Posted by Bruce Borden in Home Maintenance

It’s normal to feel intimidated when you first move into your new home.

Don’t get us wrong: you’ve got a lot to celebrate, and this is an exciting transition! But, there’s lots to do to make your new house a home.

Part of making sure your household is ready for life ahead is stocking up on those mundane purchases that are really important to have on hand.

Here’s our list of must-haves for new homeowners, and we’ve even indicated how expensive they typically are ($ = $50 or under; $$ = $200 or under; $$$ = $1,000 or under):

  1. Cleaning Supplies - $
  2. Tool Kit - $$
  3. Cordless Drill - $$$
  4. Cooking Kit - $$
  5. Storage Bins - $
  6. First-Aid Kit - $
  7. Fire Extinguisher - $$$
  8. Ladder - $$$
  9. Bucket - $
  10. Mop - $
  11. Microfiber Cloths - $
  12. Lawnmower - $$$
  13. Edger - $$
  14. Shovel - $
  15. Rake - $
  16. Watering Can - $
  17. Hose - $
  18. Vacuum Cleaner - $$
  19. Broom + Dustpan - $
Mother and Daughter Painting

Cleaning Supplies

These are important to have on move-in day. You’ll need anti-bacterial wipes, multi-surface cleaner, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, a duster, and more.

You’ll also want to take the time to learn what kinds of surfaces and materials throughout your home require which kinds of cleaning products.

Now’s a good time to examine the ingredients in typical cleaning supplies as well. Make sure you’re comfortable using those throughout your household, and consider eco-friendly cleaning products.

Man Cleaning Fridge

Tool Kit

Some new homeowners shy away from purchasing a toolkit at first because they think they’re too expensive.

A starter toolkit typically has all the basics you’ll need as a minimum, and you can always upgrade in stride later.

“Keeping any tools passed down from family can save you even more money,” suggests Choice Mutual’s Anthony Martin, a financial expert who frequently helps new homeowners. “For example, you might need a specific type of screwdriver, so collecting and maintaining care of screwdrivers you collect over the years can prevent having to buy expensive toolsets.”

Cordless Drill

You might be thinking, I’m already purchasing a toolkit, so why do I need a drill, too?

The bottom line is that there are so many things a drill can be used for—beyond the scope of your tool kit.

“Homeowners should invest in a good cordless drill with a full set of drill bits. Even new homeowners who don’t consider themselves particularly handy will be using a drill far more than they expect,” adds Daniel Osman of Balance Homes.

“Whether it’s drilling pilot holes for drywall anchors or making easy work of the screws of any of your home appliances—a cordless drill is a standard part of a homecare arsenal.”

Even after you’ve hung every picture you want to have on your walls, you’ll eventually need to replace and/or add things such as towel racks, shelves, and more. Don’t attempt these projects without a decent drill.

Woman Using Drill

Cooking Kit

Even if you don’t plan on becoming a world-renowned chef any time soon, you’ll need to stock your kitchen with the basics to have on hand.

While there are a number of affordable cooking sets to choose from, make sure you at least have a set of basic cooking utensils, bakeware, pots and pans, and a knives set.

Storage Bins

No one could ever have enough storage options! Storage bins of ranging sizes are important to have available as you start unpacking boxes and putting items in their proper locations—closets, storage space, garage, cabinets, pantry, etc.

Once you have most of your belongings unpacked, you may want to reconsider your organization process. Learn how to stay decluttered and organized.

Storage Bins

First-Aid Kit

No matter how many people live in your home, a first-aid kit is a no-brainer.

For manageable injuries that occur at home, you want to be covered with basics such as hydrogen peroxide, Band-Aids of varying sizes, compression wraps, ibuprofen, etc.

Fire Extinguisher

This is another crucial item for every homeowner. Educate yourself about the different types available to purchase, when they need to be replaced, and how to use them. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the fire extinguisher is located in your home.


