What things to get when moving out for the first time

A list of the most important things you need when moving out for the first time.More about Ethan Greenfield

While living at home with your parents, you have probably never given much thought to the household items around you – they are taken for granted as they’ve always been there, in their rightful places, ready to be used when you need them.

When the time comes to move out and start your own independent life, however, you will suddenly realize how important mundane everyday items are – after all, your first days in your new home won’t be much fun without a bed to sleep in and some dishes to eat from, right?

There are many essential things you will need when moving out on your own and failing to get any of them will result in great inconvenience and lots of frustration. To avoid such troubles at the beginning of your new life, you’ll have to consider your needs, check what is already available in your new home, and provide at least the absolute essentials for a comfortable and enjoyable living.

Here is a list of the most crucial things you need when moving out for the first time:

Bed and bedding

A comfortable bed is the most indispensable item in a house – it ensures your good night’s rest and fresh start in the morning, conjures your dreams and awakens your aspirations. Of course, your bed has to be equipped with a quality mattress and some bedding (bed covers, bed linen, pillows, blankets, comforters, etc.) in order to provide you with all the comfort and relaxation you need after a long day of hard work or exciting activities.

Related useful information: How to move a bed cross country; How to pack a mattress for moving

Bathroom essentials

You won’t want to go to bed without taking a shower first, so bathroom items will definitely be at the top of the list of things you need when moving out. In addition to your toiletries, hygiene products, and personal care items, you will also need towels and towel racks, a shower curtain and a bath mat, soap dishes and soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, toilet paper, a toilet brush and a toilet plunger, a wastebasket and a first aid kit.

See also: How to pack bathroom items for moving


You will take your clothes with you when moving out and will need a place to store them, organize them, protect them from dust and dirt, and keep them free of wrinkles. If your new bedroom has a closet, it will do (as long as you bring along a few hangers). If not, you will need some kind of dresser from the very beginning as you cannot keep your garments in boxes and suitcases for more than a couple of days.

Related: How to pack clothes for moving; How to move a wardrobe

Table and chairs

When you imagine your new life, you probably don’t picture yourself eating your dinner on the floor or on a large moving box. And rightfully so – you will never feel at home or truly enjoy your meals unless you can sit a table. Besides, a table can also serve as a desk and a food preparation area, so it’s extremely useful to have one in your new place. And while some people believe that standing is healthier than sitting, chairs have proven to be an irreplaceable commodity way back in the history of western civilization. All things considered – you will need a nice table and a set of good chairs in your new home.

See also: How to move a dining room table

Kitchen essentials

Kitchen items have a prominent place among the household items you need when moving out. Being able to prepare your own meals will not only help you save money and ensure a healthier diet, but will also make your new place feel like home. So, make sure you have:

  • Kitchen appliances – a fridge and a cooker from day one and a microwave, a dishwasher, a toaster, and a coffee maker as soon as possible;
  • Basic cookware – some pots and pans and a few essential cooking utensils (a stirring spoon, a ladle, a set of knives, a cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, can and bottle openers, oven mitts, etc.);
  • Basic dishware – plates and bowls, glasses and mugs, and some silverware;
  • Cleaning supplies – dishwashing products, dish towels, paper towels, and a trash can.

Related: How to pack a kitchen for a move

Cleaning equipment

As much as you may not like cleaning, you will need to keep your home and your clothes clean and presentable. To be able to do so, you will obviously need a washing machine (and laundry detergent), a vacuum cleaner, a broom and a dustpan, a mop and a bucket, a feather duster, trash bags and sponges, and an all-purpose cleaner right from the start.

Essential electrical and electronic devices

Depending on the climatic conditions in your new area, your new home amenities and features (such as central heating, for example), and your personal needs and preferences, you may want to get a space heater or a fan, a hair-drier, some extension cords, etc. You will also probably want a TV and some other high-tech gadgets you use on a daily basis.

Related: How to pack electronics when moving

Window treatment

If your new home windows have blinds or shades, you won’t need curtains right away and may decide to wait until you have the money to buy quality draperies to your liking. If not, you will have to hang curtains or draperies on the first day in your new place to ensure your privacy and comfort.


Proper lighting is of paramount importance not only for your comfort, but for your health as well, so you will need some lamps from the very beginning. If your new home has ceiling lights, you can bring only a couple of night lamps and floor lamps (together with light bulbs) at first. You can buy fancier lighting (like lanterns and chandeliers) later.

See also: How to pack lamps for moving


A bathroom mirror and a full-length mirror are absolute must-haves in every home. (See also: How to pack a large mirror for moving)

A couch and some kind of TV cabinet are also likely to be on the top of your list of things to have when moving out – even if they’re not so essential. Bookshelves, nightstands, a desk and a desk chair, a coffee table, and a few area rugs will also be nice to have, so be sure to get them at the first opportunity.

Other essential things you need when moving out on your own

In addition to the above mentioned items, you may also want to take some basic hand tools, a sewing kit, an iron and ironing board, a flashlight, a portable fire extinguisher, a few storage containers, and some decorations with you.

Good to remember: When moving out for the first time, take anything mom and dad are willing to give you – even if it’s not your dream furniture or home décor. You will be able to buy furnishings and decorations that you love later on – when you have a steady income, some savings, and a little more life experience. At the beginning, you need to have the essentials for a decent living – everything in good condition will suffice and if you can get it for free, you should consider yourself lucky.

Also, even if you have the financial resources to furnish your new home to your liking, don’t rush it – however tempting it may be to go to the nearest Target store and get everything you need in one fell swoop, you should refrain from doing so. Take your time instead – look for sales and discounts, go to neighborhood garage sales and thrift shops, etc. – and make sure you only buy quality items that you need and like. As time passes, you’ll be able to create the beautiful, cozy atmosphere you’ve always wanted for your home.

Having all the essential things needed for moving out for the first time is really important, but what matters even more is to be able to feel at home in your new place.  So, bring along photos and candles, keepsakes and collectibles, and any other special items that make you feel happy and bring comfort, coziness, and warmth to the place. It is your first home after all – you want it to feel special.

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