Moving into a new home is exciting! There is so much to remember that it can be overwhelming at times. All too often, homeowners find themselves spending the first few months in their new home realizing, occasionally at the worst possible time, items that they either completely forgot or never even thought of. Most of us know to do things like set up a forwarding address or connect our utility services when we move into a new home, but here’s a few items you that might slip from your attention.
Change the locks - It’s next to impossible to know who all has had access to the house before you took possession, and even less so to know for sure who may still have copies of your new home’s keys. Having the external locks replaced is a straightforward and simple way to ensure you aren’t taking any risks of someone you don’t know or trust retaining access to your home. This is also a great time to work with a locksmith or home security professional to verify the overall security of your home.
Check smoke detectors - An item that’s easy to miss but crucial for your home’s safety. Test all the smoke detectors in the home. You may want to replace batteries if you have no indication when the current ones were installed. Depending on the system you use for remembering to replace the batteries on a regular basis, you may be able to skip replace the batteries if you’re within a month or two of the time you’ll normally replace them. Keep in mind though, batteries are relatively cheap, and it’s better to err on the side of caution. There’s no real risk that comes from putting in unneeded fresh batteries, and you can also reuse the old ones in the TV remote or a wall clock. This is also a great time to verify you have working fire extinguishers in your home and that they are charged.
Set up your entertainment and other technology cabling - Before furniture has been moved in, it can be helpful to get a rough idea of where things like your home computer or entertainment center are going to be. This allows you to set up any surge protectors or power strips, extension cords, or other connections that might be needed, a job that will be vastly easier to accomplish if you don’t have a couch sitting in front of all the outlets.
Find shut off valves and breaker boxes - Hopefully this was included when you were given the tour of the home upon purchase, but make sure you know where the breaker box and water and gas shut off valves for the home are. You’ll also want to review the location of these items with any other individuals in the home who might be responsible for them at some point, this way you’re covered in case something happens and you aren’t home.
Change the toilet seats - On a final note, this is probably not as essential as the other items, but it’s something that once the idea has occurred to you, you’ll feel far more comfortable knowing that you’ve got fresh toilet seats in your home rather than suddenly realizing you’re sitting on one that belonged to the previous tenant.