I have moved several times over the past few years, and I know that it can be challenging to keep track of everything you need when moving into a new house. From furniture to kitchen appliances, there is a lot to consider. That’s why I created a checklist of household essentials and other items that you may forget or not think about while planning for your big move.
This new house checklist is a free printable that you can use to make sure you have everything you need. Plus, we’ve included links to the top-rated Amazon Prime items in each category, which will save you time and effort in getting what you need.
The checklist includes over 250 house essentials, so you can be sure you’re not forgetting anything. Whether you’re moving into a new home for the first time or the tenth time, this checklist will help ensure that you have everything you need to make your new house feel like home.
Table of Contents
Moving Day Essentials
So you might be panicked about moving day, and that’s normal. Make sure you have your boxes, and to help you with the day, we’ve included a moving day essentials checklist that you can get for free.
If you want to download the new house checklist, we offer it as a free printable. You can get it by clicking here and entering your email.
What to do first in a new house: Moving Day First Must Do’s
The day you move in, you’ll be getting the keys to the new home, and a bunch of little things will need to happen. None of them are overwhelming on their own, but when you stack them and add on moving, it can feel like a lot.
Here are your action items for when you walk in. Of course, some of these won’t be needed if you are moving into an apartment for the first time, but it’s still good to know.
- Go to the real estate attorney and get the keys
- Make sure everything that was supposed to be left as per the purchase agreement is still there (sometimes the previous owner can “forget” or swap out things)
- Document anything that is not there and notify your real estate agent
- Change the locks (here’s how to choose a smart lock)
- Paint (if needed, this is easier to do before your stuff is in there)
- Clean kitchen, including cupboards and fridge (or you can hire a cleaning service before your move-in date)
- Make any home improvements and repairs that need to happen
- Note where the circuit breakers are in the house
- Find the shut-off valves to the house
- Check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
- Take meter readings and document them for later
- Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policies and others are kept somewhere safe (like in a fireproof safe; we have one for all of our files and personal information)
- Change over alarm code and billing on your security system
- Transfer utilities and other services over to your name
- Change address for all billing and credit card companies (this is where online bills can make it easier. I still like to get the paper bill for my budgeting system)
- Change of address at your financial institutions, like your current bank and insurance company
New House Kitchen Essentials
Your kitchen is going to need a lot of stuff. Honestly, it’s the biggest thing you will get set up in your new house. Here is a list of kitchen essentials for a new home, some of these kitchen items we have broken down to give you a better idea of what you need now and what you may be able to go without for a while. If you want everything you need for your kitchen, make sure to get our kitchen essentials checklist, which has over 250 things to buy for your kitchen.
Whether you are new to cooking or a seasoned chef, there are essential pots and pans that you should have in your kitchen. Here is a list of pots and pans you must have, and others too. For details on this, you can see our full list of essential cookware. If you want to dive deep into pots and pans, you can see the best ones in our cookware review site LearningTheKitchen.com.
- Sauté Pan
- Frying Pan
- Non-Stick Skillet
- Large Stockpot
- Roasting Pan
- Baking Dish
- Baking Sheets
- Dutch Oven
The type of cookware you need can vary depending on what type of stove you have. If you are on a budget, make sure to check out the best cookware sets. It has something for every budget.
If cooking isn’t your thing yet (because it wasn’t mine when we first moved in), it’s likely you don’t have the right tools for the job. So here are the must-have kitchen tools for any new kitchen (the rest you can get as you go along).
- Cutting knives or one of these best knife sets (with optional block, here are the different types of kitchen knives and what they do. You can see all of our knife reviews here)
- Cutting board (you have two choices IMO cheap ones that you just replace whenever they get cut up, or a wood one that is more long-lasting)
- Baking sheets
- Pizza pan or pizza stone
- Sealable containers (we use these Rubbermaid ones and buy them when they are on sale)
- Parchment paper (this is great for baking things in the oven; it saves scrubbing pans afterward!)
- Drying rack and drip tray
- Can opener
- Meat thermometer (changed everything; now the meat is properly cooked)
- Salad spinner (or you can use towels to pat dry)
- Turkey baster
( Buying option: if this is your first set and you are ok with a starter set of utensils, this package is what we bought, and still use a good portion of these)
There are some of these you will want right away, and some of them you will need. So take a look at the list and get what you need and go from there.
