New Home Essentials
Move In Must-Haves
Many life events can lead to moving into your first home or apartment, but the excitement and preparation are the same. When you’re moving into your first place, it’s important to think about your day-to-day needs as you pick out new furniture and accessories in order to make your new house feel like a comfortable and welcoming home. From sofas to shower curtain rings, this list will help you cover all your first-home needs.
Whether your new kitchen is big or small, it functions as the heart of your home. The kitchen is where friends and family gather, meals are created, and memories are made. In order to function smoothly, every kitchen needs the right furniture, appliances, cookware, and utensils in order to operate with ease. Read through our list of recommended kitchen essentials and get ready to use your fully equipped kitchen from day one in your new home.
Small kitchen appliances help you prepare meals with minimal effort. Easy-to-use appliances such as microwaves, blenders, toasters, mixers, coffee makers and many other small gadgets are all essential items that help with the cooking process.
- Food Processors
- Coffee Makers
- Slow Cooker
- Waffle Makers
- Electric Griddle
- Hand Mixers
- Stand Mixers
From stockpots to skillets, having the proper cookware will help you prepare a tasty meal for your home. Decide if you want to purchase a complete set made of all the same material or to create your own collection with your favorite cookware types. Choose items made from cast iron, stainless steel, or nonstick surfaces.
- Skillet Sets
- Cast Iron Skillets
- Saucepan Sets
- Dutch Ovens
Stocking your kitchen with the right bakeware will make baking delicious dinners, breads, and desserts a breeze. Bakeware comes in a variety of materials and finishes such as glass, ceramic, metal, and silicone.
- Baking Sheets
- Baking Pans
- Pie Pans
- Loaf Pans
- Springform Pans
- Muffin Tins
When outfitting your new kitchen, look for silverware that will work for everyday use as well as for special occasions. Stainless steel is the most popular material used in flatware since it is simple, affordable, and easy to clean. When buying flatware, choose from stylish sets or build your own set with individual pieces. Buying a flatware set is a convenient way to get all the pieces you need, especially if this is your first home.
- Butter Knives
- Serving Spoons
- Serving Forks
- Slotted Spoons
- Steak Knives
From everyday glasses and coffee mugs to specialty barware, make sure your kitchen is well stocked. Start your drinkware collection by choosing a good set of cups and glasses, and then gradually add in specialty drinkware to be used for different drinks and occasions.
- Drinking Glasses
- Wine Glasses
- Mugs & Tea Cups
When it comes to buying dishes, look for dinnerware that’s functional and stylish. If you want a cohesive look, buy a matching dish set that includes several place settings with dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, and cups. Buy individual dishes if you prefer to mix and match shapes, sizes, and colors. In addition to your basic dinnerware, purchase a completer set that includes a few serving dishes.
- Dinner Plates
- Salad Bowls
- Serving Dishes
Buying a cutlery set is a great option for the new homeowner. Starter sets typically include the basics, such as a chef’s knife, paring knife, and utility knife. If you are a seasoned cook, build a complete cutlery set with the knives that match your cooking style. This Cutlery Buying Guide will help you determine which knives you’ll need for your cooking style.
- Chef’s Knife
- Paring Knife
- Bread Knife
- Knife Set
- Kitchen Scissors
Cooking utensils are must-have items when it comes to completing daily meals. Each item serves a specific purpose as you boil, fry, cook, and serve your meals. Start with the basics like wooden spoons and turners, and then build your collection to include specialty items like mashers and zesters as you expand your cooking needs.
- Wooden Spoons
- Slotted Spoons
- Soup Ladles
- Steamer Baskets
- Meat Thermometers
Kitchen prep tools are useful gadgets that help you prepare your food before the cooking process. If you’ve ever started a recipe only to realize that you don’t have the right tools on hand to complete the task, this list will spare you the frustration in advance. These types of tools include can openers, measuring spoons, cutting boards, and mixing bowl sets. Make sure to stock your kitchen with these everyday essentials to make meal prep a piece of cake.
- Cutting Boards
- Mixing Bowl Set
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Liquid Measuring Cups
- Can Openers
- Rolling Pins
- Vegetable Peelers
- Bottle Openers
Find kitchen furniture that reflects your style and fits comfortably in your space. Whether you have an eat-in kitchen or an island with barstools, having the right kitchen furniture is essential when you want to sit down, enjoy a meal, create extra prep space, and entertain guests.
