Some household essentials are common to every modern home. Starting with a basic list of items gives people looking to move into a new home an idea of what they need. Begin by listing the items you already own, compare that list to the array of basic household items suggested, then assign priorities based on your needs and budget.
Large appliances needed for a kitchen include a refrigerator and freezer, a stove, and perhaps a washer and dryer. Small appliances might include a microwave, coffee maker and toaster. A table and chairs are necessary, and each member of the household needs a place setting for meals. You might keep one or two extra place settings for guests or in case of breakage. Each place setting should include a plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon, glass, and cup or mug. A set of steak knives is useful for cutting meat. For preparing food, stock a chef’s knife, cutting board, vegetable peeler and vegetable brush. A can opener, bottle opener, spatula, slotted spoon and serving spoon round out the prep items you may require. Cookware consists of a deep stockpot, a frying pan and a saucepan, while a baking sheet and casserole dish will serve most baking needs. Ice cube trays, food storage containers, a dish drainer and paper towels round out the basics. Linens for the kitchen include dishtowels, a hot pad, tablecloth, place mats and napkins.
Personal items range from soap and shampoo to a hairbrush, toothpaste, floss and a toothbrush for each person. Tools such as tweezers, fingernail and toenail clippers and a hair dryer are also needed. Necessary bathroom linens include a bath mat and towels, hand towels and washcloths for each family member. The medicine cabinet should be stocked with a thermometer, alcohol, peroxide and assorted over-the-counter medicines, such as pain killers and flu treatment. Keep a first-aid kit at the ready, with bandages, gauze, medical tape, burn treatment gel and an antibiotic ointment. A shower curtain, mirror, laundry basket, tissues, toilet paper, and a toilet brush and container round out the bathroom needs.
A bed and alarm clock form the basics for the bedroom. Homeowners should stock linens for the bed: a flat and a fitted sheet, a pillowcase for each pillow, and a blanket, comforter or duvet and duvet cover. Keep one additional set of each type of linens, as this will allow you to use one set while the other set is in the laundry.
Large living room furnishings usually feature a couch and chair, coffee table, lamp and television. Offer ashtrays for smokers. If you lack a home office, you can keep a telephone and phone book, tape, scissors, stamps, envelopes, a notebook, pens, pencil and eraser, paper clips, and a stapler and staples in any room of the house, but these items work best in a common area.
Several supplies and tools are needed for preventive measures, cleaning and repairs. For emergencies, obtain a flashlight, radio or weather radio and spare batteries. Keep basic tools at hand, such as a regular and a Phillips head screwdriver, a hammer, an adjustable wrench, pliers, and assorted nails and screws. Stock a sewing kit with scissors, safety pins, needles, thread and a thimble. An iron, ironing board and cover, hangers, clothespins and a clothesline or drying rack serve for clothing upkeep. For cleaning, acquire rubber or latex gloves and cleaning products, including glass cleaner, toilet cleaner, all-purpose kitchen and bathroom surface cleaners, oven cleaner, dish soap, laundry soap, fabric softener, sponges, scouring pads and cleaning rags. Select a vacuum cleaner and bags if you have carpeted rooms, or a broom and dustpan, dust mop, mop and bucket for other flooring. Place a trash can and liners in each room.