The last few weeks have seemed more like three years. The last week has been amongst the most stressful of your life. You’ve barely slept over the last two days and suddenly, all is calm as your new front door shuts behind you and you take up residence in your brand new home.
Well done, you’re finally in.
However, enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts as the work isn’t over yet. The good news is, everything you do from here on in is all about transforming your new abode into a perfect place for you to live.
But before you get into grand designs, decorating plans and garden makeover dreams, you need to prioritise the most important things to get done. You have got a first thing ‘to do’ list sorted out? You have now…
1. Find the fuse box, water stop cock and gas isolating valve
This is not something you want to do just after your house has been plunged into darkness or while there’s water cascading down your stairs. Find these essential pieces of household equipment and make sure you know where there are before you need them.
2. Early bed time
Of all the jobs you’ll need to this, put this near the top of the list. You will have had a long day and sleep will definitely be calling at the end of it. Don’t drift wearily to your bed only to realise you need to find an Allen key, then assemble your bed frame and locate your pillows and bedding. Get your bed built and ready for occupancy early, then start ticking the other things off. You’ll thank us for this advice at 11.30pm.
3. Deep clean
An empty house with a clear floor and minimum in the way of obstacles is just made for cleaning. If you can stand it (and depending on how the property has been left by the previous owner), now’s the time to roll up your sleeves and give it a really deep clean. If it’s a mess, concentrate on cleaning a room at a time, particularly the ones you’ll be using most. It’s also a good time to clean windows as this job is lots easier without curtains or blinds in the way.
4. Sort out curtains, blinds. Or newspapers
If you’ve not been left with window coverings, this should be next job for the same reasons as step 2. Nobody wants to be struggling to put up curtains or blinds after a tiring day when sleep calls. So even if you’re not up to hanging curtains or fixing blinds to your windows, try and get them covered to keep sunlight light (or prying eyes) out. Newspaper and tape are a good, if a little unattractive, temporary fix
5. Inspect delivered boxes
Make sure all your boxes and other bits and pieces are present and correct. Whether you’ve moved yourself or hired professional removers, it’s surprising how often things go missing or are forgotten during the controlled panic of relocating – especially if you’ve chosen the first route. Take an inventory of everything that should have been delivered.
6. Don’t unpack!
Unless it’s what you need, of course. If you’re super-organised, you’ll have prepared a ‘first day’ box with all the essentials for survival when you arrive. Things like cups, the kettle and clothes. All you need to do is smugly find this, open up and away you go. The last thing you should do is open up everything else and start to unpack before you’re ready to put your clothes and possessions away for good, as this will really get in your way. Don’t worry about cooking or eating utensils. Tonight is one night you don’t need to feel guilty about ordering takeaway.
7. Bug out
If the previous occupants had pets, or the house has been empty or neglected for a while, you may have unwelcome guests like fleas, moths or cockroaches. While the property is empty is a great time to tackle them. So if needed, blitz the place with bug bombs to send these horrible pests packing.
8. Security check
It’s a good idea to get locks changed as soon as you move in, as you never know who has spare keys, particularly if the property has been recently rented. Your first day is good day to do this as you’ll also save money cutting duplicate keys for the older locks.
9. Kitchen appliances
Not been left with a fridge/cooker or washing machine? Then you’ll probably need at least one of these on the day you move in. Prioritise the fridge and don’t forget to leave it standing (for around 4 hours) to settle after transit before plugging in – even if it’s brand new. Remember, if your cooker is gas, you’ll need a Gas Safe fitter to install it.