10 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE MOVING INTO A NEW HOUSE
Moving into a new house is exciting, but the list of “to dos” can be overwhelming. You not only have to pack and prep the new house, but you have to tie up all the loose ends at the old place. Here are 10 tasks that are easily overlooked when moving into a new home – if you take care of these, you’ll have a leg up on moving day.
1. CHANGE THE EXTERIOR LOCKS: You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith.
2. STEAM CLEAN CARPETS AND FLOORS: Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself.
3. PAINT: It’s so much easier to paint an empty home than a full one. If you need to touch up paint, or want to change the wall color, do it before the moving trailer arrives with your furniture.
3. HAVE YOUR WINDOWS CLEANED INSIDE AND OUT: Your home will never be this empty again and it is the best time to start with a “clean slate”. Don’t forget the mirrors, baseboards, fans and windowsills while you are at it.
4. THOROUGHLY CLEAN ALL CABINETRY INSIDE AND OUT: Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace shelf and lining paper if necessary. Run a phantom load in the dishwasher and washing machine, clean out the oven if it needs it, and don’t forget the refrigerator and freezer. If possible, hire a cleaning service to help you get it all done. If you aren’t able to do the cleaning prior to unloading the moving van, hiring a cleaning service will be even more helpful.
5. INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE CIRCUIT BREAKER BOX AND MAIN WATER VALVE.
If the circuit box(s) are not already labeled, it’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”
You will also want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.
6. CHANGE ALL THE BATTERIES and CO2 IN YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS: No one will know when this was last done and it will be a good reminder that they need to be changed each your on the anniversary of purchasing your home.
7. GET A FRESH FIRE EXTINGUISHER FOR UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK and develop a family exit strategy in case of a fire. Rehearse this so that everyone is comfortable where all the new exits to the home are.
8. PROGRAM THE LOCAL POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS INTO YOUR PHONE.
9. INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO THE LOCAL MARKET: It’s a good idea to check out the local market and get a few staples. Between you, your family, the movers and any friends who are helping you, someone’s bound to get thirsty or hungry during the move. Why not be ready with a refrigerator full of cold beverages, sandwich supplies and other snacks? And don’t forget to grab some disposable plates, cups, and napkins, paper towels, trash bags and toilet paper while you’re at it.
10. DO SOME “YELPING” AROUND:Figure out what restaurants deliver because you are going to feel filthy and exhausted when moving day comes around.