A ladder comes in handy both indoors and outdoors: changing lightbulbs, cleaning gutters, putting up decorative lighting, and even dusting and power-washing.

You don’t need to dish out money for the largest option available; start out with a ladder you can store in your garage.

Household Ladder


A bucket isn’t just for mopping, and it certainly isn’t an expensive purchase. Buckets come in handy for yard work, various home projects, washing cars or pets, and more. Find one at your local hardware store.


Your new home probably has a mix of hard floors and carpeted floors, but a mop that can easily be used with different types of floor cleaners is something you don’t want to be without.

Another important consideration is what type of floor cleaner to purchase. Not all floor cleaner works on all kinds of floors; hardwoods need different cleaner than vinyl or laminate floors.

Keep those floors spick and span without having to get on your hands and knees to wipe them down.

Man Mopping Floors

Microfiber Cloths

Yes, these are really that important that they deserve a spot on our new homeowners’ list! Why? Because they really do apply to so many different use cases.

Gian Moore of MellowPine perfectly sums up why these are a must in any household: “Microfiber cloths are gentle enough to clean all surfaces without leaving behind scratches, including stainless steel and glass. Buy a few and toss them in the wash with your towels on a regular basis to keep them clean.”


This is one of the pricier investments you’ll need to own as a new homeowner, unless you live in a maintenance-free community.

Even if your plan is to hire a landscaping team to keep your lawn mowed for you, it’s important to own a lawnmower just in case your lawn gets too long in between regular mows.

You can find a reasonably priced mower to start out with, and many hardware stores will help guide you through your purchase and how to use and upkeep your mower.



In addition to keeping your grass cut, you’ll need an edger for those areas your mower cannot reach on your property, such as around your flower beds or fence.

The bonus to owning an edger is that it’s really satisfying to watch those clean-cut lines!


For yard work, snow removal, and more, a shovel is another must-have. These generally don’t cost too much, and they’re easy to store on a hook in your garage or shed.


Dead leaves, if not removed at the end of autumn, can cause damage to the grass beneath them.

Learn how to properly rake your property for best results.


Keeping your property well-watered, manicured, and beautiful definitely takes a lot of work, but it’s your responsibility as a homeowner.

Invest in a nice enough hose that can reach as far as you’ll need and be easy to store (in other words, don’t just leave it sprawled through your yard—this will kill your grass in weird, snake-shaped swirls!).

My favorite tip? Put in some headphones, queue up your favorite podcast, apply some sunscreen, and make a relaxing afternoon of watering your plants in the sunshine and fresh air.

Watering Can

A simple watering can is needed for both indoor houseplants as well as outdoor flowers and plants that your hose can’t reach.

Woman Watering Plants With Watering Can

Vacuum Cleaner

Whether you find vacuuming therapeutic or a necessary evil, a good vacuum cleaner can make all the difference.

Find a vacuum that reaches under your sofa and beds, includes a HEPA filter, is easy to store away from view, and can work on both carpeted and hard surfaces.

Broom + Dustpan

We’re at our final suggestion for what to purchase after you move into your new home! A broom and dustpan certainly are among the cheaper of all purchases you’ll make for your home, but you’ll probably be using them as early as the first day you’re in your new house!

From the unavoidable dinner mess to those dirt clumps you thought you got off your pet before he or she ran through the house, this is a purchase you won’t want to miss.

Mother Helping Child Sweep

The pressures of being a new homeowner are definitely alleviated when you know you own the basics it takes to keep up with your home and property.

We’re here to make it even easier with our Homeownership 101 guide to prepare you for success in the joyful years ahead in your home.


Bruce Borden


Bruce has been with M/I Homes for over 20 years, has been the National Customer Experience Manager for over 10 years, and has been in the home building industry for over 30 years. Happily married and a proud father, Bruce enjoys outdoor activities and home improvement projects, and has never met someone he didn't like.

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