When you move into your first #apartment, odds are you will be so excited you'll want to go out and fill the whole thing at once. Of course, you probably won't have the funds to do that right away, so read on for Apartment Therapy's tips on what to buy now and what to get later.
No one wants to have a bad night's sleep, so spring for a decent mattress as soon as you can. Second to that is a couch. A bed frame to put that mattress on is third in line.
On to the kitchen, you'll need cookware so you can eat. Find out how to outfit your kitchen for less than $200 or see if family or friends will pass on their old stuff because they're upgrading. You'll also need glasses and plates, which luckily can usually be had for not too much money (IKEA anyone?).
Other buy now items: window treatments (so the whole neighborhood can't see into your home), A desk and comfortable chair (if you work from home), and decent lighting.
Now on to the things you can wait a while on, the first of which is side tables. Sure, they're useful, but compared to the above items, you can definitely live without them. An old roommate of mine refused to unpack all her boxes, so I just threw a blanket over the remaining box that had been in the living room for weeks and turned it into a side table. That's the way it stayed for the entire year we lived there.
A headboard is unnecessary to a good night's sleep, and rugs, while pretty and nice underfoot, are not a must-have. Art is another "it can wait" item. Or you could lurk around your alma mater for those cheap poster sales they have every semester.
You don't have to throw the perfect dinner party anytime soon, so wait on the serving dishes and dining table and chairs. Friends will understand eating on the couch or even on the floor. Try an "indoor picnic" dinner party, it could be fun!
Finally, purchasing storage like media centers, dressers, etc can be put off. Boxes, along with suitcases, can once again come to the rescue for all these items.