52 College Apartment Essentials You Will Actually Need

Looking for the college apartment essentials you will need this year? Here’s the ultimate checklist of college apartment essentials you’ll actually need.

college apartment essentials

Moving into your college apartment is such an exciting experience. You get to decorate your entire space, live on your own terms and be independent, but this also comes with a lot of work you need to do.

Before getting to the good stuff, you need to find a place, move in and get all your college apartment essentials. After living in a college apartment during most of my college experience, I know first hand exactly what you’ll need.

This post is all about the ultimate college apartment essentials list you’ll actually need.

52 Must-Have College Apartment Essentials

All-Time College Apartment Essentials

1. Custom Laundry Bag

College apartment checklist pdf

This laundry bag is the best thing for every college student. Having your dirty clothes all over the place is not hygienic, and if you live with other roommates it’s pretty easy to take something that’s not yours by accident.

That’s why I love this custom laundry bag. You can totally personalize it with your favorite font and color.

2. Custom Towel Wrap

First college apartment checklist

This towel wrap is one of my most recommended products for college students. Even if you have your own bathroom I highly suggest you get one because 1) it’s cute and 2) it’s practical and will keep you covered and never fall off thanks to its velcro system.

3. Fan

Having a fan is essential in college apartments since not all apartments have air conditioning. And even if they have it, it’s super expensive so turn it on. If you want to save money without dying in the heat, I highly recommend getting a fan.

It saved my life in college, and it also saved me some money in electricity bills.

4. First Aid Kit

This one is pretty obvious so I guess I don’t need to explain myself a lot. Everyone should have a first aid kit in their homes, and that includes college apartments. Hopefully you won’t use it, but it’s better to be prepared in case of a small cut or burn.

5. Tool Kit

Having a tool kit is always helpful. The chances are at some point you’ll have to fix something or make a reparation in your apartment. Plus, if you’re getting new furniture you’ll have to build it up, so a tool kit will definitely be needed.

6. Power Strip

College apartment bedroom essentials

Even in a college apartment, there are never enough plugs. You’ll probably be living with other roommates, and each of you will have many things that need to be charged like a phone, a laptop…

That’s why having a power strip at home is always a good idea. This one from Amazon is cheap and includes USB plugs, which comes in handy to charge your phone.

College Apartment Kitchen Essentials

1. Pots and Pans

The reality is most college apartments don’t include basic utilities like pots and pans, so you will have to bring them.

You can bring pots and pans you already have from home or get new ones. I love this set because it basically includes everything you need and it’s cheaper than buying everything separately.

2. Dishes

When it comes to dishes you don’t need to get the fanciest ones. There are really affordable basic white dish sets on Amazon that work perfectly fine.

3. Utensils

These sets of utensils is stylish and affordable, and perfect for any college apartment.

4. Cups and Mugs

College apartment kitchen essentials

Same goes for cups, mugs and glasses. I personally like to have my own cute mugs because they’re more like a personal treasure, so I like to invest in good quality mugs that have something special.

5. Tupperware

College apartment tips

When I cooked in my college apartment I always liked to make extra portions to save for later. Tupperwares are a must to keep your leftovers safe and in good conditions to eat later.

You can also use them when you eat outside and avoid non-reusable containers that aren’t sustainable.

6. Trash Can

Metal trash cans with a cap are way better than plastic ones because they are more sturdy and keep the small away. No one wants to live in an apartment that smells bad!

7. Toaster

There’s nothing that I hate more than eating bland bread slices. If you like your bread and bagels warm and toasted, you need to get a toaster.

Honestly, they are cheap and make your breakfasts ten times better.

8. Microwave

9. Dish Towels

I highly recommend not getting pure white dish towels. They get dirty super fast and it’s effing difficult to take the stains off.

10. Blender

Having a blender is the perfect excuse to eat healthier. You can make all types of smoothies with fruits and vegetables in less than 3 minutes, so it’s definitely one of the best college apartment kitchen essentials.

Read: The Complete List Of Dorm Room Essentials

College Apartment Bedroom Essentials

1. Mattress

Your mattress is probably the most important thing in your college apartment dorm. Keep in mind you’re going to spend a lot of hours on it and you should get good rest, which is highly important especially when you’re a college student.

Memory foam mattresses are the best option because they adapt perfectly to your body shape and it almost feels like you’re sleeping on a cloud.

2. Duvet and Cover

Checklist for first apartment at college

When I was in college I tried to save as much money as I could, so I bought the most affordable bedding I could find.

If you already have a duvet at home you can use, that’s great. And if you don’t, there are tons of cheap options on Amazon that work perfectly.

For my duvet cover though, I invested a bit more since I wanted to get one made of good quality fabric. I didn’t want any gritty fabric touching my skin because that would affect my sleep. This one from Urban Outfitters is my favorite.

3. Memory Pillow

Along with your mattress comes your pillow. Please don’t try to go for the cheapest option you find just to save money because your neck is going to regret it.

Investing in a good pillow is investing in your health. This one from Amazon is the best.

4. Bedsheets

College checklist for apartment

I recommend not bringing more than two sets of bedsheets to your college apartment. You can easily use the second set while the first one is in the laundry machine.

