New House Checklist

Most of us live in apartments or suites in partitioned homes before we buy our first house, and manage to acquire all the essentials such as kitchen items, furniture, bedding, towels etc. When you move into a house, though, in addition to the usual cleaning supplies and garbage bags needed when you move, there are a lot of items you will find yourself requiring.

Schlage FE595 CAM 619 GEO Camelot Keypad Entry with Flex-Lock and Georgian Style Knobs, Satin NickelNew exterior door locks

No matter how trustworthy previous owners may seem, or where they may have relocated to, you never know who else had keys to a home, and its always a good idea to replace the locks. It might be a good time to consider a keypad entry rather than keyed entry. However, if you prefer a keyed entry they can be very economical, and models are even available that allow you to rekey without removing the lock, in case you need to leave a key for a repair person or babysitter and want to temporarily change it (see Kwikset Juno Entry Knob beaturing SmarkKey).

Rubbermaid Commercial Brute HDPE FG9W2700GRAY 50-Gallon Rollout Trash Can with Lid, Rectangular, 23.38 inch Width x 28.5 inch Depth x 36.5 inch Height, GrayExterior garbage can

Once you’re in your own home you will need to buy an outdoor garbage can to haul your garbage to the street. A 35 gallon garbage can, filled, can weigh over 100 pounds. Generally for a family of four a 35 gallon can may not be big enough. If you’ve ever had a poor quality can, you know how uncomfortable life can be when it spills, leaks or loses its lid. Wheels, an attached lid, and a flat side for close-to-the-wall storage are things to look for. You’ll want to check your city bylaws in case they have restrictions on what you use.

Single Line Retractable Clothes Dryer (40 ft.)Clothes rack or clothesline

Even if you have energy efficient appliances in your new house (and if you don’t, you may want to check those out), it makes sense to consider an outdoor clothes rack or clothesline. Many cities who were banning “unsightly” clotheslines in trendier neighborhoods are now reversing this mistake and promoting “green” drying. Outdoor laundry may be a bit stiffer than that taken out of a dryer, but the smell of it can’t be beat. Sunlight is a natural sanitizing and bleaching agent, and your clothes will last longer.

Gardening equipment

Eventually, you’ll invest in a multitude of gardening tools, including a variety of rakes, shovels, hand tools and pruning tools, hoses, and sprinklers. In the meantime, you’ll need a few things to get you started caring for your new lawn and gardens.


For lawn maintenance, you’ll need a mower, lawn rake, hose and sprinkler to get you started.


GreenWorks 25022 12 Amp 20-in 3-in-1 Electric Lawn Mower

click to view mowers

Bond 2060 7-Inch to 22-Inch Adjustable Steel Rake Gilmour 10 Series 8 Ply Flexogen Hose half inch x 50 Feet #10-12050 Green Gilmour 196SPB Pattern Master Impulse Sprinkler on Polymer Sled Base


For garden maintenance, you’ll want a shovel, garden rake, hoe and hand trowel to get you started, as well as a spray nozzle for your hose. If you have a large garden and yard, you’ll likely want a wheelbarrow or garden cart as well. Depending on where you place planted containers, you may also want a watering can.

Eagle 1554300 Round Point Shovel with 47-Inch Wood Handle Eagle Bow Rake With 53-Inch Fiberglass Handle 1888000Ames True Temper 1853200 Garden Hoe, Cushion Grip, Wood Handle

Fiskars 7978 Composite TrowelDramm 12380 Heavy-Duty Brass Adjustable Hose Nozzle


Gorilla Carts GOR200B Poly Garden Dump Cart with Steel Frame and 10-Inch Pneumatic Tires, 600-Pound Capacity, 36-Inch by 20-Inch Bed, Black FinishPlastic Gray Elephant Watering Can Classic Union Products Yard Decoration - Made in the USA

Shrubs and Trees

For shrub and small tree maintenance, you’ll want some loppers and a hand pruner. If you have hedges, you’ll also want some hedge trimmers.

Fiskars Consumer Prod 91546935 Powergear 32-Inch Bypass Lopper Felco F-2 Classic Manual Hand Pruner Bahco P51-F Hedge Shears with Steel Handles, 3-Inch

Also see: Winter Pruning

Until you gain experience, any high overhead work or major pruning would be best left to the professionals. For light pruning of trees and tall or dense shrubs, you will likely want a pole pruner and a ladder.

