The Essential (and Less Essential) Furniture for Your Apartment

A dog sits on a wood floor with a moving box and couple behind it

Congratulations! You’re moving into your new apartment. If it’s your first apartment, you’re making a big first step toward independent living. Even if it’s not your first time, a change of scenery is still a reason to be excited. 

Unfortunately, with all that excitement also comes hard work. Now that you’ve got a new place, you’ll need furniture to fill it up and make it comfortable. It may seem daunting, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. This helpful guide from Freedom Storage Management will help you break down what you need into the essentials and handle them one at a time.

What Is an Essential?

In this case, “essential” means you cannot live without it. In this case we’ll be breaking that definition down into three categories: practically can’t live without it, can’t live comfortably without it, and incomplete without it. Let’s call those absolute essentials, almost essentials, and style essentials, respectively.

Absolute Essentials

A simple bedroom with a bed, desk, and side table

Absolute essentials are things that you can’t live without in your home. These pieces of furniture need to be in the first batch of things you acquire for your apartment. If you’re moving from a different apartment, these are the first pieces you’ll bring over when you prepare to fully move in. 

Place To Sleep

What’s the point in having an apartment when you aren’t even able to sleep there? Figuring out a place to sleep for your apartment is an important early step in moving in. If you can afford them, a bed frame and comfortable mattress for each bedroom will really make your apartment feel like home. If money is tight, an air mattress or futon works great as well.

Once you have a place to sleep, you can actually start staying in your apartment. It’s the first step to really being moved in.

Place To Eat

Although you may not start cooking for the first few days in your new place, you will likely still want to be able to eat there. Having a place to set food down, sit, and eat is a great way to make your space more practical. It gives you the option of cooking and eating in your own place.

A small kitchen table and four chairs is a common setup that’s simple enough to be affordable and stylish. If your apartment has built-in places to eat (bar-style counters or something similar), you may just need to find some chairs that fit what you already have.

Place To Sit

You could easily make an argument that comfortable seating isn’t actually essential, but when you and your friends finish carrying boxes and furniture up the stairs, you’ll be immensely grateful to have somewhere to crash. A comfy couch or a couple of nice chairs will do wonders for the movers’ morale by giving them a nice spot to take a break. 

The couch will usually be one of the most difficult items to move into your new place. They tend to be large and hard to maneuver, but the benefit of having a comfy place to sit in the midst of this transition can’t be overstated.

Almost Essentials

These are pieces of furniture you don’t technically need, but you pretty much feel like you do anyway. You can live without a TV, computer setup, or work desk, but do you really want to? These are the things that you’ll want to prioritize getting moved in and set up after the absolute essentials.

Place To Work

A woman sits at a desk at home on a video call

Working from home has become a more common practice in recent years. Having a place where you can go and get work done is a great way to make your home feel more practical. When you have a dedicated workspace, you can focus more easily and get more done. 

You probably won’t need a very large desk, but one big enough for a laptop computer and a few other items is a good place to start. If you’re at your desk for a majority of the day, you’ll want to invest in a good chair you can be comfortable sitting in for hours. If you plan on working from home more often than not, splurging a little bit more for a nicer setup could be a good investment that will help improve both the quality of your work and your comfort while working.

Place To Relax

You’ve already got a couple of places to sit, so you’re well on your way to being able to relax in your new apartment. Next, you need to ask yourself, “What do I need to fully enjoy living here?” A very standard setup is a TV on a stand across from the couch. TVs can be expensive, but garage sales and secondhand stores sell quality models fairly often, so you aren’t without options.

If you don’t want a TV, making a comfortable space for reading or using your computer is a common alternative. Now is the time to add some furniture to make your time at home enjoyable.

Place To Entertain

A living space with couch, coffee table, side table and lamp

While the introverts among us might want a place they can go to be away from people, extroverts may want a place where they can bring people. A few end tables with some more comfortable seating (like another couch or a couple of armchairs) can really go a long way toward making your apartment a place where people can hang out.

Even if you aren’t too keen on being a host, a few places where people can stop in for a bit will still help make your apartment more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to get a coat rack (or some equivalent) so guests don’t have to throw their stuff on the floor during the winter months.

Style Essentials

Finally, you’ll want to start planning for style essentials. These pieces of furniture are the ones you need to personalize your space and make it feel like your space. While you may not necessarily need these furniture items, they are useful and can help make the space your own.

Place To Organize

Chances are you’ll be bringing home additional items beyond furniture in your move. It stands to reason that you’ll also need some places to keep things. Baskets and bins to keep things neat and stylish can go a long way. Bookshelves and nightstands are also great places to keep miscellaneous items (like books or CDs) without compromising on style. You can even cross over with the decorations side if there are things you want on display.

Place To Decorate

Now is the time to flex your interior design muscles. Finding items to make your apartment look the way you want it to. Decor items like plants, pictures, and pillows can make the space feel more yours. The best advice for this section is to have fun while staying consistent and on budget. If you make a cohesive space without spending too much, you should be set up nicely in your new apartment.

Get Help With Your Move From Freedom Storage Management

If you’re planning on moving into a smaller apartment but already have your furniture, self storage is a great option to store your belongings while preparing for your move. Freedom Storage Management has storage facilities across eight states with premium storage options to help you with your move. Our storage calculator can help you decide on the perfect size unit for your needs, big or small. If you’re looking for storage to help you before, during, or after your move, rent or reserve your space with Freedom Storage Management.

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