Must-haves for your first kitchen

It’s always exciting to get out there and be on your own. Maybe it’s your first home, or your first apartment? Whatever it is, you’re at the point where you are getting ready to put together your first kitchen. How exciting is that?

Knowing what you need for your first kitchen, however, can be a bit of a challenge. What sorts of things should you get or ask for? Here’s a quick look at some of the important items you may want to consider outside of traditional appliances like fridges, freezers, ovens, and dishwashers.

1. Microwave and toaster

Sometimes, you aren’t going to feel like putting together an entire meal. So, the microwave and toaster are going to end up being used from time to time. Get a microwave that’s large enough for what you need (they come in all sorts of sizes) and get it in a color that you like (white is the hardest to keep clean).

Toasters come in all styles and designs nowadays and, because of that, you’re going to want to be specific when shopping for one. Do you want 2 or 4 spots? Do you want it to be able to take care of other functions? Maybe you want a toaster oven, instead?

2. Place settings for four

Even if you’re the only one living in your space, you’re going to want to get place settings for up to four people. This allows you to have enough options if you do have guests, and it also ensures that you’re going to be able to fill up the dishwasher more easily. Plus, who only has 1 fork? You want a few handy.

3. Kitchen towels

You are always going to need towels on hand. While paper towels can do some of the work, you are going to want to have some other reusable towel options on hand in order to keep things in top condition. On top of that, they make great décor, as well. 

Flour sack towels are some of the best options – they’re absorbent, they’re easy to wash, and they come in all sizes and styles. Get started with our pick for the best flour sack towels, now with more color options on Mary’s Kitchen Towels.

4. Storage containers

You’re going to have leftovers fairly consistently. Also, you need to be sure that you can store things like cereal, baking essentials, and other grains so that ants and other critters don’t get inside of them. 

A good set of storage containers is going to be able to seal tightly, with absolutely no air getting inside. Plus, you want them to come in multiple sizes, so that you can fit pretty much anything you will need to store. Shop around at warehouse stores and you’re sure to find a great option with plenty of sizes.

5. Pantry essentials and condiments

Obviously, you need some food in your kitchen. Getting your kitchen ready to go involves buying pantry essentials, spices, and condiments as part of the process. You need to be sure that you have everything you need when you start cooking in the kitchen.

Put together a shopping list of essential spices and condiments that you expect to use on a regular basis Don’t buy things that you never use, because they’ll eventually go bad and you’ll need to replace them if you ever actually need them. But, keep things like salt, pepper, ketchup, A1, and mustard on hand if you’re going to use them.

6. Cleaning supplies

Keeping your kitchen clean is a big part of ensuring that it’s ready to go, no matter what day it may be. Because of that, it’s essential to have the right cleaning supplies on hand.

There are tons of options for cleaning supplies nowadays, and it’s likely that you’re going to try several of them before you decide what you like and what you’d rather pass on. Whether you go a more natural or organic route or you go with the tried and true that have been around for years, you’re sure to get into a cleaning routine that makes sense for your circumstances.

Put together a list and be sure that you can find exactly what it is that you may be looking for. More often than not, there are a lot of different ways to get what you need and you can rest assured that you have everything ready to go. Learn about what you can find and then start shopping! Your kitchen will be ready to go in no time.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.