So you’re ready to move? Congratulations! Maybe it’s your first time out on your own and you need some new apartment essentials. Maybe you’re finally upgrading to a house of your own, and you want to make sure you have the things you need for your first home. Even if you’re a seasoned vet, you might be looking for things to buy for a new house and spruce it up.

No matter the situation, we’re glad you’re here. Our new house checklist covers everything from the essentials and necessities to some fun upgrades that’ll help you make the most of your home.

Move in Essentials

We’ll start with some things that will make the move itself easier. Moving day can be stressful, but with a little bit of prep work, it can be a lot easier. For some tips and tricks, check out these 12 Things To Keep In Mind When Moving.

Before Moving day:

  • Set up utilities – There’s nothing worse than unpacking in a cold, dark home with no internet. Make sure to get your electric, gas, water and internet turned on before your move in date!

Have some basic essentials on hand:

  • Trash bags
  • Box cutter
  • Basic Tools – to make building all that ikea furniture easier.
  • First aid kit – Accidents happen when moving. You don’t need to be fancy, but it helps to have some basics on hand when you’re moving in.
  • Batteries – Especially 9V batteries for any smoke detectors that might need a replacement
  • Light bulbs – always good to have a few on hand, just in case something burns out or breaks.
  • Toilet paper – you’ll need it eventually, better to grab it sooner than later.

Some other things to consider:

  • New locks – Who knows what the previous owner did with their keys? Or which neighbor has a copy? It’s a good idea to replace your locks whenever you move. You could take the opportunity and upgrade to a smart lock set.
  • Security Safe – Even a basic safe is better than nothing at all. With movers, handyman, landlords, or neighbors coming in and out of the house, you’ll want to make sure your valuables are protected.

Smart home & technology

Smart home technology has come a long way in the last few years. Adding a few internet connected devices can make your life more convenient & give you piece of mind when you’re away from home. To learn more about our favorite smart home devices you can read our article .

But when it comes to move in day, there are two essential items you’ll want to have with you – an internet modem, and a wifi router.

Modem – Often provided by your cable company, but you’ll have the choice to buy your own (and avoid the monthly fee the cable company charges).

Router – We really like the Google-backed OnHub routers, made by TP-Link and ASUS. Just plug in a few cables, download the companion app, and you’ll have blazing fast internet in no time.

Some other items to consider picking up before move in day:

  • Ethernet cables – They’re always good to have, and it’s the worst thing to not have them when you need them
  • Surge protectors
  • Extension cords
  • Amazon Echo – Whether it’s original Echo or the smaller Echo Dot, the Echo has quickly taken the world by storm. Alexa can check the weather, read your a recipe, reorder play music, or even order your Uber.

 

Kitchen essentials for new home

We dive in depth on our favorite cooking gear in our article How to Set Up Your Dream Kitchen for Under $500. If you’re looking for a much more detailed list with in depth reviews, we recommend you check it out.

For starters, let’s cover what you’ll need to eat:

  • Silverware
    • Flatware sets
    • Steak knives
    • Silverware organizer
  • Dishware
    • Plates
    • Bowls
    • Serving platters
    • Glasses
    • Coffee mugs
    • Wine glasses

 

Pro tip – Grab a set of stemless wine glasses. They look great, and they’re much less likely to break over time.

 

Cooking basics

You’ll also want to consider some basics to cook with. Again, we list our favorites for each of these items in but here are a few items to consider:

  • Utensils
    • Tongs
    • Spatulas
    • Ladles and Skimmer
    • Whisks
  • Utensil holder – Now that you have all these great tools, make them easy to reach with a utensil holder for your kitchen counter. We like this stainless steel one, but they come in tons of flavors.
  • Knives – How many knives do you actually need? What are the differences? Is a good knife worth the money? We break it down here.
  • Cutting board
  • Pots and Pans – we give a detailed breakdown of the types of pots and pans to consider here, as well as some recommendations for our favorites.
  • Baking sheets
  • Tupperware
  • Bottle Opener & Corkscrew
  • Measuring Cups / spoons

Appliances

We do not consider any of these necessary per se… But there are a few appliances that can expand your cooking repertoire or make your time in the kitchen more efficient.

new house checklistWe can’t help but highlight our favorite kitchen appliance to date – the Instant Pot Duo 9-in-1. It won top marks in our review of the Best Pressure Cookers. We’re not the only ones who love it – this pressure cooker has found itself a cult following, with nearly 500,000 people on their Facebook group and plenty of sites dedicated to Instant Pot Recipes. It’s popular for good reason – it’s requires almost no set up, it’s easy to use, and it serves as a pressure cooker, crock pot, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, and it can sauté.

Because it’s so diverse, you can cook just about anything with an Instant Pot – from obvious dishes like soups and carnitas to more surprising meals like beef gyro or rotisserie style chicken.

On top of everything else, the Instant Pot is built to be convenient – you can control it with your smart phone. The Instant Pot will be your new best friend in the kitchen.

