You’ve finally got all of your belongings into your new home, but don’t lose steam now! You’re in the final stretch of your new home checklist and there’s just a couple more essentials to get through. It’s a good idea to set a daily (or weekly) goal for yourself when it comes to these final steps. Be realistic, stick to your schedule, and you’ll be settled in before you know it.
1. Recruit family and friends to unpack
The more hands on deck the better. Those first few days of unpacking can be made a whole lot easier if you recruit (or rather, entice with food and drink) a couple of close friends for the first big haul. To make the process run smoother, set deadlines and figure out the most logical order of unpacking. Before you know it, your new home will actually start looking like, well, a home.
2. Change your locks
Who knows what the previous owners did with their keys? Whether you hire a locksmith or reinstall the locks on your own, it’s a simple task and it will give you peace of mind. You’re always better off safe than sorry.
3. Locate shut-off valves
In the event that there is an emergency leak or you’re doing repairs and you need to shut off your water, it’s necessary to locate your shut-off valves. Many houses and apartment buildings have a number of cut-off points to stop the water at its source. From your own shut-off valve, to your water company’s shut off valve, to the water meter, there many locations to get familiar with both inside and potentially outside your home.
4. Locate the circuit-breaker
Although uncommon, every once in a while you may need to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker. If there’s a power outage, you don’t want to be searching through the dark to find it. Common locations for circuit breakers are outdoors, in basements, in storage closets, or in hallways. Also be sure you know the difference between a circuit-breaker and a fuse box, in the event you need to restore power.
5. Set up your home security system
Moving is one of the best times to set up home security. If you already have a system in place or are tied to a contract, be sure to call your provider or update your information online. Smart or DIY home security systems are a great option for renters and homeowners who want more flexibility, so take some time to shop around if you’re selecting your first home security system.
6. Decide on a lock-out solution
You will get locked out of your house every once in a blue moon, it happens! What’s important is that you have a backup plan for when the time comes. Some common ideas are to hide a key under your doormat or to install a garage code (that is if you have a garage), but you can be as creative as you’d like. Maybe you have a buddy down the street who holds on to an extra set, or you’ve slid it under a planter. Whatever the case, be prepared!
7. Test your smoke detectors
Installing a smoke detector is an easy and inexpensive way to protect you and your loved ones in the event of a fire. However, smoke detectors can fail you when you need them most if you don’t address their malfunctions. This is why testing your new home’s smoke detectors is so important. Light a match or spray a smoke test aerosol in front of its sensor every month to ensure it’s
8. Check out your HVAC system
Your HVAC system, (A/C and furnace) is a necessity, and an expensive one at that. For the sake of heat, cooling, and big bucks, it’s important that yourself, a property manager, or a technician checks out your HVAC system in the weeks following your move. Inspect your heating and cooling units, insulation, and ducts, for warning signs that something’s off. If it looks like repairs or
replacements are needed, get on top of them as soon as you can. Although it’s a pain, it’s a worthwhile investment!
9. Create a home maintenance checklist
It’s a good idea to perform seasonal maintenance checks to ensure your new home is in good shape. Some of these maintenance checks you may not have had to do at your previous home. Things like cleaning the gutters, landscaping, unclogging bathroom drains, or checking up on snow plow services may be relevant to you now, so you should gather the contact info from local services for when the time comes.
10. Find a spot for a safe
Remember those important documents we mentioned before? They’ll need a new home too. If you don’t already have a trusty safe or filing cabinet, it’s a good idea to invest in one. Even more so, it’s important to find a spot for them. Some common areas for safes are in closets, attics, basements, but there’s room for creativity here also. Hardcover books, freezers, brick walls – whatever sneaky spot will keep your private information on lock. Even if you live in an apartment and don’t have room for a massive safe, it doesn’t mean
your valuables should be left unsecured. Use your imagination and protect your possessions.
11. Start a take-out menu file or drawer
We guarantee that you will be ordering a lot of take-out within the first few weeks of your move-in. Any free time you have will solely consist of unpacking and redecorating, not cooking. Treat yourself and get a taste of local eats take-out style. Save menus and bookmark your favorites in a take-out file for you to reference later on. Or just throw all the menus in a drawer. That works too.
12. Throw a housewarming party
Last but not least on our new home checklist, the infamous housewarming party! Once you’re done unpacking, save any energy you have left for this shindig. Setting a date for a housewarming party also sets a great unpacking deadline for you to follow. So many new homeowners beat themselves up over tiny improvements and repairs instead of celebrating their hard work. Don’t make that mistake. Trust us, you’re going to have plenty of time in your new home to put in more work. Instead, invite your closest family and friends over for a great time. Start making memories!