4 chores to complete before moving into your new home

By Allstate

Last updated: January 1

Unless a home is brand new, it may need some attention before you move in. Tackling some projects before the furniture arrives may help make the first days living in your new house safer and less stressful. Before you move in, here are four chores to do in your new home.

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1. Change the locks

When you move into a new home, you never know who may still have a key from the previous owner — from friends and family to a cleaning service or dog walker. To ensure only the people you know and trust have a key to your home, change the exterior door locks before you move in, The Spruce suggests. You can purchase new locks at a home improvement store and switch them out yourself, says This Old House. Or, instead of replacing locks, you could rekey them —which is essentially resetting inner workings of a lock so that it will only open for a new key, according to Zillow. Rekeying kits are also available at home improvement centers. If you don't feel comfortable handling these tasks yourself, contact a locksmith.

2. Give the house a good cleaning

A new house can be a fresh start, and giving it a good cleaning can help make the house start to feel like yours. If you're keeping the current carpeting, you may want to rent a carpet cleaner or hire a professional to give it a thorough cleaning, HouseLogic.com says. If you're planning to replace carpeting or any other flooring, it may be easier to have it done before you move in, says The Spruce.

HouseLogic.com also suggests cleaning bathroom and kitchen cabinets thoroughly by wiping them down both inside and out. You may also want to apply or replace contact paper inside the cabinets.

If you notice signs of any pests, such as rodents or insects, while you're cleaning, consider contacting a pest removal service, says HouseLogic.com.

3. Get familiar with the mechanics

After closing on your new home, get familiar with the appliances and mechanical systems by giving them a once-over:

  • Locate your fuse or circuit box and get familiar with how it works, says The Family Handyman. This may be helpful if you ever need to manually shut off power to a specific circuit or your entire home.
  • Note the location of the main shut off valves for your utilities, such as water and natural gas. If a pipe breaks or there is another emergency, you need to know how to shut off your home's utilities.
  • Survey your electrical outlets and lighting to see if you have enough in the right places. It may be easier to add new outlets or lighting before you move in heavy furniture, says The Spruce.
  • Check the furnace filter and change it if necessary, says The Family Handyman. You may also want to consider having your HVAC system tuned up to be sure it's in good working condition.
  • Keep an eye out for plumbing leaks and make sure you know where the main water supply line is and how to turn it off, suggests HouseLogic.com.
  • Check the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and replace them if necessary, says The Family Handyman.

4. Stay safe at home

It's a good idea to help your family be prepared in case there is ever an emergency in your new home. If you don't have one already, put together a first aid kit. You may also want to create a family escape route and a preparedness plan, says Ready.gov.

Moving into a new home is exciting, and taking care of a few chores right away can help you feel safer and settle in a little easier. Once these tasks are done and you're moved in, sit back and enjoy your new place.