First Apartment Furniture: 10 Pieces Everyone Needs

Couple unpacking boxes in new apartmentBoxes are everywhere, the unpacking has begun, and a delicious deep dish pizza has been ordered – you’re officially moving in to your first place! Now, where do you even begin with furniture? Take a seat (on the floor?) and read on for ten pieces of furniture that every first apartment needs.

1. An Actual Mattress and Boxspring

There’s nothing worse than a long day of unpacking followed by a magical night on the…floor. Do yourself a favor and make this the first thing you purchase. Think of it like a hug for your back after a long day of work. Your body will thank you.

2. A Bed Frame

The mattress and boxspring were the first step, now pick out the thing that holds them. Bed frames aren’t typically super expensive, especially if you’re getting a frame without a headboard. By lifting you off the ground a few inches and keeping your mattress from sagging, a bed frame can really make a difference in the quality of your sleep. Also, it just feels more homey, and that’s what your bedroom should be all about!

3. A Proper Place to Sit (and nap)

How are you supposed to Netflix and chill from the FLOOR? A couch, sofa, or even a lone upholstered chair will make your apartment feel less like a hotel room and more like a home. Sure, a cutting edge leather sectional is expensive, but there’s no need to break the bank on a comfortable place to sit. That’s why we have things like Craigslist. And furniture rental. YES.

4. Two Night Stands (better than one?)

Night stands may not seem essential, but when you’re charging your phone on the floor or don’t have a place to put your nightly glass of water…trust us, you’ll want one or two. Having one on each side of your bed will give your bedroom balance and decorative appeal, plus the two nightstands will serve a practical purpose for guests/significant others/your cat.

5. Curtains: An Apartment’s “Get Pretty” Technique

Have you ever seen a before and after photo of a room that somehow goes from drab to fab with hardly any changes? Look closely: it’s probably missing curtains in the first photo. Hanging curtains is the easiest way to make a room feel more complete, even if it’s totally not. We suggest curtain panels that are minimal and simple: your style will probably change if you invest in those $50 pair of curtains with hipster dogs on them, so opt for curtains that are classic and neutral.

6. Art That Doesn’t Live Under a Blacklight

College was a great time, man. But you’re a grown up now, with an apartment. Invest in some wall art or poster prints that you didn’t find while dumpster diving at the end of the semester and hang them up in frames. That’s right, it’s time to say goodbye to thumbtacks and duct tape! Can’t afford it? There are tons of great online printables that make for great art. Bare walls make places feel cold. A little neatly framed color here and there will spruce everything up!

7. A Dresser

No, not a personal stylist, although that would be nice. We’re talking about a holding place for all of your foldable clothes. This’ll help keep those t-shirts off the floor and those socks out from under the bed.

8. Mirror, Mirror

Gotta make sure you’re always lookin’ fly! A full length mirror is key, especially in a new place that may not have great lighting quite yet. (Hey, you’ll get around to mood lighting after that next paycheck!) Go ahead, strut your stuff down that catwalk…err hallway!

9. A Bookshelf for Real Books

Your grandparents are right: no screen can replace the look and feel of a book. Your Kindle doesn’t count. If you’re a bookworm, show those books a little respect with a bookshelf or two. There are some great compact options if you’re working with limited wall space, as well as some awesome ones that hang directly on the wall. Some bookshelves even function as modern room dividers! Talk about furniture that works double-time!

10. Toilet Paper

OK, so this last one isn’t a piece of furniture, but basic human needs are a real thing. Pack an “Open First” box with all of the essentials you’ll need in your first few days in your new apartment, like toilet paper, towels, some plastic plates and cups, and even a sheet set for your sweet new mattress.

Got other ideas for furniture must-haves? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook! Need these but don’t have the money to invest in everything right away? Consider furniture rental with CORT and make your life easier, one moving hack at a time. You’ll save your back a few aches too. And as always, follow along for more apartment tips and tricks from your buds here at