The hardest part of your apartment search is over. You’ve found a great place in a fantastic neighborhood, and are all set to move in — except one thing is holding you back. You don’t know how to furnish your new apartment!
Luckily, we’ve got you covered with a list of 10 items you’ll need to make your new Chicago apartment feel like home.
1. Cleaning Supplies
Although your apartment is thoroughly cleaned before you move in, the chaos of moving paired with everyday activities means you’ll need the supplies to tidy up regularly. Prepare for your future messes by picking up disinfecting wipes, paper towels, trash bags, glass cleaner, and air freshener, among other essentials. With a powerful army of cleaning tools at your disposal, your new apartment will always feel clean and fresh.
2. Bathroom Essentials
One of the best ways to make a new apartment feel like home is to have a fully furnished bathroom. A thick bath mat can easily soak up the excess water from your shower and protect your feet from the cold floor in the morning. A shower curtain and liner are essential to warming up the space and keeping the floor (mostly) dry. Finally, no bathroom is complete without a set of towels. You can spend a few bucks on standard towels or splurge on a fluffy set that makes you feel like you’re at the spa.
A well-placed rug can transform any room and give it the elegance that a hardwood floor fails to provide. The benefits extend far past style as well; a rug can reduce noise and is warmer than hard surface flooring. The multitude of woven options on the market will allow you to customize your floor decor to your tastes, all without breaking the bank. If cost is an issue, try a second hand store that sells furniture as well as clothing.
Before you run out to buy any lighting, make sure you understand how much natural light floods into your space and plan accordingly. Floor lamps can serve as excellent pieces at the end of couches, chandeliers can illuminate your dining space and small desk lamps can provide the perfect amount of light as you wind down from the day. Whatever your needs, pick up a few lights as you spruce up your new apartment. You might also try buying bulbs with a higher wattage. Make sure you check with your landlord before installing any permanent fixtures.
Already have a bed? If not, you won’t make it through a night in your new place without some proper bedding, including fitted sheets and comfortable pillows. Consider investing in a thick comforter to keep you warm on cold winter nights, and a thinner blanket to get through the throes of summer in the city. As an added bonus, a Tempurpedic mattress pad can give you the same comfort of the full-scale mattress for a lower price.
6. Book Shelf
Knowledge is power, and to store all the knowledge you’ve collected over the years, you’ll need a bookshelf. Bookshelves function as the capper to complete a room, matching any aesthetic with designs ranging from modern to rustic. It doesn’t have to be solely for books either; they also function as a great storage spot for items you want to put on display or need easy access to.
7. Kitchen Essentials
These home essentials are pretty self-explanatory. Whether you’re having company over or you’re just serving a party of one, dishes and flatware ensure you’re not eating your leftover pizza on a paper towel with your fingers. Just don’t forget to wash them! But every Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen devotee out there knows that without the right cookware, you can’t make your favorite dishes. Whether it’s pots, pans, measuring cups, waffle makers or egg beaters, plan out your kitchen space to fit your needs. The savings you get from cooking your food at home as opposed to eating out will finance your spending on the kitchen essentials in the long run.
8. Dining Table
After you’ve gathered all the essentials for making, plating and storing food, you need a place to eat! A cozy table for two could be the right choice for its convenience, but you could spring for a larger table if you want to host company. The size and style are up to you, but the right table can put an accent mark on a space and tie the room together. Plus, it beats eating breakfast on your couch!
9. First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher
Whether it’s a tiny papercut or you weren’t paying attention while prepping dinner, having a first aid kit around will be your saving grace. You can put together a DIY version with essentials like bandages, antibiotic cream, and burn cream or find a prepackaged one at your local pharmacy. While you’re at it, pick up a small fire extinguisher – available at most hardware stores – to make sure you’re completely ready in case disaster strikes.
10. Window Treatments
To put the finishing touches on your space, look no further than blinds, shades or curtains. There’s no clear-cut favorite on the best option to go with, so browse around and see what catches your eye, then go for it! Just make sure you get the go-ahead from your landlord before installation. You’re well on the way to making your new place your own.