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34 Inexpensive Things You'll Want In Your First Apartment

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A 300–thread count duvet set so your room immediately looks polished while you’re still very much on a college student budget. No worries: this’ll have you sleeping lavishly thanks to its temperature regulating technology (welcome, hot sleepers!) and moisture-wicking cotton.


This set includes a duvet and one or two pillow shams.

Promising review: “I’m so glad to have this duvet cover. I was pleasantly surprised how soft the fabric is. It does have a slight cooling effect when you feel the material. I can’t wait to see how it holds in the heat in the cold winter weather. The pillow covers are nice, as well. The stitching and cotton fabric are really nice quality.” —ShoppingforShoes

Get it from BuzzFeed’s Goodful line, exclusively at Macy’s for $62.99+ (available in sizes twin-king and in four shades).


A set of stackable storage bins that’ll come to the rescue when you suddenly realize on move-in day that you don’t have a pantry. Or if you do, it’s the size of your thumb.


They’re built to take up as little space as possible, thanks to their stacking ability!

Promising review: “I ordered these to keep my small pantry organized. I love that they could stack into each other, as well as on top of each other. They seem pretty sturdy for the stuff that I put in there including potatoes, small bags of flour, and/or sugar. They are really getting the job done!” —Anna

Get them from Amazon for $28.99 (available in two color combinations).


A chic geometric table lamp, because you’re probably going to need a lot more light than what’s naturally at your place — and this’ll do just that without taking up too much room.


Promising review: “This is awesome for space saving in my small kitchen! It’s nice and compact.” —Michael E.

Get it from Amazon for $28.99+ (available in four styles).


A magnetic key holder for never forgetting the most important thing of the day. Note: calling the locksmith is EXPENSIVE.


Promising review: “This is one of the most useful purchases I’ve ever made on Amazon. I use it every single day to hang my keys. I’ve had it for at least half a year now it seems. It hasn’t lost any magnetism and it holds my car keys, remote start, USB, rewards/gift cards, house and work keys, etc. I’m in love. One of the best purchases I’ve made.” —Makenah

Get it from Amazon for $7.98.


A mason jar organizer so you can keep things like bathroom items chicly organized off of your counters *and* get major decorating points. Why yes, I DO secretly work for HGTV.


Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in two colors).


An oven grip and splatter lid set that’ll keep hot water from spilling on your precious new stove top and protect your hands from burning. Let’s not start this new adventure with a trip to the emergency room.


Get it from BuzzFeed’s Goodful line, exclusively at Macy’s for $16.79 (originally $28.99).


A felt letter board, because this’ll be an easy way to always keep your new home cheerful and on-trend (and maybe even stylishly leave yourself reminders).


It comes with 340 characters to write your messages out!

Promising review: “This is great! I’m a photographer and this is a great, easy to use and trendy prop. Much simpler than a chalkboard which has been my go-to. I loved that they included snips; it made cutting the letters cleanly off the board so easy.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $16.65.


A cotton storage basket for neatly keeping anything from laundry, towels, or just unsightly clutter from interfering with your decorating goals. This is the time we get rid of The Chair.


Promising review: “I bought this hamper to help keep our laundry room more organized since we have a large family. This hamper is durable, the handles allow for a nice grip, it can hold a decent amount of clothes, and I like the color and material.” —Brandon

Get it from Amazon for $27.99.


An expandable utensil organizer designed with tight spaces in mind so you can still keep your cutlery nice and neat even if your drawers are teeny tiny. Welcome to city life!


Promising review: “This fits perfectly into my tiny drawers and holds double the amount of utensils (even chopsticks!) compared to bigger ones! Genius design.” —Van Cheung

Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in two colors).


A faux sheepskin rug that’ll greet your tired feet with much-needed fluffy relief at the end of a long day. Whose idea was it to pay rent, anyway?


Promising review: “This rug is every bit of deserving of the five stars I’m giving it. I was nervous because let’s face it: It’s extremely cheap compared to other faux fur rugs that are priced in the hundreds. I thought worst case I lose 30 bucks. I’m so glad I bought this rug! The photos don’t give it justice. It is sooo beautiful, soft, and looks expensive. The quality is excellent and it flattened easily. I’m using it in my living room.” —Nyla

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in four sizes and four styles).


A reversible fleece throw, because this’ll make your Ikea couch look put-together and adult-approved, even though we really just want it as a cuddle buddy while binging Making A Murderer 2.


