefer a firmer sleeping surface or something a little plusher, there are many options. One of the best ways to make sure you get a mattress you'll be happy with for years to come is to try them out in person. When you visit a Mor Furniture for Less location, check out our SleepMor section. We have mattresses of all sizes, varieties, and firmness levels to help you get a great night's sleep in your new apartment.

If you're not purchasing a complete set or are bringing just your bed with you when you move, you'll likely want a nightstand or a bedside table. This gives you a spot to add table lamps for additional lighting, rest your glass of water before bed, and keep items like your cell phone or favorite book close at hand while you kick back and relax.

Choose a piece that features built-in drawers for added storage to keep electronics chargers, important paperwork, or other items well organized but out of sight. This will help your new bedroom appear less cluttered, which helps calm your mind and make the space feel bigger than it is.

You may think that an "armoire" is a prominent furniture fixture that will take up a lot of space, but these days, that isn't the case. Armoires and chests of drawers often feature vertical silhouettes, which saves crucial floor space in a small apartment. It's also common for apartments to be a little short on closet space.

If you're used to having a spacious walk-in closet, it can come as a bit of a shock when you realize you're suddenly limited to one sliding door to keep all your favorite clothes and shoes. This is where a compact armoire or chest comes into play. It provides extra space to keep your garments wrinkle-free in an otherwise tight area.

2) Living Room Furniture Essentials

You'll likely spend most of your time hanging out in your new living room. It's where friends will gather when they come to see the new place and where you'll binge-watch your favorite shows on a lazy weekend or as you decompress for the evening.

For this reason, you'll want to make sure you purchase a few living room essentials before the move.

We know that apartment living rooms can feel a little small. You may not have room for a large, overstuffed sectional. However, that doesn't mean you have to forget about comfort. Instead, consider more petite three-seater sofas or loveseats as your main seating area. They're more likely to fit well within your space while providing room to rest.

Another great way to incorporate additional seating in a smaller living room is to find an accent chair and set it up caddy-corner to your larger sofa or loveseat. This helps define the space and adds an extra element of style. It looks sophisticated and intentional, lending the more mature look you're going for. Plus, if you choose a bold color, it can add a pop of flare and style to your small space. Choosing the right accent chair is an excellent way to incorporate your unique personality into your new apartment furniture.

Small apartments often don't have room for an entire living room set-up. You may not have space for a large coffee table or even end tables. However, you still need somewhere to rest your things. You also need a way to kick your feet back and relax. Enter the ottoman. Ottomans are great for first apartments as they can serve two purposes. Set an ottoman up with a tray on top for resting beverages or decor. When you no longer need the "coffee table" feel, remove the tray, and it transforms into a comforting place to extend your legs in comfort. An additional bonus is an array of ottomans feature extra storage. Simply lift the top to reveal a spot where you can stash extra blankets, throws, books, and more.

Hanging a T.V. on a wall with nothing under it can make a space look sparse. Instead, opt for a compact accent cabinet or console to place against the wall beneath. Rest home decor, like vases or family photos on the top, and stash gaming consoles and other items underneath the cabinets and drawers. Media consoles don't have to be your parents' grand, ten-foot-high pieces with bookcases on either side. Instead, they can be ideal for a small space when you choose the right item.

4) Dining Room Essentials

In a small apartment, your living room space will likely blend into your dining space. Define each area as its own "room" by setting up furniture properly. For example, the back of a sofa or accent chair can define the end of the living room and the start of a dining area. Adding an area rug to the space can help as well.

While these two spaces in your first apartment can seem complicated to distinguish, you still need a place to eat. Small apartment dining sets are the solution to this problem. You may just need a small table with two chairs to fit nicely against the wall. Or, you may prefer a round table that spans just a few feet. Having a large, formal dining table with extendable panels isn't necessary for an apartment. There are many modern and stylish compact dining sets that are perfectly suited to meet the needs of your new living arrangement.

Dining and Barstools

Another situation that we commonly see includes using barstools against a high countertop as a dining space. This is an excellent way to turn a counter into a multi-functional area that still serves the purpose of providing a space to eat.

Bar Carts

Like apartment bedrooms, apartment kitchens and dining rooms can seem short on storage space. You may not have a full pantry or a place to put your knife block and spice rack. A bar cart can be the perfect solution if this is the case. Portable and small, you can rest it against the wall or at the end of your kitchen counter for additional storage and display options. Use it to keep wine glasses or even plates and bowls if you don't have a lot of cabinet space.

Shop Your First Apartment Checklist at Mor Furniture for Less

Now that you have an idea of which furniture items should be on your first apartment checklist, it's time to hit the store. Mor Furniture for Less ensures that you'll get the best pricing in town and serves as a one-stop shop for all the new apartment furniture you'll need.

Keep in mind that if you purchase too far in advance, you may end up with tons of new furniture items but nowhere to store them. Instead, ask about our white-glove delivery service at real-people pricing and arrange for furniture delivery on your move-in day. We can get everything set up for you, so your first apartment will look like a home in no time.

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