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75 Must-Have New Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist

If you are looking for some new apartment kitchen essentials checklist to help you organize your new home, you've come to the right spot.
New Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist

You just snagged the keys to your first apartment and are scratching your head about what goes in the kitchen? Been there, done that. That’s why I’ve whipped up this ‘New Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist’ to save you the headache. It’s got all the must-haves and some fun extras to boot. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

When I moved into my first apartment over eight years ago, nobody told me how crucial it was to have a go-to list of kitchen must-haves

As a result, the struggle became real very quickly. 

I still vividly remember the day I wanted to cook pasta but realized I didn’t even have a proper pot to boil water in. 


Another time, I wanted to make a homemade pizza only to discover I needed a rolling pin, pizza cutter, and even a decent oven mitt. 

In hindsight, I wish I’d done my research or at least consulted someone who could guide me through the essentials. 

I would have saved myself money, multiple trips to the store, and a great deal of frustration. 

These experiences taught me valuable lessons about being prepared and the value of having a first apartment kitchen essentials checklist on hand before move-in day.

That’s why, in this blog post, I will share some absolute must-have new apartment kitchen essentials checklist so you can avoid ending up in the same boat I was in.

Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck wishing to cook pasta without having a proper pot to boil water in. Learn from my mistakes so you can be fully prepared!

list of kitchen essentials for new apartment

List of Kitchen Essentials For New Apartment

Among the multiple tasks that require your attention, setting up your kitchen can be one of the most daunting. 

The kitchen is, after all, the heart of the home, where you’ll spend a significant amount of time preparing meals, socializing, and maybe even working or studying. 

To ensure you have all the essentials and some added luxuries for an efficiently functioning kitchen, we’ve created a massive list to help you through the hassle of moving in.

This list goes beyond the basics to include everything you might need, whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef.

What You Actually Need: Essential Kitchen Appliances 

Before cooking, you’ll need some core appliances to make the magic happen. Depending on the apartment you’re moving into, some may already come fully furnished with these items. 

However, if your apartment isn’t fully furnished, here are some items to consider:

  1. Refrigerator and Freezer
  2. Stove and Oven (or Cooktop)
  3. Microwave
  4. Toaster or Toaster Oven
  5. Electric Kettle
  6. Blender
  7. Coffee Maker
  8. Hand Mixer


Having suitable pots and pans can make or break your cooking experience. I recommend investing in high-quality cookware you can use throughout your stay in your new apartment.

I use this fantastic pan from Amazon for most of my cooking, and I swear by it.

If you’re not a fan of buying in sets and prefer to purchase individually, here are some other versatile pieces to consider:

Stove Top Cooking Essentials:

  1. Frying Pan/Skillet
  2. Saucepan (Small and Medium)
  3. Stock Pot
  4. Wok
  5. Dutch Oven

Baking Essentials

  1. Baking Sheet
  2. Casserole Dish
  3. Roasting Pan
  4. Grill Pan
  5. Non-stick Baking Mats or Parchment Paper
  6. Cooling Racks
  7. Muffin Pan

Utensils and Cutlery

A well-equipped drawer of utensils and cutlery can make your food prep more efficient and enjoyable.

Like the pots and pans, I recommend investing in high-quality silverware that would last you a long time. Make sure to have:

  1. Chef’s Knife
  2. Paring Knife
  3. Bread Knife
  4. Cutting Board (Plastic and Wooden)
  5. Potato Masher
  6. Spatula (Rubber and Metal)
  7. Tongs
  8. Wooden Spoon
  9. Slotted Spoon
  10. Ladle
  11. Whisk
  12. Potato Masher
  13. Serving Spoons
  14. Measuring Cups and Spoons
  15. Fish Turner
  16. Pasta Fork
  17. Dinnerware sets

Small Gadgets

While not always necessary, these smaller gadgets can make specialized tasks much more manageable:

