As summer approaches and the school year comes to an end, many graduates are getting ready to take the leap into their own places and become first-time renters.

This can be a very exciting time for students ready to gain their independence, but it can also be full of a lot of new information and financial obstacles. This year, celebrate your new graduate and their status as a first-time renter, by making sure they are truly prepared to care for their own space. Whether your student is moving in with roommates or renting a place on their own, these items make excellent gifts and will help make the transition as smooth as possible.

What do first-time renters need?

First-time renters should be sure to consult a checklist to ensure they have everything they need. Many new renters get caught up in the stress and excitement of moving, forgetting a few essentials here and there. Gifting a few necessary items can help reduce stress for your graduate and new renter.

At the most basic level, this can include:

  • Basic Furniture
    • Bed and mattress
    • Table or Desk
    • Seating
    • Refuse Containers
    • Dresser/Clothing Storage Option
  • Blankets and Bedding
  • Laundry Basket & Supplies
  • Cooking Supplies
    • Essential Spices
    • Cooking oil
    • Pot & Pan
    • Kitchen Knife
    • Utensils & Dishes
    • Dishsoap and Supplies
    • Necessary Appliances
  • Cleaning Supplies and Tools
  • Extra Lighting
  • Bathroom Essentials
    • Shower Curtain
    • Bath and Hand Towels
    • Soap & Toiletries
    • Organizers or Caddies
  • Art and Window Treatments

Of this list, there are a few apartment essentials that are often overlooked. A quick gift basket with cleaning supplies, extra toiletries, toilet paper, and a shower curtain can be deeply helpful in the heat of a big move.

Great Gifts for First-Time Renters

Regardless of their future living arrangements–house or apartment–many first-time renters can benefit from a few thoughtful items that often do not make it on their packing lists.

Practical Gifts:

Basic Tool Set:

A tool set is an easy go-to gift for new renters. Since renters aren’t typically responsible for general maintenance but may need a tool in an emergency, a basic tool set should suffice.

Everyone needs a few handy tools to tackle a small project around the house or apartment. Whether this is simply hanging photos or performing basic maintenance, a tool set can be very helpful in a pinch.

Command Hooks Kit:

Command hooks are a renter’s best friend. If the landlord or manager has rules against hanging photos due to wall damage, command hooks can be a great way to ensure the space looks its best without damage. A large kit full of hooks, photo hooks, and even photo ledges can be the perfect way to help a first-time renter easily decorate their space damage-free.

Learn more: Command Strips: A Renter’s New Best Friend?

Home Care Book:

Caring for the home as a renter is a unique experience. Many new renters don’t know the ins and outs of minor repairs, maintenance, and even deep cleaning. While renters don’t need to do as much of this as a typical homeowner, they may want a few extra skills in their back pocket.

Learn more: Home Care Books to Read This Spring

Fun Gift Options:

Since moving can be expensive and stressful, focusing on a gift that would generally be considered an “extra” can be a thoughtful way to make their new place more homey.

Smart Speaker:

Most young renters appreciate their connectivity and a voice-command smart speaker can ensure they always have access to new recipes, the weather and news, as well as connect to smart devices they already own. Smart speakers like Google’s Google Home, or Amazon’s Echo are excellent voice assistants and may be a helpful and fun addition to a new rental.

A New Plant:

If space is not an issue, a ficus or hardy large plant can breathe life into a space. Small plants can add texture and even boost productivity. If you aren’t certain about your first-time renter’s green thumb, convincing faux plants are now widely available and are sure to bring cheer to a dull space.

Questions to Ask Before Picking Out a Gift:

Like any great gift, extra thoughtfulness goes a long way to making your gift helpful and memorable. This may require a little extra research on your part. Finding out the answers to a few key questions can guarantee that your gift matches your recipient’s needs and preferences–ensuring it will be used long-term.

Why are they moving?

Many high school graduates begin renting for the first time after finishing school and starting college. On the other hand, some students opt to use dormitories for their housing during their university years and make the transition to a rental only after graduating college. Having this information can help inform what items your graduate may already have–a college student moving out on their own for the first time will likely have items from their dorm room years that still serve them well.

What will their new place look like?

While there are always exceptions, recent graduates becoming first-time renters may be renting a larger single-family home with roommates or renting a smaller apartment on their own. Finding out what their living situation will be like can be very helpful when searching for a gift. Shared spaces can house more items, but there is a higher likelihood that one of the renters has items to bring already. Likewise, a first-time renter living on their own in a small apartment may not have the floor space to house certain items.

What do they need?

As with any gift-giving occasion, sometimes the best gift can be discovered simply by asking! Ask your potential recipient if there are any basic household items that they still have on their list. While this can ruin a potential surprise, this can be a guaranteed way to buy something truly useful and wanted. The only downside to this method is that you are in less control of potential pricing restaurants. If budget is an issue, consider asking for a list of items to choose from or ask if they need a particular item you had in mind to purchase.