| Sep 03, 2014
As soon as the moving van rolls away and you’re faced with a brand new home to decorate and renovate, you might feel overwhelmed at where to start. Should you pull out those old kitchen cupboards and install new ones? Upgrade your security systems? Get everything unpacked and then worry about repairs?
Although everyone has their own set of priorities when it comes to settling in, there are a few standard steps everyone should take in the first few weeks. Here are our suggestions for staying safe and comfortable in your new home. 1. Change the Locks
: Unless you’re moving into a brand new home, there’s no way for you to know how many copies of your key are floating around out there. Have a locksmith come and change all your locks or install new handles yourself—anything with a lock or keypad entry should be reset and made accessible only to your family. 2. Check the Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
: Install new devices, update the batteries, or run a test—whatever your method, make sure all your fire and gas safety features are working in top shape. This is also a good time to purchase new fire extinguishers and place them in strategic locations around your house. 3. Hang Curtains and Blinds
: Privacy is important, so take some time to hang properly fitting blinds and curtains. You may have to take these down again if you’ll be doing some painting or home repairs, but it’s best not to give your neighbors too close of a look at what’s going on inside. 4. Unpack the Kitchen
: Of all the rooms in your house, the kitchen is the one that tends to add the most stress. Make your cooking area functional and organized, and you’ll most likely feel a lot better about the rest of your unpacking. 5. Attend to Home Inspection Issues
: Take some time to go over your home inspection report and make a list of anything that needs to be done to ensure your home is safe from further damage. Repairs to things like mold or mildew, termites, unsafe electrical wiring, rotting wood, or weak porch railings should always come before cosmetic worries. 6. Make Big Repairs
: It will be much easier to remove that odor-stained carpet before the furniture is all moved in, and you might find it best to take down the bulky storage shed before the playground set goes up in the backyard. Big changes that you know you’ll be making anyway should always come before the smaller cosmetic issues, since you’re likely to have more time and space during the first month after a move. 7. Choose One Room
: If you’ll be doing extensive repairs or renovations to your home, it’s a good idea to set one room aside as your “safe” place. Put your favorite furniture in there, spruce it up with a quick coat of paint and some nice curtains, and make sure there’s a door that shuts firmly. You’ll need at least one room where you feel comfortable and relaxed so that you always have a place to retreat if the renovations become stressful.
Painting, hanging pictures, buying new furniture, arranging your bookshelves, and finally getting those boxes put away are all important tasks, but they can wait a few weeks before they become an issue. Put safety before beauty and take care of the big tasks first, and you’ll be able to enjoy your new home that much sooner!