Your New House Checklist (All the Things to Buy)

Standing in the empty living room of your new home while waiting for the moving van is exciting. Whether it’s your first home, your second or your 5th, it’s new to you. You made it through the stress of the home buying process and made sure to set up utilities, change your mailing address and get the fuel account transferred to your name. You are ready to set up your new house once the movers arrive. Then you realize you need to go to the bathroom and when you do, you have no toilet paper (because you brought none) and no privacy (because the bare window looks out onto the backyard and your new neighbor). These things didn’t even make your shopping list of things to do, but now you regret it.

This scenario is not uncommon, so we are providing a list of essential items to gather before turning the key and setting foot in your new home.

New Home Starter Kit

Whether you are moving into a house, apartment or condo, you need a shopping list of the items will need immediately. These items will get you through the first few days and make it easy to be comfortable and have fun setting up your new home:

  • A tape measure and level to determine where to put pictures and make sure they are straight
  • Drywall repair putty to cover the holes the previous owners made when they removed their pictures and window treatment, or to fix the holes you mistakenly make
  • Shoe protectors to protect your new floors during the move in
  • Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen for sore muscles from moving heavy items
  • Toilet paper
  • Chair, couch and furniture protectors, especially if you are moving from a place with carpet to one with wood and tile
  • Step stool to reach light fixtures
  • Paper towels, paper plates and plastic silverware for eating
  • A magic eraser to remove the scratches the movers and you will incur when moving in and getting things in place
  •  Extension cords for lights and power tools
  •  A surge protector to plug in your TV
  •  Hammer and nails
  •  A dust mask if you are sensitive, as dust is part of the moving process
  •  Makeshift curtains for the bathroom and bedroom (as many sellers take their window treatments)
  •  Soap and hand towels

 

Safety First

To be prepared for anything and sleep soundly in your new home, make sure your safety needs are addressed. Many new houses have combined smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors that are in the ceilings and wired into the house, but older homes will need plug-in carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms and living areas. Other items include:

  •  a first aid kid
  •  fire extinguishers
  •  night lights
  •  light bulbs and flashlights
  •  electrical outlet protectors and gates for the stairs and fireplace if your move involves small children and/or puppies

Some people may choose to install alarm systems. For DIY wireless systems you brought from your old house, you will need tape and screws, and likely extra sensors to cover the additional doors and windows in your new place. Make sure your Wi-Fi is set up so your new system can be installed and send and receive test signals. Also make sure to alert your alarm monitoring company and the police (systems must be registered with them) that you moved.

Unpacking and Cleaning Supplies

Most people hate cleaning, but it’s much easier to do in a new house before unpacking too many items. Dust bunnies will move in a year down the road. Your bookshelf will eventually have dust, but you can remove the existing dust to slow the process.

  •   Box cutters
  •   Trash bags and zip-loc bags (various sizes)
  •    All-purpose cleaner and/or bleach
  •    Bathroom/toilet cleaner
  •    Broom and dustpan or Swiffer and pads
  •    Dish soap and sponges
  •    Mop and bucket
  •    Paper towels
  •    Rubber gloves and rags
  •    Vacuum cleaner and duster
  •    Air fresheners
  •   Pet cleaning sprays

The Toolkit

If you are a DIY type, moving into a new house is a lot fun. There is new furniture to set up for the first time; bathroom hardware to set install for hand towels, shower towels and toilet paper; windows that need shades or drapes; and furniture that needs to be assembled or adjusted from the move. Your toolkit for your new home setup should include:

  •  Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips, either manual or powered)
  •  Hammer
  •  Pliers
  •  Adjustable wrench
  •  Allen wrenches
  •  Tape measure
  •  Electrical tape and duct tape
  •  Utility knife
  •  An assortment of screws and nails

Kitchen Essentials

Moving in and setting up a new house is stressful, so making sure you have the supplies on hand for a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of wine or beer depending on your preference, may be just what you need to get going in the morning and  relax and celebrate at night. There are entire stores devoted just to kitchens, so this list is focused on the essentials. Cooks and bakers would certainly add many other items.

  •  Coffee maker
  •  Toaster or toaster oven
  •  Can opener and bottle opener
  •  Pots and pans
  •  Cooking utensils: spatulas, ladles, measuring cups
  •  Colander
  •  Cabinet liner paper
  •  Plates
  •  Glasses
  •  Silverware
  •  Cutting boards
  •  Containers for leftovers
  •  Dishtowels and napkins
  •  Dish soap and sponges
  •  Trash can and trash bags
  •   Dish drying rack

The Bathroom

Bathrooms are not exciting places, but you will spend a lot of time there. Make sure you have the essentials you need. These include:

  •  Toilet paper
  •   Toiletries
  •   Toothbrush holder
  •   Bath towels and hand towels
  •   Plunger
  •   Shower rod and curtain
  •   Shower caddy
  •   Bath mat
  •   Trash can
  •   Air freshener

Laundry Essentials

Every house has a laundry room, or at least an area to do laundry. This will not be your first priority, unless you have kids, but you should be prepared. Make sure you have laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets, a drying rack, an ironing board and an iron, and clothes hangers.

Settling In to Your New House

As you can see, the list of things to move into a new home is long. Some needs are part of a universal shopping list, like the bathroom, basic tools and curtains, while everyone uses their kitchen differently and decorates living rooms to their personal style. Some people like wall-to-wall carpeting, while others prefer area rugs or bare floors. Most people have couches and coffee tables from their previous homes, and it is likely they bought a bigger new house that will call for furniture shopping. You will likely forget something, but luckily stores are nearby, and if you are like most people, Amazon will charge your credit card and deliver whatever you need to your new house in a few days. 

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