You’ve bought a new house. Congratulations! After searching, going through the mortgage applications, closing on the deal, and packing up and moving, you’re ready to settle into your place and make it your home. Before you kick off your shoes and put your feet up, though, you should follow these steps to make sure you’re starting off right.

To-Do Lists

You’ve already gone through all the trouble of making and updating a to-do list when moving, so there’s no reason to stop. Make sure you keep track of your details about what should be unpacked first, where things should go, what needs to be purchased, what to check or change or fix. If you’ve got several members of the family who can help out, make sure you note on your list who is doing what—and that they know when you need these things to be done.

Get Your Realtor to Help

Your home might be brand-new, or it might be decades-old. Either way, you will need experts to call on when checking things out, repairing whatever got missed by the previous owners, or updating things. Your realtor will have extensive lists of reliable experts, many of whom have good working relationships with the realtors and might have already inspected your property. Get their names, numbers, and see if your realtor has any reports from the last time those professionals were at your house.

Change the Locks and Passwords

It’s not that expensive to go to the hardware store to buy some good-quality locks. It’s not hard to change them out yourself, but you can hire locksmiths to do it for you at a reasonable price if you’re giving them the locks to use. You might trust your realtor or the previous owners, but you can’t be sure who has copies of the old keys. Give yourself peace of mind. If there are more extensive security systems, make sure to change the passwords as soon as possible, for the same reason.

Check Filters, Vents and Pipes

Your house has probably been inspected several times, but it’s worth doing it at least once more yourself. Check the filters for aeration in the kitchen or bathroom, filters for the HVAC, stove filters, and clean out all the air vents. If you have chimneys or other exterior vents, take a look and see if they also need cleaning. Find out where the plumbing goes, where water meters and cut-offs might be, and if you can get access to the pipes, check them for leaks. If you notice any signs of water damage, get a professional to take a closer look. It’s also a good idea to have a pro check the status of your HVAC and water heater to make sure everything’s in tip-top shape.

Clean Everything

Before you have any boxes or furniture in the way, take the time to clean the house once more. The previous owners or realtors probably had it cleaned, but just in case something was missed, give it a good going-over. It can help you figure out all the little nooks and crannies, and you might run across a problem area that you didn’t know about before. Plus, if your home was cleaned before you get there, you will find you don’t have that much extra work to do.

Figure Out What You’re Going to Change

Do you want to repaint the walls? Add a carpet? Update the security technology or sink fixtures or put in a flower garden? Go through the house once it belongs to you, but before it’s filled with your stuff, and try to imagine what you’ll do next. This can give you a long-term perspective about your life in your new home.

And if you need help moving everything in, Gerber Moving & Storage is always here to help.