- Kitchen Tables
- Kitchen Chairs
- Bar Stools
- Kitchen Islands
Linen & Decor
Preparing meals can get messy, which is why it’s important to have a good stock of kitchen towels, rags, and aprons. Adding decorative kitchen linens and decor to your kitchen is also a quick way to give your house a warm and homey feel. When choosing your linens, look for coordinating items that complement your personal style.
- Oven Mitts
- Hand Towels
- Cloth Napkins
- Wall Art
A well-organized storage system maximizes your kitchen space and makes it easy to find what you need when you need it. If you have the capacity, consider utilizing a piece of kitchen furniture, such as a baker’s rack or a kitchen cart, to store extra dishes, silverware, or small appliances. A hanging pot rack is space saving and convenient for storing pots and pans. Drawer organizers keep all your flatware and utensils straightened out, while bins and containers will keep food or other items organized.
- Storage Racks
- Pantry Cabinets
- Spice Racks
- Utensil Holders
- Drawer Organizers
- Paper Towel Holders
- Food Containers
The living room is the home’s central hub for making enjoyable moments with your family and friends. Whether you are watching TV, playing games, listening to music, or simply enjoying conversation, you’ll want to create a welcoming and stylish atmosphere. While shopping, you will find a variety of options when it comes to choosing living room sets, couches, accent tables, and decor. Choose furniture that is comfortable and highlights your preferred style.
Living Room Essentials
When choosing a sofa, both size and comfort should be on the top of your list. First, measure your living room to determine the ideal dimensions for your future couch. This step will help you decide on what sofa size and type will best fit in your space for ultimate relaxation and enjoyment. Then, choose from a wide range of couches, including regular sofas, sectionals, and loveseats, to base your living room decor around. Learn more about the steps to determine your sofa preferences with our Sofa Buying Guide.
Accent chairs are a vital part of your living room. They provide comfortable seating for relaxation after a long day, offer extra seating for guests, and add style to your room. You’ll want to find chairs that coordinate with your sofa design, color, and size. Read more about how to choose the best accent chairs with our Living Room Chairs Buying Guide.
Coffee Tables & Accent Tables
Accent tables, such as coffee tables, end tables, and console tables, give your living room a finished look and come in a variety of sizes, styles, materials, and colors. Coffee tables are the most popular type of accent tables since they offer a convenient surface for drinks, reading materials, and TV remotes right in front of your primary living room seating. Sofa tables and end tables are the perfect solution for displaying accent lamps and decor. You will appreciate the added function and style that accent tables bring to your room.
Ottomans & Poufs
Ottomans and poufs instantly add character to your living room while giving you a comfortable place to rest your feet. Some ottomans have hinged tops, so they can double as storage for blankets, throw pillows, shoes, or seasonal items. Cocktail ottomans are often oversized and can function like a coffee table. Decide what function will best fit your needs, and then choose a style that matches your living room.
Media stands keep your TV, DVD player, video game console, and other electrical devices safe and organized in a sleek way. Find a stylish looking entertainment center with enough storage to fit your needs and complement the overall look of your home.
Adding shelving to your living room is an ideal organization solution to keep your space tidy. Shelving will give you extra storage space for books as well as places to display knickknacks and collectibles. Choose from bookshelves or floating shelves to complete your desired look.
Not only do area rugs create comfort and warmth in a home; they also tie the whole room together. If your couch has a busy pattern, try a solid color or natural rug. If your sofa is basic, bring your room to life with a patterned rug. Size is important, so make sure to choose a rug that is large enough to ensure the front legs of the furniture are on it. Don’t forget to invest in a rug pad for added comfort and to prevent slipping. Get more tips for finding the best rug for your home with our Complete Rug Buying Guide.
Lighting is an important element in any living room design and is a great way to show off your personal style while making your space feel warm and inviting. Stylish ceiling lights, wall-mounted fixtures, floor lamps, and table lamps provide excellent light for your living space and create a welcoming atmosphere. Read our Lighting Buying Guide to learn about the right fixtures to furnish your new home.
Using window treatments is a quick way to offer privacy and enhance your home decor while protecting against the elements. They bring a completed look to your home by adding color, pattern and style to your living room or any room. Choose from drapes, window dressings, and valances to frame your windows. Learn more Tips on Buying Drapes for your new home.
