Starting a new marriage is a magical journey. Two people joining together is one of the best things to find in the world.

After the engagement and a wonderful wedding, real life sets in. The new couple must set up house. Setting up a new home can be extremely overwhelming, especially if the new couple is young and might not have the typical items in a home. Even if a couple is a bit older and used to living on their own, the struggle can be uniting in one home.

I remember sitting in the middle of my wedding presents wondering which ones to keep. Did I really need to have that dish set and pots and pans? How many toasters does one couple need? I am happy to say that I chose well by keeping what I really needed in most cases. In others, I am shaking my head for keeping something that I would never use.

So for those newlywed couples who are not sure what they need, here are some simple guidelines to setting up your new house.

What You Need

  • Silverware. Unless you are content to eating finger foods for the rest of your life, you will need silverware. I’m not talking about fancy silver that must be polished, but good, sturdy everyday silverware is an absolute must. Silverware is tricky: you can spend a lot of money or a little, but quality does matter. But you can get decent silverware for a reasonable price.
  • Vacuum. A clean house is a must. And a good vacuum is the key to the clean house, but the cost often puts in on the back burner. Vacuuming is very important for many reasons. For starters, it extends the life of your carpet, making it last longer before you have to replace it. Regular vacuuming also gets rid of dirt, dust and dander which can wreck havoc on your allergies. Again, quality does matter in a vacuum. But you don’t have to splurge for a Dyson (the Jaguar of vacuums) with your newlywed budget. Online reviews are key (or look at Consumer Reports) for a good vacuum in your budget. The cheaper you go, the less effective it is and the quicker you will have to replace it.
  • Pots and pans. The need for pots and pans is the same as silverware- if you plan to do anything in the kitchen, you must have pots and pans. Unless you are an executive chef with specific pots and pans needs, you can squeak by with a relatively cheap set. Non-stick is ideal, and thankfully, you don’t need a gaggle of pots to survive. The basics (big pot, sautee pan, frying pan) are all you need to cook the basics.

What You Don’t Need

  • Popcorn popper. Unless you are a popcorn aficionado, a popcorn popper is a space hog in a new couple’s home.
  • Rice cooker. A good pot is all you need to cook rice. Why take up extra appliance space with that?
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