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    34 Practical Products For Your First Apartment Our Readers Actually Swear By

    Helpful products if you're just starting out.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community for helpful products for anyone moving to their first apartment. Here are their responses!

    1. A fluffy blanket you can snuggle under to warm up chilly nights on the couch.

    A good, thick, fluffy blanket! Because sometimes you have to choose between your heating bill or Easy Mac for dinner, again.


    This one has two buttery-soft sides: one fleece, one faux sherpa fur. Get it on Amazon for $25.99 (12 colors available).

    2. A full-length mirror so you can primp to your heart's content, especially if you live with roommates or have a small bathroom mirror.

    I’ve had an antique full-length mirror for 20 years, which is usually the first thing I hang in a new home. Hard to get ready in the morning with only a bathroom/sink mirror, and not all apartments have more than that.


    Get one that hangs over any door from Target for $14.99 (available with either a white frame or a black frame) or if the white frame's also sold out in your area, a similar one from Amazon for $39.99+ (also available in white or black).

    3. A shelving and storage unit that can be whatever you need it to be: a room divider, bookshelf, dresser, TV stand...the possibilities are (sort of) endless.,

    I ended up buying Walmart's version of Ikea's Kallax shelves to create a "wall" that made my sleeping arrangements more private and broke up my studio into two distinct sections. I was going to fill the shelves with knick-knacks from my travels, but decided to put in little bins in the end because they offered a TON of storage space and even more privacy for my bed. It was a great purchase and totally changed my living space, and people mention how functional/cute it is regularly!maggievoelzke

    Get it from Walmart for $79 (seven colors available).

    4. A coffee table with hidden storage for all your magazines and remotes, plus a lift-top so you can comfortably eat dinner on your couch.


    A coffee table with a liftable top: the best for a comfy dinner spot in front of the TV after a long day.


    This coffee table has 4,856 5-star ratings — get it on Wayfair for $173.99 (available in the pictured lintel oak, coffee oak, and Washington cherry).

    5. A step stool that folds up and fits in small spaces, so you can grab something from a high shelf then store the stool away in the blink of an eye.,

    A step stool. Need to reach the high up cabinets? Step stool. Need to reach the high shelves in your closet? Step stool. Need to change a light bulb? Step stool.


    A step stool! I’m really short and can’t reach the highest shelves in my closet or kitchen cabinets. Since I don’t live with anyone who can reach things for me, I use my step stool all the time.


    Get one on Amazon for $24.95 (available in black or white).

    6. A toolkit you can reach for to assemble furniture, fix a loose screw, or double check that your wall art's actually level.

    A decently stocked toolbox. It helps if a screw on a door is coming loose and a simple turn of a screwdriver will fix things up.


    This 65-piece homeowners toolkit comes with all the basics you need, including a level, a tape measure, a box cutter, a ratchet, two screwdrivers, two types of pliers, a hammer, and more. Get it on Amazon for $42.24.

    7. A shower curtain liner and shower curtain rings because you'll prooobably get sweaty moving in, and need to shower the very first day.,

    When I first moved on my own, I thought I was prepared and had everything I needed. Do you know what I forgot? A shower curtain. So I had spent all day in August moving furniture and unpacking and realized I was going to have to flood my bathroom in order to shower off the sweat from moving! Now, it’s like the first thing I set up when moving, haha.


    Get two mildew-resistant transparent shower curtain liners on Amazon for $9.99 (six colors available), and a set of 12 shower curtain rings for $5.97+ (12 colors and finishes available).

    Also, check out our picks for the best bath towels on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    8. And a shower curtain cadddy to keep all your bath products organized and mildew-free *and* separate from your roommates stuff.

    Assuming you're living with roommates.

    Get it on Amazon for $8.99.

    9. A first aid kit, some cold medicine, and other medical supplies — because when you truly need them, you probably won't have time to go get them.

    Stock up on cold medicine and medical supplies. The last thing you want to do when you're sick is make a trip to the pharmacy.


    Get a First-Aid kit on Amazon for $12.06.

    10. Plenty of toilet paper so you don't have to worry about running out anytime soon.


    Toilet paper. Lots and lots of toilet paper.


    Toilet paper. You’ll have deep regrets the first night when you realize you don’t have any.


    Get twenty-four rolls on Amazon for $26.59.

    This is our pick for best mid-priced toilet paper on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    11. A good toilet plunger because you'll want to have it on hand the very first time you encounter a clog.

    Home Depot

    A PLUNGER. Oh my god. How embarrassing calling yourself independent but calling your parents freaking out because your toilet won't flush.


    A plunger! Cuz when you need it, you're not going to want to run out and get one.

    —Tara Wilde, Facebook

    FYI, you definitely want a flange plunger for your toilet. The classic pink rubber kind are really just for sinks. Get this one, with a no-touch canister for storage, for $22.99 from Amazon or from Home Depot.

    12. A document folder that'll keep all of your important ~adulting~ papers in one place, so you can find them when you need 'em.


