Moving into the home of your dreams or a new apartment is an exciting moment. But it can become stressful if you don’t know what to do first. Here’s a list of 5 things to do when moving into your new home. If possible, complete these steps before unpacking your belongings.
1. Replace the House Door Lock
You never know who has a key to your home. A real estate agent, construction worker, former tenant, or some other stranger could have a duplicate key. And if the lock is mass-produced, then it’s almost certain someone has the same key. A mass-produced lock has several different keys in limited number. That means several people have an identical key for the same lock.
One option is to re-key your current or newly-purchased lock. A locksmith can perform this process, which makes the previous key unusable. Another option, which is also more expensive, is to install a keyless lock. A keyless entry system relies on an electronic keypad to open the door. Once you program the system with your unique combination, you can open the door by entering the numbers. If you live in an apartment or condo building, be sure to get permission from your super or the building management before swapping the locks.
2. Clean Cabinets and Drawers
Clean cabinets and drawers before moving in your dishes, eating utensils, and bathroom supplies. Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe surfaces inside and out. If there is torn or dirty contact paper, then replace it or remove it. Use our helpful apartment moving out cleaning checklist for a thorough list of what to clean when moving in.
3. Check for Unwanted Critters
Keep roaches, mice, and rats out of your home. Check the closets for signs of rat droppings and rat holes. Seal any holes that you find. There are also do-it-yourself pest control methods, such as traps, that keep rats and mice from overrunning your home. You can also use roach baits and insect foggers to combat roaches and other insects. Another option is to contact a pest control company. After the first treatment, you can schedule monthly or quarterly follow-ups.
4. Find the Circuit Breaker and Main Water Shut-Off Valve
Installing home appliances and new outlets often require shutting off the home’s power or water supply. Familiarize yourself with these controls before attempting to do any installations. And it’s a good idea to learn which breaker box circuits control which areas of the home. Make sure to label the circuits if they aren’t already correctly labeled.
An older home might have a fuse box instead of a circuit breaker. If that’s the case, then check the panel for fuses that need replacing.
5. Schedule Your Utilities
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you transfer or turn on your utility services. Your building might include some basics already, so be sure to read the fine print to see which utilities you’re in charge of setting up. Standard utilities include water, electricity, gas, and cable/internet service. Check out our how-to guide for setting up New York City utilities for additional guidance.
These tips will get you off to a good start in your new home. You’ll still have much to do, but these five steps are an excellent place to begin.
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