- Refrigerator (this will take you to Home Depot to see their current appliances sale)
- Toaster (we use the ones that are big enough for bagels; the first one we got wasn’t, and we ended up having to cut our bagels into thirds, not a great morning experience, or go fancy with a glass toaster ).
- Toaster Oven
- Keurig or Coffee Maker (here are the best Keurig coffee makers)
- Blender (after going through 5 different blenders making smoothies, we sprung for a Blendtec and never looked back)
- Kettle (I love this programmable one, it is perfect if you are a tea snob like me)
- Griddle (this is great for pancakes, bacon, and a bunch of other things; we got ours for under $20, and it’s well worth it)
- Instant Pot
- Waffle maker (this vertical waffle maker is the best)
- Rice cooker
- Juicer (we use this one)
- Slow cooker (here are the best slow cookers)
- Panini Press (totally optional, but so worth it!)
Now that you have a place to eat, you will need some cooking essentials for your new place. These are the items we use every. Single. Day. Make sure you have these on your moving-in list, or you will make several extra trips to the store.
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Rolling pin
- Spatula (this one is a game-changer spatula, yes there is such a thing)
- Bottle opener (you’ll want to know where this is on moving day… trust me)
- Corning Ware
- Ice cube trays
- Bowls for mixing salad and other things
Overwhelmed? Don’t be. 🙂 This cooking essentials set has many of the kitchen household items you need and is an Amazon Choice, plus if you have Amazon Prime you get two day free shipping. Check it out here.
You will need something to eat pretty soon when you move in (of course, some plastic plates for your friends on moving day will do just fine). But the rest of your days will need something more standard and durable. So, to make it easier, we have done a search on Amazon for each of these items and linked to the highest star rating (based on the time we did this). Having your house needs aligned before you start shopping is a great way to save money while getting everything you need for your new house.
- Eating utensils
- Steak knives
- Drawer organizer for utensils (we love this adjustable one)
- Coffee mugs
- Bowls (best to buy in a set all at once plates and bowls, we went with Ikea)
- Wine glasses
- Food trays or a serving platter
Rather than buy separate dinnerware this set of 4 is super affordable and comes in several colors.
Spices and Pantry Staples
I’ve been watching Masterclass, and the top chefs use the same basic ingredients. So I’ve included them here for you. The first 3 are the basis for many great-tasting foods. You can get a fully stocked pantry with our pantry staples list, it has everything you need to stock your pantry from scratch.
You can get all of these and more in a spice rack set, like this one here. It’s the one we got and had a bunch of different spices to try out. Plus we really liked the look of it on our kitchen counter.
Other Kitchen Supply Items for New Home
These are the things you are going to find yourself needing on a daily or weekly basis. Therefore, it’s best to have them when you move in.
- Cling film
- Ziploc bags
- Chip clips
- Paper towel
- Dish soap
- Sponge (fun fact, I’m totally creeped out by the way sponges feel, so I don’t touch them)
- Cleaning gloves
- Kitchen fridge magnets
- Ice cube tray
- Meal planning sheets
- Standing Mat (this will change your life in the kitchen!)
- Oven mitts
- Cooling wire
- Cooling mat
- Stepping stool (for those things that are waaayyyy too far back on the top shelf)
- Reusable straws (because someone is bound to ask for one)
- Pet dish and pet food
Kitchen Cleaning Necessities
Your moving day will involve cleaning the kitchen. It’s empty, and it’s great for you to give it a blast to get a nice clean and fresh start. It’s a good idea to start with your basic cleaning supplies and add on as you go.
- Lining paper (goes in the bottom of drawers)
- Garbage can
- Trash bags
- Recycling bags
- Magic Eraser
Bedroom Essentials List
Depending on how many bedrooms you want, you may need to do these items several times. Here is the bedroom section of our furnishing a new home checklist. Make sure to note the size of bed you have in your master bedroom, so you have the right fitting sheets! See our bedroom essentials list for more details.
- Bed frame
- Mattress (these are amazing!)
