It’s final, you’ve signed the mountains of papers and the home is finally yours. You’ve been daydreaming about paint schemes, decor, and new furniture. However, before you start to move in and get to the fun stuff, there are a few basics you should take care of while you still have a clean slate.
1. Change the locks
Even if the previous owner left you 6 keys and promised you that the locks had been changed, you can never be too careful. Remember, your realtor, maintenance people, neighbors, the previous owner’s sister, and who knows who else may have a key to the house. Changing your locks can be a DIY project, or you can call a locksmith. Don’t know which lock to choose? Consumer Reports recently tested the top 5 door locks that will keep you safe. (You may also want to consider a smart lock which can eliminate the need for keys and allows you to set codes that expire. )
2. Do a deep clean
Cleaning may be the last thing you’re wanting to do when you move in to a new house, but doing a deep clean before drawers, cupboards, closets, etc. are filled is something you won’t regret. Since the house is empty, cleaning won’t take you too long; however, if you’re short on time or energy, it could be worth hiring someone to come in and do it for you.
3. Safety First!
What would you do if your kitchen suddenly started to flood? Turning off the faucet won’t help, but knowing where the main water shut-off is and how to turn it off could save you hundreds, if not thousands. Make sure you know where the water and gas shut-offs are located and how to turn them off. You should also replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as purchasing a new fire extinguisher.
4. Change your Mailing Address
Changing your mailing address is as easy as going online to the United States Postal Service. “This is the fastest and easiest way, and you immediately get an email confirming the change. There is a $1 charge to change your address online. You will need a credit or debit card and a valid email address. The $1 charge to your card is an identity verification fee to prevent fraud and make sure you’re the one making the change.” Remember that you will also need to update your address with the DMV, Voter Registration, and IRS.
5. Plan a party
While this may not seem like a priority, knowing that you have a party planned in two weeks will give you the incentive, and a deadline, to unpack all the boxes. Plus, your friends and family will be thrilled to see your new home and celebrate with you.