The Lake Home Essentials Checklist

Person checking off lake home essentials boxes

Preparing to stay for a while at your lake home can be hectic, and the last thing you want is to forget the toilet paper or toothpaste. While it’s easy to let the little things slip your mind, going without some lake home essentials can make for a miserable experience.

Having a good, solid list of the things you’ll need makes the process run so much smoother, and the headaches a lot less frequent. So here’s a checklist of the most important lake home essentials to help you stay organized.


Kitchen and living room overlooking a Michigan lake
Photo courtesy of Lily Pad Cottage.

There’s no better pair than the lake and good food.  Wouldn’t it be the worst if you went to make a delicious meal, only to find you don’t have anything to make it with?

You can make your own grocery list, but here are the things you’ll need in the kitchen besides food:

  • A can opener/bottle opener
  • Silverware, cooking knives, cutting board, wooden spoon, spatula and tongs
  • Oven mitts
  • Coffee, filters (if needed) and coffee pot
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Sponge and scrub brush
  • Dishes: bowls, plates, cups and mugs
  • Dish soap and detergent
  • A trash can and kitchen bags

Baking Items

Recipe book and ingredients laid out on marble counter top

If you plan to do any sort of baking, bring these items along to save you a trip to the grocery store. You never know when your lake home will host the next Fourth of July or family birthday party. And, you can cook just about anything if you are well-stocked with these:

  • Recipe book
  • Glass cooking dishes and cookie sheets
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Mixer
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Shortening
  • Vegetable oil, olive oil
  • Chocolate bits


Wide bathtub with view of mountains and lake

An important lake home essential tip is to keep a clean and orderly bathroom. And you’ll want some emergency supplies as well. More guests at your lake home means more frequently used showers and toilets.

Here is a list of the things you will need:

  • Plunger and bowl brush
  • Soap, shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, comb and brush
  • Bath mat
  • Towels, washcloths and hand towels
  • Small trashcan
  • Shower curtain, liner, and rings (if applicable)
  • Toilet paper and wipes

Living/Family Room

Cozy fireplace living room
Photo courtesy of New England Living.

Some days you just want to stay inside, and some days rain prevents you from enjoying the outdoors at your lake home.

Your personal taste will determine the specifics, but here are a few living room essentials for those lazy lake days:

  • Coasters
  • Board games
  • Table lamps
  • TV, DVD/Blu-ray player, DVDs, and Blu-rays
  • Gaming console and games
  • Furniture and any décor
  • Throw pillows and blankets


Nautical themed bedroom with view of lake
Photo courtesy of Tom Stringer Design Partners.

After a long day on the water, nothing sounds better than a good night’s rest.

Since we spend anywhere between a quarter and a third of our lives in the bedroom, it’s essential that you make it as comfortable as possible. Here are things you’ll need:

  • Bed
  • Comforter, bed sheets, pillows, and pillowcases
  • Clothes hamper
  • Hangers for the bedroom closet
  • Side table(s) and lamp(s)
  • Dresser or wardrobe
  • Full length mirror

Laundry Room

Marble and white laundry room
Photo courtesy of Sanctuary Home Decor.

If you plan on having a good time at the lake, prepare for your clothes to be covered in the outdoors. Be sure to bring these along:

  • Laundry detergent, bleach and dryer sheets
  • Laundry baskets
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Small trash can

Cleaning Closet

Organized cleaning closet lake home essential
Photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens.

To keep your lake home spiffy clean, you’ll want to store these supplies in a closet or cabinet somewhere:

  • Rubber gloves
  • All-purpose cleaner for glass, tile and wood
  • Stove cleaner
  • Sponges and brillo pads
  • Mop and bucket, broom and dustpan

General Items for Around the House and Garage

Organized garage shelving
Photo courtesy of Garage Living.

Other important items to keep around include:

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Extra batteries (different sizes)
  • Duct tape, scotch tape, and electrical tape
  • Wood glue
  • First aid kit
  • Toolset which includes: hammer, Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, mix of nails, screws, hooks, and wrenches
  • Saw and sawhorses
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hose
  • Rakes and outdoor leaf bags
  • Shovel
  • Large trash barrel
  • Sweatshirt, light jacket/rain jacket for cool and wet days
  • Bug spray and sunblock

For more advice and tips for your lake house, visit here

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