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List of essential household items

Whether you are moving out on your own for the first time or simply trying to get your house together, you'll need several essential household items. If you're on a tight budget, it is best to pick the items you feel are the most essential and then purchase other items as you can afford them.

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Kitchen Appliances

Numerous kitchen appliances are essential in any home. A toaster and a coffee pot are the first items to purchase, followed by a microwave. Every home needs a refrigerator, even if it's just a small one. Smaller kitchen appliances such as blenders, mixers and food processors are only necessary if you cook frequently. While some may consider a dishwasher an essential, washing dishes by hand is an option until you can afford a dishwasher.


Unless you plan on eating out for every meal, having basics such as plate sets, glasses and silverware is essential. Most of these items are now fairly inexpensive and can be purchased in sets to save money. Cookware, even if it is just a pot, a baking tray or pizza pan and a frying pan, also is essential for the kitchen. You can add more cooking supplies and baking supplies as you get established.

Cleaning Supplies

Every house needs at least a few cleaning products. The bare necessities include glass cleaner, multipurpose cleaner and furniture polish, along with paper towels and a few soft rags. Old T-shirts and even washcloths can be pressed into service as rags if you don't have anything on hand. If you have carpeted floors, a small vacuum is also necessary. For hard floors, a simple broom and dustpan will help keep those clean.

Bedding and Linens

Basic bedding and linen are useful items in the home. You should have at least one set of sheets and one comforter or quilt for each bedroom. Every person should have her own towel and washcloth. Each bathroom should also have at least one hand towel. Having multiples of these items helps make it easier to keep everything clean, but you can get by with the bare necessities.

First Aid Items

No house is complete without a stocked medicine cabinet. Basics include over-the-counter pain killers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, cough syrup, bandages and antibiotic ointment or cream, upset stomach remedies and any other specialised OTC products you might need. Ice packs, hot water bottles and bandages are also good items to have on hand just in case. If you have children, stock child-friendly medication since in many cases they cannot take the same medicine as adults.

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About the Author

Kate McFarlin is a licensed insurance agent with extensive experience in covering topics related to marketing, small business, personal finance and home improvement. She began her career as a Web designer and also specializes in audio/video mixing and design.

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