Adding home accents to your living room gives your space a touch of personality. Display your favorite memories with a few picture frames, add mirrors to create an airy atmosphere, and use coordinating throws and throw pillows for an inviting feel. Top it all off with wall art that will unify your home theme or style.
The dining room is a space devoted to hosting and feasting with family and friends. Take time before you move to decide what furniture pieces will work best for your needs. The dining room table and chairs will be the focal point of the room, so decide how big of a table you need and how it will fit in your new space. Once you have that, you can add in your favorite decor and storage options.
Dining Room Essentials
Dining Tables & Chairs
Your dining room is a gathering place for dinners with friends and family. Many dining room tables and chairs are sold together as a dining set. This is an easy way to ensure your chairs fit the table and makes for a quick and easy way to furnish your new home. Our Dining Room Furniture Buying Guide gives you key points to help with your dining room furniture purchases.
Buffets are not only beautiful, but they’re also a highly functional part of your dining room. They offer extra storage for dishes, flatware, and drinkware, and provide an extra surface space to place food during a dinner party. Show off your best dishes in style by choosing a buffet with open shelving or glass doors. Consider these tips in our Buffets Buying Guide before making your purchase to ensure you get the best buffet for your space.
Bring color, texture, and style to the dining room with an area rug. Choose a rug that is large enough to accommodate both table and chairs. Flat-weave or low-pile rugs are the smart choice for this space, so look for a natural fiber rug like cotton or wool that is easy to clean after unplanned spills.
Chandeliers & Pendants
From modern pendant lights to dramatic chandeliers and classic wall sconces, dining room lighting adds a touch of ambiance to every meal. It’s important to find the right style that matches the rest of your dining room decor and also provides the right amount of light for your space. To find the perfect light fixture that coordinates with your room, read Best Lighting Fixtures for Your Dining Room.
Your bedroom is your sanctuary, so make it as cozy and inviting as you need it to be in order to relax and get the rest you deserve. Choose your bedroom furniture first because it will take up the most space. As you continue to plan out your bedroom, consider how you want your room to function and how much storage you’ll need to keep your things organized. It’s the special thought and details that make your bedroom a personal oasis.
Bed Frames & Headboards
Because it will be the largest piece of furniture in the room, choosing your bed frame calls for extra thought and consideration before you commit. After all, your bed is the natural focal point of the room. Make it a grand and royal statement piece with a sleigh bed, or keep it low-key and simple with a Mid-Century Modern platform bed with or without a headboard. To learn more, read one of our informative Bed Guides.
Getting great sleep is as easy as choosing the best mattress for your needs. From supportive memory foam to luxurious feather tops, there are mattresses for every sleeper and budget. Check out our Mattress Buying Guide for tips on finding the perfect mattress to help you drift away to dreamland.
A new bedroom is the perfect reason to invest in new bed sheets. To fully stock up, purchase two to three sets of sheets for each bed in your house. Wash at least one set for each bed before moving so that you’re ready to fall into a fresh bed after all your hard work. To learn more about bed sheet options, read our Sheets Buying Guide.
Duvets & Comforters
Since your bed is likely the focal point in your room, your bedding choice will be important to your overall design. Duvets, comforters, and bedspreads all come in styles and materials that are functional and budget-friendly. Consider a comforter set if you’re looking for an easy way to achieve a cohesive look. If you like to change the look of your bedroom often or with the seasons, duvets paired with duvet covers will give you that flexibility. Our Duvets vs. Down Comforters Guide will help you decide what’s best for you.
Whether you like to swim in a sea of pillows or slumber on a single favorite, bed pillows are a move-in item that you won’t want to neglect. Choosing a pillow is all about personal taste and sleeping patterns, so check out our Pillows Buying Guide to help you decide between choices like down, foam, and gel. Pair your new pillows with pillowcases or shams in fabrics and patterns that coordinate with your other bedding.
Bedside tables are welcome nighttime companions that store everything you use for your bedtime rituals. Keep everything you need within reach, from journals and books to reading glasses and tissues. You can buy bedside tables in a set with your bed frame or on their own. The style you choose all depends on your storage needs and the look you love. Learn more about your choices in our Nightstand Buying Guide.
