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8 Tips for Getting Settled in Your First Home

Posted by Vanessa Freeman on July 25, 2017

8 Tips for Getting Settled in Your First Home Couple Unpacking imageBuying your first home is a big deal. With all the excitement of this major life milestone, it can be easy to forget the small details like updating your driver’s license or transferring your bills. While you undoubtedly want to feel settled as quickly as possible, it’s smart to take things slowly. Our guide can help you make sure the transition goes well.

1. Start with the Basics

If you have any experience moving, you know the most important thing is to set up your utilities. It’s not much fun sitting in your new home when you can’t watch TV or check your email. If possible, call a few days in advance. That way, TV and internet will be working as soon as you move in, and you won’t be stuck waiting a week for an appointment.

You also need to be sure to change your address with all of your current companies. Start by making a list of every place you do business with, including:

Student loan provider(s)
Banks
Cell phone provider
Credit card companies
Insurance companies

It’s helpful to set aside a half-day to just go through and update your address with each company. Don’t forget to change your driver’s license as well. Doing your address change through the post office means they’ll forward your mail, but you don’t want to miss anything.

2. Unpack Essentials

You don’t need to unpack all of your boxes to feel settled. Start by setting up some of the things you’ll need most. Get fresh sheets on your bed and put your favourite clothes in the closet. Set up the bathroom with your colour-coordinated curtain, towels, and bath mat, then put out all of your usual toiletries. Stock the kitchen with your favourite foods and bring out your most-used pans, plates and silverware.

With these things in place, you’ll feel comfortable. You can then go through the rest of your belongings a little bit at a time. A little hint here - make sure to put these things in labelled boxes before the move so you can access them easily. 

3. Introduce Yourself to the Neighbours

When it comes to condo living, it’s important to know your neighbours. If they’re friendly, they might stop over to introduce themselves, but you don’t have to wait for them to make the first move. You don’t have to go around to everyone in the building, but introduce yourself to your nearest neighbours. This gets the relationship off to a good start.

4. Explore Your New Community

You might think you know a bit about the area, but this isn’t quite the same as the knowledge you get from really living in a community. During the evening, take walks around the neighbourhood. Drive down some of the major roads to get a lay of the land. 

Look for your favourite restaurants and some new ones you might want to check out in the future. Explore the grocery stores to see which ones have the foods you need and which ones offer the best prices. It’s also smart to strike up a conversation with other residents. They’ll probably have some good suggestions for you.

8 Tips for Getting Settled in Your First Home Unpacking image5. Arrange Your Artwork

The fun part of owning your own home is being able to decorate the walls the way you’ve always wanted. As exciting as it is, though, take the time to do it right. Remember heavy pieces should be anchored into a stud or require special hangers that go into the drywall. You wouldn’t want to start your new life with a giant hole in the wall. You’ll also want to measure pictures and artwork correctly so you don’t wind up putting more holes in the drywall than needed. Check out his post on how to properly hang artwork for some more helpful advice. 

6. Find Your Professionals

The great thing about moving into a brand-new condo is you don’t have to worry about finding a good handyman right away. Many of the elements in your home will be covered by the warranty. Still, you may want to look around for other types of professionals, such as a doctor, a dentist, a local dry cleaner and a hair stylist. 

7. Buy a Few New Things

You don’t have to go out and buy all new furniture to go along with your brand-new home, but it’s still nice to get a few new things. Once you’ve got your major pieces of furniture arranged, you’ll start to see spaces that need a little something extra. Spend your weekends browsing the home goods stores looking for the perfect items. Consider purchasing high-quality items that will last a long time rather than the cheapest option. Your home will look a lot nicer too.

8. Organize as You Go

Moving into a new home is the perfect opportunity to get more organized with your belongings. As you take each item out of a box, make sure to give it a proper place. This way, you’ll be able to maintain the uncluttered look. This is the time to invest in a few stylish storage options.

If you take the time to get properly settled into your new home, you will be much happier living it. Little things make a big difference, so don’t feel pressured to get everything done at once.

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Photo credits: couple unpackingmoving in
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Topics: tips & tricks