Moving to a new home is never easy. You will have to face struggles and stress. If you are not settled in properly, a few more hurdles can pop up. This is why you must be careful while moving in.
A few things need to be tackled immediately after you move in. Make sure you do it systematically, without missing out on the important stuff. Here are the top eight things to do after moving into your new home.
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1. Walkthroughs Are Important
A walkthrough is the crucial first step of moving into your new house. Why are walkthroughs so important? They help you visualize how you want your home to be and inspect if everything is in the proper condition, as promised in the contract.
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The house must have been staged when you visited your house before buying it. This is your first real opportunity to see your new house as-is.
Take a deeper look at it; now, it is a blank canvas that you can organize and decorate as you please. You can picture how you want to arrange your furniture and other belongings more accurately.
You need to determine whether the seller has kept their end of the bargain, and did all the necessary repairs and improvements according to the contract.
Inspect if the house is dirt, debris, pest, and mould-free, as promised. Examine the condition of all the doors and windows and see if they are functioning well.
Check things like switches, outlets and fixtures are functioning properly. You must ensure that everything that was supposed to be included with the house like a fixed stove, fridge, or any other such appliances is there.
Check if any warranties and maintenance guides that were supposed to be available to you, are there as promised.
2. Safety Always Comes First
Is it safe to settle into your new house? As you are moving into it with your family and belongings, you must first ensure it is indeed safe. Remember that you must take the following safety steps on your very first day before you turn in for the night.
- Once your inspection is done(during your walkthrough), and you are certain that every door and window is functional, you must change all your locks. Do not stay in a house where other people may have the keys to the doors! Even if it is a hassle, you must get it done!
- The next step is checking the utility lines. See if your gas, water, and electricity are working properly. Check wires or pipes, and check for leakage or damage. Make sure the smoke detectors are working.
- Consider installing your security system on day one. If the neighborhood is unsafe or prone to break-ins, the crooks will attack the day you are most vulnerable. This can be the first day, when you are least prepared!
- Learn about the local services, as you never know who you will need to hire (think locksmith!). Don’t just wonder about “new business listings near me”, learn about them as soon as you move in so that you can find whatever you need, whenever you need them.
3. Child and Pet Proofing
Unpacking and settling into a new house can be dangerous if you have small kids or pets. This is why one of the first steps you have to take is to create a child/pet-proof zone for them, where they can stay safe until the whole house has been set up.
If you cannot keep them in one place, you must ensure that the entire house is child or pet-proof. Consider gating off areas that have not been secured. Cover up the outlets or baby-proof them, as you will need to with growing toddlers or curious children roaming about.
Don’t keep the boxes stacked. Spread them out to avoid accidents. Keep breakables or any sharp items in high places where they are completely out of reach until you put them away in their designated areas.
The same goes for alcohol, cleaning items, and other toxic materials. You can also keep them in cabinets but make sure that the doors stay locked. Keep small appliances or grooming gadgets out of reach. Add knob protectors on stoves and ovens. Keep the bathrooms locked.
4. Create an Operation Base
Unpacking is tough, and you will need a place where you can plan and rest. Consider setting up a base first. Choose a room where you can create some space where you can sit comfortably. Whether you fully unpack a bedroom or simply decide to camp on the floor is up to you.
While unpacking can take the entire day and more, you can always come back to the base and get a breather. If you order takeout, you will have somewhere to eat. Setting up a base gives you a safe place to be when you must regroup your thoughts before going “back to war.”
5. Setting Up Utilities
Utilities like electricity, water, gas, and heating must be arranged before you move into the house. So, you must check if these and other utility supplies are working properly.
Before setting up your utilities, you must figure out where your fuse box and the water valve are. This is crucial as you need to know where they are before an emergency arrives. So, if there is water leakage or the power is out, you can get to the source of the problem faster.
You might have already checked whether your electricity and plumbing are functioning well during the walkthrough. Still consider double checking, just in case you need to call the plumber or the electrician. Check the stoves too but ensure that the windows are open, just in case.
Make sure the heating is working, even if it is in the middle of the summer. You don’t want to wake up one freezing autumn night only to find your heating doesn’t work.
You also must ensure that the local waste management facility has registered your new house for garbage pickup. You do not want the trash to pile up, and it definitely will while you unpack.
The next stop is connectivity. If your phone and internet have already been set up, you need to see if they are functioning properly. Some people get their internet set up on moving day, so ensure you are there to oversee and learn everything you need to know.
6. Deep Clean Your House
Deep cleaning your house feels nearly impossible once your home is all set up. This is why there is no better time to give your new house a deep clean than on your very first day.
Even if the past owner of the house had given your house a thorough clean, you must clean it again. You don’t want to live in a house that still has “traces” of others who lived there before you. The following steps can help you clean your new house thoroughly.
- Start cleaning from the top. Clean up cobwebs, if any, and dust off the higher surfaces.
- Fans, fixtures, and high shelves tend to gather dust and grime since they are difficult to reach and often get neglected. Clean them first, working your way down as you go.
- If the house came with carpeting, remove them, especially if you are prone to allergies. If they are fairly clean and in good condition, consider getting them professionally cleaned or use steam cleaners and cleaning agents.
- Clean the windows and doors, and make sure you disinfect every surface. If you have a hardwood floor, vacuum and disinfect them. Take care of them from day one, and they will stay nice and shiny for years.
- Disinfecting is crucial, especially for kitchens and bathrooms. You also need to check these two areas thoroughly for signs of molding. You can tackle molding with easy D.I.Y solutions.
- Remember that even if taking care of these was part of the seller’s contract, minor issues will need to be handled by you.
7. Plan First, then Unpack
Remember the “operation base” you set up? Sit there for a bit and plan how you want to unpack. If your movers have helped you move the objects into your house, you hopefully have been prudent enough to make them shift the heavy furnishing to the designated rooms.
It is better to unpack according to necessities. Once your house is clean and ready for use, start with at least one bathroom as you will need it. Consider setting up at least one bedroom first. If you have children, their bedroom should get set up first.
Prioritize what you will need first, like suppose the kitchen. If you have brought perishable food, ensure that they have been stored in the fridge right at the beginning. But, make sure the fridge is cleaned before doing so.
Keep things like decorating for later, and focus on function first. You can get to the decorating on the following days. Remember that you have just moved in, so truly having your house set up properly will take time.
8. Check Out the Neighbourhood
Once you are fairly moved in, consider checking out the neighborhood. This area will be your new home, so you should consider walking a few blocks to see what’s out there.
If you run into neighbors, consider saying ‘hi’. Do remember to introduce yourself and always smile. Give them a positive vibe, so they feel comfortable and become willing to involve you in the community.
Keep an eye out for grocery stores, hardware stores, drugstores, cafes, and restaurants. See what other amenities are available if you didn’t get to see them before you moved in.
We hope you found these top things to do after moving into your new homes useful. If you take a step-by-step approach to move in, you will be unpacked and settled in quickly!
Remember that moving in is all about priorities. Since you are shifting somewhere new with your family, being prudent and prioritizing safety is crucial. Put need and function before organization and decoration. We hope you have a happy moving day!