I wonder how much mental capacity you’ve spent trying to remember that spice you ran out of recently. Or if you have enough shampoo. Running out of medicines, printer ink, batteries, toilet paper. The list goes on. This is why keeping track of household essentials with a staples checklist is so important.

With the right tool, you can keep everything you need and want on hand at all timeswithout having to mentally keep track of anything!

Using a household items list has been one of the most mentally freeing tools in my experience caring for our home and easing the burden of life admin.

I’m excited to put over 100 suggestions all in one place so that you can create your own household essentials shopping list that meets your exact needs!

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What is a Household Essentials Checklist, and Why Should I Use One?

A staples checklist is simply a list of items you always want to have on-hand; it’s all the things you rely on having in your home. Others may refer to it as a household essentials list.

It is as unique as your home & family, and the more comprehensive & specific, the better! It can be broken down into multiple sections, including a pantry staples list, and a household supplies list.

The most obvious benefit is the reliability of never running out of your needed items!

Just as important, though, is the relief it provides from keeping track of all of it in your head and relying on memory.

  • With a simple household consumables list, you can streamline your meal planning and grocery lists to focus on the main ingredients.
  • Like the examples at the beginning of the post, you don’t have to wrack your brain for the miscellaneous items you’ve recently run out of!
  • While everyone can benefit from one of these, it’s also great way to gather essentials for a new house!
  • At regular intervals, you can restock based on your checklist – and then actually trust that everything you need is taken care of. Big breath 🙂

Create your own list of household essentials simply & quickly with this template. Simply download or make a copy to make any edits you need! You can also save the suggestions from this post to use for later!

What Should I Include in my Household Essentials Checklist?

Grocery Staples List Overview

I suggest you include items you always want on hand for every area of your home:

  • Ingredients in fridge and freezer
  • Pantry items and spices
  • Toiletries and medicine
  • Household items and cleaners
  • Home maintenance and office supplies

I also suggest you view your staples checklist as a work-in-progress.

  1. Start by using the template and reviewing the suggested items.
  2. Then, go through each area of your home and visually inventory what’s there. What items should you add to your staples list that are missing?
  3. Allow yourself 1-2 months to continue to add things to the list as they come up. This is why it’s so helpful to have an electronic version you can continually edit.
  4. Lastly, as your season of life changes or your family/home’s needs change, simply add or remove items as needed. Let it serve you exactly how you need in this moment.

Below I have compiled a range of suggestions for each category mentioned above. Many items are from my own personal list, and others are from these incredible sites:

Of course, every individual’s staples checklist will be as unique as they are. I have attempted to include as many ideas as possible without getting ridiculous. 😉

Ingredients in Fridge and Freezer

**Food staples like this and your list of pantry staples will definitely vary from person to person. Just keep your meal approach in mind when deciding how many items to include here.

Milk (of choice)Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce)Frozen vegetables (of choice)
ButterSauces or marinades (soy, teriyaki, worcestershire, BBQ)Frozen fruit
EggsSalad dressingsMeat, tofu
CheesesLemon or lime juiceFruit
Cream cheeseOlivesOnions
Sodas, canned drinksJams, jelliesGarlic
Cookie dough, ice creamGarnishesFresh herbs

Pantry Staples (ie. Dry Goods and Spices)

FlourBread, bagels (of choice)Basil
Yeast packetsDry beans or legumesCayenne pepper
Sugars (brown, white, etc.)Canned beans or peasCinnamon
HoneyCanned fruit or vegetablesNutmeg
Chocolate (baking, chips, cocoa powder)Canned chicken or tunaChili powder
Nuts or seedsCoconut milkCumin
Baking powder/sodaVinegarsCurry powder
Oils (olive, canola, etc.)Applesauce, fruit snacksGaram masala
Coffee or teaTomatoes (sauce, paste, crushed, diced)Garlic powder
Nut butter (of choice)Pasta sauceOnion powder
Maple syrupTaco shells or tortillasOregano
Breakfast cereals/grainsBread crumbsPaprika
Chips, pretzelsOatsParsley
CrackersPasta or noodlesPepper
PopcornQuinoa or riceRed pepper flakes
Protein or granola barsExtracts (vanilla, almond)Salt / seasoning salt
Rice cakesCanned soups, brothsThyme

