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A Move-In Checklist for Your First Apartment

by Deborah Feketa, CLE Denver

Moving to a new apartmentMoving into a new apartment for the first time is an exciting adventure! Being organized and knowing what to bring to your apartment can make the transition a smooth one amidst the often not so fun stressors of hauling large boxes and furniture on a hot or rainy moving day. The following is a suggested list of items for a basic start. A key factor to a successful move and start to independent living is: “Simpler is better.”

Remember to check out Target, Wal-Mart, and Bed Bath & Beyond for college starter kits. Often you can find kitchen, living room, and bedroom packages geared for the student that is going away to school.

[ *** Consult with your roommate, you only need one of these items ]


  • 4 plates and 4 bowls (per student)
    *separate color for each student
  • 4 glasses (per student)
  • Colander
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Cookie sheet/baking sheet
  • Pots & Pans- large and small skillet one medium sauce pan – Only three pans please!
  • Kitchen Utensils- Limit to only those necessary
  • Can opener
  • Dish Towels
  • Hot pad holders
  • Storage Containers (Microwave Safe)
  • Sandwich Bags-zipper locks
  • Water Bottle
  • 13 Gallon Garbage Can ***
  • Trash Bags-Flex Tie
  • Recycling Bin
  • Cutting Board
  • Tin Foil
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
  • Serving Plate
  • Dish Rack***
  • Sponges
  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Silverware
  • Paring Knife
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons
  • Kitchen Table & Chairs


  • TV & DVD/ ***
  • Microwave***
  • Toaster or Toaster Oven***
  • Surge Protector

Cleaning Supplies

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Swiffer Mop with Replacement Pads***
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Toilet Bowl Brush
  • Soft Scrub Cleaner or Ajax-Comet
  • Cleaning Sponges (Scrubby backs)
  • Kitchen/bathroom cleaner w disinfectant
  • Windex or other glass cleaner
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Toilet Plunger
  • Automated Shower Cleaner

Bed Room

  • Bed & Bed Frame
  • Sheets, Pillow Cases, Liner
  • Desk Lamp
  • Blanket
  • Comforter
  • Pillows
  • Desk/chair
  • Night stand/small book shelf


  • Towels: Bath/Hand/Washcloths (4/each)
  • Bath Mat
  • Shower Curtain, Liner, & Hooks
  • Nail care set
  • Shower Caddy
  • Hair Dryer
  • Hair Brush/Comb
  • Razor & Shaving Cream
  • Beach Towel

Personal Items

  • Bug Repellent
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Body Wash
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Dental Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Cotton Balls
  • Sunscreen #30 or higher
  • Hairspray or Hair gel
  • Liquid Hand Soap
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Holder
  • First Aid Kit
  • Emergency Sewing Kit
  • Two laundry baskets; light and dark clothes

Household Items

  • Game System
  • Storage for Videos, DVDs, Video Games, etc.
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights/Candles/Matches
  • Hangers
  • Iron & Ironing Board
  • Decorating Items; please keep to bare minimum
  • Small Tool Kit (screw driver, hammer, etc.)

Living Room

  • Couch & Chair***
  • Entertainment Center***
  • Lamps: Floor &/or Table***
  • Coffee Table & End Table***
  • Bookshelf***


  • 5 pair of jeans
  • 2 pair of slacks
  • 5 pair casual shorts
  • 3 pair play shorts
  • 3 sport/play/sweat pants
  • 7 t-shirts
  • 5 long sleeve shirts
  • 2 pajama sets
  • 2 dress shirts & pants or dresses/2 dress outfits
  • 4 sweatshirts
  • Belts/footwear
  • Ten days of undergarments
  • Alarm Clock
  • Ten pair of socks/ 2 pair dress socks
  • Winter Jacket
  • Beanie (Stocking Hat)
  • Gloves
  • Winter Boots
  • Sweaters
  • Ski Pants
  • Light Jacket
  • Rain Jacket
  • Ski gear
  • Avoid clothes requiring “dry cleaning” if possible

Study Supplies

  • Laptop Computer
  • Backpack (waterproof)
  • Notebook Paper
  • Dictionary & Thesaurus
  • Address/Phone Book
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Binders & Folders
  • Highlighters
  • Pens & Pencils
  • White board w Markers


  • Insurance Card
  • Student ID (Drivers License/Passport)
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Small Secure Firebox

Newsletter Articles – August 2015

Connect with support office

With the passage of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, the transition from secondary to post-secondary education has improved for many students. However, some students still experience difficulties.

Maureen Higgins M.S., C.R.C is the Disability Services Advisor at Broward College in Davie, Florida. Maureen points to three key gaps that exist as the students move on to college. Specifically, she highlights self-advocacy, time management, and the importance of self-identifying with the disability services office before registering for classes.

Transitioning to college

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the next level of the game when it comes to your education: college. This next stage will be an exciting one, but it will also bring its share of challenges. As a high school graduate, you’re undoubtedly a clever scholar who knows your way around the education system. But one of the challenges of success in college is recognizing how it differs from high school. The following chart will help you recognize some of the differences between high school and college and how to navigate those differences.

Roommates at CLE

Are you worried about living with a roommate? You are not alone. Every college student approaches the beginning of the school year with some anxiety about his or her new roommate. Perhaps it is the first time you’ve had to share a living space with someone else. Maybe you’re worried about whether your roommate will be friendly. How will you handle disagreements? Dr. Scott Hykin, Director of Psychological Services at CLE Rockville, offers the following advice for living with a roommate

Robert and David - 2010 CLE

In 2010 I graduated from high school and moved to Austin, Texas where I started College Living Experience. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there, it was scary and challenging, but only because I made it that way. At the time, I thought I knew everything about life and I didn’t need to learn anything, boy was I wrong. As a result, I did not listen to others’ advice and I wasted a lot of time instead of making good use of the program and the CLE staff.

Meal plan - breakfast

Meal planning is key to healthy, balanced eating and spending your grocery budget wisely. Having a meal plan and proper ingredients in your apartment will help you be prepared to nourish your body so that you can be at your best every day. Everyone’s meal plan will be unique and should be a true representation of your week. Meal planning can be done as frequently as a student desires or just once and used as a guide through a whole semester.

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This has been a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.