5. Desk

You don’t need to get too fancy with your furniture as you don’t know if you’re going to be living in the same college apartment for the rest of your college experience.

When I was in my first year of college I bought a super cute desk that took ages to build just to get out of that apartment the year after. I totally regretted it, so please don’t make the same mistakes I did.

6. Desk Chair

college apartment checklist

Definitely get a good desk chair. You’re going to spend most of your day sitting on it. I tried to save money on my desk chair by getting a cheaper one and it completely destroyed my back.

Of course, I had to buy a better one and it changed my life, but I ended up spending even more money than if I had just bought a good chair from the beginning.

7. Desk Lamp

For me, having a desk lamp is an essential for when I study or do my homework. It improves my concentration and helps me focus.

8. Desk Organizers Set

Organization is key if you want to survive college. Keeping your desk organized with help you with studying and keeping a clear mind.

This set is super cute and includes everything you need to keep your desk organized at all times, including crazy exam periods.

9. Mirror

College apartment kitchen essentials

You’ll basically need a mirror to see how you look before you head out to your classes. I recommend getting a full-length mirror to get a full picture of your outfit.

I got mine for my first year of college and I still have it five years later! So it was one of the best college apartment essentials purchases.

10. Hangers

When it comes to hangers you NEED to get velvet ones. Your clothing will stick to them and won’t fall off like it usually happens with plastic hangers.

11. Closet Organizer

The closets in my college apartment were pretty small, so I had to find a solution to maximize my space} a closet organizer. It’s the best thing to put your shoes or bulky items.

12. Decor

College apartment essentials list

The best part of moving into a new space is decorating! Moving into a college apartment has even more advantages because you get more space to decorate.

There are hundreds of options when it comes to college apartment decor, but these are just some of the most popular ones.

College Apartment Living Room Essentials

1. TV

These days you can actually live without a TV, but having a big screen to watch your favorite Netflix shows and movies can’t compare to watching them on your laptop!

2. Couch

College apartment essentials for guys

Finding a comfy couch is also super important. You’ll spend a ton of hours on it, whether it’s hanging out with your friends or watching a movie.

If your apartment doesn’t already have a couch, you can check out Facebook Marketplace because it has affordable options.

3. Throw Pillows

Throw pillows are a must have. Not only they are the cutest decor for your couch, but they also are useful.

4. Blankets

A throw blanket is the best accessory to add to your couch and it will make everything look so much more put together.

5. Clothes Rack

Most college apartments don’t have a dryer machine, which means you’ll have to air dry your clothes. This is not a big deal, but make sure you have a clothes rack to dry your clothes inside or you won’t be able to hang your laundry when it’s rainy outside.

College Apartment Bathroom Essentials

1. Bath Towels

It’s always great to have multiple bath towels along with your towel wrap so you can swap them when one of them is getting cleaned.

2. Hand Towels

This set of hand towels is the best and it’s super affordable considering the amount of towels it includes.

3. Bath Mat

I’m a sucker for cute bath mats that integrate perfectly in your bathroom as part of the decor.

I love the Urban Outfitters vibe of this bath mat, but what I love even more is that it’s way more affordable than the UO bath mats

4. Bath Curtain

If your college apartment has a bath, you’ll need a bath curtain unless you want to spill water everywhere every time you shower.

A basic bath curtain from Amazon will do the job.

5. Hand Soap

6. Shower Rack

Most college apartments don’t include basic utilities like a shower rack to put all your hair and body products.

7. Toilet Paper

I like to buy toilet paper in bulk so I don’t need to worry about it for months. This is also a great way to save money.

8. Toilet Plunger and Brush

College apartment essentials small spaces

9. Bathroom Organizer

10. Trash Can

College apartment essentials budget

11. Makeup Organizer

College apartment essentials list

This makeup organizer is a life-saver to keep your most used makeup products and get ready faster in the mornings. It’s also the cutest decor to put on your desk or bathroom counter.

Cleaning Essentials

During my college years I tried a bunch of cleaning products that helped me keep my apartment nice and clean, but these are the ones you should add to your college apartment essentials list right away.

1. Trash Bags

College apartment checklist pdf

Compostable bags are always the way to go! Buying them in bulk is way cheaper and more sustainable than plastic bags.

2. All-Purpose Cleaner

First college apartment checklist

Don’t waste your money on cleaning products and get something that works on most spaces and surfaces. This all-purpose cleaner is the best because you can use it in every room.

3. Vacuum

Checklist for first apartment at college

Forget about brooms and get a vacuum. They are worth the investment and will save you time and energy.

4. Wrinkle Releaser

College checklist for apartment

Honestly, you don’t even need to buy an iron when you have this. This wrinkle releaser does wonder and saves you a ton of time.

5. Bathroom Cleaner

College apartment checklist

6. Disinfectant Spray

College apartment kitchen essentials

7. Reusable Microfiber Cloths

I prefer using reusable microfiber cloths rather than paper cloths because they are much more sustainable and you can just put them in the washing machine and use them as many times as you want.

8. Laundry Detergent

College apartment essentials for guys

This post was all about the college apartment essentials you need!

Other posts you may like:

15 Things To Bring To College You Can’t Forget

The Complete List Of Dorm Room Essentials For 2021

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