This time last year we were negotiating the details on our first ever successful house offer. We’d gone to an open house, fallen in love, walked through again with out realtor four days later and then made an offer just days after that. And so began a whirlwind of inspections, mortgage paperwork and packing that culminated in our house closing and moving in mid-April.
A year later, we’re still in the process of figuring out what we want to do with the space and how to best invest in it. We’re settled, but we have a lot of dreams as well and most of our furniture is still the “temporary” items we had in the apartment. This week, my sister and her husband closed on their first house. I’m thrilled for them and all their excitement has led me to think about what we’ve done so far and where our house is headed. It seemed only right to share what I’ve learned with you (and her).
Items I’d recommend stocking up on and having at the ready, if you’re moving:
In the weeks between closing and finally getting settled in, we frequently found ourselves running to the store because we were either using things up as we moved or didn’t realize we’d need them to begin with. Even though our house didn’t need much work at all, it was really dirty when we moved in and we had no problem finding little projects that had to be taken care of.
- Mr. Clean magic erasers
- extension cords
- vinegar/water cleaning solution or multi-purpose cleaner
- white gloss trim paint
- lots of painters tape
- Swiffer Wetjet with lots of extra cloths / vacuum and extra bags
- super easy snacks to grab when you have a spare moment
- an infinite supply of rags and paper towels
- multiple tape measurers (they’re easy to misplace)
- pencils for marking walls
Things I’m glad we did while moving:
- making a crockpot soup for lunch/dinner so we didn’t have to worry about meals and could “cook” at our new place without a whole kitchen’s worth of supplies
- moving in slowly…we took our entire April break last year to move from our apartment which greatly reduced stress
- having friends help us move was much cheaper and more fun than renting a van or hiring strangers
- taking a whole day just to clean our house before we attempted moving in
- setting up one of our bathrooms immediately so that we could stay at the house or the apartment at any time during the move in process
- Ordering pizza and picking up beer from new (to us) local places for our first dinner in the new place
buying the lazy susan for our deep and wide (18”) corner cabinet
installing window film in our bathroom – only one of our three full size bathroom windows was frosted, but this film applies easily and hasn’t needed to be reattached once. It was a bit of an investment up front, but totally worth it.
painting the back of our (beat up, scuffed, dirty) bathroom door an awesome blue-green color
installing a new furnace and water heater, largely thanks to MassSave
picking up garage sale finds, including a $10 ($15 with the new knobs we bought) for the guest room and a set of kitchen stools from my parent’s local Facebook “yard sale” page
Jean King says
I can’t believe it’s been a year! Happy 1st year house-iversary! As for advice, live in your house a little while before making major changes. You have a life-time, take it slow!