Every home should be different, expressing the individuality and personality of the owner in its own way, but I believe there are a few things that every home should have. These are essentials, classics and key ingredients that make up the foundation of a good home, and if you are just starting out they make a useful checklist for setting up in a new space.

Housewares are a very large category and you might feel overwhelmed while shopping. The big question is: What do you actually need?

At the most basic level, you really only need the absolute essentials to live well. Most of these will be in your kitchen because food is an important part of home life. The rest of your home requires just a few items to keep it clean and well-organized.

You can always add more items as needed, but for now, let’s explore the bare minimum of housewares every home should have.

An all purpose Vacuum

Floors get dirty; it’s a proven fact. They get dirtier faster with the more people that live in your home or if you have pets. Of all the appliances you could buy for your home, a vacuum is essential.

It is important that you buy a vacuum based on your needs. If you’re single, a small, inexpensive model may do the trick. With kids and pets, you’ll want to invest in one that can stand up to regular use. A good vacuum really is an investment and one that should be able to last many years.

Basic Kitchen Needs

Most of your household needs will come from the kitchen. This is often the most active room in a house and you want to start off with the basic supplies you need to cook food.

You may spend a little more money upfront to stock your kitchen, but it will pay off in the end. If you have what you need to cook, then you’re less likely to eat out which is one of the fastest ways to spend money.

Start your kitchen off right by purchasing the basic utensils. You can either buy an affordable set with the essentials or choose only those you know you’ll actually need and add more as you go.  Items like a large spoon, spatulas and turners, a can opener, vegetable peeler, and cheese grater are a good place to begin. Also, consider a set of measuring spoons and cups. No kitchen should be without a good pair of scissors, either.

Dinnerware and Glassware

If you have ways to cook food, you also need ways to eat it. Dinnerware, silverware, and glassware are all essential to any home, no matter the amount of cooking you do.

Your first set of plates, bowls, and silverware does not have to be the absolute best or last you forever. There are many choices at many different prices, so choose a set that you like and that fits into your budget.

For the glassware, a basic set of drinking glasses is a good start. These can hold all of your favorite beverages, from milk to soda to beer. Also, think about adding a few coffee mugs to your cupboard so you can enjoy coffee, tea, or any warm beverage whenever you like.

Electronic Appliances

You can always add small appliances as you settle into your home, but there are a few that you should consider right away. These will make life just a little more convenient.

Among the top choices are a coffee maker, a toaster, and a microwave. Keep in mind the amount of counter space you have available and choose models that are appropriate for how much you use them. If you don’t need any of these, skip them.

You might also consider a blender or food processor. These can be very useful for making smoothies and pureeing food.

Storage solutions

Quite often your first homes are your smallest and you need to use what little space you have effectively. Solutions can be found for every room in your home to keep you organized and clutter-free.

In the kitchen, be sure to have storage containers for leftover food so you can avoid waste. Also, a few basic organizers will keep your drawers and cupboards neat and tidy so you aren’t constantly digging for what you need.

It’s very easy to let your closets get out of hand. Once you close the door, the problem goes away, right? Get ahead of the problem with a good set of hangers and add shelves or carefully chosen storage organizers to your closets.

Laundry Essentials

Everyone wears clothes and those clean clothes become dirty clothes. Laundry is an essential part of the home, even if you have to go to the laundromat.

Add a laundry basket and hamper to your list of household essentials along with detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

If your clothes need regular ironing, an ironing board and iron will be essential as well.

Is your wardrobe mostly casual? You might be able to get away without the ironing board, but an iron can come in handy. You can always use a towel-covered table as a makeshift board.

So there you have it! Stock up on these essentials and your new house will automatically turn into a fully functional home.