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Basic Housewares

Essential Housewares Everyone Should Have


What housewares are considered essentials? If you are setting up a home for the first time, or replacing lost essentials, this checklist of houseware basics can help you accomplish your task. This list can also come in very handy when looking for wedding, anniversary and shower gift suggestions. Setting up a dorm room? Check out my Dorm Room Essentials list

Major Appliances
Helpful resources:
Before You Buy Appliances Tips

Countertop Appliances & Accessories
  • Toaster or toaster oven
  • Mixer, hand or stand model
  • Coffee maker
  • Kettle
Cooking Implements
  • 12” and 6” size skillets
  • Cookware set, or at least 1qt, 2 qt and 4 qt saucepans with covers
  • A 4 qt or larger size Dutch oven for roasts and large portions (can also be used for casseroles)
  • Stock pot for soups, stews, and sauces
  • Steamer pot or insert
  • Casserole dish
  • Roaster or roasting pan for poultry
Helpful Resources:
Before You Buy a Roaster or Roasting Pan
Top Picks of Stock Pots
Selecting a Lasagna Pan
Top Picks of Lasagna Pans

Kitchen Utensils & Tools
  • Canister set
  • Kitchen tool holder
  • Spice rack or holder
  • Colander - preferably small and large
  • 2 rubber or silicone spatulas
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • Manual can opener (or an electric model)
  • Wisk
  • Scissors
  • Cheese and vegetable grater
  • Plastic and/or metal serving and cooking utensils, such as large slotted and regular spoons, soup ladle, potato masher, large meat fork, and stirring paddles
  • Flipper, lifter or egg turner
  • Knife set including paring, chopping and slicing knives and one with a serrated edge for slicing bread.
  • Steak knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Vegetable cleaning brush and long bottlebrush
  • Scouring or pot cleaning pads or brushes
  • Potholders, hot pads and oven mitts
  • Assortment of dishcloths and tea towels
Helpful Resources:
Kitchen Gadgets & Accessories
Cooking Utensils List
Top Picks of Easy Openers
What Kind of Openers Should I Get?
Cutting Board Basics
Your First Set of Knives
Basic, Simple Knife Sharpening
How to Store Knives Safely

Tableware & Serving
  • Flatware setting for 4 persons or sufficient for members of the household, plus a few extras.
  • Everyday set of dishes for 4 persons or adjusted accordingly.
  • Fruit or dessert dishes
  • Glassware assortment, including 4 oz, 6 oz and 8oz glasses
  • Small bowls such as cereal bowls if not included in dish set
  • Additional coffee or tea mugs
  • Salt and pepper set
  • Cream and sugar bowl
  • Napkin holder
  • 2 or 3 serving bowls of various sizes - read about stainless steel bowls
  • Teapot
  • Serving platter
Helpful Resources:
How to Set the Table
Selecting Family Glassware

  • Large and medium size mixing bowls - see stainless steel bowls
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Pastry Blender
  • Cooking sheet, pie plate and cake pan
  • Rolling pin
Helpful Resources: Floor Care & Cleaning Items
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Floor mop, scrub pail, scrub brush and cleaning rags
Helpful Resources:
Before You Buy a Vacuum

Linens & Towels

Every household requires a minimum amount of towels, facecloths, table and bed linens, sufficient for each member of the family. You’ll find great ideas and resources at About Interior Decorating

Read More About Housewares & Appliances:

House Essentials
Store, CLean & Organize Your Home
Gadgets That Rock
Pink Ribbon Housewares and Appliances
Buying Tips for Appliances, Housewares
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