Dressers & Armoires
Aside from sleep, your bedroom’s most important function is clothing storage. Dressers and armoires will beautifully expand your storage space if you run out of room in your closet. Dressers come in many heights, widths, and styles, so it’s easy to find one that fits both your clothing needs and your design wants. Think about how much clothing and linens you’ll need to store in your room before you purchase a chest of drawers.
Your bedroom lighting is important to the overall look and feel you want in your room. Use bedside lamps mixed with overhead lighting and floor lamps to really keep your room airy and bright, or keep the mood calm and relaxed with the softer light of bedside sconces and overhead lighting controlled with a dimmer switch. Visit our Lighting Buying Guide to learn more lighting types that will suit your needs.
Add thoughtful details with accessories and bedroom decor to make your room inviting and cozy. Throws, decorative pillows, wall art, knickknacks, and much more will personalize your space and make your bedroom the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. Don’t forget to use a mirror with a decorative frame to really make your space shine.
Your storage solutions may depend on the size of your bedroom, but there are always solutions to be had for any space, even small rooms. Consider closet organizer systems, storage beds, and storage benches to keep your items out of sight. Alternatively, you can make your storage part of your decor with floating shelves, decorative baskets, and bookshelves.
You may think that a bathroom is a bathroom is a bathroom, but in reality it’s a place where refined touches and attention to detail can make or break the comfort level and functionality of this space. Choose bathroom decor that helps make your morning and bedtime routines a breeze while keeping the space looking lush, clean, and bright. Try a light palette in cool tones for that clean feel, or add pops of color with accessories to create a stronger visual interest.
Shower curtain options are practically endless, so it’s easy to find one that functions well and matches your design sensibilities. If you have a window in your bath or shower, a see-through top or clear curtain will give you the benefit of natural light in your whole bathroom. A cloth shower curtain with a vinyl liner will give you a spa-like aesthetic, and a themed one can directly reflect your personality. To complete your look, choose a shower rod and a set of rings that match your bathroom fixtures.
Add a practical yet inviting touch to your bathroom with a bath mat. Your choices range from mats with sunny greetings and trendy patterns to mats made of bamboo or memory foam. Whatever mat you choose, be sure to measure your space before you purchase. Like Goldilocks, you don’t want a mat that is too big or too small — you want one that fits just right.
Nothing says “good morning” like a set of clean and fluffy towels in the bathroom. You can choose a set of matching towels for simplicity or a set of monogrammed white towels for a spa feel. You can also mix-and-match different patterns and colors to energize your space. Whatever you choose, make sure you have at least three sets per person and a separate set of guest towels.
Your bath accessories can serve as practical necessities as well as decor. You can find decor-themed bath accessory sets that include everything from soap dispensers and trash cans to storage jars and shower curtain rings. For a more personalized or eclectic look, mix-and-match items according to your tastes and storage needs.
A new home is a clean slate, and the key to keeping it that way is preparing early for your general cleaning needs. A clean home keeps your day-to-day life moving smoothly when you have a place for everything and have everything in its place. Before you move in, think of the essentials you’ll need to keep your clothes, furniture, surfaces, and floors clean so you can hit the ground running in your well-kept home. This section will help you think about the houseware essentials you’ll need on moving day and beyond.
Laundry Room Essentials
Washers & Dryers
Whether your budget calls for basic or you can splurge on the latest and greatest in washers and dryers, having a separate laundry space in your new home is every homeowner’s dream. When you choose a washer and dryer, your first consideration is how much room you have to house them. Choose from all-in-one models, stackable units, or side-by-side styles to meet all your laundry needs. Visit our Tips on Buying Washers and Dryers for more ideas on choosing what’s best for you and your family.
Some fabrics and delicates aren’t meant for the dryer, so a drying rack in your laundry room will always come in handy. Certain accordion drying racks can be mounted to the wall and pulled out as needed, but you can also benefit from stand-alone drying racks that can be easily folded and stored. If you wish to use your rack to dry things like mats and shoes, invest in a more solid rack with a sturdy base.
No laundry setup is complete without hampers to keep dirty clothes off the floor and laundry baskets to keep clean clothes folded and organized. From wicker and wood to canvas and metal, it’s easy to extend your sense of style to your laundry room. Size is important when it comes to hampers, so make sure you choose one that still allows you to move around and open the washer and dryer doors with ease. For more laundry room ideas, read our Laundry Room Ideas to Make Your Life Easier Guide.
Even with advancements in iron-free fabrics, an iron will still add value when you’re trying to put your best foot forward at work or personal events. Keep in mind that higher quality irons tend to be heavier, and heavier irons generally work faster and better when pressing out wrinkles. If you find that you do a lot of ironing, you may also benefit from investing in a garment steamer or a steam press.
When you’re pressing clothes, not just any flat surface will do. Ironing boards are specifically designed to have the right amount of give to get the best press possible. They also allow for steam to pass through your clothing without soaking your clothes. A standard-sized ironing board of 13 to 15 inches will work for most households, but if you iron a lot of dress shirts, consider an extra wide 39-inch ironing board.
A vacuum is a must-have in any home. From vacuuming carpet and area rugs to clearing out cobwebs and swept dust piles, a vacuum is invaluable when it comes to home care. If you have mostly hard floors, you may benefit from a smaller vacuum with an extension hose. If your vacuum will see heavy use, consider investing in a high-quality unit that will last for decades with regular maintenance. Check out our Tips on Buying Vacuum Cleaners for more information.
Mops & Sweepers
Gone are the days of a string mop and bucket; now you have several choices to keep your floors clean with little effort. From classics like sponge mops and strip mops to newer creations like dust mops and disposable pad sweepers, you’ll soon be sitting pretty in your sparkling home. If you like to deep clean your floors regularly, consider investing in an electric steam mop to get the job done on all hard surfaces in your home.
Keeping all your cleaning supplies in one place makes it easy to find what you need, whether you’re doing your weekly chores or quickly cleaning up a spill before it sets. If you put your most-used supplies in a caddy, it makes it all portable, too. Some cleaning supplies to consider for your caddy include glass cleaner, all-purpose kitchen cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, tile cleaner, dusting supplies, rags, sponges, scrub brushes, and rubber gloves.
Maintenance & Safety
Now that you’re safe and sound in your new home, work on keeping it that way. Simple items for day-to-day safety and maintenance around the house will go a long way to keeping you and your family happy and healthy. Small household accidents happen and quick projects crop up, so keep a few items on hand so you can quickly jump in when needs arise.
Maintenance & Safety Essentials
Early detection can help you stop a fire in its’ tracks or help you get out of harm’s way in time. Most states have laws or recommendations to put a smoke alarm in all sleeping areas as well as at least one on all floors of a home. Luckily, you don’t have to spend a lot to outfit your home with smoke alarms.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide might not announce its’ presence like a fire, but it is just as deadly. Faulty furnaces and other malfunctioning appliances are the source of this silent and scentless killer. A properly functioning carbon monoxide detector is one of the only ways to alert you of a potential leak in time to do something about it.
Many types of fires, especially in the kitchen, will get worse if you try to put them out with water, so keeping a fire extinguisher in your home is a must. You can get fire extinguishers in different class types specifically for your garage, kitchen, or living areas, but a multipurpose ABC Class extinguisher will cover most needs throughout your home. Choose an extinguisher that is rechargeable and follow the guidelines on the canister to keep it primed and ready for action.
A few first-aid items make a huge difference as you tend to the inevitable cuts and scrapes that life serves up. It’s always a good idea to keep things like antibacterial ointment, bandages, and painkillers on hand, and any simple kit you can purchase will have these items. You can also buy larger kits that will include things like tape, gauze, scissors, elastic bandages, and much more. These larger kits usually come in portable cases that are easy to pop in the car when you plan camping and road trips as well.
Accessing high cupboards, cleaning vaulted ceilings, and hanging art will be no match for you when you’re armed with a step ladder. You can find step ladders with two to four steps that fold up for easy storage in a closet or behind a door. Most step stools have sturdy metal frames, but if yours gets frequent use in open view, try a stylish wood design that will blend in with your decor.
From hanging a picture to tightening loose drawer knobs, keeping a small tool box inside your home will help you quickly check the little things off your list. If you’re starting a toolbox from scratch, consider purchasing a basic tool kit that includes a tape measure, pair of pliers, a hammer, and screwdrivers. Supplement the kit with items like picture hangers, a level, WD-40, and other items as the need arises.