Things to Buy for a New House (The Complete Checklist)

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Now that you bought a new house, you’re probably wondering:

What stuff do I need to buy to get started?

What are the things I need to buy right now?

What can I buy later?

To make the process of moving in and getting set up much less stressful, I put together this comprehensive list of all the things you need to buy for a new house.

I’ve grouped each item into categories and included tips and advice on the best products to buy. 

This checklist is available to download as a PDF. All you have to do is click, print, and start shopping. 

Download PDF: Things to Buy for a New House: The Complete Checklist (Printable PDF)

Let’s dive right in!

The Essentials: What You Need to Buy Now

You just bought a house and have a million things to do before you move in. Trust me; I know how you feel. 

Now’s not the time to worry about what picture frames to buy or what smart home gadgets you’re going to install. 

Now’s the time to make sure you’re home is equipped with the necessities. 

These are the things you should buy either before you move in, or within the first couple weeks. 

Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners and flood insurance (especially if you are in a flood zone) is essential to have before moving in. Unless you are paying in cash, mortgage companies won’t give you a loan without it.

Your house will likely be the most expensive asset you ever purchase. Make sure you have complete coverage from an insurance carrier that has a strong reputation and financial stability. Work with an agent you can trust that will explain what is and isn’t covered, so you understand completely.

Utilities

Before you move in, call your local utility companies and make sure to set up accounts for water, gas/oil, electricity, cable, and internet. Schedule them to turn on the day you close on your house. 

Helpful Resource: Check out the 30 Easy Ways to Lower Your Water and Sewer Bill.

Safety Essentials

Besides insurance, which will prevent any financial disasters, these are the essential items you need to buy to keep your family safe.

New Locks and Keys

Between contractors, repairmen, renters, and family, you never know how many copies of the keys to your house are floating around out there.

Within the first week, you should replace all the locks in your house and create copies of the new keys. I would recommend using the same key for all locks to make life easier.

locks

Home Security System

Even in the nicest neighborhoods, there’s an occasional burglary. Having a home security system gives you peace of mind, especially when you are away from your home for extended periods.

We are big fans of SimpliSafe and wrote and an in-depth review of their home security system if you want to get more information. There are several other home security options like ADT and Frontpoint that are worth considering too. We recently published an article comparing SimpliSafe vs. ADT if you want to take a close look at the similarities and differences.

Fire Safety

First Aid and Medical Supplies

You never know when an accident will happen, or when you will feel sick.

It’s not always easy or convenient to run to the store and pick up medicine and first aid items.

We recommend keeping the following stocked in your house to keep you healthy and safe.

  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Cotton balls
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Thermometer
  • Cold/heat packs
  • Icy Hot
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Laxative
  • Antacids
  • Antihistamine
  • OTC pain relievers/fever reducers
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Cough and cold medications.

Instead of buying all of these supplies individually, you can pick up a complete First Aid/Medical Kit that includes most of these items. I love this one on Amazon that the maker designed for college students but would work great for a new home too. 

Cleaning Essentials

Cleaning, everyone’s favorite thing to do, right?

To make cleaning more routine, my wife and I split up responsibilities and keep a weekly, monthly, and annual checklist (check out our list).

Assuming you are not bringing anything from your apartment or previous home, make sure to pick up these items to keep that beautiful home you just bought nice and shiny.

Cleaning Agents

cleaning agent

Cleaning Supplies

Essential Tools

Whether you are handy or not, you’ll need some basic tools to fix minor things around the house, hang pictures, and put together furniture.

These are the essential tools you need to keep the household running smoothly.

  • Hammer
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips head and flat head)
  • Pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Level
  • Allen wrenches
  • Scraper/putty knife
  • Tape measure
  • Chisels
  • A variety of hardware (nails, screws, bolts, etc.)
  • Tape (duct and electrical)
  • Stud finder
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sandpaper 
  • Cordless drill (for basic household use, Ryobi makes a solid drill that’s very affordable on Amazon)
Stanley 65 piece household tool set with labels
Stanley 65 piece household tool set (see on Amazon)

Instead of buying all of these tools individually, you can get most of these in a set. We purchased this set of Stanley tools off Amazon, and it comes in handy all the time. Stanley is an excellent brand with high-quality tools, and their set will cover most of the essentials.

Essential Furniture

When it comes to furniture, the only real essential item is a mattress.

The rest of these items could technically wait, but most likely, you’ll want to have them within the first 2 to 4 months.

Tip: Taking a patient approach and not buying all your furniture at once will allow you to figure out your style slowly but, more importantly, it will enable you to spread out the financial burden over several months.  

With that said, here’s what you’ll need at a minimum for each room.

Bedroom

  • Bed
  • Mattress
  • Dressers/wardrobes
  • Bedside tables
  • Mirror
  • Area rug

Kitchen

  • Stools
  • Kitchen table
  • Chairs

Living

  • Couch
  • Chairs
  • Area rug
  • Coffee table
  • Side tables
  • TV
  • Lamps/lighting

Dining

  • Table
  • Table protector
  • Table cloths
  • Chairs
  • Rug
  • Light fixture
  • Storage cabinet (buffet/hutch)

Kitchen Essentials

My wife and I love to cook. We cook for ourselves almost every night and enjoy entertaining family and friends.

Because of that, we spend a significant amount of time in our kitchen.

If you’re like us, you’ll want to buy the following items soon after moving into your new house.

