8 Home Improvements to Make Right After Moving In

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Getting ready to move into your new home? Before you settle in, there are some important home improvement projects you’ll want to tackle. Here are 8 essential home improvements to do after moving in—or even just before—to start your new life right.

1. Change the locks

Those old locks at your new house need to be replaced or rekeyed. It’s not that you shouldn’t trust the sellers—it’s that you shouldn’t trust all of the people who’ve had contact with those keys over the years, any of whom could have copied the keys for some unsavory purpose. Unfortunately, more than half (52%) of baby boomers and about a third of Gen Xers (33%) and millennials (31%) who moved in the past year have not changed their locks, a recent Home Depot survey found.

2. Change alarm batteries

Making sure your fire and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s better to deal with it now, when the home is empty and you can replace the old batteries without having to move furniture.

3. Caulk cracks and gaps

Using caulk to seal cracks around bathtubs, windows, doors, and other crevices around the house will help you stop leaks, drafts, and other nuisances that could inflate your utility bills.

4. Spackle holes

Cracks, scratches, and holes in walls can form over time from regular wear and tear, or simply from nails used to hang artwork. A bit of spackling and spot painting will make rooms look fresh again. Nearly 3 in 5 (59%) new homeowners patch and paint their walls themselves, a Home Depot survey found. If you have only a few holes and scratches, you can fill them with spackling compound. For a greater number of gashes and holes, use joint compound. When you’re done spackling, you’ll want to repaint those areas.

5. Build extra storage

If your new home is short on storage space, then install some storage units around the house. Specifically, entryway storage is crucial especially in the winter. Consider mounting a shelving unit near your front door or in your mudroom (or both).

6. Childproof your new home

If you have young kids, then take a day to childproof your new house. After all, accidental injuries are the leading cause of death in children aged 14 and younger, and more than a third of these incidents happen at home.

Installing safety gates at the top and bottom of all stairs is a must for small children. Blind cords are another problem. To keep window blind cords and strings out of a child’s reach, place them on high, wall-mounted hooks.

7. Deep-clean carpets

If your new home has older carpets, do it before you move in so there’s no furniture in your way.

Going up against deeply embedded dirt? You’ll want to rent a powerful, industrial-style carpet-cleaning machine such as a Rug Doctor, which sprays hot water with a detergent over the carpet and extracts it with a high-powered vacuum. These machines are expensive to buy—about $400 to $700—so it’s more economical to rent one from a hardware store for about $25 to $30 per day.

8. Clean hardwood floors

This is another task you’ll want to tackle before moving in, but make sure to use the right cleaner. Most wood floor installers or manufacturers recommend cleaners that contain isopropyl alcohol, which dries quickly, and are available at home supply stores.

To make your own solution, add a capful of white vinegar to a gallon of water, which will help dissolve grease and grime on the floor without stripping the finish.

To remove shoe scuff marks, rub marks with a tennis ball. Just make sure not to use a steam mop.

Article originally appeared on Realtor.com.

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