Some other appliances to consider:

  • Toaster oven
  • Microwave
  • Coffee Maker
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Kettle
  • Blender
  • Colander
  • Salad spinner

Kitchen necessities

  • Trash can & bags
  • Step stool
  • Magnetic hooks – great for hanging things off the side of the refrigerator.
  • Sponges
  • Dish soap
  • Drying rack
  • Dish towels
  • Napkins
  • Paper Towels
  • Aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, and parchment paper
  • Plastic bags
  • Ice cube trays
  • Can opener
  • Oven mits
  • Cooling mat – use a silicone mat when you set your pans down on the counter or table to protect them from heat damage.
  • Kitchen rug / Standing mat

Living room

  • Television – Looking for a new TV to match that new living room? Check out The Wire Cutter for their up to date list of 4K TV recommendations.
  • Sound bar – The more thin TV’s get, the worse their speakers. The Wire Cutter also has a list of sound bar recommendations that’s worth checking out if you want to beef up your home theater.
  • Streaming devices for your TV – We’re big fans of the ChromeCast, but there are plenty to choose from out there.
  • Content & Cord Cutting
    • Netflix – The kings of streaming. Free trial here.
    • Amazon Video – with an Amazon Prime membership, you get free access to Amazon’s video service, with thousands of movies and TV shows streaming for free.
    • HBO
    • Showtime
    • Sling TV – Join free trial here.

 

Home Lighting

Lighting it something that can define a room, but it’s often overlooked when furnishing a room. Does the room get plenty of natural light all day? If not, you might need to consider some lighting that will brighten the room up during the day. Recessed lighting in the ceiling? If not, you’ll need something bigger to keep things well lit once the sun goes down. And it’s always good to have a few table lamps to keep things cozy at night.

what to buy for first homePro Tip – If you’re looking to spice things up, string lights are always a great option. Plug them in using an extension cord with a foot switch to make your string lights easy to turn on and off.

 

Living Room Furniture

You’ll need some furniture (housewarming parties are no fun if everyone has to sit on the floor.) What you end up buying will depend on the size and layout of your new living room, but here are a few pieces to consider:

  • TV stand or Media center
  • Couch
  • Coffee table
  • Coasters
  • Other seating
    • Arm chair – From a sleek mid-century modern molded chair to this over the top tufted, high back, floral print arm chair, a couple of good chairs can break up a room and be cheaper and more convenient than a love seat.
    • Stools – Can be great for some extra seating when needed, especially stackable stools like these.
    • Poufs – Are they chairs? Stools? Tiny bean bags? It doesn’t matter what you call them, they’re comfortable and versatile. They make for great additional seating when you have a few friends over.
    • Rocking chair – The most irresistible of chairs, they come in many options and are usually a discussion piece.
  • Side Table
  • Bookshelf
  • Throw pillows
  • Throw blanket
  • Area Rug

 

Household items checklist

  • Cleaning supplies
    • Rags
    • Paper towels
    • Windex
    • Clorox wipes
    • Stove cleaner
    • Rubber Gloves
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, stain remover, bleach
  • Iron + ironing board
  • Trash bags
  • Broom + dust pan

new house checklist

Vacuum Cleaner

For vacuum cleaner recommendations you can check out our article on the best vacuum for hardwood floors. Our top pick, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro, works great on hardwood, tile, and carpet. The closed system vacuum with a HEPA filter will make sure that it keeps the dirt, dust, and allergens inside the bagless container while in use. And it’s great for the rest of the house too – from tile to carpet to your auto interior, this vacuum is versatile and is built to go anywhere.

 

Check Price on amazon

 

  • Extension cords
  • Surge protectors
  • Tools
    • Screwdrivers
    • Hammer
    • Box cutter
    • Pliers
    • Socket wrench set
    • Drill – sound like overkill? hanging shelves, assembling furniture, etc. Makes everything go much faster, worth the $20 to get one, and it’ll last forever.
    • Duct tape
    • WD-40
  • Picture hanging kit – no need to mess with a stud finder or drywall anchors, these simple kits will save you.
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Light bulbs

Bathroom essentials list

  • Shower curtain
  • Curtain rod + hanging rings
  • Shower caddy
  • Hand soap
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet brush
  • Plunger
  • Bath mats
  • Bathroom scale
  • Trash can + bags
  • Air freshener or candles
  • Tissues
  • Towels – be sure to get enough for any guests who stay with you.
  • Towel hooks – An over the door rack can save you some space in a small bathroom.
  • Wash cloths

Bedroom

  • Mattress – Casper mattresses are amazing (they’re incredibly comfortable), but their customer service is even better. They ship the mattress right to your door, and they come a few days after ordering. With their 100 night free trial, you send it back with no hassle if it doesn’t work out.
  • Bed frame
  • Pillows
  • Mattress pad
  • Sheet sets
  • Comforter + duvet cover
  • Full length mirror
  • Night stand
  • Lamp
  • Dresser
  • Laundry hamper
  • Trash can + bags
  • Curtains
  • Alarm clock – wake up light
  • Under bed storage
  • Fan + Space heater

Closet

  • Hangers
  • Door hooks
  • Hanging closet rod – great for doubling up if you need the space, and easy to set up.
  • Shoe rack
  • Hanging shelves
  • Shelf organizers
  • Storage bins
  • Door mirror
  • Drawer organizers
  • Space saver bags – great for storing off season clothing and easy to keep in a bin under the bed or in closet. A great way to free up space in a small closet.
  • Large bins

Outfitting the rest of the house

Depending on the size and layout of your new home, you may or may not have some extra spaces that need furnishing. We’ve listed a few common areas of the home below, as well as some items you may want for each.

Entryway

  • Welcome mat
  • Area rug
  • Hat + coat rack
  • Small bench or table
  • Key hooks
  • Lamp
  • Mail organizer

Dining area

  • Table + chairs
  • Table cloth
  • Table runner
  • Place mats
  • Candles

Home office

  • Desk
  • Desk chair
  • Computer monitors
  • Filing cabinet
  • Book shelf
  • Trash can + bags
  • Whiteboard + markers
  • Office Supplies
    • Pens + pencils
    • Desktop pen holder
    • Post-its
    • Printer Paper
    • Batteries
  • Extension cord
  • Surge protector