  1. Can Opener
  2. Peeler
  3. Garlic Press
  4. Grater
  5. Zester
  6. Kitchen Scissors
  7. Ice Cream Scoop
  8. Pizza Cutter
  9. Nutcracker
  10. Bottle Opener
  11. Corkscrew
  12. Mortar and Pestle
  13. Measuring Jug
  14. Rolling Pin
First Apartment Kitchen Essentials

Storage and Organization

Organization is vital to a functional kitchen and can make things like meal-planning much easier. Here are some items to help you keep everything in its place:

  1. Storage Containers (Glass or Plastic)
  2. Ziplock Bags (Various Sizes)
  3. Drawer Organizers for Cutlery
  4. Spice Rack
  5. Pot and Pan Organizers
  6. Shelf Liners
  7. Lazy Susan
  8. Food Storage Wraps (Aluminum Foil, Cling Film)
  9. Bread Box
  10. Recipe Book Holder

Miscellaneous New Apartment Kitchen Essentials

These are not necessarily essential but make for a more enjoyable and efficient kitchen experience:

  1. Mixing Bowls (Glass and Plastic)
  2. Colander
  3. Sieve or Fine Mesh Strainer
  4. Oven Mitts
  5. Kitchen Towels
  6. Dish Draining Rack
  7. Trash Can and Recycling Bin
  8. Apron
  9. Fire Extinguisher
  10. First Aid Kit

Cleaning Supplies

Since you will spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you must keep it clean. A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. Therefore, add these supplies to your new apartment kitchen essentials checklist to maintain cleanliness:

  1. Dish Soap
  2. Sponges
  3. Dish Towels
  4. Cleaning Cloths
  5. All-Purpose Cleaner
  6. Trash Bags
  7. Broom and Dustpan
  8. Mop and Bucket

Why I Recommend a First Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist

A new apartment kitchen essentials checklist is necessary for anyone stepping into their first (or even a new) living space. 

There are so many benefits to having one on hand, so if you are still debating whether having one is necessary, let me give you a few reasons why you should create one now.

Stress Reduction

Remember how I mentioned earlier that I didn’t even have the right pot to cook pasta in? 

That stressed me out, especially since I had already prepped the sauce earlier. 

The benefits of having a first apartment kitchen essentials checklist are that it takes away the stress of forgetting essential items and helps ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

Knowing that you have all the necessary pots, pans, and utensils at your disposal can make cooking a much more enjoyable experience. 

Savings on Cost

Have you ever gone to Target to purchase a dishwashing soap only to leave with a new pillow, a new mattress cover, a new wall decor, and absolutely no dishwashing soap? 

Well, that’s a classic example of how easy it is to get sidetracked when shopping, especially in stores like Target that offer a wide variety of products.

While you discover items you didn’t know you “needed,” you also forget why you walked into the store in the first place. 

In fact, a study published by the National Institute of Health found that store environment and atmosphere are among the main factors contributing to impulse buying for many consumers. 

Creating a new apartment kitchen essentials checklist and sticking to it can help you stay focused and avoid these unnecessary purchases, thus helping you save money.

It’s a simple step, but it’s effective for winning impulse buys and ensuring you remember essential items like dishwashing soap.

Time Efficiency

Unless you enjoy spending hours shopping, having a new apartment kitchen essentials checklist can dramatically improve your time efficiency. 

Knowing what you need helps you navigate the store more quickly, avoiding aimless wandering through aisles of tempting but unnecessary items. 

This speeds up your shopping trip and frees up time for other activities you enjoy or need to accomplish.

Related Post: New Apartment Grocery Checklist

New Apartment Checklist PDF

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed by all the kitchen essentials you need for your new apartment, we’ve created a new apartment kitchen essentials checklist printable to make it easier to find all the items you need.

Remember, you don’t have to acquire everything at once. Prioritize based on your cooking habits and lifestyle, and add items as you discover you need them. 

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