You’ve closed the deal, gotten the keys, and moved in your furniture. Before you settle in for your first night, make sure you’ve got these items handy.
- Batteries: There is nothing worse than the smoke alarm starting to beep at 2am, and not having a 9-volt battery handy. Ditto when you want to watch TV and the remote dies.
- Bucket: You never know when you will need a bucket. They’re cheap. Buy one.
- Step Stool: I will never forget the time I tried to change a lightbulb on a rolling desk chair and shattered the bulb. Do not let this be you. SideNote: You can purchase a combo step stool & ladder if you’re on a budget.
- Stud Finder (or a magnet): If you plan on mounting a TV, or hanging shelves and heavy artwork, you will need to find the studs – wooden boards that support the structure of the walls. You can use a magnet to find the screws and nails in the studs, or use a stud finder to be more accurate, as magnet will also be attracted to pipes and other metal objects. Pro tip: To be sure you’ve found a stud, find a few and measure how far apart they are. Studs are traditionally 16 or 24 inches apart.
- Basic Toolkit: Nothing worse than taking home IKEA furniture and not being able to put it together. This should also include a drill. Whether or not you go cordless is up to you: what you gain in convenience you sacrifice in power. If you plan on hanging anything from a stud, get a corded one. SideNote: An impact drill will save you from the dread clicking noise and stripped screws.
- New Locks: Who knows who the previous owners gave keys to? SideNote: Upgrade one door to a keypad lock. You can never get locked out, can give multiple people individual codes depending on the model (meaning you can delete their code if need be!), and never have to worry if your back door is locked.
- House ‘Manual’: Put together a file cabinet or 3 ring binder of house info. Store appliance manuals, what lightbults you need in what sockets, paint color codes, and any other important house info for easy lookup. While you’re at it, make note of when you need to have HVAC, appliances, fireplaces, and the like checked up on. Include floor plans for every room – you’ll never have to measure for a piece of furniture again! Window measurements are also handy in case you plan on purchasing drapes.
- Plunger and fire extinguisher: You never want to find out what happens if you don’t have either of these.
- Toilet Paper: You would be surprised to find out how many people move into a brand new house and forget to purchase this!
- Security System: Peace of mind is worth every penny. Your fire alarms, door alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and other alarms can all be connected directly to emergeny services, which means quicker response times. You can also save big on homeowner’s insurance!
- Tube of Caulk: “Caulk and paint make it what it ain’t” holds true. Sealing up gaps that occur will save you money on your bills. Use silicone caulk in your kitchen and bathrooms, and latex caulk for woodwork and painting. SideNote: Put some liquid soap on your finger to smooth the caulk without it sticking.
What other items do you think first time owners need to have? Let us know!