So you’ve bought a new home…Congratulations!
Now you need to make sure you have some essential things every homeowner needs that you may not have considered. Sure…you have some of these sneaky essentials; things like shower curtains, cutlery organizers and a vacuum cleaner. But there are always those “must haves” that you don’t think about immediately – until you need them. Here’s a list of essential items that may have fallen off your radar.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly grilled burgers, hot dogs and steaks. Nothing says “welcome to my backyard” better than the aroma of dinner on the grill. And when the power goes off, the grill means a delicious, home-cooked dinner is served. Speaking of the power going off…
- An Emergency Kit
Be prepared for mini-emergencies with a stock of essential supplies. Your kit should contain enough water to last for three days (a gallon per day, per person) some non-perishable food, a first aid kit, flashlights and batteries, a radio, rain slickers, warm jackets and blankets.
- A Security System
If it’s within your budget, seriously consider enrolling in a home security program that will contact the police or fire department for you in case of an emergency. The peace of mind you’ll get will be well worth it, and just the presence of the sign in your yard can be a deterrent to many potential criminals. If it isn’t an option for you, add extra deadbolts and locks, latches for your windows and floodlights for your lawn.
- A Hidden Key
Everyone knows someone who has locked himself or herself out of the house…sometimes even more than once. Have an extra key made and put it somewhere safe and hidden away. Magnetic boxes are great for storing keys under heating or air conditioning units, in your car or inside a rain gutter. Key hiders shaped like rocks, garden gnomes or small animals are a good choice as well. You can even put the key in a zipper seal plastic bag and bury it behind your house.
- Sturdy Outdoor Garbage Cans
Some communities provide trash receptacles for their residents, but some do not. Find out in advance if your neighborhood issues recycling bins and/or trash cans. If you’ll be responsible for getting your own, you’ll be ready.
- Lawn Equipment
If you’ve lived in an apartment or in a condo where lawn care was included, you may not think to get a lawn mower or other common gardening supplies such as rakes, clippers, garden hoses or weed whackers. It only takes a week or two in certain climates for your lawn to become a neighborhood eyesore. Don’t wait – your community will thank you for your preparedness!
- Essential Tool Box
First time homeowners, especially, tend to forget that everyday tools such as screwdrivers, hammers, measuring tapes, pliers and other handy items serve many purposes. Many hardware stores sell pre-packaged starter kits to get you going…even if you’re not very handy.
Believe it or not, this is one of the most easily overlooked items new homeowners find they need…once they want to change light bulbs, store seldom-used china on a top shelf or add a decorative top border to their three-year old’s bedroom walls.
- Toilet Plungers
Ahem. Yep, those. One for each bathroom, please. And add a toilet brush with storage cup for each bathroom too, while you’re at it.
- Super Glue
The answer to many fix-it issues, a tube or two of this little miracle worker solves a variety of problems.
- Extension Cords/Surge Protectors
You may not always be able to put an electrical appliance close enough to an outlet. Be ready with a variety of extension cords in various lengths. Get some regular capacity, indoor/outdoor and heavy duty cords, just in case. Also make sure your computers, printers, video game consoles, home phones and other valuable electronic devices are plugged into surge protectors right from the start.
Great for covering outdoor items you don’t want to get wet, such as the new grill or lawn mower we mentioned above. Also great for covering plants and flowers during a frost.
- Three Important Books
Get one of each…a great, all-purpose recipe book such as Better Homes and Gardens, Fanny Farmer or The Joy of Cooking, a home repair/maintenance handbook and a cleaning tricks/solving household problems book such as Hints from Heloise.
Unless you plan on wiping clean your entryways or foyers on a daily basis (or even more often), come prepared with a mat for every entrance.
- A Small Safe or Lockbox
Make sure valuables and important papers are kept in one safe place, fireproof and easily portable.