Buying your first home can be an exhilarating time in life. There are many reasons why people buy their home and becoming a first-time buyer doesn’t always fall on the same demographic of people. Whether you’ve been renting for years or are stepping out on your own for the first time in general, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help prepare you for a smooth transition into home ownership.
Some things that may get lost in the excitement of signing closing papers and picking up the keys to your new digs include smaller furnishings. Now, there are certainly things that everyone expects to have to supply in their home, and some are even blessed to have certain appliances left behind or sold with the home by its previous tenants such as refrigerators and washer and dryer sets. While having large furnishings such as a mattress, table, chairs, and a couch may be at the to of the “to buy” list, it can be easy to forget the little things. Each room requires a number of little things that we often get so used to using that we don’t think about the need to purchase them for a new home.
The essential products to pick up before move in or shortly thereafter are cleaning products. Many sellers have the home professionally cleaned after moving all of their things out- this ensures that the new owners won’t have to worry about moving into a place with dust bunnies, dirt mounds, and whatever that juice is that is stuck to the glass shelf in the refrigerator. However, not all cleaning jobs are created equally. It’s not a bad idea to pick up some all-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and dish soap. Luckily, these things are all easily reusable throughout the time spent living in the home. Oh, and while you’re at it, most dollar stores offer cheap brooms and squirt bottles. Even if the house has been impeccably cleaned prior to move in, there is a high likelihood that the moving process has tracked in some dirt and other exciting messes. It’s nice to have a broom and rag to be able to sweep up the dust and dirt prior to collapsing in bed for a well-deserved rest.
Likewise, hygiene products are often stocked in an existing bathroom, so it may be a shock just how many bathroom products are necessary post-move in day. For example, it’s a great idea to pick up toilet paper on the way to the new home. This is a commodity that is often taken for granted, but in a house that is all in boxes, having a few rolls on standby can be a life changing decision. Another activity that is likely going to need to happen soon is a bath or shower. After all the packing, moving, and unpacking, many people work up a sweat- this can lead to feeling stinky and sticky. Some bathrooms have glass doors which is a positive if you’ve forgotten a shower curtain, but those who don’t have doors will be wishing they’d brought a curtain with them. That’s a must add to the shopping list just prior to move-in day, or something to make a note to pick up on the day itself. A bath mat can’t hurt either- it’ll help to keep the floor from becoming unbearably soaked and slippery. Often department stores sell bundles containing mats and curtains as well as curtain rings, so if you need a cheap placeholder before you decorate your bathroom, that may be a good option. Oh, and if the shower has no curtain rod, it’d be a good idea to grab one of those too before hitting the checkout.
Unless you are planning on picking up takeout for the first week spent in your new home (which is totally acceptable), you may want to make sure you have at least one pot, one frying pan, and a few basic cooking utensils. Having something like this on hand can offer at least a few meal choices from basic ingredients while you work up to owning all of the fancy kitchen doodads that you may yearn to own. As far as dishes go, it may be best to buy a complete set of cheap dishes for everyone who is planning on living in the home, or you may want to shop around pick out the perfect set. If the second option is more what you are looking for, it isn’t a bad idea to pick up some disposable plates, cups, and utensils. This can also cut down on the energy required to do dishes post-meal and can free up some more time and energy for unpacking and getting the house furnished and decorated the way you want it. While disposable dinnerware is not necessarily fashionable and may not be eco-friendly depending on the brand, using them for a short time could make all the difference until your home is more put together.
As a new homeowner, many small costs can sneak up and surprise you. Just be ready and flexible and understand that you’ll likely be best friends with the store down the street- at least for a few days. Even with lists made before moving, there will likely be things you’ll wish you had such as a toolkit or hand soap. Try to roll with the punches and know that it’s all a part of the experience. Your unpacking days will be over soon, and then you’ll be free to live a life less focused on moving.
Move in day can sneak up on even those who move often, so be sure to plan ahead with what you can and ask for help as you come across things with which you may need assistance. People are often willing to help and many have been in your shoes. It’s not every day you get to buy your first home, so be sure to revel in the tiny details, but a bit of prep and planning can go a long way toward soothing the potential jitters that can come from taking this next big step.