Ross and I are coming up on our THIRD YEAR of home ownership! (And our fourth year of living together and our 3rd year of marriage!) But home ownership is definitely not a cake walk. when you rent, you can at least call somebody else when something breaks. When you own your own home, you’re the someone who is responsible. When we first moved into our house, we had to constantly keep running to the store for things that we needed and didn’t have. It’s amazing how many things you find out that you need when you’re trying to fix things and can’t figure out how! Here’s my list of things that we needed and didn’t have when we moved into our first home. This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are just the things I came up with after the last outbreak of broken appliances and pipes we had a few weeks ago. A lot of these things are ones that I was used to just snagging from my parents, not realizing how much thought and attention to detail goes into keeping the house stocked with the things you need!
This is some surprisingly useful stuff! You can use it to seal pipes when you lost the cap for them, you can use it to seal a shower head that doesn’t quite fit right, it’s some awesome stuff.
It’s not something you want to think about, especially if you’re still in that honeymoon phase, but it is necessary. You won’t think about it until you need it, but then you’re screwed.
-A Toilet Brush
Again, something you don’t want to think about, but it’s necessary. Eventually you’re going to get tired of seeing those gross stains on the toilet bowl and you’re just going to have to get over it. Part of being a grownup is doing the gross stuff.
Who knew that the water shut off was way in the back of that closet? How else are you going to see all the way to the end of your unfloored attic? What’s going to happen when a breaker flips and you have to find the breaker box in the dark? Flashlights are very useful for so many many things, so it’s better to have some around before you need one and can’t find one. (and btw, most main water shut offs are somewhere in the middle of the house, in a hall closet or under the sink of the main floor bathroom. Ours is connected to our hot water heater, which is also in the middle-ish of the house)
Maybe this is just me, but you can never have too much storage! It’s amazing how much crap you accumulate once you have a house. We have a full attic and still have a junk room full of more crap. That’s going to be my project of four next house, don’t accumulate so much crap!
-An Allen Wrench
An allen wrench can be used to reset your garbage disposal, unscrew parts of appliances, and all kinds of other things that you don’t think about until you’re sitting there staring at a funny screw that you have no idea how to unscrew.
-A Complete Tool Set
Even if you’re a girl living alone, you need a tool set. It’s always good to be able to at least attempt to fix things yourself before calling someone else. Even a basic tool set with a couple of screwdrivers and a hammer is good.
Toothbrushes are helpful for lots of reasons, and you never know when you’ll need one. You can use it to clean jewelry, your dogs teeth, your teeth, baseboards, hard to reach places, all kinds of stuff!
Another thing you don’t think about until you need it. It’s nice to be able to just go to the cabinet and have a spare bulb instead of having to go to the store to find the bulb that you need.
Bugs get in from all kinds of places, even if you never open the doors or windows. You don’t want to be like me and have to try and throw shoes at bugs as they scurry across your walls because you don’t have a flyswatter.
This one seems like a ‘duh’ kinda thing but it really isn’t. You don’t truly realize the importance of having money saved until you have to replace a dishwasher when you weren’t planning to, or you have to buy a new gate for your fence because your neighbor goes crazy and takes yours off it’s hinges. You can never have too much saved up in case of emergencies, you don’t want to be like we were at one point and having to just make do because you couldn’t afford to replace the broken appliance.
The first couple years that we lived in our house, I wasn’t too concerned with yard work or gardening or anything like that. But eventually I got tired of looking at all the weeds so I started actually taking an interest in the yard and the gardens. It takes a lot of upkeep to make a yard and garden look good, so make sure you have some good weed killer.
You can never have too many towels. Whether you only use them for after your shower or if you use them for everything under the sun, you’ll need them. Your dogs track mud into the house, a pipe springs a leak, your chimney leaks when it rains, you forgot to finish washing the rug for the bathroom, anything. Towels are always useful.
Vinegar is one of the most useful things that I never knew about. Vinegar can kill weeds, remove smells from fabric, white vinegar helps with serious sunburns, you can mix it with soap and use it to clean, it kills mold, it can be used for so many things around the house! Definitely always keep this on hand.
Whether you use Scrubbing Bubbles or some vinegar and soap in a sponge, you should invest in a shower cleaning system. The same with the toilets, eventually you’re going to get tired of the soap scum on the shower walls and the mold on the shower curtain so it’s best to get some kind of shower cleaning system in place before you get to that point.
You can never have too many batteries! When I was a kid, my mom had a huge plastic container under the sink that was always full of every kind of battery you could think of. Any time you needed a battery, you could just go grab one. That makes things so much easier than having to wait until the next time you go to the store to get batteries so you can use whatever it is that needs the batteries. It’s always better to have them on hand.
-A Cook Book
Even if you have a very small budget for food, like a Ramen noodles every night kind of budget, you are still going to want some variety eventually. It’s good to have access to resources that will allow you to spice things up once you can start being more creative with your cooking.
-Access To An SUV/Truck
Whether you own one or have a friend/relative who does, access to an SUV or truck is always helpful. You never know when you’re going to need one.
Another thing I always snitched from my mom were vitamins. My mom always had a million different types of vitamins and she always knew just what would help me feel better. Now that I’m on my own, I have to remember to get them for myself. You never know when a bug is going to go around so it’s always best to have as many vitamins as you can around for when you need them.
This is my list so far, based on my own experiences. If anybody has any other ones, let me know!