Locate and Label Your Breaker Box
Don’t get caught in the dark during a power outage! Soon after moving in, homeowners should locate their circuit breaker panel and label each switch, if this hasn't already been done.
Related: 7 Things You Need to Know About Your Home
Check Smoke Detectors
Don’t assume your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have plenty of battery life. Clean and test these crucial safety components as soon as possible, and replace any defunct alarms with brand-new ones.
Related: 10 Things Your Local Fire Department Wishes You Knew
Change the Locks
There’s no telling who already has a key to your newly acquired home. Remember, the previous owners may have given spare copies to an assortment of friends and relatives. Stay safe by having all locks rekeyed after moving in, or take the opportunity to replace the hardware altogether.
Related: 7 Signs Starter Homes May Be a Thing of the Past
Update Your Address
If you didn't take care of this before you packed up, change your address with the United States Postal Service to ensure that your mail makes it to your new home. Also alert your bank, cellphone provider, and other service companies about your new mailing address; otherwise, you might not receive your monthly bills.
Related: 9 Things First-Time Homeowners Don't Know to Do
Do a Deep Clean
It might be tempting to start unpacking ASAP, but homeowners should deep clean the property before unloading boxes. Sweep and mop the floors, wipe down counters and cabinet shelves, and sterilize the bathroom from top to bottom.
Related: 11 Packing Tips & Tricks for a Smooth Move
Make a Homeowner’s Manual
When you move into a new home, you usually begin to accumulate lots of important paperwork, such as contractor repair records and warranties for appliances. Start a binder to compile all this information in one handy place.
Related: 7 Documents You're Probably Forgetting to Shred
Inspect the Property
Though you probably had the house inspected during negotiations, consider conducting your own inspection before furnishing the living space. You might discover hidden mold, crumbling caulk, sticky doors, or wobbly deck planks—all of which can be fixed through DIY repairs.
Related: 21 Brilliant Hacks for Everyday Home Repairs
Have Your Utilities Connected
Of course, every new homeowner needs to set up basic utilities—electricity, natural gas, and water—plus any applicable extras like cable, internet, trash collection, and lawn care. It's best to contact the necessary utility companies two weeks before you move into your new home to ensure that you don't experience a gap in service.
Related: 7 Things to Buy If You Want to Spend Less on Bills
Replace Air Filters
Ideally, homeowners should replace air filters four times per year—so there’s a good chance the filters in your new home are ripe for a change. Replace them when you move in, and you'll breathe more easily in your new place.
Related: 7 Reasons Indoor Air Isn’t as Pure as You Think
Prepare for Emergencies
You should have at least one fire extinguisher on every level of the house, so pick up a few right after you move into your new place. As another safety measure, you should draft a fire escape plan for your family in case of emergency.
Related: 14 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your House
Meet the Neighbors
It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of moving day, but if you see any of your new neighbors out and about, say hello. Not only will this make a great first impression, it will also give you the opportunity to ask about the area.
Related: 11 Selfish Reasons to Make Friends with Your Neighbors
Turning A House Into A Home
A little short term planning can make a big difference in your long term happiness.
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!