Congratulations! You are now a homeowner. Whether you’re about to purchase your first house, a new home or your dream home, there’s one thing you can be sure of: there are A LOT of items you’ll need to buy when it’s time to move in.
Sure, you might already have furniture and dishes. But you’ll need a whole lot more than that. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you already have everything you need because chances are– you don’t.
If you’re planning to move to a new home, here’s a complete checklist of everything you’ll need to buy before (or as soon as) you move in. And be prepared … This is no small list! Here are 64 things to buy for your new home.
Unless you’re in the small percentage of people who can afford to hire an entire team of help, you’re probably going to have to do some unpacking and spend some time getting settled in. And even if you can afford it, some things are better left to yourself. Here are some basic supplies you’ll need to make move-in day go a bit more smoothly.
Save yourself some serious time and frustrations and opt for some box cutters. Get one for every adult in the house so you can work as a team slicing through boxes and unpacking multiple rooms at a time. If safety is a concern, grab some retractable box cutters to help keep those little fingers safe and sound.
There’s nothing fun about unpacking in the dark. Make sure you have an assortment of lightbulbs to fit all of the various fixtures in your new place.
First Aid Kit
Unless you want to spend a move-in day in urgent care, have a first aid kit on hand. Antiseptic wipes, bandages and antibiotic ointments are a must, especially when handling box cutters and glass.
A welcome mat might not seem like a completely essential item, but you will notice if you don’t have it when you or your movers start dragging dirt through the house as you bring in your boxes and begin to unpack.
Whether you’re moving every box yourself or pointing and directing other people to do the work for you, you’ll want to stay hydrated. One of the first things you should carry into your new house is a case of bottled water. (Snacks are a good idea too!)
Alyssa Cohen, Account Executive from Uproar PR adds, “Did you remember to pack a flashlight? It’s likely that’s one item you forgot when moving into a new home and it’s something that’s essential for those initial home improvement projects.”
Cardboard moving boxes can (and should) be recycled, but the packing materials inside may need to go in the trash. Make sure you have a few heavy-duty trash bags on hand for easy clean-up.
Speaking of clean-up … if you are lucky enough to find some toilet paper, grab it. (In reasonable amounts, of course.) Your moving party will thank you. And have some paper towels ready, too. Things can get messy.
Maybe you have to build some furniture. Maybe you’re anxious to decorate your walls with art prints and picture frames. Either way, you’ll need a few simple tools. A drill and a screwdriver are a must in any move-in tool kit.
Darla DeMorrow, Professional Organizer and Owner of HeartWork Organizing adds “An assortment of screwdrivers, two hammers (a hammer-and-claw along with a mallet), a 30' measuring tape, and a 4-foot level are the basics you'll need to hang pictures and hang curtains and blinds.”
It can take some time to feel 100% secure and comfortable in a new home, but safety should always be your top priority. These are often overlooked items that should actually be at the very top of your move-in list!
It’s quite common for neighbors to exchange house keys with other neighbors (in case of an emergency). But it’s a pretty unsettling feeling thinking that a stranger you don’t know might have access to your house. Do yourself a favor and have new locks installed before you spend your first night in your new home.
Nothing lasts forever – and that includes smoke detectors. Even if there are smoke detectors throughout the house, it’s always best to replace them with brand new ones.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Don’t let your new investment burn to the ground. Accidents happen, so place a few fire extinguishers around your home (and make sure you take the time to learn how to use them).
Jeneva Aaron from The House Wire adds a pro tip about understanding your fire extinguisher, “take ten minutes to read the instructions and do a quick walk-through with every member of the household so they are familiar with how it works.”
Those smoke and CO2 detectors won’t be of much use unless you have the batteries to power them. Be sure to do your research and grab a few sizes to save yourself from last-minute trips to the store.
It’s always a good idea to have a safe or, at the minimum, a small lockbox to hold valuables and important documents.
Unless you’re moving off the grid into a log cabin in the woods, you probably want to be connected to the outside world. Make sure you have the accessories you need to get your tech devices working properly.
It never fails – there’s always an appliance or a lamp with a cord that’s too short of reaching the outlet you want to plug it into. Buy a few indoor and outdoor extension cords of varying lengths that you can use throughout the house. And
TVs and entertainment systems usually require the use of several different plugs and cords. Get a surge protector so that your valuable appliances and devices are protected from power surges.
Want to be able to use your laptop, phone, and tablet on day one? Make sure you have a router (and that it’s hooked up properly) so you can get a strong Wi-Fi connection. Most internet providers have a bit of a waitlist, so be sure to start planning early.
Even if you had a home built just for you from the ground up, you’ll want to do some cleaning before you move in. Construction is a messy thing, and a clean home is a happy home!
Make sure your vacuum cleaner is designed to handle the type of floors you have in your new house. That Roomba that worked so well on the hardwood in your old apartment isn’t going to cut it if your new home is full of plush, thick carpet.
Different types of flooring require different types of cleaning products. Whether you have hardwood, tile, vinyl, or laminate, buy a few products that are safe for use on your specific flooring.
Even if your entire home has carpet, you’ll still need some sort of mop to clean tiled kitchen and bathroom floors. If for some reason you enjoy using an old fashioned sponge mop (and more power to you), treat yourself to a new bucket.
If you accidentally break a glass in your kitchen or drop a bowl of popcorn on the living room floor, you’ll be glad you have a broom (and dustpan) on hand.
Even if you prefer to make reservations rather than actually whip up a meal, there are a lot of things you’ll still need to have in your kitchen.
- Utensils, including flatware, spatulas, flippers, and slotted spoons
- Pots and pans
- Dishes, including bowls, cups, plates, and coffee mugs
- Glassware for water, wine, juice, and cocktails
- Baking sheets (because you never know when you might feel like making a batch of chocolate chip cookies!)
