Your First Home/Apartment Checklist

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Yes! You’ve leased or purchased your first home. CONGRATS!

While this is an extremely exciting time for you, your mind has likely shifted into overdrive trying to figure out everything you need to buy and the logistics of your actual move. That’s a lot!  The last thing you want is to have this amazing moment become overwhelming and stressful.

Since most people tend to over-buy or buy impulsively for their first home, they often end up re-doing things later because what they purchased for their new home was not what they needed or important things were missed. With a little planning, and a good, no make that great, checklist, you’ll save money, be more organized and be happier in your new house or apartment.

The Budget

The first thing you need to do is set a budget for the things you will need to buy for your new home. It is important to be realistic with this number. With modern technology at your fingertips you can quickly and easily research prices online which will help you with creating your budget. And the real nice thing about online shopping is that you can put everything in your shopping cart and have the subtotal before you commit to purchase. You may not be ready to purchase items now (or may change your mind later), but you can leave them in your cart or put them on a wish list for later purchase.

Your ‘Essentials’ Checklist (aka what you actually need):

1.Cleaning Stuff

We love a clean home, and we’re sure you do too! We have heard of some amazing situations where a new homeowner has moved into a home that had been generously professionally cleaned by the former owners. How nice! We wish that were the case all the time, but it’s not. You will definitely want to clean your new house or apartment prior to unpacking. Here are some items to get you started:

  • Garbage bags: kitchen size and large black or clear bags
  • Recycling bags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Broom & dustpan
  • Soft rags
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Bucket
  • Mop, if you have hard-surface floors
  • Vacuum or at least a handheld dust buster, depending on the size of your place
  • Bathroom cleaner like Mr. Clean
  • Vinegar: we like this a lot more than wood cleaner with boiling hot water. Also works as a great replacement to Windex.
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dish soap
  • Hand soap

Tip - A great place to get inexpensive cleaning supplies is Home Depot.


2.Kitchen & Cookware

Your kitchen purchases are important. Not only do you need tools to cook properly, but you will also save money in the long run by having a well- stocked kitchen. You don’t need every gadget though – like cherry pitters – no one actually uses those...but if you do, let us know.

Here are the basics that can get you started:

  • Dishes: plates & bowls. You don’t really need three sizes of plates, just pick one
  • Cutlery: forks, knives & spoons.
  • Glasses: water glasses that are nice enough they can double for wine and beer
  • Coffee cups
  • Knives: large chef’s knife and a smaller chef’s knife
  • Utensils: spatula, large spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, wooden spoon, peeler, can opener
  • Pots & pans: one medium or large fry pan; one small pot; one large pot
  • Oven-safe dish: one medium or large size dish.
  • Baking sheet: one large or medium cookie sheet.
  • Coffee maker or French press.
  • Cutting boards: one for fruits/veggies/grains and one for meat (if you eat meat)
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Oven mitts
  • Dish towels: half a dozen will do
  • Dish drying rack if you do not have a dishwasher
  • Garbage can
  • Toaster
  • Microwave, in case your new place does not come with one

Your kitchen items don’t need to be William Sonoma quality, but as they will be heavily used, they do need to be durable. Stores like Ikea and Canadian Tire sell wide selections of kitchen items at affordable prices, and they have some great designs too! Shopping at these types of stores can help you make your budget stretch farther, leaving you room to purchase serving dishes (if you like to entertain) and a crock pot.



Hopefully, you already have bedding, a bed, and a mattress that you can bring with you when you move into your first house or apartment. If not, here are some things you will need to help make sure you have a cozy place to lay your head:

  • Sheets: two sets will do…and btw Amazon has their own brand that is very affordable
  • Pillows: one or two depending on your bed size and sleeping preference
  • Comforter or duvet and duvet cover
  • Lamp
  • Storage: dresser, plastic organizers, or under-the-bed holders (Amazon also has these for a good price)
  • Hangers for the closet
  • Laundry hamper

Splurging on decorative pillows, a rug, bed frame, bedside tables and curtains may not be in your budget, but once you have been in your place for a bit you can save up for these.


4.Bathroom Necessities

Your bathroom can be pulled together quickly, but these items also quickly add up. We encourage you to shop around to get the best prices. Here’s what you definitely need to get:

  • Bath towels: two to start
  • Hand/face towels: two to start
  • Shower curtain and liner, if necessary
  • Toothbrush holder or case: you can use a cup or even a wide plant pot (clay pots are inexpensive)
  • Bathmat
  • Toilet brush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash
  • Plunger
  • Toilet paper
  • Facial tissue
  • Small trash can
  • Hand soap



Ok, now that your comfort rooms are stocked, you will want to invest in some bigger pieces. Furniture is a commitment. It’s true that Ikea has great prices, but we advise you not to run through Ikea and buy everything you see. There are some very cool items at secondhand stores, and you should ask family members if they have extra items. They may have a few treasures tucked away in their self-storage unit. Items that you will want to have at the start are:

  • Couch or futon
  • Coffee table
  • Small table & chairs
  • lamp

Once you have lived in your home for a bit, you can make decisions on artwork to put up (you can also make your own too!), blankets, rugs, décor, and plants. Moving can be stressful with lots to do and too many decisions to make. You may end up getting things that looked ok before and during the move just because these purchases allowed you to cross things off your never-ending list. But post moving in, you may find that your home is not decorated to reflect you or your taste.

Your first home is special. While it can be overwhelming at first,you will get to make the space yours and as you live in this space, you’ll discover the what you truly need (and don’t need). It may take a little time, but you will get there. Remember to always start with the essentials and try not to overbuy. It’s easier said than done, but it is possible.

Have questions about how self-storage can help take the stress out of moving? We’re just a text, email or phone call away, plus you can check out out our Milton self storage and Woodstock self storage facilities and self-storage units on YouTube. We hope you’ll like or follow us on InstagramFacebook & Twitter for tips, tricks and a good laugh, which may be a great stress reliever during your move.

We wish you all the best in your first home!

Your friend in self-storage,

Storage Solutions


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amer hashem (Milton)
a month ago

Very reliable storage. A good solution to park your car and keeping it protected from all weather conditions. Although a bit remote location.. but the price and the service was worth it.

Riley Rogozynski (Woodstock)
a week ago

I went in to find out some information on storage units for when I move in a couple weeks and was happily surprised by the customer service I received. I had looked at a few other storage facilities in Woodstock but their customer service was terrible compared to Jared's from Storage Solutions. He was professional and understanding of my needs and was ready to help anywhere he could. I will definitely be spreading the word to any of my friends looking for units!

Jennifer Sibbitt (Milton)
a week ago

Staff are very friendly and helpful. The facility is well maintained, clean and secure. I highly recommend Storage Solutions!

Janet Kennedy (Woodstock)
2 weeks ago

Great rates for a clean, secure, well lit place. Really good staff and a company that cares. New facility and the competitors are pretty tired looking and charging the same rates (if not a bit more).

Abeer Nauman (Milton)
a day ago

Very friendly staff. Always great service. Would highly recommend.

Lindsay Munro (Milton)
4 months ago

My husband and I recently relocated from the US and needed a place to store all of our belongings while we secured a new home. The folks at Storage Solutions advised us on the right size unit for our needs, at the right price. They were kind and helpful with all of our "first-timer" questions. We were very confident in the security of the place, and had absolutely no issues. I would highly recommend and use them again if needed.

Ashley Kelly (Milton)
a month ago

Been storing office and personal items for years. Have had various size units. Prices are great and staff has always been helpful.