    Like anyone, my mom held all my important documents — Social Security card, birth certificate, passport, etc. As an adult, not only did I need to take responsibility for that stuff, but things were added, like my apartment lease, car payment info, credit cards, student loans, etc. Having a place to keep all that is super convenient, and much better than panicking when you can't find something. I still have one seven years later, and constantly to go back to it for important stuff. Get one! —angelav45d8cf1a3

    A document box. Bc its amazing how your passport is always gone when you need it. —ryandubyahseab

    Get this 19-pocket file box with shiny gold dots from Staples for $17.99.

    13. A motion-activated nightlight + flashlight combo that can light up your house the moment you walk in the door, and brighten your day if the power goes out.

    It may sound silly, but a motion activated nightlight/flashlight combo! If you put it by your front door, it turns on when you walk in (when no one is there to turn the lights on for you). And it turns on automatically when the power goes out. It’s stopped me from running into stupid things (and made me less scared of the dark). —mega46c2e4194

    Get one on Amazon for $14.99.

    14. A corkscrew with a bottle opener so when you get a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer without screw tops, you can actually drink it., Urban Outfitters

    A wine opener.


    A bottle opener.


    The ~Corkatoo~ (on the left) works like a classic waiter's wine key: its beak's also a bottle opener. Get it on Amazon for $19.62.

    You can also get other options on Amazon: a plain but incredibly well-reviewed traditional wine key for $10.95 (24 colors), or the iridescent scarab opener (on the right; no longer available at Urban Outfitters) for $39.94.

    15. A smooth-edge can opener that won't drop the can's dirty lid into your favorite tomato soup.

    A freaking can opener. Seriously, I thought of everything BUT that. Then I wanted to open a can of green beans....


    Smooth-edge can openers cut a line around the outside edge of a can, then let you lift the "lid" off easily. Get one on Amazon for $21.95.

    16. A pre-stocked spice rack that'll make your kitchen look organized just by sitting out on your counter.

    Spices! Especially if you enjoy cooking. Found a spice rack with every spice I'll probably ever need. I use it every single time I cook.


    This one's stocked with 20 spices, and includes free-ish refills for five years if you register after ordering (you just pay for shipping). Get it on Amazon for $27.59.

    17. Command Hooks and picture-hanging strips for decking out your new pad without putting holes in the walls.,

    Command Hooks and Strips so you can hang artwork (and anything else) without puncturing the walls.


    I like the medium utility hooks, which work to hang backpacks in my closet, my mini broom-and-dustpan under my bathroom sink, and a bunch of other things — get a 9-pack on Amazon for $8.99.

    And I've hung several pieces of art in different apartments using the picture-hanging strips. Get 16 pairs on Amazon (which will hang 4 pieces of art) for $9.99.

    18. Non-stick skillets so you can cook the easy things like scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, sloppy joes, and tacos made with those pre-mixed seasoning packets.

    A good quality non-stick fry pan that will not warp. The cheap ones do, then they won't lay flat on the burner and nothing will cook evenly.

    —Donna Fanning, Facebook

    I got this set of two oven-safe skillets when I moved into my first college apartment. Seven-ish years later I *still* use them almost every week, and while there are a few stains on the outside of the pans, I love cooking in 'em. One's 10 inches, the other's 12 inches, and they're dishwasher- and oven-safe. Get the set of two on Amazon for $49.95.

    19. Or a cast-iron skillet that, if you keep it seasoned, will last the rest of your life — and is the best option for searing meat.,

    A cast iron pan for cooking. It will last a lifetime.


    But you can't wash 'em with soap — they'll rust. They're good for searing because they get *really* hot, but they also don't distribute heat as evenly as aluminum or copper (stainless or non-stick) cookware does.

    Get at 12-inch pan on Amazon for $26.99. And find the recipe for Skillet Pork Chops with Herb Gravy here.

    20. If you like to cook and plan to cook for yourself a bunch: a versatile dutch oven you can use to make soups, stews, roasts, and more.

    A Dutch oven. It is so freaking versatile: you can make soup, bread, stew, chicken, roasts, really just about anything. And with decent maintenance it’ll last you forever.


    Get a well-reviewed six-quart enameled Dutch oven on Amazon for $59.90 (six sizes available in up to 13 colors).

    21. An ice cube tray because many apartment refrigerators won't have those handy ice-and-water stations in the doors.

    This one has a handy silicone seal that lets you fill the tray with water, then put on its side to freeze — no more accidental spills in the bottom of your freezer. Get it on Amazon for $9.99.

    22. And a filtered water pitcher that'll transform funky-tasting tap water into something that could have come out of a water bottle.

    A Brita water pitcher and filter. Your tap water is obviously safe, but you don't really know how mineralized and funky your water tastes until you start filtering it. I would be lost without mine.


    The water tastes good, and its more cost effective and saves space in the fridge compared to filling it with multiple bottles of water. My first pitcher lasted us for nearly 3 years (the handle finally cracked when we were moving).