- Cutting board
- Bottle opener/corkscrew (so you can toast with a drink when you’re done unpacking)
There are also some essentials you’ll need in order to keep your kitchen clean:
- Dish towels
- Hand soap
- Disinfectant wipes
- Glass cleaner
And don’t forget about the food! You don’t need to fully stock your pantry on day one, but it’s always a good idea to have some –especially those with a long shelf life. You can never go wrong with dried pastas, soups, and canned goods.
Living Room Must-Haves
It goes without saying, but the living room is where you’ll do most of your living! If you don’t already have a room full of furniture, here are a few things you’ll want to buy:
- Loveseat and/or accent chairs
- Coffee table
- End table(s) and lamps
- TV stand (or mounting hardware if you intend to mount your TV on the wall)
Another must-have for your living room is art!
Tim Miller from Vsual adds, “art on the walls is hugely important to making you make your space feel like yours. It's easy to overlook, but investing in a few pieces for each room will make a dramatic difference in how you—and others—perceive your home.”
Bed and Bath Must-Haves
When you move into a new house, you have to decide which room you want to tackle first. We always suggest starting in the bedroom. That way, when you’re tired at the end of that first day, you can flop in bed and get plenty of rest. You’ll need a good night’s sleep so you can start unpacking the rest of the house the next day.
Here are some bedroom essentials everyone needs:
- Bed frame
- Bedding, including sheets, a comforter, a duvet cover, and/or blankets
- Full-length mirror
- Table lamps for your bedside
- Window coverings, such as shades, blinds or curtains
- Hangers for your closet
- Organizational tools, such as hanging shelves, shoe racks, and storage bins
Okay, so the only thing a bedroom really needs is a bed. At the very least, start with that (you can always add the extras later).
Aside from the kitchen, the bathroom might be one of the most used rooms in the home. And that means it must be functional. Here are a few bathroom essentials that belong in every bathroom, regardless of how many baths you have in your house.
- Shower curtain
- Floor mat
- Soaps, including body washes and hand soaps
- Plunger, because toilet clogs and leaks always happen when you least expect it
Lisa Torelli-Sauer Editor of Sensible Digs adds, “If the seller has high-quality showerheads, they are likely to bring them along when they move out, leaving you with run-of-the-mill fixtures. Invest in showerheads that suit you and are easy on your water bill.”
If you’re moving from an apartment into your first home, you might not be aware of just how many outdoor products you’ll need. And these aren’t optional. Unless you have a lawn care service on standby ready to take care of everything for you, these are a must.
Unless you plan to compost everything, you’ll need at least one outdoor trash can. You’ll also need at least one recycling bucket. Check with your local county or township to see what the rules are for trash and recycling collection. Some cities require that you use certain types of trash cans and recycling bins.
The bigger your lawn, the more powerful of a mower you’ll need. If you’ve got acres, invest in a riding lawnmower. If you have a small lawn, a regular push mower should be all you need to get the job done.
Unfortunately, when your grass and flowers grow, so do weeds. If you want your yard to be in tip-top shape, or you have an HOA to appease, you’ll need a weed wacker to get into small spaces and do the edging between your lawn, walkways, sidewalks and driveway.
A hand shovel, a trowel, a rake and gardening gloves will come in handy more than you may think. Whether your plan is to plant colorful flower beds or you want to tend to a simple herb garden on your porch, having the right gardening tools to do the job makes it a whole lot easier.
If you live in a climate with all four seasons, you’ll need to be prepared for snow and ice in the winter months. If you’re moving during spring or summer, you have some time before you have to really gear up, just don’t wait until the first threat of snow to start preparing.
Snow shovels are an essential. Not only will you have to keep your driveway cleared, but most cities require homeowners to maintain the sidewalk in front of their house too. Quality shovels will last for years and save you from some back pain later on. Just be sure to do your shopping before it begins to snow. That’s when they’re most expensive (and sometimes hard to find).
When snow is a factor, so is ice. Have at least a few bags of rock salt or de-icer on hand so that you can maintain a safe property for your family and friends. Nothing ruins a get-together faster than an ice fall.
What Should You Buy When Moving Into a New House?
When you think about moving into your new house, what are you most excited about?
Is it that you can’t wait to buy all new furniture? Are you excited to paint and decorate the home exactly as you want?
A lot of new homeowners set a budget for the things they want to buy, but a lot of people don’t account for all of the things they’ll need to buy.
From smoke detectors and new locks to trash cans and tools, there are a lot of things you’ll want to save room for in your budget. And they’re not nearly as exciting as that fancy new bed or brand new dining table you’ve got your eye on.
But guess what, that’s part of being a homeowner! Owning your own home is an unbelievable feeling. Just be prepared: there will be unexpected expenses at every twist and turn.
You might also be interested in: Mortgage Refinancing Advice From 9 Finance Experts
Here is the complete list of things to buy for a new house:
- Box Cutters
- First Aid Kit
- Welcome Mat
- Bottled Water
- Trash Bags
- Paper Products
- New Locks
- Smoke Detector
- Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Fire Extinguisher
- Small Lockbox
- Extension Cords
- Surge Protectors
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Floor Cleaner
- Sponge Mop
- Pots and Pans
- Baking Sheets
- Cutting Board
- Bottle Opener/Corkscrew
- Dish Towels
- Hand Soap
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Glass Cleaner
- Coffee Table
- End table(s)
- TV Stand
- Bed Frame
- Full-Length Mirror
- Table Lamps
- Window Coverings
- Organizational Tools
- Shower Curtain
- Floor Mat
- Shower heads
- Outdoor Trash Cans
- Push Mower
- Weed Wacker
- Gardening Tools
- Snow Shovels
- Rock Salt