College Student Apartment Guide: Furniture, Essentials, & More

September 29, 2021

Ready to move into a student apartment? Here's a guide to choosing the right place, and to shopping for student essentials, furniture, and decorations.

Moving into a college apartment is a huge step. Whether a student is leaving college dorm life or moving out of their parent’s home, there's nothing that says independence like "my own place"!

Of course, like every other big step, moving into a college apartment can be pretty stressful. Independence means increased responsibility. It also means spending money on things like rent, utility bills, furniture, and all kinds of unexpected expenses. Being a part of, I’d like to present some tips to help make the move to a college apartment as easy as it is exciting.

Ready for a College Apartment?

First of all, students need to ask themselves a serious question, "Am I ready to live in a college apartment?" Like other "first-time" experiences, students may be more eager to make this big step without fully thinking about what it means.

Consider this: living in an apartment means monthly bills, which is stress many students haven't experienced yet. It means dealing with a landlord. It means cleaning and cooking. It may mean dealing with commuting issues and parking for the first time. Basically, an apartment means graduating to some real adult responsibilities.

Choosing a College Apartment

So once students decide they’re ready, where do they live? In some cities, it’s easy to find apartments for rent that are safe, cheap, and reasonably close to campus. In other cities, this can be a real struggle.

Students should take the time to research apartments in the area and to look around. Take advantage of any apartment finding resources on campus. Get recommendations from other students about good landlords and safe neighborhoods.

Shopping for a College Student Apartment

It's exciting to walk through the door for the first time and see that empty apartment! But now what? Filling up an apartment with everything students need can be pretty expensive.

Keep in mind that a college apartment does not need to look like a magazine. Yes, it's home, and students should do their best to make the apartment as homey as possible. But there's no reason to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars on a place that's going to be home for a few years max. Concentrate on purchasing essentials that are really needed.

A great place to start is by finding inexpensive or free used stuff from family members, friends, Dumpsters, Craigslist, or wherever. Of course, there's no reason that a student apartment can't look great for cheap.

College Student Apartment Necessities

Moving into your first off-campus apartment is a rite of passage, so congratulations! As you make your big move, you'll be thinking about things to purchase for your new digs. Remember, shop simple, as there's no need to spend your small student budget on an apartment full of new pots and pans and such. The stuff in this apartment will probably be moved around from place to place for the next few years or so until you "graduate" to nicer things.

Here's a guide to cheap college apartment necessities.

College Student Apartment Furniture

Your apartment does not need to look like a magazine ad. You can buy yourself a piece of inexpensive furniture at Black Friday beds deals online that’s easy to move–or cheap enough to give away when you graduate.

Kitchen Stuff

Stocking your kitchen with inexpensive but practical stuff is important because this can save you money. There are plenty of high-quality and affordable options out there waiting to find a place in your home, like modern dinnerware from byzoo, which offers an extensive tableware collection. You can create a unique ambiance for your table with its beautiful pieces. Learning how to make most of your food is a must if you're on a budget.

First, get yourself some plates, silverware, and cups. No, don't buy plastic -- not only is that terrible for the environment, but it will cost you a fortune over time. Don't worry about whether things match. Look for old dishes at thrift shops or your parents' basement, or see if you can pick up a set that a graduating student needs to sell. Or for new dishes, look for sets of summer patio plates and cups at discount stores. When this stuff goes on clearance, it's very practical.

What about all those kitchen gadgets? A simple solution is to buy an "all-in-one-pack" of kitchen necessities, which you can get at discount stores around the beginning of the semester. This stuff tends to be cheap but perfectly functional. Another good place to look for kitchen basics is a dollar store -- and of course, there's that old kitchen stuff your parents never use.

Here's a list of the basic stuff you'll need for your kitchen:

  • A saucepan
  • A frying pan or skillet
  • A cookie sheet (an essential for frozen pizza)
  • A few mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Decent knives for cutting
  • Mixing spoons
  • A can opener
  • A microwave oven
  • A toaster
  • A coffee maker
  • A rack for drying dishes
  • A few dish towels
  • A strainer
  • Ice cube trays
  • Storage containers
  • A salt and pepper shaker
  • An easy cookbook
  • Silverware, cups, and plates

Bathroom Stuff and Linens

You can spend quite a bit of money on nice bathroom stuff -- but don't. If you've been living in the dorms, the same old towels will do fine. You'll also need a shower curtain, a mat for the tub, a soap dish, a trash can, and probably a toothbrush holder. Everything else is optional. A cheap bathroom rug is an inexpensive way to dress things up. As for bedroom linens, simple is fine: a few sets of sheets, blankets, and pillows.

Cleaning Supplies

Ugh, the joy of apartment living! You no longer have only your room to keep clean--and if you want your security deposit back and roommates who don't hate you, you'd better keep the place at least marginally clean. Some basics to have around:

  • A vacuum cleaner (buy a used one)
  • A broom and dustpan
  • A mop and pail
  • Rags for cleaning
  • A toilet brush and bathroom scouring brush
  • Cleanser
  • Glass cleaner
  • Disinfectant cleaner

Keep it Simple

Ignore all those newspaper ads that try to sell students an apartment full of nifty expensive gadgets. You don't need these things, especially if you're only going to living in your new place for a year or two. Keep your shopping simple and stock up on necessities, and you'll be set for your move to your first real place.

Moving into a college apartment is a really big deal, and the responsibility and expense can feel a little overwhelming! However, if all goes well, having a place to call home that's not a dorm or a childhood bedroom is a great feeling. By choosing an apartment wisely and shopping smartly, the stress of moving into a new apartment can be minimized. Best of luck, and home sweet home!

About the author: John J. Gregg is an experienced essay writer on where he provides students with an opportunity to get high grades. Besides, He is fond of reading and playing the guitar. By the way, John dreams of traveling a lot and visiting as many countries as possible.


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Thomas P
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.


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