8 Essential Items Every House Needs

essential items every kitchen needs

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

As you move into a home, whether it is your first apartment or a new house, there are some essentials that you will need. Housewares are a large category and you might feel overwhelmed while shopping.

At the most basic level, you really only need the absolute essentials to live well. Most of these will be in your kitchen for food preparation. The rest of your home requires just a few items to keep it clean and well-organized.

You can always add more items as needed, but for now, explore the bare minimum of housewares every home should have.

  • 01 of 08

    A Versatile Vacuum

    A Man Cleaning a Home with a Handheld Vacuum
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    Floors get dirtier faster with the more people that live in your home or if you have pets, and a vacuum is essential.

    It is important that you buy a vacuum based on your needs. If you are single, a small, inexpensive model may do the trick. With kids and pets, you should purchase one that can stand up to regular use. A good vacuum is an investment and one that should be able to last many years.

    No carpet? No problem. If your home is hardwood or linoleum throughout, you can skip the vacuum and opt for a more manual solution. A broom, dustpan, and mop are the most basic solutions, though a good wet-dry sweeper may make the chore a little easier.

    It is amazing how a clean floor can make your home more comfortable, so make this a priority.

  • 02 of 08

    Basic Kitchen Utensils

    Cooking Chicken in a Pan with a Simple Green Spatula

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    Most of your household needs will come from the kitchen. This is often the most active room in a house and you'll need basic supplies to cook. 

    You may spend a little more money upfront to stock your kitchen, but it will pay off in the end. If you have what you need to cook, then you are less likely to eat out which is one of the fastest ways to spend money.

    Start your kitchen off right by purchasing the basic utensils. You can either buy an affordable set with the essentials or choose only those you know you will actually need and add more as you go. ​

    Items like a large spoon, spatulas and turners, a can opener, vegetable peeler, and cheese grater are a good place to begin. Consider a set of measuring spoons and cups. No kitchen should be without a good pair of scissors, either.

  • 03 of 08

    A Good Set of Kitchen Knives

    Kitchen knives on a magnetic strip

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    Knives are the backbone of the kitchen and it's wise to have a good set available. You can stick to the essentials and have just a few knives on hand or purchase an entire set.

    Investing in a good set of quality knives is a wise idea and they often last for many years.

    A cutting board will also save you a lot of hassle and protect your countertops and cookware from damage. There are many materials to choose from, but the most important decision will be the size. Buy a cutting board that you will actually use and is not too big for your kitchen.

  • 04 of 08

    The Basic Pots, Pans, and Bakeware

    A Child Playing with Pots and Pans

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    You can often save money by purchasing a set of the essentials or go with exactly what you need.

    At a bare minimum, a kitchen should have both a 12-inch and a 6-inch skillet as well as a 2-quart saucepan. Lids are always helpful, so look for pans that include those. A stockpot may also come in handy at times, but it is not necessary.

    A casserole dish that can also double as a cake pan is another necessity. A mixing bowl and an electric mixer are also very handy. Even if you do not bake, you can use these for making things like mashed potatoes.

    Look for non-stick bakeware and pans and learn how to care for them to prolong their life. Just be sure that your utensils are non-stick friendly as well.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Dinnerware and Glassware

    Drinking Out of Glasses

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    Dinnerware, silverware, and glassware are all essential to any home, no matter how much cooking you do. 

    Your first set of plates, bowls, and silverware does not have to be the absolute best or last you forever. There are many choices at many different prices, so choose a set that you like and that fits into your budget.

    For the glassware, a basic set of drinking glasses is a good start. These can hold all of your favorite beverages from milk to soda to beer. Add a few coffee mugs to your cupboard so you can enjoy a warm beverage.

  • 06 of 08

    The Basic Small Appliances

    Using a Coffee Maker

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    You can always add small appliances as you settle into your home, but there are a few that you should consider right away to make things more convenient.

    Among the top choices are a coffee maker, a toaster, and a microwave. Keep in mind the amount of counter space you have available and choose models that are appropriate for how much you use them. If you do not need any of these, skip them.

    You might also consider a blender or food processor which can be useful for making smoothies and pureeing food.

  • 07 of 08

    Essential Storage Solutions

    A Woman with an Organizer Closet

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    Quite often our first homes are our smallest and you need to use what little space you have effectively. Solutions can be found for every room in your home to keep you organized and clutter-free.

    In the kitchen, use storage containers for leftover food so you can avoid waste. A few basic organizers will keep your drawers and cupboards neat and tidy so you are not constantly digging for what you need.

    It is easy to let your closets get out of hand. Get ahead of the problem with a good set of hangers and add shelves or carefully chosen storage organizers to your closets.

  • 08 of 08

    Laundry Essentials

    Ironing in the Kitchen

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    Laundry is an essential part of the home, even if you have to go to the laundromat.

    Add a laundry basket and hamper to your list of household essentials along with detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

    If your clothes need regular ironing, an ironing board and iron will be essential as well. 

    If your wardrobe is mostly casual, you might be able to get away without the ironing board, but an iron can come in handy. You can always use a towel-covered table as a makeshift board.