Promising review: “This is a great quality blanket, so amazingly soft. My cats are in love with this blanket. I’m in love with this blanket. I bought one for my couch, and the day it came, I went back and bought another for my bed. I find this blanket does not shed, either, which is a miracle.” —Shazia M.

Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (available in two sizes and three styles).


A set of super plush cotton towels for bringing hotel-level luxury right to your own small bathroom. Not to mention you’ll stall a trip to the laundromat thanks to buying these in bulk.


Promising review: “Love these towels! They stay soft and fluffy, and the colors do not fade after many many washes! I originally bought these for the guest room bathroom, but I loved them so much that I switched these to my master bathroom. I just ordered more to replace all the towels in my house with these.” —mina

Get a four-pack from Amazon for $21.99 (available in four colors).

And! See what won best bath towels on BuzzFeed Reviews!


A rust-resistant steel caddy with eight angled shelves and two razor/loofah hooks so if you now own a standing shower you can still load up on your usual bath products. And it’ll look neat and chic!


**Obviously also helpful if you own a regular shower — clutter is never fun.

Promising review: “This shower caddy is great! What I like most is that when I lift off one bottle, the caddy stays in place, whereas the ones in the past went way off-center. I also love the satin finish so after years of usage there should be no chunks of worn-off rubber and exposed, rusted metal. I highly recommend this item.” —MsTexasZon

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.


A trio of floating shelves that’ll prevent your thoughtful Pinterest-inspired decor from just looking like clutter. Free counter space = naturally clean looking apartment.


You get three different sized shelves for a ~visually appealing~ gallery wall!

Promising review: “I bought these because I was tired of having all my skincare products and perfumes taking over my vanity area. These shelves were VERY easy to install. Not to mention these are very sturdy, as well. I would highly recommend these and will look to purchase from this brand again.” —Alex

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in three colors).


A powerful mini steamer, because I’ll bet your bottom dollar that you don’t have room for an ironing board. And you can’t ship all your dry cleaning to your parents’, so….this is your new best friend.

Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

Check out a BuzzFeed editor’s full review on how this saves her time in the morning!

Promising review: “I am beyond thrilled with this little gizmo. It has worked wonders on everything in my closet from delicate chiffon and poly-blends, to heavier cotton and wool-blends. I have even steamed stubborn wrinkles from blazers and purses and linen. The picture I have shared is of a pair of jeans air dried straight from the wash (before) and then (after) one passing with the Pur Steam Fabric Steamer. I considered purchasing a larger steamer, but they tend to be clumsy, heavy and difficult to maneuver. This steamer is perfect. And for frequent refills, I simply keep a pitcher of water nearby. For the price, you can’t beat it.” —Savvy Shopper

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.


A set of carbon steel knives for owning grown-up cooking tools that you’ll actually own forever, unlike probably your first apartment. You’ll 1000% be packing these up come your next move.


The set includes a paring knife, utility knife, and a chef knife (that all come with safety guards)!

Get them from BuzzFeed’s Goodful line, exclusively at Macy’s for $39.99 (originally $57.99).

Want more options? See our picks for best knives on BuzzFeed Reviews!


A wood polisher so you can undo any surface scratches the minute they happen, aka you’ll avoid any unexpected charges from your good old landlord.


Plus it feeds your wood protective carnauba wax and beeswax to give it some ~luster~ and extend its lifetime.

Promising review: “OMG! This is the most AMAZING product! We inherited some antique furniture from the ’30s that had been in storage forever. It was dry, dirty, and not much to look at. I used this product on it and the oak wood literally came alive, showing the beautiful grain and texture of the wood. I have since used it on my oak kitchen cabinets and they look AMAZING! I will never use anything else other than this product on my wood surfaces! No greasy feel, just a fantastic smell!” —Tiffany Sadowski

Get it from Amazon for $8.48.


A stainless steel waste can that’ll keep trash hidden and odors contained, which is pretty darn important when living in tight quarters. Repeat after me: I will not just use plastic bags.


Promising review: “This can is very lightweight. It’s easy to clean especially when you use a T-shirt bag as a liner. It has a small footprint allowing it to be tucked in a corner out of the way. When you put trash in the can the lid moves down into the can instead of popping up which would require more free space to operate in.” —kidkindle

Get it from Amazon for $19.97 (available in two colors).


A duo of hanging glass terrariums, because these’ll *freshen* up your home with minimal effort. AND caring for plants has been proven to be therapeutic, which will come in handy after .05 seconds of living in a city.

