Buying a home is expensive, and, unfortunately, so is owning one. Not only are there property taxes and HOA fees, there are also the day-to-day costs like cleaning, organizing, and maintaining. And when you’re a first-time homebuyer, there are the added costs, too, of figuring out exactly what you need for your home. Many homeowners will shell out for things that are completely unnecessary and then also have to pay a premium on things they do end up needing quickly.
So, in service of saving you a handful of dollars and trips to the return counter, we’ll let you in on a secret. Remember the joy you experienced going to the candy store growing up, when a couple bucks meant the opportunity to load up on every sweet treat your little heart desired? Well, homeowners can recapture that childlike glee with a trip to their friendly neighborhood dollar store.
But where to start among their packed aisles? I talked to a few maintenance professionals about what must-haves you can find at the dollar store.
Here, five of their favorites they think every homeowner should have.
1. Storage Solutions
The proper storage equipment is key to keeping a tidy and organized home. From basic boxes and containers to more decorative options like these cute pom pom collapsible storage bins, dollar stores have everything you need to keep your stuff in check.
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“Don’t overlook the baskets when they’re in season, either,” says Cristina Miguelez, content manager of the home improvement website Fixr.com. “They can not only offer storage but double as attractive decor, as well.”
2. A Flashlight
A flashlight is another one of those practical items you’ll be glad you thought of when a power outage strikes or you’re looking for a long-forgotten item in the attic. Chip Wade, HGTV host and Liberty Mutual consultant, says that a flashlight is a must-have item in an emergency kit. He recommends grabbing some extra batteries to power it as well.
3. A Plunger
While there are plenty of perks to homeownership, there are many not-so-glamorous aspects as well. When something goes wrong, there’s no landlord to remedy the situation: It’s up to you.
Although some major problems definitely call for hiring a professional, there are a number of day-to-day headaches that will pop up that are more of a DIY situation. Case in point? The dreaded clogged toilet. When the inevitable happens, you’ll be glad you have a plunger (that you got on the cheap from a dollar store, of course) on-hand. Miguelez points out that you can use one for clogs in sinks and shower drains, too (just don’t use the same one for everything!).
4. A Shower Curtain Liner
Shower curtain liners need to be replaced regularly, so keep a pack on hand to switch out for a fresh one when the old liner has seen better days. Mildew be gone!
“Shower liners also work to protect the shower curtain — a key design element in the bathroom — from any water damage, so it’s never a bad idea to keep a spare or two in the closet,” Wade says.
5. Holiday and seasonal decor
Although it involves a ton of responsibility, homeownership is not all work and no play. One of the best parts of owning your own home is the complete freedom to make it your own. Dollar stores are a great place to snag affordable seasonal decor to transform your abode into a festive space that’s reflective of your personal style. How pretty is this autumnal floral mum bush?
“Along with keeping an eye out for seasonal decor, peruse the dollar store shelves for some year-round statement pieces like a flower vase or placemats that accent a room,” suggests Wade.
Still stuck with a landlord? Take inspo from this rental laundry room a blogger made over using only dollar store items.
This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Things Maintenance Experts Say Every Homeowner Needs from The Dollar Store
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