Table of Contents Show
- First Things First: Tackle These Tasks Before You Move In
- What’s Next: Make These Projects Priority Once You’ve Moved In
- In Conclusion
You’ve bought a home! Now what? Before you pull up that moving truck, you might want to wait a minute. Rather than immediately setting up a house, don’t miss the unique opportunity in front of you.
Right now, when you own your home but haven’t moved in yet, you have the perfect chance to tackle several key improvement projects.
Everything from refinishing floors to painting rooms goes more smoothly when you’re working with a blank slate. Likewise, once you have moved in, there are a handful of projects worth checking off your list right away.
First Things First: Tackle These Tasks Before You Move In
You’ve got the keys and you’re ready to go. Which projects are best to take on before you unload your possessions? Here’s a look at some of the must-dos right after purchasing a new home:
Change the Locks
Start with a swap that won’t take much time but will provide lots of peace of mind: Change your locks. Putting in new locks ensures that no one can access your home, such as the previous homeowners or anyone they knew who had a key.
Before you bring in all your possessions and start sleeping in a new place, this is a great update to make.
Change Alarm Codes
Along the same lines as your door locks, change any entry codes. This could mean the garage door or a security system, for example. Doing so is one more step you can take to ensure that only authorized people enter your home.
Some houses don’t have appliances installed already, and others have dated ones you want to replace. In either case, when you know you’ll need to get a refrigerator or washer/dryer set put in, why not do it before you move in?
This saves you the discomfort of living without a stove or washing machine for a period of time, and it helps the new space feel ready to make a home.
Bonus tip: Install energy-efficient appliances that will give you a solid return in lower utility bills over time.
Redo the Floors
Do you already know you want to rip out certain floors? Whether it’s ugly linoleum or dated tile, the best time to redo the floors is now, before you have to move furniture to do it.
Now is also the perfect opportunity to get old floors professionally cleaned or refinished, without the displacement of trying to do it once you’ve got all your stuff with you.
Just as improving floors is easier without furniture, so is painting walls. All you have to do is lay down drop cloths and get painting — no moving or covering furniture, staying out of certain rooms while you live in your home, etc.
Painting is relatively inexpensive, makes a big impact, and can go a long way toward making a space feel more like your own. Plus, nothing beats moving into a space freshly painted with your choice of colors.
If you already know your kitchen and/or bathroom cabinets need a facelift, you’ll never regret getting this done before move-in day. There will be no need to empty out your pantry and/or displace all your serving ware, and you’ll get the pleasure of moving into a space that feels new.
Fix What’s Broken
Did anything come up in your inspection report that hasn’t been fixed already? Have you noticed repair issues with windows, doors, faucets, appliances, etc., that will be frustrating when you’re living in your home? If so, get them taken care of now, before you move in, to save yourself a lot of hassle.
What’s Next: Make These Projects Priority Once You’ve Moved In
In an ideal world, you’d move into a house where all the above projects are finished; however, even if you have to do them once you’ve moved in, it’ll be okay.
Use the first few weeks and months with your home as a time to slowly get settled. In addition to the must-dos above, here are a few other great ideas to personalize a space:
Spruce Up the Landscaping
Curb appeal goes a long way toward changing the vibe of a property. In fact, even cleaning up the yard can make a big difference. Plant some new shrubs or flowers and give your home a fresh look. Likewise, a little landscape lighting can beautify and add real value to your property.
For a small change with a big impact, you can’t beat lighting. Swap outdated light fixtures with styles that fit your taste. Replace bulbs with brighter or dimmer wattage to change the effect, too.
Change the Trim
From baseboards to crown molding to window casing, replacing the trim in your home’s interior could be a great way to make a change. Stumped on what to pick? Aim to choose a style that fits with the architecture of your house.
Swap Out Switch Plates
Depending on the age of your home, you may notice little details that could use replacing, such as the switch and outlet cover plates. Whether you upgrade yours with new, identical models or go with a different color, it’s a little change that refreshes a room.
From a rainfall shower head to a kitchen faucet in a new finish, changing simple fixtures is a great way to update your home. Most fixtures can be swapped quickly and easily, but they move your interior in the direction you want it to go.
Moving into a new home is always an exciting prospect — but especially if you take time to plan and prepare ahead of time for the transition. Knowing what you’re going to get done before you move can make a big difference in helping you settle into your new space.
So, as you look ahead to your move-in day, use this guide to help you create a list of house projects and a strategy for implementing them. When you sign your closing paperwork, the fun is just beginning!
Stan Caramalac is the founder and CEO of Move Central. He started the company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He strives to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Caramalac and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area.