Amazon, amazon.com

You’ll love it though! EMBRACE THE STRESS.

Promising review: “This is a nice addition to my decor, plus it’s super strong. I dropped one on the floor while hanging — it didn’t break!” —loulou

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $12.99.


An ice cube tray with a silicone lid for a) having cold water even if you don’t have an ice-making machine and b) being able to store this any darn way that helps it fit in your small freezer.


Promising review: “This is the best ice cube tray there is. I did a stupid amount of research and testing to find this. It works better than they describe it: you fill it with water, swipe your hand across to get out the excess, and the lid is sealed — very well. You can put it in your freezer sideways, carry it upside down, whatever. Afterwards, the ice is super easy to get out.” —bcomstock15

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.


A silver over-the-door mirror so you know what the heck you look like from the waist down. Plus, this will add a more sophisticated appeal to your room than the old one you used in your dorm.


You can hang it over the door or just prop it against the wall!

Promising review: “This mirror is exactly what I was looking for. It can either be hung over the door or on the floor. The brushed nickel looks great and the actual mirror is wider than your standard cheap mirror. The price is on point. I am very happy with this purchase.” —dressed2thrill

Get it from Target for $39.99 or a similar style from Amazon for $44.99+ (available in six styles).


A ceramic sink caddy that’ll organize your kitchen supplies (again: a blessing for small spaces) and keep your counters from getting splattered and messy. Your place will *not* be home to moldy sponges.


Promising review: “I love this for my kitchen! On the side I put my bath and body soap and it fits perfectly. The sponges fit just right.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in four colors).


An over-the-door shoe organizer, because I’m going to take a wild guess and say you DON’T have a walk-in closet. But we do like to buy shoes and they can’t go all over the floor.


Do you know what my first apartment bedroom’s closet was? Nonexistent.

Promising review: “Having no place to store my shoes was driving me nuts, and I was always tripping over shoes. I wasn’t sure if the pockets in the organizer would be large enough for my Crocs, but they fit perfectly when I put the shoes in heel first. I was able to get two pairs of sneakers in the last two sets of pockets, as well. The pockets seem to be well-made and I’m confident that this shoe organizer will last.” —bcomstock15

Get it from Amazon for $7.97.


A ceramic non-stick fry pan for having the most important culinary tool. Please, if you buy nothing else for your kitchen, get this. You can cook basically everything in it.


OBVIOUSLY it’s dishwasher-safe. What are we, washing dishes like Martha Stewart? Please.

Get it from BuzzFeed’s Goodful line, exclusively at Macy’s for $19.99 (originally $28.99).

For more options, check out our picks for best non-stick pans on BuzzFeed Reviews!


A set of Lysol wipes so you always have something *on hand* to quickly take care of messes. Basically, these are the golden ticket to keeping a clean home with absolute minimal effort.


This set comes with two scents: one “fresh scent” and two “citrus blends.” Most importantly, these kill *99.999%* of bacteria, cold and flu viruses, E. Coli (um), MRSA (what), Salmonella (ew), Staph, and Strep (holy crap). Oh, and pesky allergens like cat and dog dander and pollen. And in case that all isn’t enough, you can clean tough stains like grease in mere seconds.

Promising review: “There are not enough good things I can say. You can use them anywhere for anything. I use them to clean toilets, sinks, counters, the tables, doorknobs, anything that can pick up and grow germs! I even use them to wipe up after any doggy accidents. This helps kill the germs and any nasty bacteria that may have been left behind. They are so simply to use. Just pull one out and wipe away. They do not leave a film behind and the scent is clean and refreshing.” —Dylan O.

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $10.59.


A mildew-resistant, waterproof shower curtain that’ll easily keep your bathroom feeling clean (no one likes a moldy shower, am I right?) *and* open up a tiny bathroom, courtesy of its light design.


It keeps water *in* the shower so you can say goodbye to damp floors. PLUS it’s machine-washable! Bless.

Promising review: “It’s 2018 folks and I had to buy a shower liner for my bathroom, because I was tired of water getting in the bathroom floor. Well I bought this extra shower liner here. I haven’t been happier, and so is my whole household. This is very nice, strong, and does what it’s suppose to do. And the added bonus is that it’s machine washable. Can’t go wrong with this item! This is an 100% win.” —Sam Cox

Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in three sizes and six styles).


