Even if a house is listed as “move-in ready,” there are a few tasks you’re going to want to complete before you move into your new home. Whether they have to do with safety, cleanliness, or aesthetics, most of these to-do’s can be accomplished easily right after closing. Read on for our basic to-do list for moving into a new home.
Change the locks.
There’s no real way to guarantee that keys to your new home aren’t floating out there among the masses. For peace of mind and safety’s sake, changing the locks should be the very first thing you do before moving into your new house.
Check for leaks, drips, and running toilets.
Honestly, this should have been done during your home inspection, but sometimes things show up after the fact. Keep an eye on your water meter during the hours when no water is used to make sure there’s no unexpected leak somewhere.
Familiarize yourself with the breaker box.
Breakers should be labeled, but if they’re not, you should dedicate some time to finding out which breakers control what and labeling them yourself. This will save you time and trouble later on.
Check the air filter.
Air filters should ideally be checked monthly to see if they need changing, but not everyone remembers to do this. Check to make sure the filter is clear. If it’s not, check the dimensions and go stock up on replacement filters so you’ll have them on hand. Change the filter immediately and make a note of when to check it next.
Sometimes the previous owners will have the carpets cleaned before closing, but if not, it’s always a good idea to do it yourself before you move in. Rent or borrow a steam cleaner, or have professional cleaners come in to do it for you.
Give the kitchen a wipedown.
Make sure to wipe out the cabinets. This is an area that sometimes gets neglected, but cabinet interiors can gather unnoticeable dust over time. They can also show signs of any hidden pests, especially if the house was vacant for a while. Give the inside of the fridge and stove a wipedown as well.
Remove toilet seats.
You don’t have to replace the toilet seats unless you really want to, but it’s a good idea to at least take them off and do a thorough cleaning of all parts. You just never know when their last deep cleaning was.
Recruit a pest control company.
Even if you don’t have pests now, prevention is the best cure. We have a saying about termites in South Carolina. There are two types of houses: ones with termites, and ones that will have termites. Now refer to that thing we just said about prevention and make friends with your local pest control guy. You’re going to want to find a great deal on quarterly pest prevention.