Basic Housewares and New Home Essentials

Essential Housewares Everyone Should Have

Make cooking with your significant other a fun, flirty adventure
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What housewares are considered essentials? If you are setting up a home for the first time or replacing lost essentials, this checklist of houseware basics can help you accomplish your task. This list can also come in very handy when looking for wedding, anniversary and shower gift suggestions. Setting up a dorm room? Check out my Dorm Room Essentials list.

Major Appliances

  • Refrigerator with freezer capacity
  • Stove or cooking range
  • Microwave (optional)
  • Laundry appliances
  • Freezer, chest or upright (optional)
  • Dishwasher (optional)

Helpful resources:​
Before You Buy Appliances Tips

Countertop Appliances & Accessories

  • Toaster or toaster oven
  • Mixer, hand or stand model
  • Coffee maker
  • Kettle

Cooking Implements

  • 12” and 6” size skillets
  • Cookware set, or at least 1qt, 2 qt and 4 qt saucepans with covers
  • A 4 qt or larger size Dutch oven for roasts and large portions (can also be used for casseroles)
  • Stock pot for soups, stews, and sauces
  • Steamer pot or insert
  • Casserole dish
  • Roaster or roasting pan for poultry

Helpful Resources:
Before You Buy a Roaster or Roasting Pan
Top Picks of Stock Pots
Selecting a Lasagna Pan
Top Picks of Lasagna Pans

Kitchen Utensils & Tools

  • Canister set
  • Kitchen tool holder
  • Spice rack or holder
  • Colander - preferably small and large
  • 2 rubber or silicone spatulas
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • Manual can opener (or an electric model)
  • Wisk
  • Scissors
  • Cheese and vegetable grater
  • Plastic and/or metal serving and cooking utensils, such as large slotted and regular spoons, soup ladle, potato masher, large meat fork, and stirring paddles
  • Flipper, lifter or egg turner
  • Knife set including paring, chopping and slicing knives and one with a serrated edge for slicing bread.
  • Steak knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Vegetable cleaning brush and long bottlebrush
  • Scouring or pot cleaning pads, or brushes
  • Potholders, hot pads, and oven mitts
  • Assortment of dishcloths and tea towels

Helpful Articles:

Kitchen Gadgets & Accessories
Cooking Utensils List
Top Picks of Easy Openers
What Kind of Openers Should I Get?
Cutting Board Basics
Your First Set of Knives
Basic, Simple Knife Sharpening
How to Store Knives Safely

Tableware & Serving

  • Flatware setting for 4 persons or sufficient for members of the household, plus a few extras.
  • Every day set of dishes for 4 persons or adjusted accordingly.
  • Fruit or dessert dishes
  • Glassware assortment, including 4 oz, 6 oz, and 8oz glasses
  • Small bowls such as cereal bowls if not included in dish set
  • Additional coffee or tea mugs
  • Salt and pepper set
  • Cream and sugar bowl
  • Napkin holder
  • 2 or 3 serving bowls of various sizes - read about stainless steel bowls
  • Teapot
  • Serving platter

Helpful Resources:
How to Set the Table
Selecting Family Glassware


Helpful Resources:

Floor Care & Cleaning Items

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Floor mop, scrub pail, scrub brush and cleaning rags

Helpful Resources:
Before You Buy a Vacuum

Linens & Towels

Every household requires a minimum amount of towels, facecloths, table and bed linens, sufficient for each member of the family. You’ll find great ideas and resources at About Interior Decorating

Read More About Housewares & Appliances:

House Essentials
Store, Clean & Organize Your Home
Gadgets That Rock
Pink Ribbon Housewares and Appliances
Buying Tips for Appliances, Housewares
Housewares >> Home Essentials >>

Other Essentials

  • Emergency Disaster Kit, which includes a flashlight with batteries. What your kit should include may vary depending on your specific area; for suggestions, please see related links.
  • Smoke detector and other safety products. Every household should have at least one smoke detector, but your local authorities can confirm what is either, required by law or recommended for your specific area.
  • Stepladder or step-stool
  • Supply of electrical fuses (if applicable), and light bulbs
  • Waste containers such as kitchen garbage receptacle and wastebaskets for the bathroom, bedrooms, and laundry area, and bins for recycling.
  • Laundry basket and hamper for soiled laundry
  • Small supply of plastic food storage containers and bags
  • A few clothes hangers
  • All purpose cookbook
  • Iron and ironing board with cover
  • Bathroom items such as drain plug, toilet brush, soap dispenser and shower curtain
  • Table or floor fan to promote air circulation and cooling.
  • Other cooling and heating appliances required for your specific climate and needs.

Helpful Resources:
Recycling Made Easy
Choosing a Stepladder That's Right For You
How to Assemble a Basic Sewing Kit
Laundry Basics - From Sorting to Drying
Dorm Room Essentials - Outfit the Dorm for Comfort, Study

These are only the bare basics and this list can be expanded to include additional housewares and appliances to personalize the household, such as the following:

For those who love to cook, you could include a larger array of cookware pots, skillets, casserole dishes and specialty appliances.

And for those who are passionate about baking, a larger assortment of bakeware tins and accessories, as well as more mixing and measuring bowls.

Those who have very busy schedules may consider essential appliances to include such items as a food processor, blender, slow cooker, electric grill or bread machine.

Of course, throwing in handy kitchen gadgets such as an egg slicer, ice cream spoon, pie server, and cookie cutters are always well appreciated.

For more resources and buying information about housewares, appliances and gift suggestions, please visit the links provided.