What to DIY Before You Move In

Stacks of moving boxes and wrapped furniture.

When transitioning from one house to another, there are several important jobs to consider before you move all of your belongings into the new spot. From updating the security to cleaning and decorating, get the following projects done before the move to save you time and stress later.

Change the Exterior Door Locks

A door with lock hardware and keys

When you've completed the process of closing on your new home and you have the keys, it’s time to make some important changes. You have two options here. You can either enlist the expertise of a locksmith to come and switch all of your exterior locks, or buy a new set of locks and install them yourself. Changing your locks will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your family or friends are the only ones who have access to the correct keys and, therefore, your house.

Service Mechanical Systems

Make sure that the heating and cooling systems in your new home are working properly. Hire a professional to come in and evaluate the situation. You’ll probably want your service agent to do a thorough assessment and cleaning of your systems. If you are new to the area, be sure to check the reliability of any company before you sign a contract to have work done.

Clean From Top to Bottom

A collection of cleaning projects on a wood floor.

Most people do their best to clean a home before leaving it to someone else, but you’ll probably want to have it cleaned to your own standards. You can either do all of the cleaning on your own or hire a service to come in and do the work for you. If you decide to save some money and clean your new home yourself, set up a system for getting the job done. Put all of your supplies and equipment in one area so you're not scrambling for products and can move swiftly from one cleaning project to the next.

Paint the Ceilings and Walls

The job of applying a fresh coat of paint to all of your walls and ceilings is a big one. You probably could do it yourself, but it will take up a lot of your time. Consider hiring a painting service to do the work. They typically have the expertise to get the job done quickly. They’ll also repair any imperfections to the walls and ceilings before they begin painting.

Organize the Closets

A storage shed with equipment leaning up against it outside.

Depending on the type of home you purchased, you may need to improve the closet space in several rooms. Decide where you want to store your belongings and then take a close look at the storage areas in those rooms. Don’t forget about places like your garage, basement, attic, or outdoor shed. If there’s no place to put things, you’ll have to buy organizers for the space. If you decide you need several organizing structures, visit your local hardware store and speak with a service professional about all of the options available.

Install New Windows and Treatments

Check the seals on all of the windows in your new home. Look for areas that are worn where air and insects might be able to get into your house. If your windows are dated, you may want to consider replacing them with ones that are more energy efficient. When you have your windows set the way you want, decide on the treatments you need to cover them. There is a wide range of window coverings available from blinds to curtains and everything in between.

Install New Electrical Components

Replacing an outlet cover.

If you've purchased a new home that has gone through several renovations, there may be a few outlets that don’t match with the rest of the place. You might also find that the outlet covers are dirty or cracked. Go through you new home and take a close look at all of the outlets. Make a note of all the ones that need replacing. While you’re taking inventory, check the air vents as well. If you’re not comfortable replacing the old or damaged parts, have a family member or friend help to do the job.