As tempting as it may be to start unpacking the second you move into a new home, it pays to take certain steps before you do. “When moving into a new house, it’s important to get a lay of the land before settling in,” says real estate agent Karen Kostiw of Warburg Realty. “This way, you can familiarise yourself with the flow of the home to see how to make it work best for you and your family.”
Along with identifying any last-minute fixes and must-have purchases, Kurt Manwaring, a moving expert at Move.org, says taking the right steps after moving into a new home can save you time, money, and headaches down the road. “If you don’t do things in the right order, it’ll likely take longer to unpack, and be more frustrating when you do,” he explains.
Not sure what to do once you’ve moved into a home? From completing a thorough walk-through to plugging in appliances and more, here are five important things experts say you should do right away.
Take important safety measures.
Before you even think about unpacking, Kostiw says it’s crucial to safety-proof your house in the event of an emergency. “Make sure there are first aid kits and fire extinguishers in pertinent areas, like the kitchen and laundry room, and that you have the names and phone numbers of emergency contacts (doctors, police) in a place that’s easily accessible in a pinch.”
Complete a final walkthrough.
It takes only a few minutes to do a final walkthrough of your new home, and Kostiw says it’s worth every second. “Do a walk-through with a critical eye,” she advises. “If you have a leak and you are unaware, it could sit behind your walls and create mould, and waiting too long to contact a plumber will only create a bigger problem that costs more money.”
When you’re completing a thorough walk-through of your new home after moving in, Kostiw recommends making a list of any fixes and subsequent purchases you’ll need to make. “Jot down areas that require fixing and ideas you have on how you can upgrade them design-wise,” she says. “You can continue to add to the list as you live in the home and more design ideas pop in your mind.”
Plug in appliances.
If you don’t plug your major appliances — think refrigerator, microwave, oven, and washer and dryer — into an electric outlet once you enter your new home, Manwaring says it could make your whole move a lot harder. “If you wait too long to plug them in, you’ll have to rearrange rooms packed to the brim with moving boxes to reach the outlets behind your appliances,” he warns. “A refrigerator also needs several hours of electricity before you can fill it with food — so if everything is plugged in when you start unpacking, you can do laundry, warm-up pizza, or grab a cool drink anytime you want.”
Make a plan for unpacking before the movers arrive.
Once your walk-through is complete and your appliances are plugged in, broker Annie Cion Gruenberger of Warburg Realty says it’s time to make a plan for unpacking. “Make sure that all of your moving boxes have arrived, and that they’ve been placed in the room that corresponds with their label,” she advises. “Then take a moment to survey each room (and locate electrical outlets) so you can let the movers know where to place large foundational furniture pieces, like sofas, bed frames, and dining tables.”
Unpack your bathroom essentials.
Make no mistake about it: Manwaring says the first day in your new home will go a lot more swimmingly if you have easy access to your toiletries. “If you thought it was hard finding toilet paper during the pandemic, just wait until nature calls in the middle of your move,” he says. “The same thing goes with deodorant, contact solution, razors, and towels.”
This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com
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