The Ultimate Apartment Kitchen Checklist

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You’ve finally found the apartment of your dreams, you’ve signed the lease, and you’ve put down the deposit. Congratulations!


Now that you have your own space, it’s time to turn your attention to outfitting your new home and what better place to start than your kitchen? It’s time to stop getting take out and start to break in your kitchen. But where to even start– how many plates? What kind of cookware?

Our ultimate apartment kitchen checklist is organized by category first, listing out everything that is a must in bold so they’re easy to spot.


Pots and Pans


  • Saucepot. A small pot with enough volume to prepare enough sauce for one meal will do. Make sure that the pot you choose is actually small and designated for sauce. Heating sauces in a pot that’s too large might cause too much to boil off.

  • Pasta Pot. Pasta pots come in 5-quart, 6-quart, or 8-quart varieties. If you use a pot that’s too small, your water may overflow as the pasta cooks. You may want to opt for a larger pot if you tend to make more than a box at a time.

  • Stockpot. This is a pot that’s ideal for preparing soups, stews, and broths. These pots are typically large– using an immersion blender to mix everything will help prevent splatter all over your stovetop.

  • Frying Pan. You’ll need a medium or large pan to prepare quick stovetop meals like eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Wok. Woks are wide and deep, so they’re perfect for stir-frying. You can always use a regular frying pan for stir-fry, but a wok prevents spillage and makes cleanup much easier.




  • Forks, Knives, Spoons. Spending some money to invest in a decent set of flatware will go a long way and will last you for years to come. Silverware is sold in sets, so head online or go to your local home store to pick a set that appeals to your personal aesthetic. Often, these sets come with additional serving pieces– this will come in handy when you have a dinner party!

  • Silverware Organizer. Keep silverware organized and easy to find. Without an organizer, you'll struggle to find the right fork, knife, or spoon and keep track of all of your utensils. 



  • Small Plates. You can use these for breakfast, smaller meals, or salad plates when hosting guests.

  • Large Plates. Lunch and dinner entrees will fit on these. Large plates have more appeal when serving company.

  • Bowls. It doesn’t matter if you’re eating breakfast cereal, a smoothie bowl, or some hearty stew– bowls go a long way in the kitchen.

  • Dish Towels. Dry off dishes and countertops without the waste of paper towels.

  • Dish Rack. This allows your dishes to dry on a rack while protecting your countertops.



  • Can Opener.  Good luck opening a can without a can opener. Beans, tomato sauce, vegetables, and other staples are completely inaccessible without one.

  • Prep Knives. A good knife set will make meal prep go by so much more smoothly.

  • Spatulas, Tongs, and Mixing Spoons. Flatware doesn’t hold up when it comes to food preparation. You’ll want to look for heat-resistant, food-safe silicone to stir, turn, and mix food.

  • Ladles. You can use ladles to serve soup and serving-size amounts of sauce. This is much more expeditious than using a soup spoon for serving.

  • Whisks. These handy tools give you the ability to achieve an even mix for scrambled eggs or baking mixes. Nothing quite compares and very rarely is a tool as effective for breaking up small pieces in liquid mixes.

  • Measuring Cups and Spoons. Be a kitchen chemist of the highest degree by keeping your proportions even and your flavors balanced in every recipe you make.

  • Cutting Board. You will need a flat, sturdy surface to chop ingredients. Using plates makes food preparation much more difficult and could possibly lead to injury. It’s a good idea to keep separate cutting boards for uncooked meat and everything else to prevent cross-contamination.

  • Colander. Colanders give you the ability to drain pasta easily. You can avoid the mess and time it takes to carefully tip a pot of boiling water and cooked pasta over your sink.




  • Blender. To make a quick smoothie or to perfectly blend soups, blenders can be enormously effective in a kitchen. The lowest settings allow it to serve double time as a food processor as well.

  • Toaster or Toaster Oven. Who wouldn’t love warm bread in minutes?! A toaster oven also gives you baking capabilities for smaller meals.

  • Microwave. The trusty old mainstay. There is no faster, easier way to warm up leftovers or flash-thaw frozen foods.

  • Kettle. For all of your tea, coffee, and oatmeal needs, you’ll need a way to boil water quickly and easily.

  • Rice Cooker. Rice cookers make rice quickly without scalding or overcooking.




  • Oven Mitts. Avoid burns on your hands from hot baking trays. Oven mitts are available as cloth gloves, cloth pads, or even silicone pinch mitts.

  • Sheet Pan. Bake, roast vegetables, cook chicken breasts or more with a single pan.

  • Oven-Safe Dish. Get a rectangular and a square oven-safe dish for cakes, pasta bakes, casseroles, and more.

  • Silicone Mat. Having a silicone baking mat is a lifesaver. This handy tool creates a non-stick surface on baking trays. 


Food Storage


  • Food Storage Containers. Rigid plastic containers are absolutely crucial in any kitchen for storing leftovers.

  • Freezer bags. You’ll find that some of your raw ingredients hold better in airtight plastic bags. You can also use them to store plastic utensils and other random odds and ends.

  • Reusable bowl covers. Silicone stretch lids can offer a tighter seal than plastic wraps– and are just as easy to apply. 

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