Moving to a new home is a stressful process. You spend days packing and unpacking boxes, cleaning, and organizing, only to discover time and again that you’re missing essential items for your new home that you didn’t think you needed. There’s enough pressure that comes from moving without having to make dozens of trips to the store to buy a laundry list of miscellaneous items. Oftentimes, we know we’re going to need to buy the essentials (like a new fridge or washing machine), but there’s plenty of items that go forgotten that make a huge difference to your new home and simplify the moving process so it’s that much easier. This new house checklist will help you get organized and ensure you buy all the things you'll need bore moving.
If you’ve moved homes a number of times, you probably have most of the items you’re going to require. But many people find themselves moving into their first home, or upsizing to a considerably larger property, with little to no idea what they’re going to need when they get there. If you find yourself in just such a situation, a first home checklist of essential household items is something you'll need. You can check out our first apartment checklist for a list of the bare necessities any home will need.
New Home Checklist
Here are the most important things you'll need to do and think about buying before moving into your new home.
Think about the first week
This one may seem obvious to some, but during the stressful packing and unpacking process, most people forget that they’re going to have to live for a number of days without access to their normal household items. This is especially important if you have a lot of stuff packed away and inaccessible, or if you’re moving long-distance and all of your boxes don’t arrive at your new house at the same time.
Consider packing an easily accessible box with all the essentials you need to survive for a few days in an empty house. Include things like disposable plates and silverware, bed linen, bathroom supplies, towels, and any other essentials you’ll need quick access to so you don’t have to rummage through dozens of boxes looking for your toothbrush.
Cleaning supplies should be at the top of any new home checklist. Most people will have essential cleaning supplies packed away somewhere, but when you move into a new home, there’s a lot more to clean than you might think! Sometimes you may not have considered cleaning projects, like deep-cleaning dishwashers and washing machines, which require a special cleaning product to get the job done. Not to mention, it’s a good idea to buy disposable towels and LOTS of trash bags, you’re going to need them!
Curtains and Blinds
We all like our privacy, and most of the time previous homeowners won’t leave behind curtains and blinds for the windows, so when you move in this is a good item to add to your purchase list. You don’t want the new neighbors seeing your every move. Not to mention, different houses have different size windows, so it’s likely that any curtains or blinds you brought with you won’t fit the windows of your new home.
The chances are high that there’s going to be at least one room in your new house that you want to transform with a brand new paint job. Painting can make a huge difference to the aesthetics of your dwelling, and it’s a project you’ll want to get done right away before you start unpacking your boxes and arranging your furniture. Make sure paint and painting supplies are one of the first things you consider buying when you move in because once you’re all unpacked it’s going to be considerably harder to get the job done.
Although the previous owner will have handed over the keys, you never know who they gave a spare set to in the years that they lived in your new house before you. It’s always a good idea to be proactive in protecting yourself and your family by changing the locks, especially since the chances are that you’re moving into an unfamiliar neighborhood or area.
Home Security System
A home security system isn’t necessarily essential, but it is a good idea. You’re proud of your new home and you want to protect it, so while you’re getting the locks changed, it’s a good idea to consider having a home security system installed. Most houses won’t come with one, but if you’ve bought a new home you probably plan on living there in the long run, so spending the money on security is a good investment to make. Home security systems can be expensive though, so doing some research to find one that best fits your needs is advisable.
This one is important if you’re downsizing to a smaller space, or moving somewhere that doesn’t have a ton of inbuilt storage. If you’re downsizing, it’s likely you will have rid yourself of lots of furniture in preparation for moving somewhere with less room, but there’s still a chance that you’ll end up with lots of items and nowhere to put them. Luckily, there are plenty of innovative storage solutions out there, so you should be able to easily find a solution for storing all of your stuff.
Build a Basic Toolkit
When moving into your first home from, say, a rental property, you may not have considered the home improvements you’re going to want to make. One of the most exciting things about a new house is transforming it into a space you’re going to love. Building a toolkit with all the essentials will make it much less of a hassle when it comes to fixing, painting, hanging, and all the other smaller improvements that go into making a house a home.
Although there are those who might already have every tool under the sun, there are also plenty of us who aren’t handy and don’t already have access to a toolkit. You’re going to need items such as a drill, a level, a ladder, a putty knife, and spackling for filling in holes before you paint. There’s no harm in doing a little bit of research to figure out how to build the best basic toolkit for your home improvement needs.
Maybe you’re moving from an apartment or house with no outdoor space into one with a yard. In fact, having a nice outdoor area to enjoy is one of the biggest selling points when choosing a house to buy. If you fall into this category, don’t forget that there’s going to be tools you need to upkeep your beautiful new yard.
Many neighborhoods require that you keep your property looking spick and span, so adding a lawnmower and leaf blower to your list of things to buy is essential. And, if you live in an area that gets snow in the winter, don’t forget that snow shovel! You’ll need to clear your driveway, and chances are you’ll also be responsible for making sure the sidewalks are passable after a snowstorm.
Things To Do Before Moving Into a New House
Before moving into a new house, here are a few additional things you should take care of to make the transition a seamless one. Here are some actions you must take before the big move-in date:
- Explore the neighborhood - check travel times to local restaurants, grocery stores, shops, work, or school.
- Set up the utilities and appliances - make sure your gas, electricity, and water are ready when you are. You should also make sure WiFi is set up so you can enjoy the internet and TV immediately and any problems can be addressed before you move in.
- Measure each room to see what size furniture, beds, storage bins, or tables will fit.
- Take care of any pertinent issues such as plumbing or electrical problems.
- Check the locks - this one deserves two mentions!
- Make sure you have the cleaning essentials ready.
Things to Buy For a New House Checklist: Miscellaneous
More often than not, we run to the store time and again throughout the moving process because we overlook the little things. Maybe you didn’t think about the fact that your bathroom doesn’t have a shower curtain, or you need extra hangers for your closet, or maybe you live somewhere rainy and muddy and your new home doesn’t have a doormat.
These are all small miscellaneous items that easily get overlooked. Other useful things to consider in this category are batteries and flashlights. These little things are the easiest and most frequently forgotten, so be prepared ahead of time and buy them before you move in. You don’t want to realize right at the last minute that you can’t take a shower!
Miscellaneous items for your new house checklist.
- Coffee maker & coffee mugs
- Containers for leftover food & Ziploc bags
- Broom and duster & vacuum
- Stepping stool
- Large mirror
- Office supplies (if you work from home, then you will also be moving your office!)
Moving is a stressful, exhausting, and busy time, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to make your life a whole lot easier. You want to enjoy your new home, and so you should, you worked hard for it! Preparation is the best way to take some of the pressure off during the moving process. By knowing ahead of time what you are going to need, you can enjoy your new home all the more.