09 Mar 2017
They say your home is your castle but moving in can be a bit strange at first. It almost feels like you’re an invading force. It’s not quite home yet. Still, it won’t be long before you’re flying the flag with everything just the way you want.
It’s all part of the transition process and the first few days are often about getting used to the space and doing what it takes to transform it into a home. Just don’t be surprised if you experience any of the following situations that signal you’re still pretty new to your abode.
1. It feels like you’re living in the 80s
Getting your utilities set up can be a pain as you try to contact your suppliers while doing everything else. It might take a while to get things like satellite TV and internet up and running. Welcome to life in the 1980s, pre-internet, although hopefully with less mullets.
Before you start panicking, it’s going to be okay. You can survive a few days without having instant access to the internet and your favourite TV shows. This is why the god of TV invented playback. If you really want to embrace old school living, a game of Monopoly with friends or family will easily pass around 16 hours of your life.
One way to make the transition as painless as possible is to contact your suppliers ahead of time. Accounts from your old place will need to be closed or transferred. Most contracts require a month’s notice before you can cancel without having to pay a hefty fee. Contacting them in good time lets you prepare in advance and fulfil any requirements that they might have.
This way, you won’t be stuck without the essentials of modern life. More importantly, you won’t be left without the real essentials like electricity.
2. You can’t find anything
The first week in your new home is probably going to involve lots of rooting around in cardboard boxes and a few choice phrases that aren’t safe for work. Maybe you’re excessively organised and have a fully itemised list of what’s contained in each box. Otherwise, this is probably going to be your life for the first week or two of home ownership.
Finding a can opener suddenly becomes the sort of epic adventure that would tax the patience of Indiana Jones. You know it’s there somewhere but that’s not much help. In the meantime, a simple can of beans is transformed in to the Fort Knox of canned goods.
The obvious solution is to unpack everything once you get into the house but that’s probably not an option for everyone. A slightly lazier option is to pack all the essentials together so you can access the basics while you’re still getting settled. Otherwise, you may very well end up nipping into the shop to pick up utensils that you know you already have.
3. You become a ninja master at cleaning
The first thing everyone wants to do when they move into a new home is to give the place a thorough clean. There’s something about a new place that makes it difficult to relax until you’ve scrubbed every surface and given the kitchen and bathroom a serious going over.
If you can’t face the thought of it, you can always hire a cleaner to do the dirty work (although that’s not always an option if you’ve just pumped all your savings into getting your first home). Otherwise, you’ve a few days of scrubbing, cleaning and polishing before you can finally enjoy a zen-like state of shiny-surfaced bliss.
Once you’ve eradicated all traces of the former owners with fire and bleach, you’re ready to relax and begin walking around in your bare feet. Cleaning an entire house from top to bottom may not be most people’s idea of fun but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
4. You start shopping like an adult
Your shopping list for the first week in your new home is far removed from the clothes, gadgets or indulgent items that you were spending your money on a few years ago. Suddenly you find yourself picking up industrial quantities of cleaning products and practicalities like hangers or bins.
You know you’re knocking on the door of adulthood when you come out of a shop with fire extinguishers and a first aid kit - on the bright side, you’re probably not going to replace a lot of these things for years. It may not be the glamorous side of home ownership but stocking up on the essentials is vital. Draw up a list of what you need and try to get this task out of the way within the first week.
5. It takes a while to feel like home
Don’t be surprised if it takes a while to feel like this is actually your home. Moving into a new place is always a bit disorientating. Walking through a dark hallway suddenly becomes an adventure, especially when you can’t find any of the light switches! But it won’t be long before you get your bearings.
And there are a few steps that can help you to settle in. Depending on who lived there beforehand, you won’t know how many copies of your keys are in circulation so changing the locks can give you peace of mind. Unpacking and filling your new place with your own things also helps to create a sense of home.
The first few days can be a bit surreal but it won’t be long before you feel like the king or queen of your own castle. Enjoy it!
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