    Get one on Amazon for $26.99+ (it only includes one filter, but you can get a pack of 6 replacements — which, if one filter theoretically replaces 300 water bottles, six will replace1,800 water bottles — on Amazon for $23.33.)

    23. A Magic Bullet blender so you can enjoy single-serve smoothies in a flash and impress your friends with instant fresh salsa.

    A Magic Bullet, because you can use it for so many cooking things and great smoothies.


    Get an 11-piece set on Amazon for $34.99.

    24. An Instant Pot that makes both slow cooker and pressure cooker meals, cooks rice, steams vegetables, and overall just makes dinner a LOT easier.,

    Instant Pot! I know it seems like just a fad, but its a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and even more. Super useful!


    Read our review of the Instant Pot here, find the recipe for Chicken Carnitas here, and get an Instant Pot on Amazon for $79.95+ (three sizes available).

    25. Or a basic slow cooker, like the Crockpot, for all sorts of big-batch, low-stress meals.

    Literally the best financial decision I've made. Make a meal, lasts like four days. Time AND money saved!!


    Get the six-quart stainless with a locking lid (so you can take it to a friend's place!) on Amazon for $44.99.

    26. A toaster oven that'll let you cook without heating up your apartment *and* take leftover pizza to the next level.

    Invest in a nice toaster oven. I use this for everything! Step up your pizza roll game in one of these bad boys. —jamieh48f700856

    A toaster oven! They’re not that expensive and it takes the place of a toaster. If you’re making something on the small side, it’s so much easier to use a toaster oven than your full oven. Plus, especially during the summer, you’ll probably want to use your full oven as little as possible: it’ll heat up your whole apartment. That doesn’t happen with a toaster oven.


    Get this one on Amazon for $58.99.

    27. Or just a simple two-slice toaster — because you're just starting out and you're not sure you really need ALL of these great kitchen appliances just yet.

    I cannot stress the importance of a toaster. The magnificent toaster should be cherished and loved by all. —rhinosrule658

    Get it on Amazon for $17.99.

    28. The basic Swiffer Sweeper with wet and dry pads for an exquisitely lazy way to keep your floors sparkling clean.

    A Swiffer Sweeper! You can use the wet sheets to mop the floor or the dry sheets to broom it up. It’s truly a lifesaver, especially if you love to walk around barefoot.


    Get the starter kit (which includes the mop, seven dry sweeper cloths, and three wet mopping pads) on Amazon for $11.97.

    29. And a handy Command strip clip that'll immediately give you a place to put your Swiffer away.

    Get it on Amazon for $4.88.

    30. A decent vacuum, especially if your new space has carpet, or you plan to get a rug.

    Buy a vacuum cleaner if your place is carpeted. Just do it, even if it's like the $30 Black and Decker one I got from Walmart. Not the most powerful, but compact, light, and gets the job done.


    I think a vacuum is an absolute need. Carpets can get really dirty!


    While I didn't find a $30 Black and Decker vacuum that had good reviews (sorry, daniellems! If only), there's a Bissell that should give you good performance for the price — get it on Amazon for $74.99.

    31. Clorox wipes and Lysol spray, so you can give the apartment a quick wipe-down on day one.,

    Clorox wipes and Lysol spray. Scrub that apartment before you move in! Not every landlord has apartments or houses cleaned professionally between tenants.


    Get a three-pack of Clorox wipes on Amazon for $10.06, and a two-pack of Lysol spray for $7.31.

    32. Magic Erasers, just in case of accidental scrapes, scratches, stains, and spills. Oops!,

    Magic Erasers, because the white paint used in apartments is the cheapest, most easily-marked-up thing ever.


    Get an 8-pack on Amazon for $9.48.

    And check out our picks for the best kitchen sponges on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    33. Barkeeper's Friend, for the day after your dinner boiled over and it seems like no amount of scrubbing will get your stovetop clean again.,

    BARKEEPER’S FRIEND!!! You can use it to scrape up crap on pots and pans, on stove tops, on tile, EVERYTHING. This stuff works miracles.


    Side note: while it's great for both stainless steel and enamel pans, it'll scrape off the coating on the inside of non-stick pans. So don't use it on those!

    Get two bottles on Amazon for $8.45.

    34. And the classics, baking soda and vinegar, to take care of life's other little messes.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    Also, baking soda and vinegar clean SO MUCH! Gotta clean the garbage disposal? Baking soda and vinegar. Lyme buildup on the faucets? Soak in vinegar. Fried food smell in the air? Boil water and vinegar. Puke in the rug and it smells? Pour baking soda to soak up the smell. Possibilities are endless with those two.


    This is literally how I've cleaned the shower heads and kitchen faucets in all my apartments: pour some vinegar in a plastic bag, sprinkle in baking soda, then use a rubber band to secure it to whatever you need to clean.

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    Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Not all products were Community submissions.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides here!

    Ryan Pattie/BuzzFeed

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