Moving in a New Home. What’s to Buy?

new empty home with boxes and hardwood floor

After all the struggle of finding the right new home, you may realize that the keys are the only thing you have in your brand new home.

When you’re getting a rental or you get a house with some (or even most) furniture, the situation is a lot easier, but you may still get one or two things around the house.

Where to start? It’s overwhelming when there’s nothing in the house and there are so many things to get. Are all really that important? Well, let’s take things step by step. Even if our list isn’t set in stone, but rest assured that it’s still going to make things a lot clearer for you.

What do you really need?

If you’re getting a new and unfurnished apartment or a newly built house, you’re going to need a lot of things. So make sure your wallet is full.

What do you need if you get a second-hand property?

If that’s your situation, you should start by checking what the previous owners have left behind. A washing machine, a freezer, the refrigerator and even the dishwasher may be left in the house so you can save a penny or two for something else.

Don’t forget to check the services as you don’t want to invest in electrics, boiler or central heating. You should also have the windows checked by a professional. Remember to transfer/install ownership of phone numbers and to install your very own internet connection or cable TV subscription.

Even if having furniture from the previous owners is a good thing, it may not be a bliss all the time. Maybe you don’t like it or it’s simply too old so you find yourself in a pickle as you also have to get rid of it, not only get a new one. Make your life easier and get a local secondhand furniture outlet to see if it can take it all in.

As for the garden, you need to check to see if you have any garden maintenance tools left. A shovel, a trowel and gardening gloves sure aren’t pricey, but you don’t want to have to get a lawnmower. Even if the gardening tools aren’t difficult to get, they still add up to your spending.

What’s to buy if you got a newly built house?

It’s pretty common for the newly built houses/flats to come with some appliances (dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine and even a dryer). You shouldn’t have to worry about the sinks, showers, baths and tiling in the bathroom or the light fittings around the house. In the case of a newly built house, the flooring throughout the whole house should also be included in the price.

Don’t go shopping until you’ve double-checked everything around the house. Even if it comes with many furnishings, you may not like everything and want to upgrade.

Do you have to furnish from scratch?

No matter how big or small your new home is, some basics are fundamental. Carpets, curtains, sofas, tables, beds and the smaller items (forks, knives and glasses) are items you cannot do without.

Be organized and print down the lists below so it’s easier when shopping. Make sure you don’t come back home without something important and be ready open your wallet big.

What do you need for the kitchen?

Having a new home party is the first thing to do once you got everything ready, but aren’t you missing something? You may not realize you’re missing a bottle opener until you have to open the wine bottle for your friends!

The following kitchen inventory is going to help you get pretty much everything you need in the kitchen.

  • Basic furniture and appliances
    • Kitchen table
    • Chairs
    • Clock (the oven may come with one built-in)
    • Rubbish bin
    • Blender
    • Paper towel holder
    • Microwave
    • Toaster
    • Kettle
    • Bread bin
  • What you need for cooking
    • Baking tray
    • Can opener
    • Measuring jug
    • Mixing bowls
    • Vegetable peeler
    • Bottle opener
    • Several wooden spoons
    • Knives for cooking
    • Various chopping boards (you need at least 2, one for meat and one for veggies. Color coding helps a lot when getting chopping boards).
    • Ladle
    • Spatula
    • Various pots. Start with a small pot, a frying pan and a colander. You may buy more in time.
    • Spice holders
  • Things you need for eating and drinking
    • Various dishes
    • Several bowls (salad, soup and fruit bowls in the beginning)
    • Various glasses
    • Forks, knives, spoons (tea spoons, soup spoons and the ones for dessert)
    • Cups and mugs
    • Serving dishes
    • Plates (don’t forget about the large serving plates and side plates)
    • Placemats
  • Accessories for cleaning the kitchen
    • Dustpan and brush
    • Mop
    • Cleaning cloths (scrubbers, wiping clothes, and sponges)
    • Sweeping brush

What should you get for the living room?

The size of your living room counts a lot when shopping. One may not have enough space for a couch, for instance, so you need to buy according to your needs.

  • A coffee table
  • A couch
  • Lamp (floor lamps look always great)
  • Bookshelves
  • TV stand and TV
  • Anything you want for adding a personal touch to the room (paintings, pictures, cushions and so on)

Do you have any of these for the bedroom?

The bed is going to be the most important buy for your bedroom, but it’s not the only one to make. Here’s what you may use for feeling better in your new home:

  • Bed (mattress)
  • Bed sheets (get them after you got the bed)
  • Duvet and duvet cover
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • Alarm clock (you can always set the alarm on your phone, though)
  • Bedside table
  • Bedside lamp
  • Some drawers
  • Wardrobe
  • Mirror (get a full length one as you’re always going to need it!)

What about the bathroom?

bathroom furnishings

No matter if you’re going to move in a newly built or a second hand property, it’s quite common for the bathroom to come tiled or at least with some sort of floor. It should also come with a sink, toilet, and shower. Not all bathrooms come with a bathtub.

Either way, here are the things you need in your bathroom:

Some miscellaneous items you’re going to need

There are some things that you really need around the house so make sure you get them. From the first-aid kit to the laundry equipment, they’re meant to make your life easier and safer.

Safety tools

Staying safe in your home is something you shouldn’t compromise about so here’s what you need in the new home:

  • Torch
  • Smoke alarm
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fire blanket
  • An alarm system for the whole house


We’re trying to stay positive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry:

  • Thermometer
  • Plasters and bandages
  • Something to sterilize a wound
  • Small scissors
  • Over-the-counter painkillers
  • Antibiotic ointments


Your new home may come with a washing machine, but that’s not going to be enough. Here’s what you also need:

  • Dryer
  • Iron
  • Ironing board and cover. Check the space you have for it and where you’re planning to use it. You can get a built-in ironing board or a portable model. Either way, the options are plenty.
  • Laundry basket

Hardware and DIY

Not everyone is into DIY, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try developing new skills. It’s not only cost-effective, but also great for your self-esteem when you’re fixing things around your house.

  • Step ladder
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Pliers
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Plug extension lead
  • Several screws
  • Various screwdrivers

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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