This post shows you the best ideas for kitchen essentials for a first apartment!

Are you moving into your first apartment and wondering what kitchen essentials you need?

Starting out in your first apartment can be exciting but also a bit daunting, especially when it comes to stocking your kitchen.

My biggest tip is to start with the basics and buy items as you need them to avoid clutter.

I've created a list of must-have supplies, which contains everything from kitchen appliances, cleaning products, pots and pans, kitchen utensils, basic equipment, and more.

kitchen essentials for first apartment

Now, let's get into these ideas for kitchen essentials for a first apartment!

1. Kitchen essentials

first apartment kitchen checklist

There are so many utensils you need in your new kitchen.

Make sure you have at least a bowl, plate, knife, fork and spoon before you move in.

I recommend getting a cutlery set with everything because it turns out to be more cost-effective.

However, you can also slowly purchase new utensils once you start settling into your first apartment.

2. Toaster oven

kitchen must haves

Toaster ovens are generally more affordable than traditional ovens and are so versatile.

They can be used to toast, bake, broil, and roast a variety of delicious meals.

Toaster ovens are compact and can easily fit on a countertop, making them ideal for small apartments or kitchens with limited space.

3. Coffee maker

kitchen essentials list

If you're anything like me and call yourself a coffee lover - a coffee maker is essential.

A Nespresso coffee maker was one of the first things I purchased for my new place.

4. Pan set

setting up a kitchen for the first time

A quality pan set is something worth splurging on.

While the initial investment may be higher, quality cookware lasts forever, saving you money in the long run.

5. Mugs and glasses

first apartment checklist

Mugs and glasses are a good idea in every kitchen.

You don't need to get anything fancy; some of my favorite coffee mugs are from Target, and they look so cute.

6. Chopping boards

first apartment decorating

Chopping boards are one of the top items on my list of must-haves.

Chopping things directly on your countertop is an obvious no-no. You’ll ruin your countertops and knife set.

A wooden cutting board is more aesthetically pleasing and keeps knives sharper and longer, but plastic cutting boards are easier to clean.

7. Air fryers

first apartment essentials

Air fryers have taken kitchens by storm, and for good reason!

They're easy to use, affordable, can replace multiple appliances, and are delicious.

8. Measuring cups

first apartment grocery list

You can't forget about measuring cups.

Measuring cups and measuring spoons should be on your shopping list, as following a recipe without them is impossible.

We all like to say we can "eyeball" ingredients, but trust me, it is so much easier with basic equipment.

9. Cooking utensils set

first apartment ideas

Think of kitchen tools like spatulas, wooden spoons, ladles, sieves, and tongs.

These items are necessary for stirring, serving, and flipping food while cooking.

Although you might not use everything in the set, it’s definitely good to have.

10. Garlic press

first apartment checklist essentials

A garlic press is an underrated and important piece of equipment.

Slicing and dicing garlic can be a frustrating, messy chore; I hate how it makes my hands smell like garlic for days.

A garlic press can help reduce the strong garlic odor on your hands and quickly mincing garlic cloves.

11. Dish towels

first apartment tips

Choosing absorbent dish towels is crucial for wiping the kitchen counter, etc.

You’ll also need a few kitchen towels to dry your hands!!

It's important always to keep good hygiene and separate towels for different purposes.

12. Mixing bowls

first kitchen essentials

I love it when kitchen items are multipurpose.

Use big mixing bowls for baking, cooking, serving salads, or serving snacks like popcorn and chips.

Small bowls are perfect for whisking dressings, beating eggs, or holding spices and smaller portions.

Stainless steel mixing bowls are an excellent and durable option, 

13. Food storage containers

first apartment kitchen appliances

Tupperware is an essential addition to your kitchen.

Food containers are perfect for storing leftovers, meal prepping, and help keep your kitchen organized.

They will keep your food fresh for days.

14. Oven mitts

list of kitchen essentials for new home

Oven mitts are absolute essentials in your first apartment; they make cooking so much easier.

I know oven mitts feel like an insignificant kitchen item, but please protect your hands from burns when handling hot trays.

15. Strainer

first apartment budget

A strainer is a must-have for draining pasta and rice.

If you have a small apartment, I would recommend getting collapsible silicon strainers!

16. A knife set

basic kitchen needs list

A good set of knives is essential in any kitchen.

Your first apartment is most likely a little small, so that's why I love a magnetic knife set.

All you do is hang it on your kitchen wall, and you've instantly freed up space along your counter.

A small kitchen can quickly look cluttered with lots of appliances along the bench, so I like to find easy hacks to free up some space.

17. Paper towel holder

kitchen essentials

A paper towel holder is a practical addition to any kitchen.

It keeps the roll off the counter, saving space and preventing it from getting wet or dirty.

If you have limited space on your kitchen counter, you can even save space by placing a paper towel holder under the cabinet.

18. Lemon squeezer

kitchen essentials list

Squeezing lemons by hand can be challenging; seeds fall into your food, and juice squirts everywhere.

With a lemon squeezer in your kitchen, you can easily add a burst of fresh citrus flavor to your dishes.

There are so many options to choose from, such as stainless steel, handheld, or glass.

19. Silverware

kitchen appliance ideas

Silverware, including forks, spoons, and knives, is essential for a new home.

Additionally, having enough forks, knives, and spoons on hand is practical for both everyday use and entertaining guest

20. Silverware organizer

kitchen essentials checklist

A cutlery organizer is a must-have for your first apartment, ensuring that your kitchen remains tidy and efficient.

A cutlery organizer is an easy tool for maintaining a functional kitchen.

21. Dish rack and essentials

first apartment aesthetic

I hate buying things like this for my apartment, but it needs to be done.

A dish rack, dish soap, and sponges are super easy to forget when moving into your first apartment.

Opt for a two-tier one if you want to maximize vertical space.

22. Soap dispenser

first apartment decorating

Get a matching set of soap dispensers!

Soap dispensers look cute and actually end up being more affordable than buying new dispensers every time,

23. Fruit basket

firsrt apartment goals

A fruit basket is a cute and practical decorative addition to your kitchen.

My fridge is always filled to the brim, so having a fruit bowl is a great way to store my fruit and veggies.

24. Multi-surface spray

first apartment checklist essentials

The multi-surface spray is one of the more boring items, but it is essential nonetheless.

The multi-surface spray is one of the more boring items, but it is essential nonetheless.

I personally love Bosistos multipurpose.

25. Blender

first apartment decorating on a budget

Blenders can be a bit more pricey, but they are useful for those who enjoy healthy eating.

If you don't use it often, go for a cheaper blender like a second-hand nutribullet!

I personally use mine on a daily basis, so I don't mind investing.

26. Baking essentials

first kitchen decorating on a budget

If you consider yourself a home cook and love to bake, a baking set is essential in your first kitchen.

A baking set usually includes:

  • Baking Sheets
  • Cake Pans
  • Muffin Tins
  • Loaf Pans
  • Cooling Racks

27. Spice rack

1st apartment checklist

Getting a spice rack is an essential organizational tool for any kitchen that keeps them within easy reach.

The following condiments and spices are some of my favorites that I am constantly restocking.

  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Chilli Powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Garlic Salt
  • Tumeric

I hope this ultimate first apartment checklist of kitchen essentials makes you feel prepared and meets all your needs.

apartment must haves

This post showed you the best ideas for kitchen essentials for a first apartment!

You may also like: