There are so many things to think about when you’re buying a new home, especially when you’re a first-time homeowner. In the time leading up to closing day and moving day, you’re going to be pretty busy with major decisions and important tasks, which makes it easy to forget about the little things. Some essentials tend to be forgotten, and when a glass breaks on move-in day, for example, you’re stuck cleaning up the mess without a broom in sight! With this in mind, we’ve put together a short list of some things every new homeowner needs. Keep in mind that this is by no means a comprehensive list, but just some of the things we find new homeowners forgetting about in the hustle and bustle.
A Plunger and a Drain Snake
As a new homeowner, your first instinct when something goes wrong might still be to call the landlord…but then you realize you no longer have one. One of your first minor purchases when you move into your new home should be a toilet plunger and/or a drain snake. The last thing you want is to be caught without one of these tools when a toilet overflows or a drain is clogged.
Household Tool Kit
Every homeowner needs a basic household tool kit on hand at all times. After all, how will you hang all that cool artwork you bought for your new place without a hammer and some nails? You can find some great basic kits at Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, and even Amazon. Make sure the kit comes with essentials like a cordless drill and bits; a utility knife; a claw hammer; a tape measure; screwdrivers (both flat head and Phillips head, preferably in a couple of different sizes); a small assortment of pliers; a level; vice grips; an assortment of nails and screws; wire cutters; pencils and/or chalk; masking or painter’s tape; packing tape; a putty knife; a paint can key; glues (wood, super, and basic white glues are all good to have on hand); and solvents like Goo Gone.
We could throw any number of old adages about always being prepared at you on this one, but we’ll spare you the lecture. Let’s just say that each and every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. If your home has multiple stories, it’s best to have one on each floor.
This is one that often gets forgotten on move-in day. Many homes—especially new construction homes—don’t come with any window coverings, and it’s easy to forget that detail until night falls and you realize everyone can see right inside your home. Don’t forget to measure windows ahead of time and grab a few sets of blinds, shades, or curtains for a little privacy on your first night in your new home.
An Emergency Fund
We can’t stress enough how important it is for homeowners to have an emergency fund set up at all times. You never know what might happen and whether or not your homeowner's insurance will cover it. Having an emergency hand can really save your hide in the event of major repairs or life circumstances like illness or a job loss. We know—you just dropped an awful lot of cash on your down payment and other closing costs. As long as you save a little to put toward your emergency fund each month, you should find it built up in no time.
If you choose to do your own packing and hauling on moving day, a furniture dolly will be incredibly helpful. But don’t think you won’t get much use out of it beyond that. Break it out anytime you need to move something heavy or whenever you need to help a friend move in the future.
A Wet/Dry Vacuum
Whether you think you need a wet/dry vacuum or not, you’ll get more use out of one than you might think. It will come in handy when you’re vacuuming out the car, cleaning up dog messes, picking up sawdust or other debris from DIY projects, cleaning up after a water leak or toilet overflow, and more. Get something like a Shop-Vac. You’ll thank us later.
Basic Cleaning Kit
Make sure you have basic cleaning essentials on hand. Assemble a kit that includes a broom, mop, bucket, dustpan, rags or paper towels, and household cleaners for that initial cleanup (and all those daily and weekly chores to come).