I wanted to share what my husband and I’s checklist was for the first few weeks/month in our new house. We were really organized and made a google doc of the 1st month in new home check list with everything we needed to buy/get done/be ready for. It REALLY helped us. We avoided forgetting things (which we tend to do…a lot 🙃) and avoided added stress. I hope it’s helpful!
Our 1st Month in New Home Check List
Security System and Cameras
- This was priority #1. We started our research on security systems and cameras before we even officially closed on our house and had an appointment set up for the same week we moved in. I think we only slept 2 nights without it and that was exactly the plan, to have our house secured right from the start. If you’re a Miami local I can refer you to a great security company-just shoot me an email!
- Even if you’re not a germaphobe like me, it’s still a must to give a new home a good cleaning (especially during these times). I made sure to have a bag set up and ready to go with cleaning supplies for my move-in day. The bathrooms and kitchen were the top priorities since those would be used right away. With all of the in and out and moving boxes around etc. the floor was the last to be cleaned thoroughly and instead I just used my Swiffer to tidy up here and there until we felt we were ready to tackle the floor properly. If possible, I would recommend having a friend or family member help you so the cleaning and moving in boxes/organizing can be done simultaneously. My mom helped me clean while my husband and dad moved in our things and it was a great system and kept our rental time of our u-haul down to 24hrs only.
Grout and Caulking
- We were fortunate to love the flooring in our house and not want to change it. Since we have tile on the first floor along with base boards we knew we’d still want to give everything a refresh. My husband and I had purchased a steam mop before our move as I’m very particular about keeping tile grout clean and we read a steam mop was our best option. As soon as we were ready to clean the floors and before any re-grouting that was needed in any areas and re-caulking by the baseboards, we took the steam mop to the floor. The one we purchased is considered an all purpose steam cleaner because of it’s multiple attachements, which came in handy. We ended up using a brush attachment for the grout. I’ll have to share with you all on my IG Stories how well the steam mop works on grouts. It was like magic. If you’re picky about the way your grout looks too I can’t recommend purchasing a steam mop enough. We still use it bi-weekly in between our regular floor cleaning to keep our tile looking pristine. This is the one we purchased: Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner Multipurpose Heavy Duty Steamer.
- This takes all of seconds on the USPS website and is smart to do literally the day you move in, because all of times I’ve had to do this in the past I know it takes a week or so every time until it’s confirmed. If you’re in a career like mine where you receive lots of packages for your business and often times unprompted, it’s a good idea to send a notice of your new address to required contacts to avoid having packages sent to your previous address.
- I knew that I needed wifi not just for leisure, but to work. So we had an appointment set with our internet provider the next day after we moved in. It helped prevent a lot of stress to have this planned and set up immediately.
Do any planned outdoor work/renovation before making big indoor purchases like couch, rug
- If you have any immediate plans for your front or backyard and also plan on purchasing pieces like rugs and couches for your main living/high traffic areas, I’d recommend waiting until the outside work is done to move them in. This past week we’ve been re-doing our backyard and my floor has been a disaster, no matter how many times I clean it. I’ve just surrendered to the dirt for now and just give it a clean at the end of each day. If we had our new couch and rug for our living room out already I know I would’ve been a stress ball worrying about it. As it is I put a new rug under our dining table and I’ve already been stressing about that. Especially if you’re ripping up grass and have dirt for a backyard in the process (🙋🏻♀️), I’d recommend waiting to put in your new stuff in the areas you’re walking through from the outside to avoid the panic attacks.
- One of the things we fell in love with about our house was all of the natural light and big windows-we don’t turn on lights until like 7pm everyday, it’s wonderful! However, that meant we’d need to dress the windows in order to give us some privacy. I wanted this mainly for evenings to block views from the outside. It was also important that the windows still stand out and be framed perfectly during times I didn’t want to cover them, so I did take a little longer than planned picking out curtains and curtain rods, so I ended up installing them week 3. If you’re like me and want some privacy at night and have big/a lot of windows, I’d advise doing your window treatment shopping maybe even before you move in so they’re ready to install immediately, which usually is a breeze so won’t take away from other move-in priorities.
Meal delivery or meal prep for the first 2 weeks, to help with moving frenzy
- I cook almost every day, but I knew I’d want to be a little strategic for the first week or two. We did order in a couple of times, but we’re not the biggest take-out fans and always prefer a home-cooked meal, so deciding between a meal-prep delivery service (blue apron, hello fresh etc.) and meal prepping for at least a few days in advance helped us be able to focus on house stuff and not worry about what’s for dinner.
Locate your electric meter and gas line shutoff (if you have natural gas)
- This is important to know so that if there is ever an emergency or fire you’ll be prepared to turn off your electricity and/or gas. We located ours within the first couple of days on moving in.
Check the house’s electrical panel for it’s labeling and confirm that all of the breakers are labeled correctly and correlate with the proper sections/appliances in your home.
- We also did this within the first few days, especially living in a place that gets hurricanes and power outages. However, it’s important for everyone to know this for when any electrical work is done in the house (even as simple as installing a pendant light) and should there ever be a problem with anything powered by electricity in the house you can immediately find the correct breaker and turn it off on the panel.
Basic home tools
- Drill, hammer, screw drivers, nails, ladder, tape measure etc. We used older tools we had almost immediately after moving in and then my husband purchased a brand new arsenal of home tools (he was VERY excited about 😂) week two and we’ve reached for at least one thing from his tool box daily. I actually keep the tape measure in a drawer in the kitchen for easy access, since I’m constantly measuring areas for purchases.
Purchase any replacements and refills
- If your new house came with appliances, check to see if you need to order replacements/refills- for instance a refrigerator water filter. Light bulbs are another good thing to immediately have on hand. Not only for your lamps being moved in, but for porch/patio lights and any other previously-installed light fixtures you’ll be using and needing. Lastly, a water hose. We’ve used it about 200 times by this point with backyard renovations, but even before we started that we were using it for clean ups etc.
Find out your trash schedule and see if you need to order any additional bins
- This is especially important to know immediately so that all of your moving boxes can be recycled and out of your way as quickly as possible.