Fiskars 14 Foot Power-Lever Tree Pruner (9301) Multi Purpose Aluminum Ladder Folding Step Ladder Scaffold Extendable Heavy Duty

shovel1Snow clearing equipment

Snow clearing is a bit like gardening, over time you will probably end up with a variety of tools for different specific purposes, but start out with a general pusher/shovel.

Please also see “Best Snow Shovels for the Job

Gray and White Chevron Window Treatment Zig Zag Panels - Set of 2Window coverings

Often people buy a house with existing window coverings, but in a new home the windows are usually bare, and sometimes previous owners take them. It doesn’t cost much to buy basic drapery panels to cover windows, and they come in a wide variety of fabrics. It is a good way to bring trendy new styles into a room, and easy to change when styles change.

Please also see:  “Hanging Curtains

Closet organizers

Before you fill your closets is the time to install any additional shelving or closet organizer systems you want. There are many low cost options.

Whitmor 6779-3044 Double Rod Closet, Silver ClosetMaid 896300 31-Inch Horizontal Laminate Closet Organizer, White Rubbermaid 3H89 Configurations 4-to-8-Foot Deluxe Custom Closet Kit, Titanium

John Louis Home Standard Closet Shelving System, Red Mahogany ClosetMaid 879 Closet Fabric Drawer, Light Blue  ClosetMaid 899800 8-Cube Stackable Laminate Organizer, Espresso

For more storage and organization links click here: Organization and Storage

Please also see:  Shoe Storage and Organization Ideas

Maintenance and energy improvements

Owens Corning EcoTouch PINK® FIBERGLASTM Insulation for Attic 15 inch x25 inch, UnfacedNew attic insulation

If you are buying an older home you may need to check the attic insulation R factor. Improving the insulation in your home can save a lot on your heat and air conditioning bills.

Duck Brand 1285241 Insulating Foam Pipe Covers, 0.75-Inch by 3-Feet, Pack of 4 SticksWater pipe insulation

Insulating the pipes that carry your hot water from the heater to the various faucets can save up to $12/hear in heating costs by increasing the delivered water temperature by about 4% due to reduction in heat loss, allowing you to turn your hot water tank down to save money.

Duck Brand 280464 Water Heater Insulation Blanket, 48 by 75 by 1.8-InchHot water heater blanket if not well insulated

If your hot water tank is stored in a cool location in your home, and you can feel heat when you hold your hand against it, you can also reduce heating costs by using a water heater insulation blanket and reducing the heat setting on the heater.

Delta Faucet 75152 Water Amplifying Adjustable Showerhead with H2OKINETIC Technology, ChromeReplacement faucets or washers

Low flow faucets can provide dramatic savings on water bills, not to mention the cost of heating the water. This Delta faucet (click picture for details) reduces water used in an average shower by 36%. If you have multiple people showering daily, the savings can be substantial.

GE 13-Watt Energy SmartTM - 8 Pack - 60 watt replacementCFL and LED light bulbs

You might be surprised how many people will take their light bulbs when they move. In any event, its quite likely you’ll find some missing. Compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes bulbs (LEDs) use up to 75% less energy than regular light bulbs, and last a lot longer.

A few other maintenance and energy savings features you may want to check out:

New House Checklist


o Exterior door locks

o Exterior garbage can

o Clothes rack or clothesline

o Snow shovel

o Window coverings

o Closet organizers

Gardening Equipment:

o Mower

o Lawn rake

o Garden hose

o Sprinkler

o Spade

o Garden rake

o Hoe

o Trowel

o Watering nozzle

o Wheelbarrow/lawn cart

o Watering can

o Loppers

o Hand pruners

o Hedge sheers (if you have hedges or bushes requiring shaping)

o Pole pruner (if you have trees)

o Ladder

Maintenance and energy improvements:

o Attic insulation

o Water pipe insulation

o Hot water heater blanket

o Replacement faucets or washers

o CFL and LED light bulbs

o Furnace filter

o Energy efficient appliances if any require replacement

o Ceiling fans

o Power strips

o Door mats

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s