Move-in day is one of the most exciting – and exhausting – days of your life, no matter how many times you’ve moved. You’ve probably generated dozens of checklists along the way from the beginning of your home search to settlement day. But do you have a post-move list?
You’re probably focused on unpacking your clothes and your pots and pans and thinking about when you’ll have time to restock the refrigerator. However, there are a few responsibilities you should take care of just before you move in – such as buying the right home insurance to protect your home – and just after you receive the keys.
Aside from securing home insurance that properly covers your home and assets, Assaf Wand, CEO and co-founder of Hippo, a smart home insurance company, recommends conducting an inspection of systems and appliances when you move into a new home.
8 tasks after moving day
Wand says there are also preventative steps you can take to keep your new home running smoothly.
- Replace HVAC filters. Doing this when you arrive in your new home could help avoid fires and air quality issues, says Wand. Clogged and dirty filters restrict airflow, slow air circulation and reduce the effectiveness of your system. Every one-to-three months, you should change the filter.
- Change your locks. Getting new keys made is an important safety task, because even if the previous owners thought they gave you all their keys, they may have forgotten the one they gave to a neighbor, people you know nothing about. While you’re at it, change any codes on your alarm or on keyless entry systems. And hide a key – or leave one with someone you trust – so you don’t get locked out.
- Clear gutters. When water gets trapped in places it shouldn’t be, it can damage your foundation, stain your walls and cause pest infestations. Remove debris and ensure that all downspouts direct water away from your home. If you live in an area with lots of trees, you may have to do this a few times in the fall.
- Check your detectors and your fire extinguishers. Check the batteries – or replace them – on your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher for each level of your home.
- Flip the circuit breaker. To prevent corrosion and avoid frequent tripping, you’ll want to flip the circuit breaker manually once a year, Wand recommends. You should also consider replacing any two-prong outlets with safer, three-prong outlets to prevent electrical fires and electric shocks.
- Locate your water shut-off valves. Knowing how to shut off your water can turn a leak into a minor incident rather than a major flood. In addition to the main valve, locate the water valve for your dishwasher, your washing machine and your bathroom.
- Heed weight limits. Most homeowners know to clean their dryer’s lint tray after each use. "It’s also important to pay attention to your machine’s weight limits, even if you can cram in more clothes," recommends Wand. "By stuffing too many shirts, pants and socks in a dryer, it could overheat. You could also end up wasting energy by forcing your dryer to work harder."
- Clean your fridge. "Unless you’re mining bitcoin, refrigerators are probably the largest consumer of energy in your home," says Wand. "It’s important to keep it running efficiently. Many of us wipe down the inside of the fridge in our homes every few weeks. Every six months, you may also want to clean the condenser coils. Replace the gasket as needed and every few years, consider replacing your water dispenser and water filters."