Toiletries and Medicine

DeodorantFacial cleanser, moisturizerLip balm
Body washCotton pads, Q-tipsBaby wash
Shampoo/conditionerSunscreenBaby lotion
ToothpastePain relievers (ibuprofen, acetaminophen)Diaper rash cream
Floss, mouthwashAllergy medicineDiapers, wipes
Razors, shaving creamAnti-nausea medicineBandages
Lotion Cold medicine, decongestantsHydrogen peroxide
Feminine productsVitaminsRubbing alcohol
Make-upCough drops, chest rubHeartburn tablets or medication
Contact solution, eye dropsAntibiotics ointment (Neosporin), anti-itch cream First aid kit

Household Items and Cleaners

Hand soapDishwashing detergentTub & shower cleaner
Hand sanitizerDish soapGlass cleaner
Ziplock bags, freezer bagsSpongesCleaning vinegar
Paper towelsDisinfectant wipesFurniture polishes
NapkinsLaundry detergentSpot carpet cleaner
Trash bagsDryer sheetsToilet bowl cleaner
Toilet paperBleach (chlorine, oxygen)Oven cleaner
TissuesFabric softenerStainless steel cleaner
Aluminum foilLint rollerEssential oils
Cling wrapStain remover
Wax paper, parchment paperAll-purpose cleaner

If you’re looking for homemade cleaner recipes that actually work, I use these amazing recipes developed by a professional cleaner. Using on-hand items like cleaning vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, etc. they are so easy to make and to always have ready to go! Additionally, you can check out some of my favorite cleaning products on Amazon here!

Home Maintenance and Office Supplies

BatteriesPens, pencilsDrain cleaner
LightbulbsHighlightersHVAC filters
Matches, lightersPermanent markersPest sprays
TapeCorrection fluid or tape (Wite-Out)Lawn care treatments
StaplesSticky notes, notepadsGasoline
Printer ink, paperClips (paper, binder)Duct tape
Filing suppliesEnvelopes, stampsSuper glue
GlueGift wrap

My FREE custom cleaning schedule generator, Home, Clean Home, includes not just cleaning but also all home maintenance tasks throughout the year! Download it below!


Create your own staples checklist simply & quickly with this template. You can save the suggestions from this post for later!

How do I use my Household Essentials Checklist?

Make it reusable.

Keep your staples list in an electronic format like the one I’ve provided. This way you can reuse it each time and also update it as needed.

  • I keep mine in a simple Google Doc to print off with the rest of my meal plan.
  • You could also store it in a favorite to-do app like Asana, Trello, or ToDoist — or even as a checklist in Notes!
  • If you love paper, just keep an original template and make copies 🙂

Inventory & stock up for a set time period.

Choose a regular interval of time that you want to stock up on your staple items.

This is how often you will review your staples checklist and identify what you need to buy. You can use your meal plan as a guide for how often to do this!

Personally, even though I shop once a week, I have a list of monthly household essentials to ensure I have what I need for those 4-5 weeks.

You can certainly do this more or less often, depending on what works for your family’s schedule, storage space, and frequency of needs.

Just remember to consider how much of each staple you will need until you do your next restock.

Use your list to capture other items.

Besides food and toiletries, what else will you need to buy for your home needs on a monthly basis?

From time to time, I still have items that run out that are somewhat “miscellaneous” and are not included in my list of household items.

I’m sure you have a place where you jot these down. Whether it’s a notepad, your phone, or even an Alexa list. Continue whatever system works for you for those urgent or miscellaneous items.

However, if it’s an item that isn’t urgent, you could keep a fresh copy of your checklist at all times and use this to capture all your upcoming needs in one place.

What’s next?

If you’re ready to build your own list of household essentials, download the printer-friendly, editable template and the master list of suggestions to get you started.

And if a reusable staples checklist sounds like it could save you a lot of mental energy & effort, I have a full guide on creating an entire meal plan that is reusable as well!

Finally, to fully put your homemaking on autopilot, check out my complete custom cleaning schedule program, Home, Clean Home, which you can download for free below!


By: Brennan Brown

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