New House Checklist: Essentials Things for Your First House
Moving usually ends up harder than it was planned to be. There are too many things going on that you just want to finish it all, and finally rest at your new place! This is mostly applicable when it’s your first time buying a home after years of renting a space. You want to be sure that everything is set and flows smoothly.
The best way to do that is to make a physical new house checklist. After all, you want to do all the moving in one day alone and not extend it to a few more days. So, here is a checklist to finally give you relief. Moving into your new home deserves all this preparation!
Move in Essentials. What to do?
When you are transferring into a new home, you are also leaving your old one. That means you will need to have a clean exit with your old place and a clean entrance too with your new place. While most of us pride ourselves to be excellent homeowners, some of us miss a few things during moving day. Some common moving mistakes are:
- Forgot to set up the utilities at your new place before moving in. The last thing you want is spending your first day in your new house without water and power.
- Forgot to cut off your water and power account at your old place. Unless you were renting, you are the one responsible (and not the landlord) for doing this.
- Forgot to take into account moving taxes. Some items are subjected to tax when moved.
- Forgot to bring the essentials like a cutter, packing tape, marker pen, and trash bags.
- Forgot to change your address. You do not want the hassle of going back to your place or doing a lot of calls to receive a wrongly sent package.
Your moving checklist is similar to your first apartment checklist. The only difference is you are managing two properties now – your old and new place (for the first few weeks only).
What do you do on the first day of a new house?
Just like in a new job, the first day is critical. Everything could go wrong, but nothing should be. Here are some moving tips to make you prepared for the actual moving and when you finally moved in.
- Check all the lightbulbs. We understand that it is frustrating to have busted bulbs in some parts of the house. It adds stress on top of the exhaustion from moving. To be extra sure, you should bring spare light bulbs. Even if all the lightbulbs are fine, you will use the spares ones eventually.
- Introduce yourself to the neighbors. Nobody likes a rude neighbor. You would not be given free food whenever they have parties or borrow a hammer when you need it. Also, it is common courtesy and the right thing to do.
- Take some rest. The chances are that you moved during the weekends and will be working again on Monday. Rest and recharge for that day. Moving is stressful, and there is no other practical way to beat stress than to take a bath, lie down, and call it a day.
What do you need to do when moving into a new house?
This section will be a more in-depth discussion of your new home checklist involving various categories. Now, these moving tips will not assure a mistake- and hassle-free moving; rather, these tips will minimize the chances of those happening.
From faulty programmable thermostats to home insurance affairs, here is the only checklist you need in your life. Even if you move from one country regularly in your lifetime, this list will still be applicable.
Home security is a priority wherever you go. If not your property, your life could be at risk when you have a weak home security system. Most homeowners overlook this feature because most have not been subject to a crime.
While property crime has dropped by 69% from 1993 to 2017, you cannot be too sure of your safety. It is better to be safe than sorry.
To have peace of mind when sleeping and when away, here are things you should do:
- Change your locks. Even if it is a newly built house or an apartment for rent, there may be duplicate keys to the locks. It is like giving a stranger access to your home. Aside from people having keys, the pre-installed locks may be wobbly that a straight kick to it could dislodge it.
- Know the previous owner. Also, another thing to include in your new homeowner checklist is to get to know the previous owner. You should know at least who are they, their contact information, and why did they leave and sell the house. Even if they lived there years ago already, it is better to know the essential information about the house’s past.
- Install a home security camera. It is said, in Baltimore and Chicago, that CCTV cameras deter crime well that the city “earned” 50% of the cameras’ cost in terms of safety units. They are a good investment if you want to see what is going on outside of your house even when you are away. Also, if you have neighbors with kids, they might come to your property and hurt yourself. Chances are, you will be liable for the damages unless you have video footage of them coming in.
- Make sure the records are legit. The best way to secure your home is to see if the documents are legit. These records include property title, police clearance of the previous owner, business permit of the building, and others.
Lightbulbs are items in the house that you will only notice when they stop working. Here are some things you should do to have the best lighting in your home:
- Use LED light only. The reason why LED light is more expensive than the typical incandescent and halogen bulbs is because of its excellent cost-benefit ratio. Simply put, you will save at least $100 in your power bill in one year. The bulbs have also significantly dropped its market price by 85% from 2008 to 2012.
