General Question

bezdomnaya's avatar

What is an estimate cost of stocking a new apartment?

Asked by bezdomnaya (1432 points ) May 13th, 2011

I am moving into a 1BR apt in Ann Arbor in the fall. It is actually already furnished, but I will need to buy plenty of things for the kitchen, pantry, bedroom, laundry, bathroom, etc. (i.e. kitchen appliances, dishware, silverware, tupperware, cleaning items and products, laundry baskets, racks, and an iron, lamps, basic office supplies, a basic toolkit, the list goes on and on).

What could be a reasonable price range for fully stocking the apartment? I realize there is no set upper or lower boundary, but I am trying to budget a bit and don’t know where to start.

Thank you for your help!

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62 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Since you are in a university town, there are probably many second-hand or consignment shops. You can buy much of what you need there. It is difficult to give you a figure.

Check also about recycling centers, also compatible with U. Mich. values.

Blueroses's avatar

If this is your first place, I’d start with $100 and a Dollar Store. You can get all the basics for the kitchen and bath (can opener, bottle opener, spatulas, potholders, a few dishes, toilet brush etc. All the things you take for granted when you’re in someone else’s home. You can replace them with higher quality items as you need.

jrpowell's avatar

My advice is to buy stuff as you need it. All the times I have ran to Target to furnish a apartment I have ended up buying a ton of crap I never used.

woodcutter's avatar

Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores are super. And it’s kinda fun to go. You never know what will be there.

Buttonstc's avatar

Don’t forget to look at the Free and For Sale sections on the local Craigslist.

Since this is a college town, there’s constant moving and people willing to let go of things for rock bottom prices.

Kardamom's avatar

I couldn’t possibly give you a dollar amount, because it totally depends upon where you end up getting your stuff from. If you would like to save money, you should first start by asking all of your friends and relatives if they have any stuff (from your list, which you should draw up) that they want to get rid of. Don’t feel obligated to take anything from them that doesn’t fit your style, or you think is too old or damaged to use. But ask them anyway, you can get lots of free stuff this way.

Next up, check out the ads for garage/yard sales in the area. You can get extremely great stuff for next to nothing if you’re willing to go to a bunch of these. It’s best to ask the proprietor’s if you can plug in certain items to make sure that they work, like lamps or hot plates and clocks.

Then find out where all the nearest thrift stores are located. Salvation Army, Good Will and Amvets are usually your best bets, but some of the little church lady run stores are also good (especially for really cool vintage items). Consigment stores can be good, but make sure to compare prices, some items will be more expensive than what you might find at Target and Walmart.

And I agree with som of the other posters that the 99 cent stores and Big Lots are great places to find stuff (especially kitchenware and decorative items).

Some important things to remember that are often overlooked:

A small trashcan for the bathroom
A kitchen trashcan and recyclables bin
Foil, plastic wrap, ziplock bags both large and small, parchment paper
Clips for closing bags of chips or salad greens
Scotch tape
Masking tape
Stapler and staples
Hole punch
Paper towels and a rack
Napkins
Kleenex
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
Basic tools: hammer, phillips and slotted screwdrivers of various sizes, needle nosed pliers, regular pliers, wire clippers, putty knife, at least one decent chisel, eye protection goggles
Bandaids
Pain reliever
Anti-constipation OTC med like Imodium
Anti-nausea OTC med like Pepto Bismol
Disenfectant spray
Anti-bacterial ointment
Sore throat lozenges
Lip balm
Rubbing alcohol
Hydrogen Peroxide
Rubber gloves
Nail clipper and nail file
Stamps and envelopes
Trash bags
List of emegency contact numbers
Dry erase board
Tupperware
Windex

jca's avatar

I would keep it simple. I would get a few bath towels and hand towels, a few kitchen towels, sheets, plates, silverware, pots, glasses. Then supplement it with garbage pail for kitchen, smaller one for bathroom. Coffee maker, tea kettle, a few cooking utensils.

I think if you check Walmart, you may get a pretty low price. If you don’t mind used appliances, check out tag sales or Salvation Army, but I warn you, the last few times I went to Salvation Army their used furniture and plates and stuff like that was not cheap by any means. Also, another cheap place is IKEA.

As far as total budget for all of the above, it would take an itemized list and that total could vary from the quality of the items to whether or not they are “used” or not. For example, you could get a $15 coffee maker or a $100 coffee maker. It all depends on what you want.

gailcalled's avatar

@Kardamom: I’ve lived in this house for 25 years and I don’t have all of the items you listed.

Kardamom's avatar

@gailcalled That’s funny, because that’s just the stuff I carry in my purse! I actually had to go out and buy a diaper bag, because I carry so much sh*t.

gailcalled's avatar

@Kardamom Parchment paper?

Kardamom's avatar

@gailcalled You never know when you are going to be called upon to bake something at someone else’s house. If they don’t have any parchment paper, then things can get pretty tense.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Kardamom

I don’t know how I’ve managed to live all my life without a hole punch :)

Kardamom's avatar

@Buttonstc It’s funny about that, my 5 year old nephew is always asking to use it. We made paper Xmas ornaments last year and he was so thrilled to punch the holes in them for the ribbons.

He has no idea that I also have one of those 3 hole punches

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kardamom I now want to move next door to you.

Another option is to reach out to married friends and family members When I moved into my first apt., they were glad to hand off numerous wedding presents that were duplicates or not used.

jca's avatar

I have about 10 rolls of scotch tape so I am sure I could spare some.

At Christmas, when I see people buying scotch tape in office supply stores, I think to myself “they must not work in an office.”

Kardamom's avatar

@jca You must also have post it notes stuck to every surface in your house too.

gailcalled's avatar

@Kardamom: I baked for three decades and never, once, used parchment paper. What have I missed out on?

Kardamom's avatar

@gailcalled Well, the best thing we’ve used it for is baking cookies, especially if you don’t want them to stick and it keeps your cookie sheet from get all stained. It makes cleanup a snap. It’s also useful if you are making cookies or candy that require pouring melted chocolate over something (like nuts or macaroons) so that you don’t have to scrape the excess chocolate off of your cookie sheet. You can also use it if you are baking Kale chips or making spiced nuts in the oven. It’s also good for making roasted vegetables in a baking pan without having to clean up the pan afterwards. And I’ve seen a lot of recipes recently for baking/roasting meats and veggies in packets made of parchment paper. I also listen to a cooking show on the radio in which the host often uses parchment paper. That’s where I got the idea from in the first place. One of the best cooking tips I ever learned.

Here’s a little bit of info on good uses for parchment paper

jca's avatar

@Kardamom: I think @gailcalled‘s sarcasm is over the fact that parchment paper is not really something necessary for a beginner to stock an apartment with.

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