Congratulations! You bought your first home and you couldn’t be happier. Enjoy the celebration and the emotional release after the roller coaster of the buying process. Now that you are in your home here are 7 things to do. After moving into your house in Northern Virginia, make sure to settle in the right way.
Clean Clean Clean
You spent a month or more waiting to get in. You have packed and cleaned your prior place. You’re done, right? Sorry. If possible, before you let the movers unload anything, clean the place top to bottom. If you don’t want to, hire a cleaning crew that specializes in it. This process just helps you feel more settled in your new home; it makes it feel like yours. Aside from the basic scrub down, clean or change filters on heating and air conditioning units so you aren’t breathing someone else’s exhaust. Yeah, that is gross. So get cleaning! You’ll be surprised how dirty a home is even after it was sparkling for the open house. Wipe the walls with disinfectant and wipe door handles and cabinet nobs. Okay, we’re done being germaphobes.
Develop a Plan of Unpacking
Wouldn’t it be nice if you just walked in, snapped your fingers and your football team was playing on the television on the wall with chips and salsa on the coffee table? That would be nice. Except you can’t find the television mount so the tv is on the floor leaning against the wall as the dog studies it thinking it might be a good mark. Chips and salsa are great, but unless you know where the dishes are you’ll be eating out of the bag and salsa jar.
Set a plan of attack based on your priorities. While pizza during move day is so yummy, pizza for the ninth day in a row gets to be much. Most people get the kitchen squared away first. If you have done a good job labeling boxes while packing then you should be able to get a useful kitchen day one. From there sleep and that football game might be the priority. Set boxes in closest of rooms or in the garage where you aren’t tripping on them and pull out those next in line to unpack. It might take a bit of time to get completely settled but a plan helps you feel like you are home sooner than later.
Meet the Neighbors
Don’t’ wait for them to bring you a coffee cake. Take a few minutes to introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors. Most neighbors are look-i-loos on move-in day anyways. But if you don’t get a chance to meet them, go and do so. Starting off on the right foot prevents problems later. It also helps you expand your network for neighborhood insights such as great dog-walking paths, potential crime issues and the best coffee shops in the area.
Get Acclimated to the Neighborhood
Make this fun. Take time away from unpacking and get out of the house and enjoy the neighborhood. Ride a bike or walk around to get a feel for the area and see what treasures you might find. This is the best way to locate you Sunday morning donut shop that is walking distance to the house. It’s also important to walk kids and dogs around the area to acclimate them. You don’t want anyone getting lost and scared in the new neighborhood.
Take Rest Time
You’re eager to just get settled in. That is 100% understandable. But take some time to sleep and rest. You bought the house with the long-term in mind. As long as you have the essentials for working in the kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms, everything else can wait. Rushing might lead to accidentally breaking things or hurting yourself. Hang those pictures next week, after a good night’s sleep when you know where the level is and you are fully alert. Unless you want crooked pictures – a modern art twist?
Enjoy New Moments
Take the time to stop and smell your new roses. Snap a picture of your kids jumping on their bed in their new room. Sit and enjoy that first sip of coffee in the morning sitting at your kitchen table. You’re home. There will always be something else to do. Make it a habit to enjoy the moments otherwise life quickly becomes a never-ending to-do list.
Have a Housewarming Party
Once you are functional, throw a party. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Hide the boxes in a guest room or the garage. Everyone will understand that you just moved in. You might even get a few compliments about how much you have done in such a short period of time. An even better idea is to make it a “getting settled party” and feed the hands that help you. Either way, bring over those you love to spend time in your new space. It is the quickest thing you can do to make it feel warm and homey.
Don’t forget to invite your real estate agent. They’ll love to stop by and toast to your success!