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New Home & First Apartment Checklist: Things You Need For Your First Home

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Moving out on your own, whether as a first-time homeowner or renting your first apartment, can seem overwhelming and expensive. Trying to figure out what you need, and what you really don’t need, can help you to plan and budget when moving so your new home feels more homey, sooner. Below, you’ll find lists of everything you need for every room in your new house, so you can create the perfect moving checklist of things to buy before, during, and after your move.

Kitchen essentials

Unless you plan on ordering food for every meal, and eating on the couch for the rest of your life, you’re going to use your kitchen at some point. You might not need everything on the list all at once, but building your kitchen up with these essentials will make it easier to cook meals and entertain friends and family.

Essentials for cooking in your new home

  • Pots and pans: Try to get a few different sizes, with lids. Cooking with the appropriate-sized pot or pan for the stovetop burner leads to less wasted energy and a more even cooking
  • Cooking utensils: A basic set with a spatula, tongs, a slotted spoon, and ladle should cover most basic cooking needs
  • Knife set: A paring knife, chef's knife, and bread knife (and a knife sharpener!)
  • Scissors: Heavy-duty kitchen scissors can replace the need for knives in many instances and often offer a cleaner cut (for example, cutting pizza or roughly chopping herbs and veggies)
  • Chopping board: Some people choose plastic, some choose wooden chopping boards, but getting a few will help save your knives in the long run
  • Measuring tools: Whether you choose to use a kitchen scale, or measuring cups and spoons
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Baking sheets and baking trays
  • A coffee maker: Whether you choose a french press, filter coffee, or espresso machine
  • Tupperware or other food storage containers

Dinnertime essentials

  • Kitchen table and chairs: Or somewhere to sit and eat whether it’s a bar counter, kitchen island, or full table. Just make sure to measure the height before buying chairs!
  • Plates and bowls: A basic set with dinner plates, salad plates, and bowls
  • Cutlery: Forks, knives, spoons, and teaspoons
  • Cups and glasses: Water glasses, wine glasses, beer mugs...whatever you need and will use the most
  • Coffee mugs
  • Napkins, placemats, and tablecloths (or paper towels)

Kitchen cleaning supplies checklist

  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap
  • Sponges
  • Microfibre cloths or other cleaning rags
  • Paper towels
  • Dishtowels
  • Dish drying rack
  • Multipurpose cleaner, glass cleaner, disinfectant cleaner
  • Garbage bins and bags

Bedroom essentials

While the only truly essential thing you need in your bedroom is a bed (which could just be a mattress on the floor), taking the time to create a comfortable space to sleep can help you get a better night’s rest.

  • Bedframe and mattress
  • Pillows
  • Bedding: Sheets, duvet and duvet cover, blankets, pillowcases, and mattress protectors
  • Bedside tables or nightstands
  • Lamps and lighting
  • Extension cords and/or power strips
  • Closet organization: Hangers, baskets, drawers, and shelf dividers
  • Mirrors
  • Curtains, drapes, and curtain rods

Living room essentials

You might not need a lot for your living room, but it’s one of the more expensive rooms to furnish. Between the sofa, television, TV stand, and other furniture, budgeting for your living room means you'll have a more comfortable space more quickly.

  • Sofa, loveseat, and/or chairs
  • Coffee table
  • Side tables
  • Lighting ​​​​​​​and lamps
  • Television
  • TV stand

Bathroom essentials

We spend so much time in the bathroom and making sure you have what you need from day one can make your move to your new home easier and more comfortable. And make sure you don’t forget the toilet paper!

  • Shower curtain if your shower doesn’t have a door
  • Bathmat
  • Towels: Bath towels, and hand towels
  • Plunger, toilet cleaning brush, and toilet cleaning solution
  • Showerhead: Purchasing a high-quality showerhead can save you water, and make for a better showering experience
  • Hand soap
  • Toilet paper

Study and working from home

With more and more people working from home, it’s becoming increasingly essential to have a designated WFH space to help you focus no matter if you’re studying or working.

  • Desk and comfortable desk chair: A comfortable desk chair is well worth the investment if it means reducing back pain after a day of work or school
  • Lamps and lighting
  • Monitor, laptop stand, and other equipment
  • Surge protector and power strips: Not only will it protect your computer but you can easily shut off your electronics and save energy at the end of your day

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Other new home essentials

There are a few more things you should get for your new home, including things for cleaning, first aid, and outdoors equipment. Getting the basics before you actually need them (especially when it comes to tools or first aid) means that any emergency that arises can be dealt with quickly.

First aid kit essentials

Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be left without the basics of first aid for when they do. Whether it’s a burn, cut, scrape, or headache, most small premade first aid kits come with the basics of what you need if you don’t want to build your own. First aid kits should include:

  • Bandages or Band-Aids in different sizes and shapes
  • Gauze
  • Medical tape
  • Cotton balls
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic spray, wipes, or liquid
  • Thermometer
  • Painkillers and OTC fever reducers
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine
  • Cough and cold medication

Tools and essentials for a basic toolkit

Whether you’re the handy, DIY type or not, a basic toolset can make everything from hanging pictures to building IKEA furniture that much easier. When choosing a toolset, you can buy a pre-made kit with all the basics but most of the tools won’t be of good quality. Instead, building your own with what you need can often be cheaper, and get you higher-quality tools that will last longer.

  • Screwdriver with interchangeable heads: At least a Philips head and flathead, but Allen wrenches and other head types might be useful
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Hardware: Screws, nails, nuts & bolts, etc
  • Utility knife
  • Tape: Electrical and duct tape
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Small sewing kit

Cleaning supplies essentials checklist

We’re far more likely to want to clean if there’s already cleaning supplies in our home. Getting the basics for cleaning the surfaces of your home, such as an all-purpose cleaner, some microfiber cloths, a mop, and a broom, will go a long way in keeping your new home looking new.

  • All-purpose, bleach-free cleaner
  • Bleach or bleach-based cleaner
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Glass cleaner
  • Floor cleaning solution
  • Rubber gloves
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Paper towels
  • Sponges
  • Dish detergent
  • Mop and bucket
  • Broom and dustpan or vacuum
  • Toilet brush
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Laundry machine and clothes dryer or drying rack
  • Garbage bins and garbage bags

Outdoor home and garden essentials

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or another outdoor space, it will probably need maintenance so you can enjoy your time outside. To get the most out of your outdoor space, here are some things you should consider investing in.

  • Outdoor table and chairs (with something for shade from the direct sun)
  • BBQ
  • Trash can: Check with your local council on trash pickup and regulations regarding trash cans
  • Gardening tools: A small trowel, rake, and gardening gloves
  • Shovel
  • Lawnmower and weed wacker

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New home safety

Once you’ve moved into your new home, it’s essential to make sure your new place is safe and secure. Some of these safety features might not be applicable, for example, if you’re a renter you might not be able to change the locks or install a security system.

  • Change the locks to your front door (if applicable and possible)
  • Set up a security system
  • Install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher
  • Hang curtains for privacy
  • Get insurance: Home insurance, contents insurance, and renter’s or tenant’s insurance depending on the type of coverage you need
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