5 Must-Have Items for Every New Homeowner

April 18, 2019

Caring for a house you own can be a different experience than caring for an apartment you rent. Making the transition from renting a place to owning a new home is an exciting time. As you’re making plans, moving in, and handling the details, there are a few things new homeowners will need that they may not already have. Here are a few must-have items for every new homeowner:

1. Ladders

You may have a small stepladder or step stool that you used in your apartment or previously rented place, but what about a tall ladder for exterior needs or dealing with tall ceilings? If you don’t already have a stepladder, it should be on your list of items to get for your new home – you will definitely need to use it at some point.

It’s also a good idea to purchase a straight ladder or extension ladder, depending on what you need. Determine the length of the ladder you will likely need and how heavy duty you need it to be. The duty rating will let you know how much weight a ladder is built to support and you’ll need to take into account your own weight plus any tools and items you’ll be bringing up the ladder when you’re reviewing it.

For step stools and larger ladders, it’s worth the time and energy to brush up on ladder safety to make sure you’re doing what you can to prevent injuries or falls.

2. Emergency Kit

An emergency kit is a good idea for any type of homeowner or renter. As you move into your new home, it’s a good time to build an emergency kit if you don’t already have one or to update the one you already have. There may be some variations of supplies to include based on your specific needs. In general, you want to include the basics in your emergency kit like water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, batteries, and more.

In addition to items in a dedicated emergency kit, there are also a few items that are good to have on hand around the house. Some of the biggest safety tips are to get a fire extinguisher and an escape ladder.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an essential safety item to have on hand for any homeowner. Not only can it help you protect your home should a fire occur, but it can also give your family more time and ability to get out. There are several types of fire extinguishers available that are built for different uses. The purpose of a fire extinguisher is identified by letters A, B, C, D, and K. Each serves a different purpose and each letter is associated with a certain type of fire. For example, A is for use for “ordinary” material fires like cloth, paper, and wood.

Your best bet is to review the U.S. Fire Administration guide on these fire extinguisher types and then find a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that fits your needs. A multi-purpose extinguisher labeled “A-B-C” is usually a safe bet for most homes as it covers fires from ordinary materials as well as grease fires and electrical fires.

Escape Ladder

An escape ladder is a must-have for any multistory home. If your new home is more than one level, there should be an escape ladder in every bedroom on the upper floors. This ensures that a safer escape from a window is possible in case stairways are blocked or impassable.

There are several options available whether it is a ladder that is built-in or one that attaches to a window sill in case of an emergency. Decide what type of escape ladder works best for you and your home and then make sure one of them makes it into every bedroom on the second and third floors.

3. Wet-Dry Vacuum

A wet-dry vacuum is a must-have for any homeowner. Spills are going to happen and it makes sense to have something on hand that will help you clean it up no matter what it is. Plus, these vacuums are notoriously portable, so you can go from vacuuming the car to sucking up a spill in the kitchen to the cleaning the garage and more with no problem.

4. More Storage Solutions

As you move into a home, you’re likely to have more space for storage and will also likely accumulate more stuff. This makes more storage solutions one of the must-have items for every new homeowner. Having more storage solutions on hand can make the move, and ongoing organization, a lot easier. Here are a few places to get started:

Clear Storage Containers

Clear storage containers are stackable, you can see what’s stored inside them, and they also tend to be secure. These must-have items can make staying organized a breeze.

Cord Organizers

As a homeowner, you’re going to have a lot of cords. Keeping them organized and tangle-free can be a job in and of itself. But, it doesn’t have to be stressful. By adding some cord organizers, both individual wraps as well as containers for storing multiple cords, you can keep all the cords under control and easy to find when you need them.

5. Tool Kit

A tool kit is essential for every homeowner, which makes it one of the must-have items for every new homeowner. Not only are the tools themselves necessary, but having a dedicated kit or storage container for them is also extremely helpful. In addition to the standard tools, like screwdrivers, hammers, drills, and more, there are a few extra tools you should consider adding to your list.


Flashlights are helpful, but they only go so far when you need to use both of your hands. You can always stick a small flashlight between your teeth to free up both of your hands and hope for the best. Or, you can invest in a headlamp. You might feel like you look silly, but at least your hands are freed up and you can actually see what you’re doing reliably.

Stud Finder

A stud finder is essential when it comes to hanging things on the wall. You may be able to get away with tape, strips, or putting holes wherever when what you want to hang is light. But, you’ll want to have a stud finder on hand when it comes to hanging heavier items or shelves that need to hold weight.

Hand Saw

A hand saw is a great tool to have in your kit, whether you own a power saw or not. If you’re working on a DIY project or just cleaning up in the garage or around the yard, a hand saw can help you do it and get smooth edges for whatever you’re working on.

Ratchet Set

A ratchet set can help you loosen or tighten bolts anywhere a wrench can’t fit. It’s helpful in small spaces, narrow spaces, and in corners and is a must-have addition to your tool kit.

Pry Bar

A pry bar with a clawed end and a flat end will come in handy. Any time you need to remove trim or molding, separate tile, separate drywall, or pull out nails cleanly, you’ll have the right tool for the job. You may not need this right away if you’re moving into a new construction home, but you’ll certainly want it on hand for ongoing maintenance.

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, so it’s easy for details like these to get lost in the shuffle. With this list of must-have items for every new homeowner, you have a checklist to start from to make sure you have everything you need.