It’s an exhilarating feeling, moving into your first home.
One of the first things you might do is flip through an IKEA catalogue to see which sofa will look best in your spacious new living room.
But then there are all those little (but nonetheless important) bits and bobs that tend to slip your mind.
So whether you’re moving into a house that’s already halfway there or bare as bones, here are a few essentials you just can’t afford to not invest in before you jump ship.
1. Tool set
When you’ve crash-landed into a brand new space, it’s important to have the right tools on you to get everything all set up. You’ll need a tape measure to map out the dimensions of each room, as well as a hammer, screwdriver and nails to fix up any renovations and furnishings you plan on embarking on. And don’t forget a flashlight in case there’s a delay in your new electricity plan!
2. Garden set
Not all houses have big lush gardens, but many at least have an outdoor space or balcony of some kind. The last inhabitants may have left behind an unruly mess of weeds, or even worse – taken all of their gardening equipment with them! So it’s essential that you quickly get your own trowel, shovel, rake and garden hose. At your housewarming, do you really want that guest who wanders outside for a cigarette to get lost in a jungle?
3. White goods
It’s surprising how many young couples move starry-eyed together into their first home without organising white goods first. But if you think about it, it’s impossible to survive comfortably without a refrigerator – even if it‘s just for a few days. Moving furniture and unpacking boxes makes for a thirsty time. You’ll appreciate having some cold juice and refreshments on hand, if the fridge is already set up. Don’t forget about the washing machine, too! If you’re in a new or remote area, it could be difficult to find a local laundromat.
4. Bath mat
This might not seem important, but you shower everyday (at least, most people do!) Don’t risk a fall or back injury because you haven’t got around to getting a shower and bath mat with a healthy grip. They’re easy to buy, inexpensive and will save you from a slippery situation in the early hours.
Delicate clothing bundled up in a suitcase or folded in a box gets wrinkled fast. As soon as you move into your new home, you’re going to want to hang them up. But – oops! There are no hangers. Save yourself the wardrobe dramas and bring at least a set of 40 for each person moving in. It’ll be a nice homey touch to see all of your belongings well cared for in their new space.
6) Cooking and eating utensils
Takeout on occasion is fun and exciting! But takeout every night will swiftly make you crave greens. Unless you organise plates, cups, cutlery, crockery, pans and cooking utensils for your first home, you’ll be stuck on UberEats debating whether to order dumplings or Thai yet again. You don’t need to go crazy, but be sure to invest in at least the kitchen basics to begin with. And remember the wine cork if you’re planning on celebrating your first night with a bottle of bubbly!
7. Dining table and chairs
Although eating on the floor can be cute and romantic, it’s not the greatest for your posture or for your fresh new carpet, which is just waiting for its first spill. Invest in a solid dining table early to quickly make your new house feel like yours: sociable and functional. Nothing makes the place feel cosier than a home-cooked meal shared with friends and family.
Unpacking new furniture and other items is likely to produce a lot of rubbish. And unless you have a handy skip waiting outside, you could soon be wading in a sea of sticky tape, cardboard and empty chip packets. Do yourself a favour and set up a bin in the kitchen, bathroom and your bedroom – at least to begin with. That way, you can curb bad habits early and keep your new home pretty and pristine from the very start.
9. Cleaning supplies
On that note, dust, stains and spills could come a-knocking! So make sure that by your very first night in the new place, you’ve got a reliable set of cleaning supplies firmly tucked away under the sink. A splash of spray n’ wipe never goes amiss, but you’ll also need dishwashing solution, sponges, cloths and a dustpan and broom. A vacuum cleaner and a mop could be valuable extras at this stage, but definitely don’t forget about the toilet brush.
10. First aid kit
Finally, a house isn’t home unless we keep the ones we love safe and protected – even if it’s just you! Any comprehensive first aid kit should include Band-Aids, disinfectant, gauze bandages, alcohol wipes, rudimentary painkillers and any important medication that you should have access to in the house.
11. Hand towels
Nobody likes to leave the bathroom with wet hands after washing them. Bringing a new or freshly laundered stack of hand towels to your new home will ensure you avoid that scenario, keeping both you, your family and any guests comfortable in the short term. Sophisticated bathroom towel sets can wait, so ensure you stock up your bathroom with the basics to begin with – even if they’re just temporary.
12. Blinds or curtains
No matter where you live, you can’t put a price on privacy. If the home you are moving in is completely unfurnished – we’re talking bare skeleton here – you’ll need to organise blinds or curtains as soon as possible. You don’t want an unsuspecting neighbour to accidentally see you in the shower, getting undressed or lazing on the couch watching Netflix. In addition, it’s important the privacy of other family members is protected as well.
As you begin to get more comfortable in your new house, more and more important items may pop up that that you accidentally forgot to invest in.
But with these essential ten to welcome you in, you’ll at least have a great start to what should be a long and happy time in your very first home!