Aug 16 2011

Miscellany we need to buy for the house


I’m putting together a shopping list for things we’ll need to obtain one way or another when we move into our house in three weeks. Help me fill in the blanks for what else I’m missing.

We have a lawn mower (who knows how well it works, though) thanks to negotiations with the sellers. We also have a garden hose and a  few yard tools and I *think* a big outside trash can but I need to double-check that one.

  • New smoke detectors. The ones already in the house appear to be really old (probably original to the 11-year-old house) and I want to get good ones — the kind that detects smoldering fires and flaming fires. Also, we need carbon monoxide detectors. Perhaps we can find some combo units. We want to make sure the alarms are interconnected, so if one goes off, they all do. Go big or go home for fire safety, ya know?
  • A fire escape ladder*. I’ll keep it in my bedroom on the second floor and as the kids get old enough to use one themselves, I’ll get one for their rooms too. For now, we’ll just get the one. If I can’t get my children out of the house if it catches on fire, then I’ll die trying, Lord help me.
  • More outlet covers and baby-proofing type things for cords, and anchors so we can secure furniture to the walls. I do think it’s important to teach kids not to touch certain things, but Vivienne is in the “crazy stage” right now where she’s mobile but doesn’t have any sense of danger or understanding, so we’re still working on that. Plus, I like to plug unused outlets on exterior walls just for the added airtightness of it all.
  • Foam outlet plate cover things*. I may be pleasantly surprised and find them already in there, but not too likely. I like to put these things on exterior walls because I do think it helps with drafts. I’m so used to living in drafty, poorly insulated apartments but this house is hopefully well-insulated in the walls. Still, these things are so cheap that I think it can only help.
  • Gates for the stairs, unless the sellers will leave theirs behind. Need to check on that.
  • Window wedges. Don’t need anyone exiting two-story windows. Unless mama is shuttling the wee ones down the fire escape ladder, of course.
  • More bathroom things such as a new shower curtain liner, toilet scrubber.
  • We need to re-key the locks on the exterior doors.
  • Broom for outside sweeping
  • What kind of thing should I get to clean laminate floors? A swiffer-type mop? Help me out.

These are things we do want to take care of when we first move in. We’ll unpack everything and (finally!) get rid of our moving boxes and then assess what types of organizational things and furnishings we’ll want to add to our list. Those types of things will have to wait while we save up for them though. This house-buying thing is expensive, donchaknow.

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Posted under Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Miscellany we need to buy for the house”

  1. We’ve had laminate flooring for a little over five years now. I was told that water is their enemy and you shouldn’t get them wet. So we started out using just the dry swiffer. I bought a few handmade knitted covers for the swiffer on Etsy instead of having to keep buying the disposables.

    They work great. But with having two kids (ages 3&5) and two dogs, the floors obviously need a deeper, wet cleaning. We’ve used the Swiffer wet pads on them and just do one area at a time, then go over each area right away with a towel to hand (we actually stand and use a foot) dry it. Then proceed to the next area. Sounds like alot of work, but it really isn’t and it’s a great compromise because it gets the floors clean, without leaving them wet for too long.

    We’ve never had any problems with this technique and our floors still look brand new. Hope this helps!

    BTW good luck with the home purchase! It’s all so exciting :)

  2. On the laminate floors, I wouldn’t buy any tools for them until you’ve been there for awhile. We’ve been in our house a year and a half and bought the swiffer, etc. when we moved in. What we’ve ended up doing (even with a dog), is sweeping often, and then just “spot mopping” with a wet rag. The entire floor rarely needs to be truly mopped and like Mary mentioned, that way you can make sure the whole floor doesn’t stay wet. I’m really lazy and usually even just throw down a damp rag and use my foot to mop….would that count as a fun kid activity? :)

  3. I don’t have laminate here but ceramic tile and wood and we love our steam floor cleaner! It works really well with just water and no chemicals. Its not too wet afterwards but they are a bit pricey. We love ours though.

  4. We have a lot of Pergo and I like to use both the dry and wet swiffers. About once a month I’ll mop with Simple Green and water. I just make sure to wring out the mop really well so it’s not soaking the floor. Depending on your landscaping, you may want to purchase some clippers/cutters of some sort as it doesn’t take long for them to grow too big. We’re constantly trimming something back here.

  5. Great list!

    With regard to the laminate floors…our entire main living area…kitchen and living room are all pergo. I used to use a swiffer, but have found that this works better… I really like it because I can damp mop with it or dry mop. You are correct about the whole water thing…but you can still damp mop, you just don’t want to leave standing water on them. Also, about once a month I clean the floor with a water and vinegar solution…I do it on my hands and knees with a rag…I know very old fashioned but it does clean the floors very well.

  6. My $1 Dollar Tree mop, a bucket of warm water & white vinegar do just fine. I vacuum too though

  7. Laminate…I sweep with a broom and dustpan, then I use Mrs. Meyers and a swiffer. I keep Mrs. Meyers mixed in an old windex bottle and just spray as I go and mop it up. I do not buy the swiffer pads. I think it’s senseless to spend that kind of money of such things. I purchased ScotchBrite brand microfiber kitchen cloths ( for another use, but ended up loving them on my swiffer for mopping. They’re the right size and they don’t drag on the floor and get stuck like lots of other cloths I had tried. I have even considered stitching some of the rough side of velcro to the cloths so I would have a scrubbing edge when I’m mopping. But, I haven’t gotten that far yet!

  8. NORWEX!!!

    I recently started selling Norwex products, because I so truly love them. The mop is awesome. You get a dry mop that picks up all dust and dirt thanks to super static. Then you get a wet mop that you get wet, wring out well and use it to clean the floor. It pulls bacteria into the pad and germs a killed when the mop head dries. It also doesn’t leave any residue, which means your floors stay cleaner longer. In fact, the first few times you use it, your floors will probably feel sticky…that’s the old residue from other products being pulled from the floor. Once it’s all out, your floors will look incredible.

    You wash and dry them both in your washing machine! They mop heads are guaranteed for 2 years. The money you save in ‘products’ is significant!

    If you are interested, check out If you want to order, email me….or find a rep near you and order away! :) If you have any questions about the other products, I will try to answer them too. It is definately a great way to save time and money when it comes to cleaning and on top of it, it is environmentally friendly and safer for your kids!!

    PS – Congrats on the new place! And yes – it IS expensive, but so exciting!!

  9. The Frugal Girl did a review on the Libman Freedom Mop. It has a reusable, washable pad and you use your own cleaning solution. Kind of like swiffer with out the expense of refills. I am planning to get one to use on my laminate floors. Just another option to think about. Congrats on your new house!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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