Renting your first apartment comes with several other firsts in tow, like finding roommates, managing your bills, and figuring out just how much furniture you need to fill your space. With this guide, you’ll learn what furniture is a must when moving into your new apartment and what pieces you can pause on purchasing.
What to consider when renting for the first time
Becoming a first-time renter is an exciting chapter, but without previous experience, you may find yourself wondering, “How much furniture do I need?” By thinking through a few details about your living arrangements, you can get some much-needed clarity in your decision-making going forward.
The size of your space
The first thing to consider is the size of the apartment you’ll be calling home. Will you be living in a cozy studio or a spacious two-bedroom? Knowing the number of common areas and how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are to decorate is essential for planning furniture purchases.
Similarly, knowing each room’s dimensions can also be incredibly helpful; you don’t want to find a couch you love, only to realize it’s too big to fit in your living room. If you’re not able to visit the apartment and measure yourself, consult with your landlord or the online listing.
Whether you’ll have roommates
The number of rooms in your apartment likely hinges on whether you’ll have roommates or be living by yourself. There are definitely benefits and challenges to both situations, so you’ll need to weigh the options a bit before signing a lease.
If you live with other people, you’ll want to have a group discussion about who’s bringing what. There’s a chance your roommate has furniture for the common areas that can save you from buying a few things later on.
What you already own
It’s also smart to take an inventory of what you already own. Do you have a desk you used for school that could now be used in your home office? Or maybe your parents have a few pieces they’re ready to let go of that you could repurpose?
Taking stock of what you own or what is available to you is a valuable step in determining how much furniture you still need.
Your available budget
Although calculating a budget is a lot less fun than shopping for furniture, it’s still a necessary part of the process. You’ll need to factor in your monthly rent, utilities, groceries, gas, and other ongoing expenses to figure out how much you’ll have left to spend on furniture.
Your available funds will be a good indication of whether you can buy new furniture, rent fun pieces, or explore secondhand options for your space. The good news is, decorating a house on a budget is easy when you snag high-quality, gently-used items from CORT Furniture Outlet!
The essential items for each room in your home
Now that you’ve thought through a few variables that’ll influence your furniture choices, it’s time to dig into the essentials with this home furnishing checklist. While some things may not pertain to you (if you don’t have a designated office, for example), it’ll still help you separate what’s a priority from what’s less practical.
- sofa or loveseat
- side/accent chair
- coffee table
- TV stand/console
- end table(s)
- small table and chairs (if no dining room)
- cart or shelving unit
- dining table
- set of chairs (typically four)
- bar cart or sideboard
- bed frame/headboard
- dresser or chest of drawers
- desk chair
- bookcase or shelving unit
- medicine cabinet or shelving unit
Getting the essentials on a budget
When it comes to calculating how much furniture is needed in a room or apartment, remember to look at the size and layout, what your roommates can contribute, what you already own, and what your budget will allow.
And if you still haven’t found the perfect apartment, browse furnished and unfurnished units on ApartmentSearch — you’ll find a wide variety of places for rent and could even qualify for a cash reward!