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7 Things New Homeowners Should Do as Soon as They Get the Keys

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The papers are signed, keys are in hand, and the doors have new locks. Now what? Before starting to unload and unpack, there are seven things every new homeowner should do. These things will not only make it easier to settle into the new home, but it could also help to avoid disaster.

1 - Take Time to Enjoy It

Before jumping into the deep end and landing in a sea of boxes, take some time to enjoy the feeling of being a new homeowner. Explore the house and yard. Take time to eat, hydrate, and rest up. The break might seem unnecessary, but the rest will make unloading and unpacking much easier for everyone to handle.

2 - Locate the Important Things

Before filling the new house full of boxes, take some time to go on a tour. Locate the emergency shutoff valves for the water and the circuit breaker panel. Then, if there is an accident while moving furniture or installing the appliances, these emergency shutoffs can be found immediately. To make moving furniture more efficient, locate the light switches and power outlets in each room.

3 - Clean Everything

The last thing a new homeowner wants to do is move everything multiple times so they can clean and unpack. Save time and extra work by giving the home a good clean before starting to move things in. It's a fresh start, but it's also a chance to deal with any bugs, mice, bats, or other unwanted pests. While these are not something any homeowner wants to find, it's better to discover them before moving in than being surprised by them at three in the morning after moving furniture all day.

4 - Make Repairs

To avoid extra stress, complete any major repairs before moving in. However, there are always plenty of minor repairs and adjustments to do, too. By making a list of these minor maintenance issues, they can be fixed all at once with one trip to the store or a single call to a handyman. Also, if the repairs will require a professional such as an electrician, he can fix them when he comes to do other tasks.

5 - Plan Out Each Room

To avoid having to stumble over boxes while carrying furniture, move heavier items into the house first. Unfortunately, moving things in this order means having to work around the furniture to get the boxes in. Then, having to juggle everything to get the furniture in place.

To avoid the extra work and the stress, take a tape measure and plan the layout of the furniture before getting started. Then, mark each spot with a sticky note on the way. Each piece can then go right where it belongs, and everything will be out of the way.

6 - Make a Shopping List

During the first week or two, homeowners often notice things that could make life in the new house more comfortable. For example, the kitchen might need some additional storage. Or, maybe a clothesline in the back yard would be nice. Energy efficient light bulbs and programmable thermostats can make a home more convenient, but also help save money on utilities. Make a list of these items. Then, when going to the hardware store, it's possible to get everything in one trip and not forget anything.

7 - Check Out the Area

When everyone is ready to take a break from unpacking, take some time to get out of the house. Check out the yard. Look for details like the garbage bin that will be needed later. Also, identify any potential problem areas such as deep holes dug into the ground or gaps in the fence.

Don't be afraid to venture out into the neighborhood, too. See what's around and say hello to the neighbors. If the house is in an unfamiliar area, consider geocaching, bike riding, or trying out the local public transport to learn more about the amenities and activities available.

Moving and buying a home always means a lot of work but following these helpful tips will make the entire process seem less daunting. Just remember to take time out for self-care and have patience. While it would be nice to finish everything in an afternoon, it's far better to be careful, thorough and have a positive experience. After all, people don't get to enjoy a new home every day!

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