- Pillows (these have over 100,000 ratings)
- Sheet set
- Decorative pillows
- Blanket or Duvet
- Curtain rods and curtains
- Full-length mirror
- Laundry bin, bag, or hamper
- Alarm clock
- Under the bed storage bins
Depending on what your house looks like, you may need several things for your closet or just hangers. It all depends. When we moved in, there was just one bar in the closet, so we got some closet organizers to give us some space. Here are some household storage items you may need in your new house.
- Storage bins
- Full-length mirror (or if you want, you can swap out the solid doors with mirrored sliding doors)
- Closet organizer
- Shoe rack
- Cute storage bins
- Jewelry organizer
Technology & Smart Home Essentials
When we moved into our first home, we upgraded the lightbulbs from the thing ones to the thicker ones and swapped out the lightbulbs for LEDs. Now we have the option of making things more smart home based.
See if any of these smart changes are needed before you move in. For instance, if you are moving and it’s cold, you want to make sure the new smart thermostat is working. These aren’t likely necessities when moving into a new apartment. But an Alexa Dot is good for no matter where you live 😉
- Smart thermostat (this one has Alexa and the ability to sense temperatures in multiple rooms)
- Smart light bulbs (I love the Philips Hue)
- Smart plugs and outlets
- Smart light switches
- Smart lock (check out the best smart locks here and the features your lock must have)
- Ethernet cables
- Surge protectors
- Smart assistant (Google or Alexa)
- Phone charges
Home Office Essentials
That spare bedroom is likely to become your home office for now. How far you take it is entirely up to you. As someone who has worked from home, these are all must-haves. Of course, it depends on what you need in your office. Office furniture is becoming more and more important in our furnishing a new home checklist. See our full home office essentials list for all the details.
- Office Chair
- Surge protector
- Rechargeable batteries
- Paper organizer
- Filing cabinet
- Post-it’s (this all-in-one set is all you need ever)
- Whiteboard(s) and markers
- Dry eraser
- Inspirational quote art
- Air mattress (for when someone decides to stay over)
When you are looking at your eating space, takes some time on this aspect of our furnishing a new home checklist. You will spend more time here than you realize so it’s worth thinking about how many people will be eating at the table and what type of space you will need. Knowing which of these home essentials products you need now can save you a lot of money.
- Dining room table (here are some nice dining room sets under $200)
- Dining room chairs
- Table Cloth
- Table runner
- Candleholders and candles
- Chair felts (prevents the hardwoods from scratching)
Living Room Essentials
Living Room Entertainment
This should have been at the start of your new house checklist; I mean, your entertainment setup is huge. Here are the basics (FYI, I had to hold back on this), for more details check out our living room essentials checklist.
- Television (this one has over 3000 ratings and gets over 4 stars and here is the best 4k TV under $600)
- Sound system (we use this Sonos with built-in Alexa, we like Sonos because you can gradually add on and stream music through the house or each one individually which is great)
- Streaming box (we use Apple Tv for most things, but depending on your eco-system there is also Fire, Sling TV, and a bunch of other options)
- TV Mount or cabinet
- Video game system
- Battery for the remote control
Living Room Furniture
Our living room is a big part of our lives. Making sure you are furnishing it the right way can change the look and feel of your whole home. Here are the items you will need to think about when furnishing a new home, if you are looking to save here are some cheap living room sets under $500).
- Lamps (fun fact, older houses don’t have lights in the ceiling so if that’s your new house, having some lamps in the living room might be your only option)
- Coffee table
- Sofa or sectional
- Sofa table
- End tables
- Bean bag chairs
- Area rug (get this underlay to stop if from moving around)
- Decorative items
- Throws or blankets
- Chair felts (prevents the hardwoods from scratching
There are also a lot of cool things every house should have; funky art, tabletop decorations, knick-knacks, and trinkets all add to your personal style, so make sure you set aside some funds to decorate it the way you want. The accent pieces make all the difference.
Depending on how many bathrooms you have, you may need to get these items in multiples. Or you can just get them for the one and leave the other bathroom to be upgraded whenever. This bathroom essentials list will get you everything you need to furnish your bathroom.
