Moving into a rental for the first time has its ups and downs.
Finding somewhere new to live can be exciting.
But writing an application, going through tenant referencing, and paying your deposit (which doesn’t always have to be paid upfront, by the way!) isn’t quite as much fun.
Thankfully, it gets better when the boring stuff is out of the way, and you can start buying things for your new home.
Decorating your rental is a fun (albeit expensive) part of the process.
But it’s important not to forget about the essentials while you’re thinking about all the houseplants you can fit in your living room (we know you’re doing it!).
To help you settle in your new rental quickly, we’ve created a handy room-by-room checklist of the essential things every new renter needs.
What You’ll Need When You First Move In: A Day One Checklist
Before you create a first home shopping list, there’s something very important you need to do.
You need to ask your landlord or letting agent two things: what’s included in the rental and what they’ll provide on day one.
Always ask what’s included in the rental (like which furnishings) before signing the lease. This will help you properly budget for any larger items.
If you’re renting a furnished property, you’ll usually be given things like white goods, beds, a wardrobe, and cutlery.
If you’re renting unfurnished, the property will usually be empty when you move in. Some landlords will provide small things, like a cheap shower curtain, that you can change later.
Many landlords also provide blinds and curtains in an unfurnished rental, but this isn’t guaranteed. Always ask whether this is the case.
Related article: 10 vital questions to ask when viewing a new rental
Some landlords won’t provide anything other than the bare minimum for day one in your new home. But it’s worth asking the question anyway so you can plan exactly what you need.
For example, will the landlord ensure you have local recycling bags from day one, or will you need to pick these up from the council before you move in?
Moving Rental: Day One Checklist
Other than the obvious (like a place to sleep), you’ll need quite a few things on the first day in your new home.
Here’s a checklist of what you need to bring with you for day 1 in your new home:
- Toilet roll
- Bath towels
- Oven gloves
- Tea towels
- Cleaning supplies including hand soap, washing up liquid, dusters, cloths, sponges, laundry detergent, and disinfectant spray.
- An overnight bag with clean clothes, pyjamas and personal hygiene products, like toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel
- Cups, mugs, plates and cutlery (if not provided)
- Cooking pots, pans and utensils (if not provided)
- Bedding, including sheets, duvet, pillows, pillowcases and duvet cover (if not provided)
- Rubbish and recycling bags (if not provided)
Most other accessories and furnishings can be purchased in the days, weeks and months after you’ve moved in.
If you’re travelling with lots of boxes, try to keep the essentials in 1 or 2 clearly labelled boxes. That way, you’ll only need to unpack these boxes on moving day and not everything else.
Related article: How to seamlessly move from one rental to another
First Home Essentials Every New Renter Needs: A Room-by-Room Checklist
Getting settled in your new home quickly is the goal. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re living in a hotel for months after you’ve moved in.
To make your new rental feel like home ASAP, here’s a room-by-room checklist of the essential things every new renter needs.
Depending on what your landlord is and isn’t providing in your new rental, here are the things you may need to purchase for your bedroom:
- Bedding, including a sheet, duvet cover and pillowcases
- Bedside table
- A lamp
- Dressing table
- Curtains or blinds
- Hangers (your landlord may provide a wardrobe in a furnished property, but hangers aren’t guaranteed!)
Related article: Quick & easy decorating ideas for small rental apartments
Bathroom essentials are almost always overlooked. It’s easy to forget the basics when you need to do so much other stuff.
Here’s a guide to some of the basic things every new renter needs for the bathroom:
- Hand soap
- Toilet roll
- Daily essentials, like toothpaste, shower gel and shampoos
- Towels, including hand towels and bath towels
- Shower curtain (even some furnished rentals won’t come with a shower curtain)
- Toothbrush holder
- Plunger (you never know when you’ll need it!)
- Toilet brush
- Bathmat (they don’t just look nice, they can also help protect the floor from water damage and save you your deposit)
Related article: 6 Pro tips to ensure you get your rent deposit back
If you’re renting a furnished property, your landlord should provide most of the cooking essentials for the kitchen, like cutlery, pots, pans and all the “typical” cooking utensils.
Related article: Should I rent a furnished or unfurnished property?
However, if you’re renting an unfurnished property, you’ll need to ensure you have things like:
- Cutlery, including knives, forks, tablespoons and teaspoons
- Cooking utensils, like a spatula, serving spoon, whisk, tongs, ladle and a spaghetti server
- Tin opener
- Cutting knifes
- Chopping board
- Glasses and mugs
- Plates and bowls
- Pots, pans and oven trays (don’t forget the pizza trays!)
- Coffee, tea and sugar jars
- Tea towels
- Oven gloves
- Cleaning products
Related article: Rent-friendly DIYs to makeover your kitchen
Other Basic Home Supplies All Renters Need
Any renter or homeowner needs to have some basic home supplies – almost like a first aid kit for your home – to fix things if they go wrong.
When you rent, your landlord should take care of all major repairs and maintenance work. But you’ll still have responsibility for fixing, maintaining and repairing some things.
For example, if a pan handle starts to wobble, you’ll need a screwdriver to tighten it up. Or, if your lightbulb goes out, you’ll need to replace it with a new one.
Related article: How to fix wobbly rental furniture
While you won’t need to buy these essentials immediately, you should make time to purchase them in your first 1-2 months.
Here’s a checklist of some basic home supplies all first-time renters need:
- A set of tools, including things like a screwdriver, hammer and wrench
- A first aid kit (a real one – for humans, not the house!)
- Light bulbs
- Spare batteries
- Candles and a torch (in case the power goes out and your phone dies)
- An extension lead (you never know when you might need one!)
Related article: First things to do when you move into a new rental
Moving to a New Rental?
You no longer need to save up for a deposit every time you move.
For the first time ever, if you already have a deposit protected in a deposit scheme, you can transfer it to your next property.
A Lifetime Deposit will help you keep hold of £1,200 on average, which we think is pretty neat.
We are on a mission to help more people move, so if you are moving soon, don’t forget your Lifetime Deposit!