Furnish Your First Apartment: A Guide for Newcomers in the USA

Moving to the USA feels like restarting your life, but in a foreign land.

Do you remember the first time you rented a room or an apartment in College? How about when you first moved out of your parents’ house to start building your career? Or when you first got married?

In all of these cases, you had to buy almost everything you needed. Sometimes you received gifts and giveaways from your family and friends.

When you first arrive in the USA, you will need to buy a lot of things! A lot!

Thanks to the World Wide Web, you can now order most of your needs online. This is even better for the bigger items such as a sofa or mattress, especially if you don’t have a pickup truck!

Here’s a list of all the things you will need to buy right after you arrive in the USA and secured your first apartment.

Most of the items below are from Amazon.com. If you ever purchase on Amazon, make sure to signup for Amazon Prime membership to enjoy free two-day shipping and other perks.

Living Room

Couch or Sofa

Amazon has a huge selection of sofa and couches with prices ranging from $100 to $500.

If you are living in an apartment, consider your budget and your living situation. I would advise against spending too much money on furniture, especially if you do not intend to stay in your current apartment for a long time.

Coffee Table

A coffee table is a great addition for your living room. It helps make it feel more homey, welcoming, and relaxing.

Floor Lamps

You will need floor lamps in most apartments because most would not have ceiling mounted lamps in the bedrooms or even in the living room. Walmart sells floor lamps that are from $10 and up. Alternatively, you can also take a look at Amazon.com for their selection of lamps.


I am a bookworm and I have a good number of books I want to keep and display. I personally prefer this two-piece ladder shelf from Amazon. It’s a bit pricey with its price tag of more than $100.

Alternatively, you can get cube shelves to store more items in your bedroom or living room. We have several of these in our bedrooms.

TV with Streaming Capability

The price of TV has come down in recent years! If you have a budget between $200 or more, you can get a good TV with streaming capability. If you’re not too picky with the brand, you can choose a Roku TV or any other TV that allows you to stream channels such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others.

Case in point, the Samsung TV below costs less than $400.

TV wall mount or TV Stand

You will also need a TV stand or a TV wall mount.


This is not really essential, but if you want to enjoy good audio on your TV, you can buy a Sound bar.

Dining Room & Kitchen

Dining Table and Chairs

This is definitely essential. Expect to spend anywhere between $150 to $500 depending on your style preferences. I bought our first dining table and chairs set from Walmart and after a year, the legs of the chairs were wiggly and the table, itself was shaking a little bit.

Small appliances

You will need a bunch of small appliances in your kitchen and dining room. Check out the list below.



Invest in a good mattress. You will be using one for a long time to rest and that will make a difference in your lifestyle and productivity. Thankfully, the mattress buying process has changed so much in the past few years. It is no longer weird to buy a mattress online.

Buy one online and it will be delivered to you within a couple of days.

Pillows, Sheets, Blankets, and Comforters

Check the size of your mattress before you order one.

Other Items!

Here are other items that you will also need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Garbage bin
  • Modem & Router – when you sign up for cable TV and Internet access, buy your own modem and router to avoid extra fees.
  • Washer & Dryer – Most apartments would provide these for you. These are expensive! So make up your mind before buying these.

When you click on the links above, you will be directed to Amazon.com and I may receive a small commission if you purchase anything after clicking on these links.

Alternatively, if you want to save some money, you can visit thrift stores or consult this guide on the things you will need and where to buy them.

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