The Ultimate New Home Shopping List: Items You Need (And None You Don’t)

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Whether this is your first home purchase, or you’re a veteran at moving, every new dwelling comes with its own set of challenges that require some time spent shopping. (This might come as a relief or completely unwelcome news, depending on your viewpoint.) While you’re focused on closing and packing up your belongings to move into your new home, you’ve probably also been mentally placing your existing furniture in the new space and are determining what’s missing. Hopefully, you’ve already checked out our list of 18 home packing tips to help your move go smoothly and have already purchased your moving supplies using our checklist. But do you have your new home shopping list written out yet?

Checklist for New Home

We’ve created a checklist of all the items you need, room by room, for your new house.

You should get familiar with the inventory of items that will convey with the purchase versus the items the seller will take from the home before closing. And it’s not a bad idea to think about items you still need to purchase, so that when you’re all moved in, it really feels like home.

To help you narrow down your new home shopping list to the very essentials you’ll need to consider when you move, we’ve collected this list (divided per room) with the building blocks for new-home comfort that you should keep in mind.

Carpeting installed in a new home.
Source: (Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock)

Before you move in

Nick Waldner, a real estate agent with 19 years of experience in the Baltimore, Maryland, area, says his buyers’ first purchase after closing on a home is usually paint, followed by flooring materials.

“It’s just easier for a new homeowner to get those items in a checklist taken care of quickly. Sometimes they will delay moving in for a week or so and address all the paint and replace all the carpets,” Waldner explains.

The other purchases that usually happen before the first moving box is brought into the space are updated major appliances — “washers, dryers, dishwashers and sometimes an entire matching suite of stainless or upgraded appliances is a purchase that happens before moving in,” as well as window treatments.

Stores like The Shade Store offer an entirely online process that allows you to measure, order swatches, and then place a full order for window coverings. In many cases, the windows can be delivered and installed by the same company.


Also known as the heart of the home, your new kitchen is probably one of the reasons you fell in love with your new home. As a central hub for your family, your kitchen will host family and friends for gatherings and holidays to come.

Regardless of the square footage of your new kitchen, being properly equipped can help you start life in your new home on the right foot.

Small appliances

Small appliances are countertop or table-top electric tools that can be easily moved. They help you speed up the cooking or cleaning process.

Stores like Target, Best Buy, Lowe’s, and Home Depot are great to visit and see options in multiple brands and price ranges. If you prefer to shop online, Amazon and Overstock have a great selection with reasonable shipping rates.

For chef’s quality or high-end small appliances, you’ll want to visit stores like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table.

Kitchen tools

With the right equipment, you can cook almost anything in a residential kitchen. Below you can find a list of basic tools divided into categories.

Walmart, Target and Macy’s as well as Ikea stores carry extensive selections of basic kitchen tools at affordable prices. In many instances, you can find basic kitchen starter sets with many of these items included for one price, like this KitchenAid 15-piece tools and gadget set for $41.99 or this Essential Total Kitchen set that even includes dishes for $83.26.


Wirecutter calls the Tramontina Gourmet Tri-Ply Clad 12-Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set ($479.95) the best “because of its solid construction and affordable price.”

  • Ladle
  • Lockable tongs
  • Metal spatula
  • Rubber spatula
  • Slotted spoon
  • Whisk
  • Skillet
  • Stock pot
  • Saucepan
  • Dutch oven


This Rachel Ray 10-piece non-stick bakeware set with handle grips is a great selection for a starter set at $99.99.

  • Baking sheet
  • Baking pan
  • Muffin tin
  • Oven mitts
  • Mixing bowls


The Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Block Set includes the most useful knives, plus handy shears and a storage block for your counter.

  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Grater
  • Shears
  • Potato masher
  • Bread knife
  • Vegetable peeler

Other tools

  • Can opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Colander
  • Trash bags
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • Sponges
  • Kitchen towels

Eating and serving

  • Dishware
  • Napkins
  • Flatware
  • Serving dishes
  • Serving tools
A dining room in a new home.
Source: (Jonathan Borba / Unsplash)

Dining and living room

For a lot of new homeowners, Waldner says, “a lot of times your furniture is not the right size, shape, or style for the new home, whether you are upsizing or downsizing.”

He recommends you don’t rush to fill your home with furniture, and instead focus on the spaces you use every day.

According to Nerdwallet, the best time of year to purchase indoor furniture is in the end of winter (end of January and February) and the end of summer (end of August and September). President’s Day Sales and Labor Day Sales tend to have the best pricing for indoor furniture and decor because retailers are getting ready for new collections to arrive.

