You’ve signed the papers, you’ve boxed up all your belongings, and now you’re standing in front of your new house. Congratulations! Moving into a new place can be an exciting moment, even if dragging all of your stuff around can be pretty tiring. But before you can finally relax, there are a couple of things that you might want to take care of concerning the hygiene of the place.
Now, this isn’t intended as a slight against the previous owners; all we are saying is you should make sure that things are up to your standards of cleanliness. From scrubbing and wiping down the kitchen to cleaning the very air that you and your family will be breathing in for years to come, the following list tells you which are the chores that you have to take care of on day one if you want to feel like you really made the best decision on this house.
Do an All-Around Deep Clean
Before you unpack all of your boxes, now is the perfect time to do a deep cleaning of the whole house, since it’s much easier to do so without a bunch of stuff lying around. We recommend that you start by cleaning and disinfecting all bathrooms completely, scrubbing toilets, bathtubs, floors, sinks, tile floors and walls, mirrors, etc. You’ll want to break out the bleach for this one since you want it to be ready for your family.
You’ll want to follow up with the kitchen top to bottom. Use a degreaser on your walls, counter, and cabinet exteriors then wipe them down so you can start using them as soon as possible. If you’re not bringing your refrigerator and stove, wash the inside of the former using a good disinfectant, and use degreaser on the latter, before using a disinfectant as well.
Shelf liners should be either wiped down with strong soap or replaced completely. If they don’t have any liner, scrub the shelf very well with a coarse sponge and let it dry before adding your liner so that you can place your stuff ASAP. After these three areas are covered, you might want to disinfect the bedrooms and wipe all the doorknobs around the house.
Clean or Replace the Carpet
You’ll have to decide on the carpet as soon as you move in (if you haven’t done so already): If the carpet seems to be in good condition and you want to keep it, have it shampooed and steam cleaned to disinfect it completely. If it’s discolored, too dirty or just plain ugly, you’ll want to have it replaced before moving in all your furniture.
Going into full remodeling mode and choosing to put new flooring can be pretty expensive, but if you’re sure of what you’re doing, keep your furniture in the garage or anywhere that you’re not re-flooring since it’ll make the job easier (and a little cheaper). Remember to get a floor that won’t smudge, scratch, or break easily, especially if you have children with you.
Swap All Your Locks
A lock is never really safe unless it’s yours and no one else’s, so one of the first things you’ll want to do as soon as you get the keys from the previous owners is to call a locksmith and have all your locks changed for new ones. It’s not about being “paranoid” or not, but you really never know who has a spare key to your house in a new neighborhood. From neighbors who you haven’t met yet to a nanny who no longer works for the previous occupants, it’s all the better for you if your doors get a fresh start.
If it’s already too late in the day or your trusted locksmith can’t make it before nightfall, buy a deadbolt for every door that leads outside and install it yourself. They’re usually pretty easy to handle, and all you need to put them in place is a screwdriver.
Change Your Air Filters
An old air filter is always bad news, especially if you don’t know how long it’s been since it was last changed. Even if the prior owner looks like someone who’d change an air filter on time, you probably shouldn’t bet on those odds, especially since this has to do with your family’s health; poor air quality can make asthma and allergy symptoms worsen over time, and you definitely don’t know if the one that’s currently installed has pet hair, mold, or dust mites.
Clean out the vents, change the air filter, and even add a purifier if you want to make sure that the air around your house will definitely be your and your family’s own. Just remember to dust high and low all around the house before doing so (preferably after you’ve moved all your furniture in) if you want to make the best out of your new air filter.