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Planning Your First Apartment: Checklist & Suggestions

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot. The opinions and text are all mine.

I am sharing tips & suggestions for Planning Your First Apartment. Additionally, a free, printable checklist will help make moving to a first apartment successful.

Our home is a home of transitions right now. We have one child setting up her first solo apartment as she heads off to medical school and the other one moving into his first apartment with three other young men as he enters his junior year of college.

Our dining room is the staging area as we go through stuff we have set aside for both of them and figure out what is going with whom. It is, without a doubt, chaos, but exciting chaos!

This will be our seventh move setting up our fledglings in their own living space, mostly in dorms, with a few furnished apartments thrown in. Along the way, we have learned how to make this process as efficient and painless as possible.

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Suggestions to Make Planning For Your First Apartment Efficient

Plan, Plan,Plan and Organize, Organize, Organize

Get a floorplan of the apartment and place the furniture. Some websites let you put in the dimensions of your rooms so that you can interactively place your furniture.

Having a list of what you have and what you need is critical. We are list makers in this house, and you can grab the list we are using by clicking the button below. Alternately, subscribers to Nourish and Nestle can access the First Apartment Checklist in the Subscriber Benefits Library.

Think about what you like to cook and then make a list of all the items you would need to make that dish. We ran through some of their favorite meals and made sure that our kids had what they needed to make those meals.

For instance, if you wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies you would need a baking sheet, a bowl, a silpat or parchment paper, a mixing spoon, a mixer, measuring cups and spoons, and a metal spatula.

You could send the recipes as a digital file or as hard copies.

Start a list of items you want to purchase after you move in.

Label Everything!

When my kiddos and their belongings have come home between school years or between lodgings, we clean, repack and label everything. Labeling makes the process of figuring out what they have and what they need several months later much more time-efficient.

Shop online and pick up where the apartment or school is.

As both of our children attend schools outside of town, we figured out quickly that shopping online and having the items delivered or buying online and picking up larger items near their schools is the way to go. Transporting one cumbersome, space-consuming mini-fridge was all we needed to figure that out! Over the years, we have discovered that The Home Depot not only has just about everything we needed to furnish a dorm or apartment, but it also has stores near both of our children’s schools, making it a natural choice for us.

Plus, being able to return anything to either the storefront or online definitely reduces any stress. You know how it is, you buy a microwave and inevitably, so does the roommate! The Home Depot’s 100% satisfaction guarantee takes any stress out of the process.

This year, we are doing a bit of everything; we have had some items delivered to our home now, and we will pick up other necessities when we get to their schools.

I’ve got to be honest, the day that part of our The Home Depot delivery arrived was a bit like Christmas, and just the excitement we needed after being stuck at home for too long.

It is particularly helpful that you can get both functional and more decorative pieces in one place. With one child who wants ‘stylish’ and one who is just looking for practical, finding both at the same store saved a great deal of time and just made the process so much easier.

It took Kate no time at all to find this elegant Sunburst mirror on The Home Depot Back to Class site to finish off her living room. I am seriously a bit jealous of it! There are so many spaces in my home that could use this mirror.

Rob’s ‘needs,’ on the other hand, were straightforward; he needed a trashcan, Command Strips, and sheets…rather a typical young man.

The mom in me said, ‘C’mon dude, don’t you want a nice duvet cover too?’ We were able to find a crisp and masculine Stylewell gray stripe duvet cover with shams that works well for him.

Kate is setting up her first real kitchen, so needs…well…just about everything. A basic set of dishes and silverware is a great place to start.

That you can get everything from brands like OXO and Lodge Cast Iron to a full set of dinnerware in one place, at The Home Depot Back To Class, makes shopping for a new apartment or dorm so much easier.

Reminiscent of the times many years ago when I would have the kids take turns picking candy from the candy jar, I had them take turns picking their favorite pieces of this OXO POP Container Set.

Rob’s concern was making sure he had adequate storage for chips, coffee, and creamer pods, while Kate’s concerns tilted towards storage for rabbit food and treats! (Yes, the bunny is going to medical school with her!)

At the end of the day, we were able to check many of the items the kids needed off of our shopping list at The Home Depot. Now, if only they would move it all for us too! As we look towards the future and adding more items to both of their apartments, Kate really loves this StyleWell headboard and Rob is partial to this StyleWell grey shag area rug so those are coming up next!

What are your child’s favorite back to campus items from The Home Depot?

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to refer back to this post on Planning for a First Apartment, with the tips and checklist.

Overhead image of mirror and level image of dishes and silverware

Thanks so much for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me!

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  1. Planning my move to an assisted living facility in the future year will take advantage to your list 🤗

  2. Love your tips, we don’t have a big move planned but even for moving my younger kids from one room to another as we consolidate these are great tips. Thank you.

  3. How I wish I had your list when my kids moved to Canada. What chaos, not only were they moving millions of miles away, but I didn’t have a clue what was or wasn’t available on that side of the world. I could have done so many things for them shopping virtually on-line and given them a better start in their dorms. Pinning for next time when they move into their own little homes.

  4. I have such fond memories of my first apartment! This is a great list – and would have been helpful for me and my friends way back when 🙂

    1. Hi Heather,

      Right?! Wish I had put it together several moves ago. But since I don’t think either of them are quite settled yet, I think I’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it.



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