Dining room

  • Dining set: Cost Plus World Market (tables starting at $399, chairs at $99 for a set of 2) features styles from all over the world, while Room and Board (tables starting at $459, chairs at $129) specializes in furniture made in the USA and IKEA (tables starting at $39, chairs at $12.50) is our favorite way to seat the most number of guests in a stylish yet affordable way, offering washable slipcovers and different wood colors.
  • Buffet/storage: For a statement piece, visit The Blackout Company (price varies per commission), specializing in upcycled furniture or check out your local listings for furniture consignment to find classic lines and quality furniture.
  • Rug: For vintage, second-hand rugs, visit Sister Golden (starting at $299) or New England Loom (starting at $475). For stylish machine washable or family-proven rugs, visit Ruggable (starting at $199) or Annie Selke’s Dash and Albert (starting at $232) page.
  • Lighting: Urban Outfitters (starting at $10) might sound like an unexpected choice, but their home department has recently had a revamp that’s worth exploring. IKEA (starting at $8.99) has also really stepped up their variety and selection beyond the traditional paper lamps into exciting new shapes at their usual great prices.

Living room

  • Sofa and sitting: AllModern is a Wayfair-owned company specializing in modern lines and offering free shipping on any purchase over $49. Their Tia Leather Sofa ($1300) has transitional lines. Article is an online retailer offering modern lines and great textiles. Their Sven sectional is a great fit for young families and retails for $2099. Joybird offers responsibly sourced materials and more customized lines to fit your specific relaxation needs. Their Eliot Sleeper Sofa ($3233) is a top seller and offers a variety of different styles and colors.
  • Coffee table: Nadeau, a favorite of HGTV stars like the Property Brothers, has locations nationwide and offers solid wood, distinctive pieces. Furniture is only available at brick and mortar locations.
  • Rug: For vintage, second-hand rugs, visit Sister Golden (starting at $299) or New England Loom (starting at $475). For stylish machine washable or family-proven rugs, visit Ruggable (starting at $199) or Annie Selke’s Dash and Albert (starting at $232) page.
  • Lighting: Homegoods is a great resource for brand name products at a steep discount from their retail value, no sales available online. Pottery Barn is a more traditional choice, but their statement pieces tend to be conversation starters. The Murano Metal and Glass Table Lamps come in two sizes and start at $209.
  • TV: The best time of the year to purchase a new TV is the weeks leading up to the Superbowl with retailers like Target and Best Buy putting up their best deals in home theater equipment leading up to the big game. Wirecutters calls the TCL 65” Class 6-Series 4K UHD Mini-LED QLED Dolby Vision HDR Roku Smart TV the best buy for 2021 at $899.
A bedroom in a new home with a shopping list.
Source: (Sidekix Media / Unsplash)


Your bedroom is a sanctuary. And moving is a great time to assess your sleeping arrangements.

  • Mattress: If you’re considering putting a new mattress in your list, May is the best time to purchase a new mattress according to Sleep Advisor. Prices on a new mattress will range depending on the type of mattress (inner coils, memory foam or latex) and average between $750 and $2,000. Denver Mattress is a good choice for inner coil mattresses, completely made in the United States. Casper offers memory foam mattresses with a 100 night warranty or your money back. Idle sells latex mattresses online and in a variety of brick-and-mortar locations nationwide.
  • Bed: The focal point of the room, your bed is what you build your entire bedroom experience around. Crate and Barrel (starting at $699) offers a great mix of materials and models for any budget and a flat fee delivery. Ashley Furniture (starting at $142.99) offers a line of more traditional models and 690 showrooms in North America.
  • Pillows: Good Housekeeping ranks the  Coop Home Goods – Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow ($59.99) as the best purchase for your money. It’s also machine washable and offers an adjustable amount of filling.
  • Closet organizer: From the Container Store (starting at $1212 for the Elfa Classic 8′ White Reach-In Closet) Elfa collection of built in closet organization, to the Rubbermaid Configurations Closet Kits ($96.07), there’s a customized storage solution so you can reach your organization goals.


  • Shower curtain: Anthropologie offers an unexpectedly colorful line of shower curtains in natural woven materials. A favorite is the Hotel Magique at $58.
  • Bath mats: JC Penney features a great selection of bath mats and matching towel sets at fantastic prices. Or you can choose a bathroom starter kit that includes Bath Rugs, Shower Curtain and Curtain hooks for $34.


One quick visit to your favorite home improvement store can set you up for success in the maintenance department.

A smart lock for a new home.
Source: (Sebastian Scholz (Nuki) / Unsplash)

Smart home upgrades

This is the area where Waldner sees the most new homeowner mistakes.

“Some people will go overboard. Where you might use three to four cameras, they will install 20. Yes, you might want to teach Alexa how to turn some lights on with a voice command, but not every single light in your home needs to be smart.”

His best advice for tech aficionados? “Wait to live in the house for a few months, and only purchase what you really need.”

  • Smart Lock: The Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro ($179) is bluetooth enabled with fingerprint recognition and Touchscreen that pairs up with a mobile app.
  • Alarm: Depending on your level of comfort you can hire out a company like Xfinity to install and monitor your alarm or you could opt-in for the Nest Secure Alarm system that you can install yourself with an optional monthly monitoring contract.
  • Doorbell camera: Keep your deliveries safe with a doorbell camera. The two most popular brands are Ring and Nest Hello.

Hopefully this list will give you something to think about when putting your finishing touches on the moving plan. If you want to read more about moving, check out our list of the best moving hacks.

Header Image Source: (Sidekix Media / Unsplash)