You’ve made it through house hunting, closing and getting the keys to your new home. Now, it’s time to get started with the next steps.
Unlike renting, homeownership comes with a lot of extra maintenance tasks that may not be taken care of by the previous owners. Something like understanding homeowners insurance vs home warranty is a lot more important when you finally own a home. Here are five things you need to do when you move into your first home: 1. Change locks.
1. Get Organized
It may feel like chaos in the beginning, but getting organized is one of the best things you can do to make your new home truly feel like your own. Start by putting together a list of items you’ll need and creating a strategy for unpacking.
For example, if you have an empty closet or drawer in your bedroom, fill it with items that belong there (linens, kitchen containers) and buy bins to keep the space organized.
Another thing you can do is label rooms and figure out their function, which might mean determining bedrooms for family members, assigning spaces as a living room or home office and deciding if multipurpose areas will be used as such. Knowing what will go where before you move in will save you time and frustration.
Whether you’re moving into your first apartment or house, unpacking is a big job. It’s best to plan your packing strategy ahead of time to save you a lot of headaches.
Start by packing up items in the rooms you’ll use most often, such as the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. Then, unpack the boxes in that order so you have what you need when you need it.
Be sure to have plenty of clothing hangers on hand, and pack your bedding by putting the sheets, duvet cover and pillowcases inside one pillowcase. This will keep them organized and avoid losing pieces. It’s also important to have a plan for dealing with trash and recycling during the unpacking process. This will help you avoid leaving a sea of boxes behind.
3. Take a Deep Clean
Whether you’re renting or buying, taking a deep clean of your new home should be high on the to-do list. After all, who knows what germs or messes have been left behind by the previous occupants.
While you’re working through your checklist, remember to dust all of the hard-to reach areas and wipe down the backs of cupboards and cabinets. Also, change the batteries in the smoke detectors and vacuum out the dryer vent, if necessary.
A professional deep clean before you move in can save you time, money and stress
down the line. If you can’t get to it yourself, consider hiring one of the top cleaning companies like Rain City Maids. Their teams will tackle all of the cleaning tasks on your to-do list, so you can relax and settle into your new home.
4. Unpack the Essentials
As a new homeowner, you’re responsible for a lot of tasks that can quickly become overwhelming. It’s important to prioritize what needs to be done right away and enlist family members, neighbors and friends for help when necessary.
Start by unpacking the essentials you’ll need as soon as possible. This includes toiletries, bedding and clothing. It’s also a good idea to purchase a lockbox or small safe for your valuables and important documents so they’re in one place and protected in case of a disaster.
Most experts recommend starting in the kitchen and then moving on to bedrooms and bathrooms. This way, you can have a functional space and save the less-used rooms for later on in your move-in process. You can even schedule the unpacking process based on your other obligations and life events.
5. Get to Know Your New Home
It’s a good idea to walk through your new home while it’s empty. It gives you a chance to plan where furniture will go and helps you gauge how much space you’ll have. It also lets you check out if any repairs are needed. If there are, it’s best to get them taken care of before move-in day. This includes leaky pipes, structural issues and a roof that needs replacing.
You’ll also want to set up utilities. Make sure you have your internet service ready to go and update your address on any important documents like loyalty programs, banks and credit cards, insurance, checkbooks and car registrations. The sooner you do this, the less likely it is that your documents will end up in a moving van and be lost during transit.