- Have an emergency light. It is obvious to always have an emergency kit in your house. The thinking is it is better to have one even you don’t need it than to need it when you don’t have it. You need a flashlight with spare batteries or a dedicated emergency light that automatically powers up when the main power goes out.
- Clear up the windows. Want to save more in your power bill? Use natural light. You might reduce your power bill up to 60%. Usually, just like with your car’s headlamps, window glass can get hazy over time that the amount of light coming in is reduced. You will see the difference immediately. You have spent a lot of decorating and renovating your house; you should also give it the light it deserves.
Letting the sunlight in your house is also linked to increased productivity and better mental health.
Lightbulbs are items in the house that you will only notice when they stop working. Here are some things you should do to have the best lighting in your home:
Bedroom is the place where you spend after have a tiring day, so make sure you have everything that optimize your rest.
- Have the essentials. Your bedroom is your domain. Having the essentials is just the first step in making it a room for you. You already know these items; instead, we will list down underrated bedroom essentials that is all function and zero gimmicks.
- Add a night table to keep things organized. Having a solid shelf, table, or desk is an excellent way to keep all the essentials at arms reach. Important things like your phone, your water tumbler, flashlight, wallet, or self-defense items should always be reachable.
- Insulation. If you live in a cold area, you know that having bad insulation in a beautiful home can be a deal breaker. This is because lousy insulation could lead to the higher electric bill due to the need for cranking up the heater. A cold room can also hinder productivity and mood.
- Sturdy bedframe. Nobody wants a squeaky bed frame. It can make the most annoying sounds with just a small turn on your bed. This might be because of the screws loosening or the material degrading. Always buy a bed frame that is made from fewer pieces (meaning fewer screws and joints) and is also made from solid hardwood.
- Buy the best mattress. People say that you should invest in your shoes and mattress because you are either in your shoes or mattress. If the room comes with an old mattress, try it out and see if it works. When you keep turning and having a hard time sleeping, it is time to change it. Having a nice mattress is known to reduce stress levels and improve sleeping quality of a person.
- Use space wisely. A lot of your stuff will most likely end up in your bedroom. It is good to have an efficient under bed storage system like buying a bed frame that comes with cabinets underneath or simply putting important stuff underneath using hard plastic baskets.
- Sheet sets
- Comforter + duvet cover
- Under bed storage
- Night stand
- Alarm clock – wake up light
- Full length mirror
This is the room where we clean up. A good bathroom experience can reverse an otherwise bad day. This is where our daily rituals happen, and here are some tips to get the best out of your bathroom.
- Basic but premium bathroom items. These are your showerhead, shower curtain, towels, and all the things you and your family will use in the bathroom for the rest of your stay in your new house. You will notice significant changes in your daily routine with just the small items like having the right thickness in your towel or having different shower options.
- Keep the outlets protected. Accidents can happen in a bathroom in unexpected ways. The floor is slippery, there are a lot of edges, and power outlets can be drenched with water. That is why putting the outlets on a higher level is a smart idea. You can also use rubber outlet covers for extra safety.
- Buy only quality soap, shampoo, and cosmetics. Anything that goes into your body (food) and on your body (cosmetics) should be of quality. You do not want any risk and end up harming yourself (and, not to forget, racking up a lot of medical bills). Always buy products from trusted brands. But if you want to branch out to lesser known and independent brands, always make sure you understand what you are buying.
- Shower curtains
- Toilet paper
- Toilet brush
- Toothbrush holder
- Buy an impressive smoke detector. Do not cheap out with your smoke detectors. You do not want your kitchen drenched just because of steam or be in flames instead because of its weak sensor. Smoke detectors, after installing them, should be low-maintenance and will function correctly without continually checking on it.
- Have separate bins for your trash. Be a good inhabitant of our planet and segregate your waste. The organic ones should be thrown to your compost or buried underneath so it could be a soil conditioner instead of rotting inside a plastic bag.
- Invest in quality kitchen appliances. It is such a hassle to keep replacing your kitchen appliances every year. If you spend a bit more to get a robust coffee maker, blender, or microwave, you can be sure that you will not be spending again for many years for its replacement and repair.
