After Jennifer bought me a house to play with, I immediately started coming up with plans for the renovation. Tearing things down, refinishing floors, new lights, etc. and I had to remind myself that while it’s easy to get swept up in a big list, there are only three things to do before you move into a new house that are actually critical. Another great reminder to myself is that this isn’t actually my house.
1. Change the locks
Stay safe, fam! Even if you didn’t buy your house from an eclectic weirdo who refused to move out, you should change your locks. You’ll have more peace of mind and you can control how many keys are floating around out there. Take this time to reinforce anything that feels a lil’ jiggly on your door. My side door lock and handle was held on with packing tape, so I bought a wraparound metal plate to hold everything together.
Make a copy of your key and give it to someone you trust who lives nearby so they can let you in if you forget yours!
2. Deep clean everything
This one is simple. If you make sure you deep clean literally everything in your new house, you’ll never have to wonder if some gross sticky mess you find later on is from the previous owner. Nope, that’s your own filth. Scrub all your floors, doors, windows, cabinets, appliances, bathrooms, everything.
Make sure you hit your cabinet handles, door knobs, light switches, and anything your hand will be touching on a regular basis.
3. Paint everything
Before I bought my house, I was never allowed to paint the walls in any of my apartments. So for me, one of the most exciting things about being a homeowner is that you can do whatever you want to your house. The power of paint is real. The ceilings in your new house might look white, but trust me they are NOT. Also, do you have any idea what a pain it is to paint a ceiling around furniture? Not sure how to pick a color for your walls? Start with a neutral and you can always spice it up later. My house had neon orange and green walls and red trim, so getting a neutral on the walls helped me plan any future updates. I painted the majority of the walls in my house Benjamin Moore Half Moon Crest and it is a great medium grey, but it does lean slightly blue in some lights. I can also recommend Revere Pewter as a good neutral greige base color.
The trim! Once you have the ceilings and walls painted, you might as well freshen up your trim if it is already painted. I was working with red trim, dirty white trim, and yellow/cream trim in spots in my house, and a crisp white helps everything feel cleaner and brighter. All my doors and trim are painted with Benjamin Moore Satin Impervo in the off the shelf white. It is about $80 a gallon, but it is worth every penny. You only want to paint that trim once, right? Make it count.
Anything else you make sure to do before you move into a new house? Let me know in the comments!