Planning, packing, moving, cleaning.
You bought a house. You have exchanged, completed and have hit the giant, red-circled moving day on the calendar. Life is a multitude of cardboard boxes. The whole process is exciting and exhausting. You will resolve to NEVER move again. Whether you are in rented accommodation or buying and selling, before the flurry of unpacking of your carefully (or not) labelled possessions start, check out our top things to do right after moving into a new property.
Grab a tape measure and pen, then jot down the size of curtain drops, alcoves and door sizes (you want your sofas to fit!)
Has it survived the journey?
Check your big appliances; fridge, freezer, washing machine etc. Put them on for an empty run to check for leaks. If you discover a problem look into your contract with the movers to determine liability coverage. Make sure you get movers with insurance! If your dads doing the heavy lifting, don’t skimp on the bubble wrap.
Change your locks.
The neighbours, sellers mother in law and third cousins could all have a key to your home. Safety is essential, get some peace of mind and get this done as soon as you can. You may wish to invest in a burglar alarm which could reduce your home insurance quote.
Clean your floors and carpets.
We all furiously scrub down our new kitchen cabinets but often forget what is under our feet. There are so many reasons to have your carpets cleaned. It is not just about aesthetics, removing spots and stains or prolonging the life of the flooring. If you have young children who often crawl around and play on the floor, cleanliness is extra important. Carpets can be SO much dirtier than your toilet seat. Let’s be honest, we all apply the five second food drop rule. It’s a myth by the way, bacteria can live for weeks in a carpet.
How clean is your floor?
Carpet fibres trap and retain airborne pollutants, allergens and bacteria. Like me, you and your family may suffer with hayfever or asthma. It is a common misconception that you should only clean a carpet when it is visibly soiled. Your new home may appear to have spotless carpets but threads may be filled with dust mites, soil, pet urine and dander, dead skin cells, dust, insect feces, insect husks, bacteria, or mould. Washing carpets thoroughly will improve indoor air quality and paves the way for a hygienic home environment.
Bye bye Salmonella, Listeria and all the other nasties.
Usually, carpets should be professionally cleaned every 6 months (check out your carpet manufactures cleaning guidelines for the best ways of doing so). But, when you move into a new home, before you start bringing in furniture, you may wish to hire a #RugDoctor to brighten up dull, dirty carpets.
Just how effective is the Rug Doctor?
Not all carpet cleaning companies are created equal. Some are more reputable than others and costs can vary, as can products. Rug Doctor is a world leader in carpet care that deep cleans without damaging the carpet pile. You can rent a machine for 24 or 48 hours from multiple locations countrywide available to collect from most superstores. Visually the carpets on our new home looked okay. The usual beige. But the colour water that came out of the machine? Well, see for yourself. I think it speaks dirt volumes for the need to clean carpets even when your floors look relatively clean as the first picture shows. The amount of filthy water and pet hair not visible to the eye that was sucked into the reservoir via the carpet cleaning head, was astronomical. Or ‘scusting’ as my son described.
The cleaner is slightly bulky but not so heavy that I could not carry it up and downstairs. It stands about waist height and is bigger than a normal hoover. You need to have vacuum the floor in preparation for best results. It does make a noise which will disturb small people so seek nanny’s help with babysitting. The instructions are simple to operate and all you need is hot tap water and the appropriate cleaning solutions such as carpet detergent, or pet formula detergent. There is no booklet but images on the machine itself. On the website there is an additional downloadable rental leaflet for tips and a troubleshooting guide. The Rug Doctors stain guide will help you pick what product is best to remove anything from crayon to wine spillages.
*Always test on a small area of carpet for colourfastness.
The Rug Doctor is designed to clean in one pass (though for heavily soiled carpets you may wish to do this twice, then let the floor dry). You hold down the vacuum switch and walk backwards in a simple motion. The wheels help with the flow of movement. Pull the machine in the direction of the tuft. This works well for large rooms, although in our attic room where the ceilings are slanted you do have to get a bit creative with the manoeuvres. The machine has a useful hand tool kit for cleaning stairways and fabric furniture. Carpets were walk-on-dry after 3 hours. TIP: If they feel overly wet go over again with the vacuum tool. Just make sure then to cover with dust sheets before moving furniture back!
Where professional carpet cleaning costs around £200 a rental for 24 hours is around £22.99 and in my experience the machine evidently does clean foot traffic grime and dirt from the carpet!
What’s your address?
Make sure you redirect post, change your address with your bank, the DVLA and utility companies. Take meter readings as soon as you move in to ensure correct billing.
Find the mains.
Make sure you know where the trip switches, water and gas mains valves are, as you may need to turn them off in an emergency. If you can’t find them, ask the estate agent or landlord to show you where they are. Also check smoke detectors are working and on each floor. It is helpful to find where your bins are located and what day collections are.
Grab your camera and take snapshots.
If you are renting and have not received an inventory take dated pictures to use for when you move out and wish to secure the return of your deposit. Photo all bumps, scrapes and cracks. If you own the house? Take a quick capture of a room before you decorate, proof of the transformation will keep you motivated when you have been glossing skirting boards for 60 hours.
Make sure you make an ‘Open first’ box filled with useful things like bin bags ad toilet roll. Put some plasters and a couple of teabags in there too. Then, celebrate with your first takeout meal in the middle of your living room floor.
ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!
Do you have any tips or tricks when moving? Or have you any stories where you have moving fails, forgotten important things or made new home mistakes?
Note: We received a rug doctor for 48 hours in recompense for our honest review of the product.