- Chopping board
- Pan and pot
- Can opener
- Kitchen trash bin
Your living room is where you will be spending a lot of time before sleeping. It is where your visitors will get a glimpse of your house and, to some point, your personality. That is why it is essential that you make your living room functional and beautiful. Any new home can look drab with the wrong style of the living room.
When moving into a new home, checklists are your guide to keep everything followed and streamlined. Here is a list to follow for your living room:
- Keep it simple and spacious. A living room should not be cramped with unnecessary ornaments and fixtures. It will look tacky. Since it is also one of the more visited areas in a house, you should keep it clutter-free. Also, a simple living room will be easier to clean than one with a lot going on.
- Comfort sofa
- Television. A sofa is where everyone will sit, and a TV is where everyone will look at. It is obvious why you should invest in both. After work, most people do not immediately go to bed and lie down. Most sit on the sofa and try to relax.
- Good speakers will make the room better. Re-watching your favorite movies with a better TV and sound system is a beautiful experience. You will hear a lot of unnoticed sounds and generally immerse you into the environment of the movie.
When it comes to appliances, you should always go for versatile ones. Why buy a fan and an air-conditioning unit when a hybrid AC fan can do both? Here are some essential appliances you should own:
- Surge protectors. They are a better version of the basic extension cords. A surge protector protects the plugged-in appliances from drops and spikes – when the increase is more than three nanoseconds; it is a surge; if less, it is a spike – in the electricity.
- Portable air-conditioner. Technology has allowed for powerful motors to be smaller and be fitted in compact frames. Again, a dedicated through-the-wall air-conditioner will have a high power consumption and has a fixed location (so you need to increase the power so that all rooms will be cooled). A portable one can be brought anywhere in and outside the house (good if you are moving again).
- Multi-purpose vacuum cleaner. Traditional vacuum cleaners only suck in air. Now, most can blow out the air too. This is useful in cleaning the dust of shelves or the wire mesh attached to the window. If you buy a more powerful machine, you can even use it as a leaf blower.
- Air conditioners
- Air purifier
Household Items Checklist
Most of your home checklist will be composed of household items. Here is a list that is personally curated:
- Stack-able and nest-able containers. We all know this too well. Your unused containers are lying on your shelves and taking up too much of your precious kitchen space. The solution to this is to buy a set of stack-able and nest-able containers.
- Peg or wire board. This wire board will not be a replacement for shelves or cabinets as this can be only an additional organizing option. You simply attach hooks, small and large containers, and racks to it. This is a good option for your technology accessories and stationery supplies.
- Foldable tables. Again, this is not a replacement for your dining table. We are sure our readers are coming into this article, knowing the essential things to buy for a new house. A foldable table, however, can be brought anywhere. This is nice if your daughter suddenly needs an additional table for her books or if you will be hosting a barbecue night.
- Keep your house clean. A good set of brush, mops, and soap can go a long way. No need to hire a cleaner when you can make your house-cleaning session fun. Also, keeping your house clean is an excellent way to maintain a reasonable resale price and make the environment conducive for family and individual affairs.
- Have a laundry set. Most people are ditching now their washing machines, dryers, and ironing board in exchange for drop-off/self-service laundry. Sometimes, things could go wrong, and a shirt could be stained or be placed in another customer’s basket.
Doing your laundry will keep you in control of everything. You can make sure nothing can get stained, faded, or burnt. You will also save money.
Smart Home and Technology
You can always prefer a more traditional way of keeping a house, but a lot of people are moving into smart home and technology for a good reason: it makes everything easier. Here is how to keep your house smart and, in turn, make you smarter:
- Use a centralized smart thermostat. If you opt for a centralized air-conditioning unit, chances are you have the option to use a smart thermostat.
- Try using home virtual assistants to make your home smarter. The joy in being in a new house is better if you have a virtual assistant to help you. A lot of smart speakers are being used by more homeowners today. Amazon’s Alexa Speaker or the Google Home are just some of the leading smart speakers in the market right now.
- Robotic vacuum cleaner
- Smart door lock with fingerprints system
A good house is a sum of the right items and correct actions you will take. Moving into a new place, new home, and a new culture can be daunting at first, but that is why checklists exist. It helps you know what to do next when everything seems to change. A simple checklist is better than having none.