So, you’ve finally finished the last of the paperwork, and you have your first real house. While it’s definitely an event to celebrate, you don’t want to get too comfortable yet. The real work comes when you start trying to set up that house to actually live in. The home buying process can take a lot out of you, which is why you might not have even considered everything you’ll need to do before you can comfortably live in your new home.
To make sure you start on the right foot, we’ve come up with a few tips for setting up your first house. These are important tasks that will make sure you get to enjoy your new home rather than come to see it as a source of frustration. It won’t be long before you can put these things behind you and really start to relax in your new home.
Sort Out the Basics
You’ll want to sort out the basics at least a few weeks before moving in to make sure that everything is ready for you by the time you arrive. This involves changing your mailing address with the post office, canceling your utilities at your previous residence, and setting them back up at your new residence. The last thing you want to deal with is not having heat or electricity once you finally start to move everything into your new home.
Plan for Future Chores
Since you’ve never owned a house before, you might have gotten used to your landlord dealing with some chores that you didn’t even realize they did. All of those chores are now on your shoulders, so you need to make sure you can handle them. For example, you probably have a yard that you need to care for on your own now. Think about investing in yard tools like a lawnmower, a rake, and a shovel, depending on your yard’s needs. You might need to handle some small home repairs as well, so an array of basic tools will help you out as well.
Get Rid of Extraneous Possessions
A great tip for setting up your first house is to make it easier on yourself by not having as much clutter to pack up and move. When you live in one place for a long time, you tend to gather a bunch of clutter that you don’t need to take with you to your new home. From clothes to furniture, it might surprise you how much you have that you can get rid of as you move to a new place. Now is a good time to sell off some of those unused items for some extra move-in cash.
For things that you can’t sell, but don’t want to see in the garbage, consider donating them instead. GreenDrop has a convenient furniture and clothing donation drop-off in NYC, as well as many other locations, where you can offload some stuff that you don’t need to take with you.
Deep Clean Before Moving
There’s no point in setting everything up in your house when you’ll just have to clean around everything before you can start to live there. A deep cleaning is exactly what your house needs for a fresh start. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone else to do it, the job goes much faster when all the rooms are empty, and there’s nothing in the way.
Get Big Tasks Done Before Everything Is Moved In
Another thing you might want to consider while there isn’t any furniture or other items in the way is making any big sweeping changes to the house. Do you hate one particular room’s wall color, for example? Painting it a different color will be much simpler without having to move everything out of the way first. Consider also checking for pests around the house or deep cleaning the carpets—both will be easier before everything is in the way.
Change Your Locks
Being in your house for the first few days or weeks can be a little nerve-wracking. It’s a new place and you may not have a sense of security with completely new surroundings. One good way to get back a sense of security is to change the locks on all your doors. You never know how many keys the previous owner made and handed out, so a new lock will help prevent unwanted visitors. Make sure you activate your home’s security system, or install one if you don’t yet have one, to help with feeling safe as well.
Keep a Maintenance Calendar
Your house is a machine, and it’s up to you to keep all its parts running smoothly. This means you’ll have to stay on top of a few more maintenance tasks. Making a calendar of everything you need to do and how often you need to do it can help with this. List the tasks that you’ll take care of every month—usually cleaning tasks—and things that you’ll do every few months, like deep cleaning and inspections of important systems. You’ll need another list of things you want to do every year, too, such as plumbing inspections, heating and cooling inspections, and spraying for bugs.
Start Unpacking Essentials First
Unpacking might be more exciting than packing, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less work. To start getting everything set up, focus on the essentials so you aren’t left high and dry. A good place to start would be your bedroom. After all the stress of moving, you’ll want a place to relax at the end of the day. Unpack your kitchen next so you don’t have to consistently order out for days on end.
Make the House a Home
At the end of the day, when you’ve unpacked all the essentials, you can finally get to the fun part of owning your own home. Personalizing your home is one of the best reasons to buy one in the first place. Before you go buy a bunch of extra décor items, consider putting up things that are close to your heart. Mementos and photographs of friends and family can do a lot to make a house feel less alien and more like home.
Setting up your first house can seem like a daunting task, but the payoff is well worth the effort. When you need to get rid of what you don’t want in your new house, consider donating it to GreenDrop, and we’ll help you put some more good out into the world.