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The A-Z of items to not forget in your first home

By Emma Smith
25 SEP 2019
Getting into your first home can be one of life’s most exciting events. But it can also be somewhat daunting with everything your new life entails – including all the items you’ll need. 

We’ve compiled the ultimate A-Z list of all the things you’ll need to set up in your first home.


Now you’re in your own place you can dress it up any way you please! So gather your favourite pieces and decorate to your heart’s content.

Bath mat

No one likes the cruddy old towel on the floor, which is harder to dry and gets much dirtier than a bathmat.

The Block contestants Tess and Luke used a lush bath mat that’s on full display here. Picture: Nine Network


Spare batteries stored in a drawer somewhere can be a lifesaver when you need them for the TV remote, smoke alarm or for a torch if the power goes out.


Welcome to the world of having to keep your own house clean. A broom is number one on this list.

Can opener

Yes, most cans these days are pull-ring, but there’ll always be one or two that aren’t and you’ll be cursing if you can’t get them open when you need them.


A couch goes without saying, but cushions can be forgotten and often missed. Cushions not only make the couch comfier, but they’re also a great soft furnishing to create warmth and decorate the room with.

Cushions are a must for making a house a home. Picture: Unsplash


Detergents of all kinds will be necessary.

Dustpan and broom

Think you’re adulting with your broom? You won’t get far without a dustpan to pick the pile of dirt up with!

Read more for all the best cleaning and organising tips.

Document holder

Whether you’ve signed a lease or got yourself a mortgage, chances are there is paperwork coming at you from all angles.

Be smart and keep it together in a folder with all the important stuff – you’ll thank yourself when the time comes to refer back to them.

But remember to keep only the important stuff such as condition reports, contracts and warranties – don’t go stashing your junk mail here because it’ll soon get too full to manage and you’ll risk losing the vital documents.

Extension cords

From setting up the entertainment system or finding your new bedroom only has one power outlet, this is another SOS item that will prove to be a lifesaver.

Frying pan

Arguably one of the most-used kitchen items, a frying pan will allow you to cook everything from bacon and eggs to a risotto. Don’t move into your place without one.

A frying pan is an essential kitchen item for your new place. Picture: Unsplash

Garbage bags

Whether you’re recycling your old shopping bags or choosing the biodegradable option, garbage bags are a must to keep the kitchen from smelling worse than a full dumpster on a summer’s day.


Clothes hangers are key to keeping your clothes looking sharp.


Hooks are some of the home’s most-underrated items. Renters worldwide will know the benefits of removable hooks for hanging items without leaving a mark – especially when it comes time to ask for your bond back.


While ironing may not be everyone’s favourite chore, when you need one – you need one. Forget heading out to your friend’s fancy shindig in a crumpled outfit – a quick iron will make you look like a million bucks with a few quick strokes.

Ironing may not be something you love doing on your weekends – or ever – but having one on hand for that all-important job interview is a must.

Jug for water*

Keep this puppy filled with fresh water in the fridge and you’ll feel refreshed and hydrated at all times.

*Having a nice, generously-proportioned jug will also pay dividends when it comes time to knock up your famous sangria for the housewarming ‘do (or margaritas, or a champagne cocktail … we could go on).


Congratulations on your new place! Now don’t go losing your huge stash of keys because out-of-hours locksmiths are expensive friends to make.

Kit – first aid

This one is a biggie. Don’t wait until you need antiseptic or a bandage to buy basic first-aid tools. Have a kit with all the must-haves ready in an easy-to-access spot for yourself and visitors.

Laundry basket

Welcome to the world of doing your own laundry.

Light bulbs

You may think these are a nice-to-have but trust us, when the room goes dark you’ll be cursing yourself for not picking them up when you strolled past that aisle in the supermarket.


Whether you get an old-fashioned mop and bucket or a fancier one that sprays the soapy water itself, a mop is a necessity.

A range of cleaning products is essential for keeping your new place liveable. Picture: Caroline McCredie

Needle and thread

Whether you’re a sewer from way back or you’ve never seen a needle in your life, a needle and thread will save you when you lose a button.

Oven mitt

For grabbing the Sunday roast (or oven fries) out without burning your fingers off.


Now that you’ve got your own place you’re going to have to unclog your own toilet, thank you very much.

Queen bed

We’re not sure how or why – but it’s the law of physics that most people end up with a queen-sized  bed in their first home.

Rubber gloves

Because some messes are just too gnarly to grab with your bare hands.

Rubber gloves will save you from having to get your hands dirty when the mess really hits the fan. Picture: Ross Campbell


Yes, you might have carpet, but if it’s your first place then chances are it’s a depressing grey rental carpet that looks older than you. Cover that sad situation up with a nice rug and you’ll be so glad you did.


Some kitchen items are so integral it’s almost impossible to live, let alone cook, without them. A good spatula is one of these.

How else will you flip a bacon and egg breakfast after a big night out? *See tongs.

Tea towels

Do yourself a favour and invest in a few tea towels and – this is important – wash them regularly

Toilet brush

This one should go without saying, but it’s ever so embarrassing when it’s forgotten.


No kitchen should be without a good set of tongs or two. *See spatula.


Trust us, you’ll want to hi-five yourself every time you walk outside on your way to work on a rainy day and there’s an umbrella waiting by the door.

Vacuum cleaner

Yes, you can sweep, but nothing really gets rid of the dust and dirt like a good vacuum cleaner.

You’ll be surprised by how much better your house looks after a thorough clean. Picture: Getty


Vases come in very handy when your visitors arrive with congratulatory flowers.

A good hack here is knowing that a good vase can also double as an extra jug – for when you’re mixing up more than one style of cocktail at the housewarming.

Wine bottle opener

This one goes without saying. Also, make sure it’s the type that opens beer bottles, too.

X-tra toilet paper

“Urgh there’s too much toilet paper here,” said no one. Ever.

Yard maintenance tools

Unless you’re in an apartment, chances are the backyard is going to need a little TLC from time to time.

Whether it’s a lawnmower, secateurs, or a rake – don’t forget these outdoor essentials.

Ziplock bags

A handy item for the pantry, ziplock bags are a great item to have in the kitchen for leftovers.

Chances are if you’re saving for a house deposit or if you’ve just bought your first home, you’ll be eating a lot of leftovers.

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