Moving to a new home is an exciting milestone. While you may be antsy to move all your belongings into your home right away, it’s important to consider a few major updates. Aside from choosing among the best national moving companies or local moving services to physically move you, make a moving-in checklist and complete it before your first sleep in the new place.
You’ll have plenty to do between flooring, painting and specific room renovations, but having our checklist of essential updates handy will keep you on track for a smooth transition to your new home.
1. Interior Painting
Painting requires a day or so of drying as well as a sanding process that can leave debris on the floors. We recommend prioritizing interior painting first so that you can move forward with flooring projects and moving your furniture into rooms.
Pro Tip: Opt for low- or no-VOC paints to ensure great air quality in your home.
2. Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling
The kitchen and bathrooms are likely the most trafficked and used areas of the home, so it’s important to get them into shape before moving in. Total renovations of these rooms often mean dust and debris everywhere, so add in that kitchen island or knock that wall down before moving in to save yourself trouble down the road.
3. Refinish or Replace Flooring
Flooring is a big to-do, and if you’re not totally confident in refinishing or replacing your current flooring, tap a flooring installation company to help. If you are up for DIY, you should plan for a day or so to refinish floors, and a longer timeline to totally replace them. Make sure to take proper precautions when prepping and sanding as well as applying any new finish to your floors, and prioritize proper ventilation during projects like this by opening windows.
4. Change Exterior Locks
Unless you’re purchasing a brand new home, change your exterior locks before move-in day. You don’t want to risk the possibility that an unwanted person who got a copy of a key before you purchased the home would try to break into your home. Starting fresh with a new home security system and locks will help you feel totally protected in your new home and neighborhood.
5. Repair Your Roof
While it may not be the top of your list, roof inspection is essential before move-in and is strongly recommended during inspection and appraisal. Make sure you know what work needs to be done on your roof before you start moving your things in. Whether you go the DIY route or lean on a roof repair professional, addressing these issues now will save you a headache later.
6. Clean and Inspect Appliances
If you’re moving into a home with appliances you don’t plan to immediately replace, giving them a good clean and inspection will indicate any major issues. For example, refrigerator coils can collect a ton of dust over time and are often overlooked. Cleaning them will help keep your refrigerator energy-efficient and lengthen its lifespan.
7. Replace Furnace Filters
Your furnace is a huge part of the larger heating and cooling system in a home. To keep your furnace energy-efficient as well, replace any older filters that may inhibit your furnace’s performance. You can buy replacement filters at most home improvement stores.
8. Do Any Necessary Electrical Work
Any rewiring or other electrical work likely means you’ll be cutting into flooring or walls. Before painting and any other renovation work, inspect your electrical system and make changes. The key is avoiding having to complete these projects later, which could come with debris and dust and a need to repaint walls.
9. Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Before move-in day, we recommend conducting a safety check on all your detectors to ensure they’re working perfectly. If any are faulty or broken, do those repairs before your first sleep in the new place. Grab fresh batteries just in case the previous owners didn’t replace them before leaving.
If your goal is to find every single issue with your home before move-in, consider it impossible. But you can tackle the biggest and most important tasks before you settle into your new home and save time and money down the road. Moving into a new home is a huge life moment, and you deserve to enjoy every moment you can. Do yourself a big favor and check these items off your pre-move-in list, then kick back, relax and start making new memories in a new space.
Samantha Allen is the managing editor for Forbes Home. She covers all topics home-related, including home improvement and repair. Prior to Forbes, she edited home repair and design content at websites like The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.