The joy of purchasing my first home didn't hit me until after I finished moving and unpacking all the boxes. No longer was my living situation in limbo—I was relieved to finally have a place to call my own.
During the arduous purchasing process, I told everyone, "No gifts, I have enough stuff." However, soon after putting away my last teacup I realized that there a lot of things I needed as a homeowner that just aren't required when you've got a landlord and roommates.
So here's a guide to all the things I wish people had gotten me as housewarming gifts that I never thought to ask for.
Craftsman Hand Tools
It might sound like a cliche, but tools are a great gift for new homeowners. After all, they can't call the landlord when something goes wrong.
Screwdrivers are a great choice. I never realized just how many sizes and shapes of screws there were until I moved into a home filled with ones where the single Phillips and flathead I kept in the junk drawer just wouldn't work.
I especially like hand tools from Craftsman because they have a lifetime warranty. Just bring the broken or stripped ones back to any Sears store and you'll get a new one.
Without any roommates, all the shelves in my fridge are my own. That means I can buy and make food in bulk. My current strategy is to make two entree-like items and three side dishes so I can mix and match all week.
If I'm buying my food in bulk, I might as well get my Tupperware in bulk too. For $10.99, Rubbermaid TakeAlongs are great: 40 pieces that are safe for reheating in the microwave. I use half the set as storage and the rest as lunch boxes. As the name suggests, the TakeAlongs have lids that attach securely enough that they can be transported in a backpack without incident.
If you don't mind spending $5 more, you can upgrade to the sturdier—but heavier—42-piece Easy Find set, which is also a good bet.
Mr. Coffee BVMC-KG6-001
While food production in my household has been kicked up a notch, the volume of coffee I've been making has fallen. The full pot for three roommates has given way to coffee for one or two. Even if you're moving with a family, you might be leaving a neighborhood with coffee shops aplenty for a less caffeinated stretch of suburbia.
That's why I contacted our resident coffee expert, who directed me towards an article he wrote about the best single-pod brewers. The Mr. Coffee BWMC-KG6-001 is a good choice for a gift because it comes in two colors can be had for under $100.
Cordless Power Tools
This cordless power tool set is specifically designed for homeowners. It includes a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a flashlight, and a power drill—everything you need for quick repairs and projects. With two lightweight, quick-charging Lithium-ion batteries, you'll always have enough power to get the job done.
It's also expandable to over 70 other tools—which make great gift ideas for the future.
Thirsty Stone natural solid sandstone coasters
The perfect time to upgrade your "for now" furniture to your "forever" furniture is when you move. That means you have to protect your coffee table from guests who don't respect wood. Thirsty Stone makes a set of well-reviewed stone coasters that we think are a must if you want to avoid water spots and rings.
I like this set because they don't tend to get lost under newspapers and into seat cushions like cork coasters. Stone coasters, especially bright-sandstone ones, also encourage everyone in the room to use a coaster.
Hoover Air Cordless Lift
I already have a full-sized vacuum, so a cordless model seemed superfluous. However, as my square footage increased, so did the number of times I needed to replug my upright. I found myself busting out the broom and dust pan for small jobs—but they always left a little bit of dirt behind.
The testing process for our Best Vacuums for Under $400 article revealed that the Hoover Air Lift is one of the most powerful cordless vacuums on the market.
Not only is it good at getting at crumbs off the floor, but it can instantly transform into a hand-held vac to get pet hair off the couch. At $249 on sale, it's one of the best vacuums you can get for the money.
Whether they took out a mortgage or paid cash, there's a chance that the new homeowners you know are financially drained.
To help alleviate the stress of being house rich, but money poor, a get the new home owner a gift card. I'm partial to the grocery or hardware store gift cards: They add a personal touch that recognizes the need to fill the toolbox or the pantry.
Just thinking about those early days of home ownership is giving me a headache.