In many ways, moving to a new home feels like the start of a new phase of life. A different neighborhood, new neighbors and most importantly, a new home. But before you up and leave for your ‘new life’, you need to make sure that the new house is as ready for you as you are for it. Homeowners often overlook things like painting, locks and windows in a hurry to get settled in the new place. This makes any improvements difficult and time-consuming to carry out when you are already living there.
As you get ready to move, prepare a to-do list of the most important things to take care of and start ticking them off one by one. A word of advice – give yourself a couple of months or so to get through the list. Do not wait until two weeks to moving to start figuring out what needs to be done. That said, here are the most important things to include in your list, whether it be small tasks or large projects like a full basement remodel.
- Get new locks
This should be the first thing you do as soon as the handover process is complete. At that point, there are several people who most likely have keys to the house including previous owners, the realtor and maybe even the previous owners’ neighbors. Get a professional locksmith to install new locks on all exterior doors.
- A fresh coat of paint
Painting the walls and ceiling is a good way to experience a new beginning in a new place. A fresh coat of paint can also help cover up old stains, small defects and other signs of aging. Since this is a time consuming task, it is a good idea to hire a contractor to handle it. Also check the exterior of the house and decide whether it could do with fresh paint too.
- Check on essential utilities
When the previous owners move out, you’ll need to get to get all utilities reconnected in your name. Make sure all this is done in time instead of hurrying to contact utility companies on the day you move in. Start with the most essential utilities; electricity, gas, water and sewer. Important technology utilities to remember include cable, internet and phone. Don’t forget to connect other services including garbage collection and recycling.
By making sure all these things are taken care off before you move in, you will have a smooth worry-free beginning in your new home.
- Get a professional house cleaning
Even if the house was cleaned after the previous owners moved out, it most likely sat empty for a while gathering dust. Consider giving the house another thorough clean before you move in. If you have time on your hands, you could do the cleaning yourself with the help of a friends and family. You can also hire a professional cleaning crew for a completely thorough job.
- Get enough storage
Next to love, storage is perhaps the next most important thing in a home. Go around the new home, checking whether there is enough storage. This includes kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, closets, shelves and so on. Where will you put your dirty laundry? Is there a pantry in the kitchen?
If you need new cabinets, get a contractor to do the installation before you move. You might also have to buy additional organizers and storage essentials. Having adequate storage will make things so much easier when you finally settle in and begin to unpack your stuff.
- Take care of the windows
Figure out what to do with the windows. Depending on your budget, preferences and privacy needs you can opt for curtains, shades, drapes or blinds. If you are feeling the pressure of choosing the right window treatment, consider buying cheap temporary curtains or shades and then replace them later on when you know exactly what you want.
- Clear up the lawn
It is not just the inside that needs preparation; the lawn probably needs some work too unless, of course, you are moving to an apartment. Hire someone to pull out the weeds, clear the debris and mow the grass.
- Larger and more invasive project
Although you may want to stick with smaller, easier projects, it is important to plan for larger projects if you have the time and money. Many projects are much more difficult to do once you are living in the space, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Take a look at this other great article: How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Really Take? A Realistic Schedule.
Don’t Forget to Change Your Address
Finally, do not forget to notify friends, family and various services that you have moved. Start by notifying the post office so that your new mail is taken to the right place. Then, change your address details in other important areas such as shopping websites and government services.