Flatware and Dinnerware

  • Silverware and utensils
  • Plates and bowls
  • Glasses and mugs

Cookware

  • Skillet
  • Frying pan
  • Saute pan
  • Saucepan
  • Stockpot
  • Roasting pans
  • Bakeware
  • Cast iron skillet

Instead of buying each piece of cookware individually, you’ll save a significant amount of money if you buy a set.

If you’re confused about which cookware to buy, I’ve recently published a bunch of reviews and comparisons of the top brands on the market.

Bottom line—with stainless steel cookware, I highly recommend investing in a set from a premium brand like All-Clad (see on Amazon) since it will last forever. With non-stick cookware, save your money and buy a few pans from a more affordable brand like Calphalon, Cuisinart, or T-Fal (since it only lasts 3-5 years).

Kitchen Knives

  • Chef’s knife (we recently reviewed the Best Chef’s Knives Under $100 – we recommend Wusthof Classic which you can pick up on Amazon)
  • Santoku knife (Again, Wusthof Classic is our pick, but you can find many great options with a quick search on Amazon)
  • Serrated bread knife
  • Paring knife
  • Honing Steel
  • Cutting board (this board is the best one you can get for cheap on Amazon)
Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife and Santoku Knife
Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife (top) and Santoku Knife (bottom)

If you want to start small, you can buy each knife individually, but, in general, it’s cheaper to buy a complete set like this one.

But, before you decide which brand to buy, check out our in-depth comparisons of the top options on the market:

Small Kitchen Appliances

  • Coffee maker
  • Toaster oven
  • Blender (no, a Vitamix is not essential, but a basic blender might be)
  • Food processor
  • Microwave
  • Slow cooker

Miscellaneous Kitchen Items

  • Serving platters, bowls, and spoons
  • Water pitchers
  • Ice cream scooper
  • Pizza cutter and roller
  • Salad spinner
  • Trash can and bags
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Dish drying rack
  • Step stool
  • Tea kettle
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Oven mitts
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Ladle
  • Measuring cups
  • Can opener
  • Lemon squeezer
  • Tenderizer
  • Colander
  • Storage containers/Tupperware

Bathroom Essentials (excluding cleaning supplies)

  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo
  • Bars of soap/body wash
  • Conditioner
  • Plunger
  • Hair catcher for the shower
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower liner
  • Tissues
  • Blinds (Not sure where to buy blinds? Check out our review of the top-rated white-glove service from 3 Day Blinds)

Closet Essentials

  • Hangers
  • Hooks
  • Storage bins
  • Organizers
  • Shoe rack

Linens

Outdoor Essentials

  • Lawnmower
  • Trimmer
  • Leaf blower
  • Snowblower
  • Ax
  • Seed spreader
  • Shovel
  • Snow shovel
  • Ice melt
  • Gloves
  • Pruner
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Leaf rake
  • Leaf bags
  • Garden hose
  • Gardening shears
  • Edger
  • Push broom
  • Ladder

The Non-Essentials: The Nice-to-Have Items You Can Buy Later

Generator: You will thank yourself the next time your whole town loses power for multiple hours or days.

Google Home: Smart home speakers are becoming extremely popular. Whether it’s the Google Home, Amazon Echo, or the Apple HomePod, everyone seems to have one. If you’re not sure you need one or don’t understand what they do, check out our in-depth review of the Google Home.

Outdoor Furniture: Now that you have a yard, it’s time to enjoy it. Pick up some outdoor furniture and start relaxing on your new deck or patio and indulge in some delicious grilled meats. Speaking of grilled meat…

Grill: When I think of summer, I immediately think: grilling. There is a wide range of grills on the market, find one that fits your needs and budget.

Art and Framed Photos: It’s time to put something on those bare walls and make your house feel like your home. When you hang pictures, save your wall from damage by using Command Picture Hanging Strips. We recently wrote an in-depth review of Command Picture Hanging Strips, including step-by-step instructions on how to use them.

Instant pot: You’ve heard about the Instant Pot from your friends already. You can also check out our in-depth review to discover the pros, cons, and what exactly it does. If you’re interested in buying one, it is currently available on Amazon at a great price.

Vitamix: If you’re serious about smoothies and homemade soups, you need to invest in a Vitamix. It will cost you a couple of hundred dollars depending on the model, but it is well worth it, especially considering it comes with a 10-year warranty. Read our in-depth review of the Vitamix A3300 for more details or check out reviews on Amazon.

KitchenAid Mixer: A must-have for all the aspiring bakers out there.

Humidifier: Stop waking up with dry skin and a dry throat, especially in the winter.

Smart Light Bulbs: Sick of turning on lights with a switch, the old-fashioned way? Install smart bulbs, sync them with your Google Home, and start controlling your house with your voice. We wrote an in-depth review of smart bulbs from TP-Link if you want to see it in action.

Water Filter: Who doesn’t appreciate clean, great-tasting water. Our favorite water filter is the very popular Brita.

Indoor Plants: Brighten up your home with some living plants. Not only do they look great, but they provide some health benefits too.

Second Refrigerator: If you have space in your basement or garage, consider buying a second fridge to store all those extras.

Stocked Bar: Last but not least, no home is complete without a fully stocked bar with wine and cocktail glasses. When you have guests over, make sure they don’t leave thirsty!

What Did We Forget?

You won’t need everything right away, so my advice is to start by downloading the checklist of essentials and prioritize each item into buckets: first week, first month, first three months.

Prioritizing the list will help you focus on what is most important and will take the pressure off of thinking you need everything right away. 

Please let us know what we items we forgot.

Now go and enjoy your new home!

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