Is there really such a thing as “move-in condition”?
Maybe, especially if the home is brand new. But even a home just a few years old may need some attention before you move in. And you may want to get some of those tasks done before you bring all of your belongings to your new home.
The key is planning. Make lists, make some calls and make time. Will you be doing any demolition? Will you need to rent a waste receptacle? Will you need to find a local handyman or electrician to help? Do you know where your tools are?
Here are some projects that, if tackled before all the furniture arrives, can help make the first days living in your new home safer and more relaxing.
1. Change the Locks
To ensure only the people you know and trust have a key to your home, be sure to change the exterior door locks before you move in, Houzz.com suggests. If you don’t feel comfortable installing locks yourself, a locksmith can complete the job. After all, you never know who might have a key to the previous owner’s home.
2. Clean, Clean, Clean
When you buy a new house, you probably want a clean start. That may entail removing any traces of the previous occupants from the carpeting and various rooms.
If you’re keeping the current carpeting, you may want to rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional to give it a thorough cleaning, HouseLogic.com says.
While you’re at it, HouseLogic also suggests you:
- Take measures to eliminate insects and other pests.
- Wash bathroom and kitchen cabinets thoroughly and consider replacing contact paper.
Crunched for time? A professional cleaning service can tackle the job, says Houzz.com.
3. Get Behind the Walls a Little
You may also want to give the mechanics of your new home a once-over:
- Locate your fuse box or circuit box and get familiar with how it works, says HouseLogic.com.
- Survey your electrical outlets. Do you have enough and are they in the right places? It will be less of a hassle if you add new outlets before you move in heavy furniture, says Apartment Therapy.
- Check the furnace filter and consider having your HVAC system tuned up.
- Keep an eye out for plumbing leaks and make sure you know how to turn off the main water supply, suggests HouseLogic.com.
- Install or check the batteries in your carbon monoxide and detectors, says LifeHacker.com.
4. Bigger Jobs Shouldn’t Wait
Keep in mind that if you’re planning any big projects, such replacing windows or sanding wood floors, they may come with some dust. That’s why you may want to tackle some of the messier projects before you move in, says LifeHacker.com.
5. Stay Safe at Home
It’s a good idea to develop a family escape route and a preparedness plan in the event of an emergency. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency offer lots of emergency preparedness tips to keep your family and home safe.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Track all your hard work with before-and-after photos, and when you’re all moved in, sit back and revel in your new home.
By Cristel Mohrman
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