- Shower rod
- Shower hooks
- Shower curtain
- Shower mat
- Bath mats
- New shower head(now is the time to swap it out for a low flow one, or something a little newer)
- Shower caddy with soap and shampoo
- Bathtub plug
- Sink plug
- Garbage can
- Plunger (check out the best toilet plungers here)
- Drain snake (these little ones have been amazing, and they are easy to store)
- Toilet seat (check to make sure it’s an elongated vs. round toilet, I would put this at the top of the new house checklist, ’nuff said)
- Toilet paper
- Toilet brush (if you move in and there is black toilet mold, read this)
- Towels (it’s always good to have an extra set, whether it’s because you are doing laundry or you have unexpected guests stay the night)
- Hand towels
- Smart scale (this one was a must for me, but you may not need to include in on your new home checklist)
- Bonus item waterproof shower speaker (changed my mornings around)
Cleaning Supplies List (Must-haves on My Household items checklist)
You’re going to be cleaning right away when you walk in the door of your first home. Make sure you have these home essentials for cleaning your new place. You will be happy to have them. Get our full cleaning supplies list if you really want to level up your cleaning game!
- Mr. Clean
- Scrubbing bubbles
- Swiffer duster
- Swiffer sweeper
- Lysol disinfectant wipes
- Vacuum (here are some vacuums under $200)
- Handheld vacuum (for when your regular vacuum just won’t reach or if you need one for cleaning your car)
- Iron and ironing board
- Roomba (or another automated vacuum (ok I just really dig smart tech))
- Cupboard liners
- Swiffer or duster
- Microfiber cloths
- Paper towels
- First aid kit
- Laundry detergent
- Fabric softener
Essential Homeowner Tools (A key part of the new house checklist)
A homeowners tool kit usually grows the longer you are a homeowner. I know when I moved in I thought “I’m not going to need anything.“ within the first minute my father-in-law asked me “Where is your screwdriver set?”
Of course, I gave him a blank stare, raced to Home Depot, and bought a set. Any good list of household items needed for a new home should have tools included because you need them right away.
Don’t get caught without essential homeowner tools on moving day. You will use all of these things, possibly the second you walk through the door.
- Cordless drill (by your second piece of building furniture this will be your favorite thing ever!)
- Screwdriver set (my big miss, don’t let it be yours on your new house checklist)
- Stud finder (must…resist…corny…. jokes…)
- Hanging Nails
- Wall screws (you will need these to hang items that aren’t on a stud, they are worth it!)
- Flashlight (we get these that just stay plugged into the wall, when the power goes off they light up)
- Batteries (you can get these from Amazon Essentials, IMO get the rechargeable ones)
- Matches and Candles
- Duct tape (for fixing everything 😉
- Step ladder
- Lazer level
- Set of small screwdrivers (I use these for a lot of things I never thought possible)
- Level (unless you want to spend hours debating if every picture is straight)
- Tape measure
Entrance Way Essentials (the last check on your household essentials)
Your entryway may get forgotten quickly which is why we include it in our household essentials list. Many of us come in through the back door or side door. But new people will come to the front so it’s nice to have a few household essentials to help give that warm and welcoming first impression.
- Welcome mat
- Shoe tray
- Place to sit
- Coat rack
We’ve all been doing more outdoor living these past years. Backyards have become an oasis for many new and established homeowners. Rather than opting for a vacation, we are all staying at home more and making the most of our outdoor living space. Here are some of the backyard essentials you will need for your next place.
- Patio Set
- BBQ or Smoker
- Grilling set
- Grilling Mat
- BBQ Cover
- Patio Umbrella
- End tables
- Outdoor carpet
- Garden hose
- Shed (for all of your yard essentials)
While these new homeowners’ shopping list items may not be an immediate need, it’s likely that you will need them in your first summer and are worth shopping for when you can find them for a discount.
Final Thoughts on the Complete List of New Home Essentials
There you have it! The complete first house checklist (or next house) of things you need when moving into a new house. Our printable first-time home buyer checklist has a lot of different items on it, some you can get right away while others you can wait until you need them when you move in. We covered all of the things to buy for a new house checklist.
Most of all, your move-in date is full of excitement. Take photos of the day. Enjoy the process. Your new place will be where you make so many new memories and it’s a day that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Once you have settled in, go and introduce yourself to the neighbors and ask them any questions you may have about the neighborhood and the homes in the area, you likely asked the real estate agent a lot of questions when you bought but it’s a great way to meet people in the area. The next step will be to plan your housewarming party!
Click here to get your free printable new house essentials checklist.