Your first apartment or college dorm survival guide

A dorm room with light colors, a desktop computer and a bed with white sheets

Article provided by Martha Stewart.

You've done it! Congratulations on getting your own place! Here's a checklist for everything you'll need to make your new space feel like home.

Kitchen Essentials:
Whether you're a novice cook or the host of every party, make sure your kitchen has everything you need. You'll want to start with basics: a good set of pots and pans, knives, and turners and spoons. With these tools, you can create most of the meals you want to make on a weekly basis. To save time and money, try preparing meals that you can freeze and save for later, or large-batch meals so you'll have leftovers the next day. Whatever you decide to make, you'll need these:

  • Solid Spoon
  • Slotted Spoon
  • Silicone Spatula
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Mixing Bowls/Prep Bowls
  • Oven Mitt 
  • Basic Knife Set
  • Cutting Board
  • Can Opener
  • Slotted Turner
  • Ice Cube Tray
  • Coffee Maker
  • Essential Cookware:
  • Half Baking Sheet
  • 9x13 Lasagna Pan 
  • Fry Pan 
  • Stockpot 
  • Saucepan
  • Micellaneous:
  • Plates and Bowls
  • Glassware
  • Flatware
  • Kitchen towels
  • Drawer organizers
  • Food Storage 
  • Acrylic Pitcher

You'll need more than just a shower caddy for your new bathroom! It's easy to overlook some of these basic items -- like a second set of towels so you can have something on-hand while you're doing the wash, or if you have guests over. It's always better to be prepared! We've done the thinking for you.

  • Shower curtain
  • Bath Rug
  • Bath, Hand, Wash Towels
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Soap dish
  • Hamper
  • Laundry hamper
  • Ironing board
  • Iron
  • Drying rack
  • Towel rack
  • Cleaning supplies and solutions
  • Clothing hangers
  • Waste bin

Sleep with comfort and confidence with an outfitted bedroom. A good rule of thumb is to have three sets of bedding sheets: a set on the bed, a set in wash, and a set in your linen closet. One of our favorites on this list is the message center –- it's a great way to keep track of your schedule, chores, or to keep up with your roommates, if you have them.

  • Desk Lamp
  • Alarm Clock
  • Twin XL Comforter Set
  • Twin XL Quilt
  • Twin XL Sheet Set 
  • Twin XL Mattress topper 
  • Pillows 
  • Picture Frames
  • Fleece Blanket 
  • Message/Bulletin board
  • Calendar

Miscellaneous/General items:
A few last things to remember! These are the items you're bound to think, "I'll just get those later." But trust us -- go ahead and get them now. You never know when a light bulb will blow, the batteries in your TV remote die, or when you'll need a first aid kit at-the-ready!

  • Light Bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Surge Protector
  • Extension cords
  • First aid kit
  • Storage bins and caddies
  • Broom, mop, and bucket
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Basic office supplies -- everybody needs a pen every once in a while

Download our printable checklist to take shopping with you!


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