We know you’re excited to get settled into your new home, but if you’re moving into a home that has been lived in before, there are a few tasks you need to take care of. Our list of essential tasks to complete before moving in will help you avoid hassle and expense later.
Essential Task No. 1: Change the Locks
You wouldn’t believe how many people might have a key to the home you just bought, including the previous homeowners, their kids and neighbors, maintenance crews, and even realtors. Some absentminded homeowners may have left keys hidden around the home’s exterior, just in case one of their family members forgot their key.
As soon as you’ve purchased the house, hire a locksmith to change the locks on the exterior doors of your home. New locks can prevent theft and unexpected visits from curious neighbors, and you’ll have a little peace of mind knowing that the house is all yours.
Essential Task No. 2: Get Your Appliances Serviced
Moving into a new home is expensive enough without having all of your appliances break down within six months. Before you move in, have your home’s mechanical equipment cleaned, inspected, and serviced.
There are a couple of great benefits to this preemptive step. The first is that you avoid expensive breakdowns in the foreseeable future. It also gives you a great chance to update any old, outdated appliances or fixtures. And it gives you a chance to purchase a service contract so that you don’t have to pay more later.
Begin taking care of your home before you move in, and you’ll avoid breakdowns that are ten times as expensive to repair in the future.
Essential Task No. 3: Repaint
If you’re like most new homeowners, you have a few ideas about what needs to change in your new place. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can personalize and transform your new place-and it can help hide some of the weird stains and cracks that come with an older home.
Before you begin to paint, make sure that your walls are clean. A heavier, more thorough clean will come a bit later (see Essential Task No. 4), but for now, you want to ensure that you’re not painting over anything that will eat away at paint or cause mold.
You may need to prep your walls beyond just a quick scrub. If you don’t have friends close by to help with sanding, filling cracks, and laying drop sheets, have your wall painting done professionally. A professional paint team can do the job quickly, and the results will look great.
Essential Task No. 4: Clean, Clean, Clean
There’s nothing worse than living in someone else’s mess. Hopefully the previous homeowners left their home tidy and fresh, but older homes are filled with spaces that most people simply wouldn’t think about cleaning.
Remember the following areas when you clean:
- Cabinets and appliances
- Floors (including carpet)
- Interior walls
- Baseboards and doors
- Plumbing fixtures
- Closet interiors
A thorough cleaning can ensure that pests stay out of your new home, and a clean house means that your family will suffer from fewer allergies and seasonal sicknesses.
Whether you hire a cleaning company or do the dirty work yourself, be sure to get your major cleaning done before you move in furnitureotherwise, you’ll have to deal with a lot of future hassle.
Essential Task No. 5: Get Organized
Before you move in, plan your moving strategy. Packing by room can speed your unpacking process as you begin the process of unloading your stuff and organizing it in your new home. Your moving company can provide a lot of help in this area-they pack, ship, and unpack so you can focus on other important things.
Be sure to store important documents and valuables in a place where you can find them quickly and keep them safe. If you’re moving with kids, you might want to give them each a special box where they can store things that are most important to them during the move.
Essential Task No. 6: Get to Know the Neighbors
Your new neighborhood is about to become home, so it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the neighbors and make a few friends.
If you’re a bit shy, use other essential pre-moving tasks as an excuse to get to know people in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors which service companies they trust to work on their home’s appliances; ask for directions to the nearest store for cleaning supplies; and ask about mail, trash, and landscaping services in the area. Most neighbors are more than happy to lend a hand.
Getting to know people in your neighborhood can help your family adjust more quickly to the many changes that come with a move. New friendships can make a move less frightening for kids, teenagers, and adults alike.
As you prepare to move in, don’t hesitate to lean on the help of friends, family, neighbors, and your moving company. Moving in is a piece of cake when you have people you can depend on to help. Best of luck with your move!