9 Updates To Make To Your Home Before Moving In

9 Updates To Make To Your Home Before Moving In

Guest Post: Samantha Allen

Moving into a new home is one of the more exciting moments in your life, but it certainly doesn’t come without its challenges. Besides choosing among the best national moving companies or local moving services to assist with your move, as well as keeping your move-out checklist on track, it’s important to know which updates your new home will need before you move in. 

Between painting, electrical work, flooring, and more, you’ll have plenty to do to get your new home ready, but with this list of necessary updates, you’ll be on course for the smoothest move-in ever.

Pipes in an exposed wall

1. Core Plumbing and Electric Updates

There’s a fairly good chance that you’ll need to make some bigger foundational updates to your new home, like repairing your plumbing system. These updates often require you to cut into the flooring or walls, and the dust and debris might also require you to repaint the affected rooms, which means these projects should take priority in the order of operations. 


woman with brunette hair in a ponytail painting a white wall dark blue with a roller

2. Interior Painting

Among the first batch of projects to tackle before you start the move-in process is painting all the interior rooms that need it (and in many cases, all of them need it). A new coat of paint is a low-cost and easy way to upgrade your space. Plus, it will protect your walls from any new wear and tear, and you can avoid suffering through that paint smell, had you waited until move-in to check off this task.

There are many types of paint to consider for your interior, so make sure you know the difference between each and consult a professional if you need to. If you’re going the DIY route, bring samples home of different colors and finishes to get a better idea of what you like. 


a person putting wood planks onto floor

3. Repair or Replace Flooring

While many new homes may not need this treatment, you may need to repair or replace flooring if you’re purchasing an older home. And since your floor space will soon be taken up by furniture and appliances, it’s best to tackle this project well before move-in.

While the timeline for repair or replacement varies depending on the level of damage and type of flooring, one thing is for sure: The contractor working with you will insist on the affected rooms being totally empty. Keep it simple, and get it done before move-in day.


an empty closet with shelving and drawers, with a view point of the laundry room next door

4. Add Storage 

If you lack storage space or your closets could use a little TLC, add this task to your pre-move-in list. Replace those old clothing rods if they’re in poor shape or install special shelving for your clothes and shoes to ensure that move-in won’t mean immediate clutter or disarray.

You may want to add additional shelving to the walls, as well. While this is not always necessary, we recommend decluttering your old space before moving so that your new home can work more efficiently for you.


someone changing locks on a door

5. Change Your Locks

In most cases, you’ll likely want to change the locks before move-in. Who knows who else the seller gave keys to? Plus, starting fresh with a new home security system and brand-new locks will help you feel as secure as possible as you settle into your new space and neighborhood. 


a man putting insulation in the ceiling of an attic

6. Winterize Your Home

You may not think this step is necessary if you’re moving into your new home during a warmer month, but working to better insulate and protect your home from cold and inclement weather will save you so much time and money down the road. Don’t forget to check your attic insulation and inspect your pipes. You may even want to check all of your filters, as well.


ladders and renovation supplies in a room that has walls torn down with lots of dust everywhere

7. Big Renovations and Remodels

If you already know you want to knock down that kitchen wall or create a new laundry room layout, it makes the most sense to complete those projects before move-in. Similar to core electrical and plumbing updates, these projects often mean lots of debris will be coming through the space, and you may need to repaint your walls or replace flooring after these projects are over. Instead of doubling the work, completing it before move-in will be so worth it. 


a person changing the battery in a smoke alarm

8. Check Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Before the big day, do one last safety check on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Grab fresh batteries and make a note to handle this before you start sleeping in your new home. 


someone putting shingles on a roof with a hammer

9. Repair Your Roof

A roof inspection is highly recommended during the home inspection and appraisal process, so you should have a good idea before move-in if your roof will need extra attention. Whether you go the DIY route or lean on a professional to repair your roof, make sure to address any holes or leaks now to prevent potential mold and mildew issues down the road.


Bottom Line

While it’s nearly impossible to find every issue with your new home before moving in, addressing the big tasks before the movers arrive will help set you up for success. You deserve to relax in your new space and reap the benefits of locking down a home, so staying on top of these big pre-move-in to-dos will be the best thing you ever did for yourself. 


Samantha Allen is the managing editor for Forbes Home. She covers all topics home-related, including home improvement and repair. Prior to Forbes, she edited home repair and design content at websites like The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.

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