A velvet floor pillow, because offering extra seating is hard when on a budget and in a tiny living room. These’ll let your guests comfortably pop a squat anywhere — and what room can’t use an upgrade from some luxe velvet?

Urban Outfitters

Promising review: “This is a cute pillow! The velvet feels very nice. This is exactly what I was looking for to create a cozy little corner in my room.” —agswims

Get it from Urban Outfitters for $39 (originally $59; available in three styles) or a similar style from Amazon for $17.99+ (available in two sizes and 11 colors).


A roll of marble contact paper for transforming the same old pieces of furniture you’ve had forever into high-end pieces of decor. We are on a BUDGET.


This is a 15.9″x6.5′ roll! Did I mention it’s fade- and water-proof?

Promising review: “This wrap completely transformed my desk! My desk looks amazing and everyone who walks into my room notices. It’s not a super thin vinyl, so if there are tiny imperfections/scratches where you want to place it, it will be covered! I’ve never used a vinyl wrap before so I was a little nervous, but surprisingly it was super easy to apply and I finished up in less than 10 minutes.” —Shan

Get it from Amazon for $6.88.


A three-tier shelf organizer so you can stack your dishes safely and without the risk of breaking. Plus, you only have so many cabinets — you need to make the most of them!


Promising review: “These shelf savers were just the ticket: They freed up my shelf space and organized my plates and bowls. The price is very reasonable, and I might add that they are well-made.” —Gene

Get it from Amazon for $13.97.


A set of non-slip velvet hangers that’ll easily make your closet look put-together, as well as keep all your clothes off the floor. Let’s start on the right foot, shall we?


Promising review: “I think I need an intervention, lol. I ordered 100 of these hangers and was so impressed I ordered 100 more. I can’t wait for them to get here. I’m on my fourth closet and it’s a huge closet. My clothes were all over the floor from slipping off hangers. I couldn’t find a thing because of the mess. What a difference these hangers make. If anyone wants to send me a birthday present, I’ll take some more of these velvet hangers.” —Catherine

Get a 30-pack from Amazon for $16.99.


A collapsible over-the-sink colander, because you need all your grown-up cooking utensils, but definitely don’t want them to cause unnecessary clutter.


You just collapse it afterwards so that it doesn’t take up any room!

Promising review: “I love this product. I’ve been looking for an over-the-sink strainer, but haven’t been able to find one in stores. I thought about it one day and looked on Amazon. There it was so I bought the red one. It’s great. It pops out to give enough room for food and then pops back in for easy storage. My big colanders are just in the way now. They may have to go to Goodwill. I really, really like this one.” —Angela M

Get it from Amazon for $12.89+ (available in four colors).


A duo of velvet pillow covers for giving your living room a sophisticated flair while still staying well under budget. We need money for all that takeout we swore we wouldn’t order.


Promising review: “Like other reviewers have said, this cover completely surpassed my expectations. I’ve purchased a lot of pillow covers and they have been pretty low quality and cheap looking. Not these! Finally! I was looking for something for my main couch in my living room that was soft enough that someone could nap on comfortably, and these are so perfect. They’re much softer than any velvet I’ve ever felt. I’m already trying to think of an excuse to buy more in different colors.” —Happyasaclam

Get a two-pack from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in nine sizes and 28 colors).


A spackle kit so you can fill in any holes you’ve made in the walls (aka when you inevitably hang up pictures) quickly and easily, and most importantly get that security deposit back.


This kit contains spackle, primer, a putty knife, and sanding pad!

Promising review: “I slipped in the shower the other day and grabbed my towel bar outside of it as to not die. Doing so, I ripped the bar off of the wall, including the screws and anchors, so I had four small but kind of nasty holes in my wall. I’ve never done any sort of drywall repair/spackling/etc, and I figure for under $10 with all I could need, this would do the job. I applied the spackle, smoothed it with the flat end of the tube, and allowed it to dry. I was able to sand it smooth and then paint over the spackle. It looks fine now. I give it a five for convenience.” —John J. Connelly Jr.

Get it from Amazon for $6.97.


A sleek toilet brush and holder that’ll not only keep your toilet clean (a must), but stay disguised so your bathroom can stay as pretty as you’d like.


Let me just be gross and say if you have roommates, you need this. I will let that sit with you.

Promising review: “My bathroom space is small and this toilet brush and holder is slim, nice-looking and a good price. Getting the job done is all that matters.” —amazon reviewer

Get it from Amazon for $14.86.

You after your first time paying rent:

3 Arts Entertainment

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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