You’ve bought a new property, been handed the keys and you’re ready to start turning this new and unfamiliar shell into a home – but where do you start? Moving is widely regarded as one of the most stressful things we have to endure, and it often doesn’t end once we’re in our new property.

All of the unpacking and rearranging can be overwhelming and you’re often left feeling as if you don’t know whether you’re coming or going, so having a handy checklist of things to do can be extremely helpful. That’s why we thought it would be great to compile just that – a list of things to do when you first move into your new home.

Not only will these tips help you settle in, there are a few here that will also help save you cash, too. So, without further ado, let’s jump straight in!

1. Clean before you unpack 

There’s no better time to clean your new home from top to bottom than when everything is still packed away. In an ideal world the former owner would have completed that chore for you, but we all know that that isn’t always the case. Besides, you’ll feel better if you give the property a thorough going over – even if it already appears to be spotless!

Granted, it’s probably the last thing that you’ll want to do after a move, but it is worth the effort. Getting a good clean in before you get everything out of their boxes ensures that you reach every inch and it’ll help you identify any minor issues that may need addressing, such as stains on carpets or chips in the woodwork.

If it’s within your budget, consider hiring a professional cleaning firm to do the task for you. Give your local cleaners a call a couple of weeks before your moving date and arrange for them to visit on the day that you move in. That way you’ll keep disruption to a minimum and you’ll be able to start unpacking in the first room that the cleaners finish, which will save you a lot of time and effort.

2. Check your insulation

If you haven’t already asked the question when viewing the property, now is the time to find out how well insulated your new home is. Head up to the loft (if you have one) and have a look around. If it’s unfinished you should be able to see if there is sufficient insulation laid down – or if there’s none at all!

The Energy Saving Trust states that as much as 25% of your home’s heat can be lost through a poorly insulated loft, with a whopping 65% leaking out through uninsulated solid walls. Addressing the insulation issue now will help lower your energy usage and save you money over the long term.

Free insulation may be available providing your home qualifies. For more information, check out this post on Money Saving Expert.

3. Create a to-do list

While you have access to every nook and cranny of your new home, why not put together a to-do list for each room? It doesn’t have to go into great detail and you’ll only need a pen and paper to get started. Alternatively, you could even use the notepad on your smartphone.

Jot down anything that comes to mind as you move through your home. It can be minor things such as where to hang your favourite mirror for maximum effect, through to full-on projects such as adding a new kitchen.

Going through the property while it is empty and free from clutter will allow your mind to generate a picture of how you’d really like your new home to look.

4. Change the locks and get keys cut

Many of us feel a lot more secure if we change the locks of our doors soon after moving in to a new property. Thankfully, this isn’t too difficult a job to handle yourself and it isn’t overly expensive either.

For full security, make sure you change both the front and back door locks. While this may seem like overkill to some, you really have no way of knowing whether or not there are old copies of keys knocking about, so it really is better to be safe than sorry.

Once you have your new locks fitted, head down to the local key cutters and get some copies made. Give a set to someone you can trust, such as your parents or siblings, as you may need to call on someone one day if you lose your set while you’re out and about.

5. Get to know the area

While you’re out getting your new keys cut, why not explore the local area a little, too. If you are unfamiliar to the town or city, you’ll want to find out where the local amenities are. Look out for local restaurants, public transport and schools. At the very least, you’ll need to locate your nearest supermarket or convenience store.

Having a quick stroll round will help you get your bearings and give you a feel for your new area. Just try not to do too much research into the local watering holes while you are out! Moving home may be thirsty work, but there’s plenty of time for that sort of thing later.

6. Create a maintenance checklist for your home

Setting up a home maintenance checklist from the start will ensure that everything that needs to get done does get done. It’s a good idea to separate your list into three sections: monthly, quarterly and annually.

This will help you lengthen the life of all your appliances, keep on top of minor chores, and give you peace of mind, especially with things such as regularly checking your smoke alarms. Writing all of this down and keeping the list handy will make it much easier to do all of these little tasks and save the time and effort of having to think about what actually needs to be done whenever you come to do it.

7. Introduce yourself

Last, but by no means least, take a few minutes out of your first day to go round and introduce yourself to your new neighbours. This may be slightly uncomfortable for some people, but you really only need to knock and say hi.

Doing so will get you off on the right foot with everyone and stand you in good stead for the duration of your stay in your new home. You never know when you might need a little help or advice, so start off friendly and introduce yourself to those who live closest to you.

Bonus point – relax!

Now that the stressful business of moving and getting things sorted is firmly behind you, it’s important to remember to relax and enjoy it. Run a hot bath and call your local takeaway before settling in for a good night’s sleep in your new home – there’s still plenty of work to do tomorrow, after all!

If you are thinking of moving and would like some friendly advice from the leading family-run estate agents in West Essex and East London, give us a call or pop in to one of our offices. Our agents have a wealth of experience across all aspects of moving home and they’re always happy to help out, so get in touch with them today. Contact us on:

Wanstead office – 020 8989 2091 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Buckhurst Hill office - 020 8504 5403 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7 things every homebuyer should do when they first move in