Last week, I introduced my new home makeover blog series “New Home, Who Dis?” and I knew that the first post in the series should be about the first things to do once you get the keys to your “New Home, Who Dis?”! Usually when you move into a new house, the first thing you want to do is start moving your furniture and belongings into your new home. BUT WAIT!! There are three things that you should do before ever unloading a single box!
Those three things are:
#1 Clean and sanitize EVERYTHING! From top to bottom
#2 Set up your electricity
#3 Change the locks
My boyfriend recently bought himself a new house! *applause* And he was very excited to move in. BUT, being the OCD, neat-freak, caring, loving girlfriend that I am, I suggested that we clean the place first before moving his stuff in. Why move into someone else’s filth right? Plus it’s easier to clean an empty room than it is to clean around furniture…
So, I made and printed off an excruciatingly detailed checklist of what needed to be cleaned/sanitized in every room. You can download and print this cleaning checklist here!! Normally with apartments, the previous tenants are required to clean before moving out and even the nicer apartments will have a cleaning crew come in to clean before you move in. However, houses are not the same.
As we were wiping counters and Windexing the windows, we all started to realize just how dirty the house actually was. I am certain that the house had not been dusted since 1995… One wipe down of the blinds left the Swiffer pad BLACK with dust. We even found needles and condoms in the bathroom drawer!! We probably should have worn hazmat suits.
We spent that first weekend literally scrubbing the place down from top to bottom. We used about 5 bottles of those Clorox wipes to wipe down the light switches, counters, every handle/pull/knob in the house, the window blinds, window sills, baseboards, toilets. We filled the bathtubs up with bleach and let it sit there for a few hours. We scrubbed the pantry and inside of the fridge. And we cleaned all of the windows with Windex – a few time sover because the windows were seriously black with layers and layers of dirt/dust from never being cleaned before… The old owners probably got lazy once they knew they were moving out.
This brings me to the #2 task on the list: SET UP YOUR ELECTRICITY. My boyfriend closed on the house in late July, in Texas, so very hot. Plus the garage to a man is what a closet is to a woman. He loves that garage and likes entering the house through the garage, using a remote controlled garage door opener. However, the electricity was working Friday night on the day that he closed, so it completely slipped his mind to call and have his own electricity turned on the next day. Low and behold, the next morning we show up to start cleaning aaaand the electricity wasn’t working. Meaning, there was no A/C in the 100+ degree Texas Summer heat. AND his electric garage door opener wasn’t working. Which would normally be fine, however he dead-bolted all of the doors AND left his key inside of the house… #smh
I had to break into the house through the back door. I felt like a badass. But it was very stressful and then we had to spend all weekend scrubbing every inch of the house while it was 90 degrees inside. So make sure you schedule your electricity to be turned on! We won’t be making that mistake again haha
Another thing to do when you first move in, is to buy a new lock set for the house. The previous owners could still have spare keys to the house and you don’t want any strangers coming in! And you don’t have to call a locksmith to do this either. You can literally go to Home Depot or Lowes, buy a new door lock/handle set and a Kwikset SmartKey set and BOOM all new locks.
My boyfriend went to Home Depot and bought the Dakota Satin Nickel Single Cylinder Door Handleset with Polo Knob Featuring SmartKey Security, the Juno Satin Nickel Exterior Entry Door Knob and Single Cylinder Deadbolt Combo Pack with SmartKey Security, and he bought the Kiwkset SmartKey Security Re-Key Kit to go ahead and match the front and back door locks to the same key without having to make copies. The set came with 4 so he kept one, made a spare to hide, gave me one (aww), and then gave the other to his sister that lives around the corner.
After cleaning and changing the locks, the house felt more like his. It’s like when you buy a new car and the dealership has the car washed and detailed for you before driving off with it. The house was new to him but now it was new and shiny. And having the A/C working was also pretty nice 😉
I hope this new home to-do list and cleaning checklist helps all of those out there moving into a new house soon and feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start once the deal is done. Buying a new home is a huge accomplishment and an important step in life. Make sure that everything is perfect and ready for you to move in and begin your life in your new home!