So you’re moving into a new place? Congratulations! I’m so excited for you to start your new adventure. I know you have a lot on your mind, so I created this simple list of the first 6 things you need to do when you move into your new home.
Take pictures of everything
Regardless of whether you’re renting or you purchased your home, take pictures of everything. As a renter this is absolutely necessary, so you don’t get stuck with a big bill for ‘damages’ when you move out. And, as a homeowner, this step is important because you will want to see the changes you have made over time.
If you aren’t moving in right away, pictures will also help you visualize the space. It’s easy to forget the details when you haven’t seen the rooms in a while. Pictures came in handy when we bought our house in Virginia since it was over two months from the last time we saw it, to the time we moved in! My memory is pretty good, but I definitely relied on pictures to help figure out what furniture was going where.
Change the locks
This is a non-negotiable, friend. You absolutely must change the locks. You have no idea how many people have keys to your front door, and you definitely don’t want to find out the hard way. You can do this one of two ways:
- Call a locksmith and have them re-key your locks. If you bought your place, your home warranty may cover this. Quick Tip: Ask for a key with a design on it so you always know which one is your house key! This way you don’t have to search your keychain for the right one.
- Purchase a new hardware set (or sets if you have multiple exterior doors) and install them. This is the route we always take because this way we get to choose what our door hardware looks like. Door hardware isn’t hard to install, so don’t let your inexperience stop you from pursuing this choice.
Set your thermostat schedule
Most newer homes have programmable thermostats. If you happen to have one of these, go ahead and set your heating and cooling schedule. This not only saves you money and brain space (because you won’t have to tinker with it all the time), but it will also prolong the life of your HVAC.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, and can’t get one (ie. you rent), try to get into the habit of setting the thermostat when you leave and when you come home. This habit will save you money in the long run, so you aren’t heating/cooling a house with no one in it!
Pull out your tape measure and take measurements for all the rooms. You get extra points if you can do this before there’s furniture! While you may not need these measurements right away, you will likely need them at some point during your stay. As home-owners, these measurements help us figure out estimates for the costs of our projects. If we know the square footage of a bathroom, we can easily calculate the cost of materials. This way we get a better understanding of what we can afford for in our budget.
Measurements can also help with deciding on furniture placement, or buying new furniture. If you have measurements before you move in, you can decide exactly where your furniture can go before your stuff arrives. This is incredibly helpful if you have to buy new furniture for a room.
We actually got caught out when we bought our home here in Virginia. We knew we liked it and it would generally fit our furniture, but we forgot to take measurements of the master and the great room. What a rookie move. These measurements really could have helped us out, since we needed to buy a new rug and furniture for both rooms.
As we know, painting is one of the easiest (and sometimes cheapest) ways of updating a space. We always re-paint our homes. Mainly because we can’t stand bright white. It’s literally the worst interior color. Don’t fall victim to this hoax of a paint color. But also because what worked for the previous tenants, likely won’t work for us.
Paint is so versatile and will work with the furniture and decor you have, or can clash and work against. If you have statement furniture pieces, you may want to keep your walls neutral. And if you have simple furniture pieces, you may want to choose a bold color, or paint a statement wall. You get the idea.
Send moving announcements
This is a tradition that, tragically, has gone by the wayside. It’s so important to let friends and family know you moved (unless you moved to get away from them, which, good for you). I absolutely love sending and receiving mail, so I always send out a moving announcement in the mail.
If snail mail is a little too traditional for you, go ahead and send out an email to your closest people. It accomplishes the same thing (letting people know you moved) and saves you money. Win-win!
I know your move is a stressful time, but these steps should help you focus your energy on the most important things.
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