Moving into a new home is always exciting. Aside from entering a new chapter in your life, you have the opportunity to design and build the space of your dreams. However, moving in can also be a huge challenge and chore — from moving all your furniture to unpacking every box. Before you make yourself completely at home, here are a few things you should do first:
1. Do some deep cleaning
No matter how clean the place looks, it never hurts to do some deep cleaning. This should be a priority since dust and other allergens could be hiding anywhere, and you can’t be sure that the place was thoroughly disinfected before your arrival. The Active Times offers tips on how you can deep clean the house, including how to clean everything from shower heads to fabric couches, and how to properly vacuum. However, you can also opt to hire a cleaning service before you have to move in. To maintain your home, be sure to check out our seasonal home maintenance checklist to help you stay on top of things.
2. Install new locks
Again, you can never be too cautious, especially if you’re moving into a new home. There’s no guarantee that they turned over all the keys — not to mention the possibility that they may have given spares to other friends and family members. You don’t have to change every single lock in the house, just the external locks should be fine. Change any passwords or security codes on the security system or garage doors while you’re at it as well.
3. Check for funny odors
You might think that foul odors are normal and minor, but they could mean something more. As such, it’s important to check for these smells right away as it could indicate mold, mildew, cigarette stains, or even dead animals. Fortunately, these are easy to eliminate with a little deep cleaning, as we’ve mentioned. But if you smell a gas leak, HomeServe suggests that this could be a hidden problem with the gas pipework or the gas meter itself. There are many causes for this, such as faulty appliances, and you should definitely enlist the help of a professional or get in touch with your landlord (if you have one) to get to the bottom of it. Gas is a huge fire and carbon monoxide poisoning risk that must be dealt with immediately.
4. Inspect the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
In line with the above, the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors may be faulty or have old batteries, which means you’ll definitely need to change them or replace the units entirely. Don’t forget to test the detectors thoroughly before reinstalling them. It is also recommended to change the batteries every six months to make sure they’re in good working order. Alternatively, you can ask your local fire department if they offer free inspections and testing. Lastly, keep in mind that smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years, while carbon monoxide detectors should be used up to five years only.
5. Get a home warranty
A home warranty plan essentially pays for the repair or replacement of your home’s systems and appliances when they fail from normal wear and tear. When you get your home warranty, it’s important to review the specifics, so you know exactly what’s covered and how to file a claim. The analysis explains how common coverage and add-ons include pest control services, septic tank and pumping, and pre-season HVAC maintenance. There are even some that offer the re-keying of door locks. However, most providers have a 30-day waiting period before the coverage begins, so it would be ideal to purchase your plan at least a month before you move into your new home.
Moving into a new home takes a lot of work, but don’t let that put a damper on your excitement. Be sure to do your part as a responsible renter or homeowner and follow the aforementioned tips to make your new home safer and more secure.