First-time home buying is a lesson in learning what you need to live comfortably. When you come straight from your parent’s house or even rooming with a pal, you might lack certain essentials that you never even realized you would appreciate.
Some home buyers needed more cleaning items when they moved in and things they wouldn’t have expected. Particularly, if they are young and just starting, they might need the same household items easily taken for granted. While some of these household items can be donated by others and still be used, some are better newly purchased—things like a broom, dustpan, a decent, large frying pan.
Are you preparing meals with your roommate’s cookware? Eating off their plates, using their hand towels in the kitchen? If you are at your parent’s home, you have probably been impressed with the amount of “stuff” your mom has managed to jam into her overflowing closets and crawl spaces. It takes many years to accumulate all the things you will need to keep up a home. You might be working on amassing your supplies for a long time.
It helps to envision going through your day and thinking of the items you use at each part of it. When you wake up and take a shower, will you have a towel, a shower curtain? When you make breakfast, will you need a toaster or a microwave? Do you need to buy an iron if your job requires business attire?
Basic Essentials that you don’t want to go without
So let’s take a closer look at scenarios you want to avoid at all costs. Here’s a shortlist you can keep handy when you buy a home:
Cleaning products, wastebaskets
Whether you are purchasing a new or previously owned home, if cleanliness is important to you, and even if it isn’t, you should thoroughly clean your new home. This suggestion isn’t mentioned because of the COVID pandemic that’s still ongoing, but because you can never be certain that the home is clean until you clean it yourself. So, you’re a new homeowner. Before you even take all your boxes to the new house, you should take a broom, a mop and start sweeping and cleaning. If you don’t have them, you’ll have to buy them on the spot.
An additional stop by your local convenience store isn’t a big deal, but purchasing all these items in one go is better not only for potential discounts but for time management. So before you start cleaning, go buy everything you could possibly need. The last thing you want is having to borrow all of these from family, friends, or neighbors. You’ll need all these things in your home anyhow, so make a list where you can add any cleaning products and supplies you need, wastebaskets included, mops, cleaning rags, etc. Once you clean your new home, you’ll find yourself needing the next item on our list.
Dishes, silverware, pots, and pans
After all that cleaning, you’re probably hungry. But wait … do you have a plate? Where’s the silverware? Do you own any pots and pans? How will you eat? How will you drink? After your first home purchase, you might realize that you don’t have anything necessary for the kitchen or food. Now, that’s no reason to panic. By using this list, you can add it to your list and buy everything in one go. Given that you’re only at the beginning of your homeowner’s life, you won’t need to stuff your kitchen cabinets like your mother probably did. You need only the basics.
A decent amount of soup, main course, salad, and dessert plates, cutlery, and other types of utensils (ladle, wooden spoon, knives) that can easily be found at Dollar Tree, Walmart, or other kitchen supply stores are necessary. These won’t be expensive purchases, but they are required. Oh … and do NOT forget about glasses. The last thing you want is to have no glasses for your housewarming party.
Linens, throw rugs, towels
After the cleaning and the housewarming party, you’re probably tired and in need of a good night’s rest. But ooops … you don’t have linens, or pillows, or a blanket to cover yourself. You don’t even have a throw rug. Well … that’s something else that you need to purchase. I know it can happen, as it did happen to me during my first rental. I was ready to go to bed, but there was nothing I could use. While logically, it does make complete sense to bring these items with you, it completely slipped my mind. So the first night -as I got to the apartment around 8 PM- I had to use some clothes for pillows and a gigantic scarf for cover. So make sure to stop by Bed, Bath & Beyond before you plan on sleeping in your new home. It won’t be a comfortable sleep without pillows, duvets, blankets, or anything else you need in bed. Also, after cleaning your home, you might need to clean yourself in your brand-new bathroom. For that, you’ll probably need at least one towel and a bathrobe. Add these to the list!
Curtains, blinds, shower curtain
If you’re an exhibitionist, you might want to skip this one, but if you’re not, you might need to take another look at your windows and bathroom. Do you live on the first floor or have another window right in front of yours? Are you okay with people seeing everything you do in your home? What about when you get out of your bathroom in nothing but your birthday suit and casually walk into your bedroom? Are you okay with anyone being able to see you? Depending on your answers to the questions above, you might want to add a few more items to your list. Things like curtains, blinds, drapes, and, yes, even a shower curtain are easily overlooked by first-time homebuyers. While there are instances when they aren’t necessary, if you do need them, it’s best to have them up before you actually need the extra privacy they provide.
Small kitchen appliances
Don’t think that if we covered kitchen utensils, you are done with that room. Do you like coffee? How about toast? Do you prefer waffles to pancakes in the morning? Are you a tea drinker? Do you like smoothies and homemade recipes? If your answer is yes to these questions, I’m sorry, my friend, but you have more home bar essentials to add to your list. Depending on how you like your coffee, get an espresso machine, a french press, a filter, or whatever else you need to prepare the perfect cup of morning elixir. A toaster is a must in every American household, so don’t even ponder whether you need that or not. Throw an electric kettle in your shopping cart while you’re at it. Squeeze in there a waffle maker, a mixer, a blender, and a steamer if you want. We assure you that they won’t go unused, and they don’t take so much space.
Hangers, hooks, picture hanging hardware
Now that you moved in and you’re settling down, it might be time to transform the new house into a home. This can mean simple items like coat hangers for your clothes, hooks for your coat, and picture frames that can be found at a thrift store if you want to focus on an eco-friendly interior design and a light budget. A home does not look like a hospital, so feel free to choose any style you like, the one that fits you the best, and start organizing your favorite photos on a mantle or shelf or hang them directly on the wall. For that, you’ll need hanging hardware that you can find at your local hardware store. Hangers are also necessary for your bathroom for towels and bathrobes, so don’t forget about that.
Table and floor lamps, fans
Depending on where you live, a fan might be the one item that will save you from the muggy summer heat. Florida, for example, is where you will find ceiling fans in almost every room. They are less expensive than an AC and an excellent option for those who aren’t comfortable with the airflow. On the other hand, table and floor lamps can completely change the atmosphere in your home and may also transform a house into a home because you can use light to better fit the purpose of every room and the overall mood of the space.
Lawn tools: rakes, shovels, pruning shears
If you’re lucky enough to have recently purchased a single-family home, that means you probably also have a garden. Regardless of what plans you have with the space surrounding your home, a few lawn and gardening tools will come in handy. Let’s say you want to plant a few flowers to attract friendly fauna in your garden. You’ll need a shovel at the least and a rake. You’ll also need a rake to clean your yard if there are any trees on the grounds. Your four-legged, tail-wagging best friend might also have a few preferences when it comes to your yard, so ensuring that your dog can enjoy your backyard is the least you can do. Hedges are a great way to provide your family some extra privacy, or maybe you just want to be able to maintain your flowers as healthy as possible. Purchase a pruning shear and start clipping those withering branches and leaves. It’s best to cut them than allow them to affect the rest of the plant. With these gardening tools, you’ll ensure that your home is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. And yes, even indoor houseplants that brighten up your home require gardening every now and then.
Before you move into your new pad, refer to our list, then check out more items you might want to pick-up from Pinterest, an app that will give you creative and unique ideas to furnish and customize your home.
Now that you know you need this list (and maybe even a longer one) make sure to put some money aside every month, so when the time comes to splurge on necessities (and the not-so-necessities) you’re all set!