The Ultimate Off-Campus College Apartment Checklist

As the spring semester winds down, it’s time to embark on a new journey: off-campus living. Whether you’re a freshman ready to spread your wings or a seasoned upperclassman looking to enjoy the benefits of off-campus living, finding and setting up the perfect pad can be both exhilarating and intimidating. But with our ultimate college apartment checklist, you can make your transition from confining campus housing to freedom-filled off-campus living as smooth as possible. 


Read on to learn how to find a place to live (and a roommate if needed), what apartment essentials you’ll need, and how student furniture rental can help with this monumental transition! 


How to Find Off-Campus Housing 

  • Consider the location: You’ll probably want to experience campus life even though you live off campus. So, start your hunt for the perfect abode by scoping out neighborhoods close to campus or within a commutable range. Also, consider what restaurants, grocery stores, and other conveniences are in the area. Then, evaluate what is most important to you — if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want any roommates, you may have to make some compromises in this department. 
  • Search in the right places: Now that you have a location in mind, you need to start looking for potential housing candidates. Mobile apps like Zillow, Trulia, and many more can give you an idea of what the space looks like and help narrow your search to your preferred area. You may also find housing flyers posted on your college campus. If the flyers were posted by a landlord, you know that they aren’t hesitant to rent to college students, which can be a huge bonus. 
  • Do your research: Once you’ve found a house or apartment you are interested in renting, be sure to get an idea of what to expect before you sign the lease. Research the apartment/house online or converse with other students who have visited or lived there before. If they have good things to say about the landlord and living space, you may have found a winner! 


How to Find Roommates


If the place you’re looking at is a bit over your budget or living alone isn’t for you, consider finding a roommate! You can invite friends to be your roommates or find someone entirely new to live with. Here are some tips for doing the latter:


  • Post ads around campus: If you want to increase your chances of another student from your college responding to your ad, print out “roommate needed” flyers and post them around your campus! In these flyers, describe the square footage, amenities, rentable room(s), and other features of the dwelling. 
  • Use mobile apps: If you found your apartment or rental house through a housing app, you know how powerful they can be. So use these types of apps to your advantage and make a listing of your own! Just like the flyers we mentioned above, make sure that you describe the dwelling in detail and maybe even tell prospective roommates a bit about yourself. 
  • Perform interviews: Ideally, your roommate’s personality and habits should align with yours. Though you won’t truly know how compatible you are until you live together, including a screening process can help immensely. We recommend setting up a casual interview with your prospective roommate, where you can get to know each other and discuss important topics like finances, pets, noisiness, neatness, and more. 


Once you have found someone you want to live with, contact your landlord and let them know that you want to add a roommate. They will then conduct their own interviews and/or background checks. If your landlord approves of them, congratulations — you have a new roommate to split the bills and partake in impromptu movie nights with! 


College Apartment Essentials for Every Room 


You probably already know how to pack for college dorm living, but living off-campus requires more than you might think! To help you move into your first off-campus home, we’ve outlined practically everything you’ll need for each room below – simply adjust where needed if items are already provided: 


Living Room





  • Dining room table or bar stools
  • Cookware:
    • Cooking pans
    • Cooking pots
    • Mixing bowls
    • Sheet pans
    • Bakeware
    • Cutting boards
    • Chef’s knives
    • Cheese grater
    • Can opener
  • Food containers
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cutlery 
  • Trash can
  • Recycling bin
  • Small appliances:
    • Microwave
    • Toaster
    • Coffee maker
    • Blender or food processer
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Thermometer
  • Spatula
  • Plastic bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wall art and other decorations




  • Mattress
  • Headboard
  • Protective mattress cover
  • Pillows
  • Bedding (sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters, etc.)
  • Nightstand(s)
  • Lamp(s)
  • Dresser, wardrobe, or chest of drawers
  • Bedroom mirror
  • Shoe organizer
  • Blackout curtains (if you like to sleep in late)
  • Decoration (wall art, knickknacks, rugs, etc.)
  • Alarm clock
  • Desk and chair (if the room allows for it)
  • Ceiling fan, box fan, or window AC unit (if the dwelling is not temperature controlled or you need more airflow)
  • Phone and other device chargers




  • Bathroom mirror
  • Shower curtain (if your shower doesn’t have a door)
  • Shower rack or shelf
  • Bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small trash can
  • Soap dispenser (for liquid soap) or soap dish (for bars of soap) 
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body soap, face wash, toothpaste, shaving cream and razors, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies (toilet brush, plunger, bleach, and all-purpose cleaners)


Laundry Room


  • Laundry basket or hamper
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Dryer sheets


Consider a Student Furniture Rental Package from CORT


Phew, that’s a long list! We understand that costs add up when you move off-campus — especially when it comes to furniture and appliances! Fortunately, CORT Furniture Rental is a great way to cover your off-campus housing needs for less. You can rent everything from bedroom furniture to the kitchenware you need, down to the coffee maker — we know the late-night study session struggle!

Renting from CORT is a simple way to transition from the dorms to an off-campus apartment. Simply pick your student furniture package and customize it as needed. Then pick your delivery date, and leave the logistics to us! Our team will deliver and set up your furniture, so you can focus on the important things, like scoring a parking spot on campus. Check out CORT Furniture Rental student packages today!

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