Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

Are you moving into an apartment, living on your own for the first time in your life? If that’s the case, you likely don’t have many furnishings or other essentials for your first home away from home. I didn’t have much in the beginning, either, besides some towels and a few decorations I had received as graduation gifts. Over the years, you will probably accumulate a lot more ‘stuff’, but there are a few things you will need to help you get started with life on your own. You can get quite a many tips on this at most of the Singapore property insights websites and portals. 

Furniture. You probably won’t have much furniture when you first move in. If you cannot afford to buy all new furniture for your apartment, check out the local thrift stores. They usually have cheap desks, sofas and other furniture for sale. My first apartment started out with a couple dorm-style chairs and a card table for the dining room. My bed consisted solely of a mattress on the floor, covered with a sheet and a blanket. But over the months, and the subsequent years, I have accumulated nicer furniture and enough decorations to make my rental feel like home.

Dishes. A kitchen requires quite a few dishes and gadgets to be complete. Start with the basics: plates, bowls, glasses and silverware. You can often find entire sets of dishes for a couple dollars at garage sales and secondhand stores. It may seem kind of gross, but they are washable. You will also likely need some pots and pans, mixing bowls and some large mixing spoons. Other items to consider include: juice and water pitchers, cake pans, cookie sheets and muffin tins. Also remember to pick up some dish washing essentials, like dishwasher detergent, sponges, dish cloths and towels.

Towels. Since I received so many towels as graduation gifts, I’ve only ever bought a few decorative towels for my bathroom. You will need at least a few bath and hand towels, as well as some wash cloths. To start out, you can always buy a couple of the cheaper, lesser quality towels and add more to your collection as you can afford them.

Quarters. Most likely, you will not have a washing machine and dryer in your apartment unit. Most buildings have at least one laundry room with machines that take quarters. You will need to have quite a few quarters on hand, unless you plan on bringing your laundry back home every week (like I did my first year of college). Ten bucks will buy a roll of quarters, which could wash anywhere from three to six loads of laundry. I have paid as low as $1.50 for a load (to wash and dry) and as much as $3.00 per load.

Cleaners. Even though apartments are supposed to be clean upon move-in, I still like to wipe down the cabinets — inside and out — and clean anything that doesn’t seem up to par. You will need a few basic cleaning products when you move into your apartment, as well as a vacuum cleaner and broom to keep the floors clean. Start out with an all-purpose cleaner, tub and toilet cleaners, a scrub brush, toilet plunger and some dish detergent.

Other essentials. When I moved into my first place, I didn’t have any hand soap, a shower curtain, paper towel or toilet paper, so I had to make a trip to Walmart that evening. Also remember to pick up a garbage can for the kitchen and bathroom. Finally, you will need a few food essentials to stock the cabinets and the fridge. I always like to have some milk, bread, meat and cheese, eggs and snacks on hand, among various other kitchen staples.