Seven-step checklist for setting up your new home

Living Well | Jenna Meade | Posted on 30 January 2020

Unpack like a pro with our handy seven-step guide to setting up a new home.

You’ve signed on the dotted line for your dream home, the boxes are in and the delivery trucks have driven away. Now what?

Before you start randomly unpacking boxes, we’re here to help you learn the art of setting up your new place with purpose.

From creating a plan to maximise your floor space to tips that will have you unpacking like a pro, here are seven steps to tick off to set up your new space for success.

Family of four unpacking box in a new house


Start fresh

High five to you if your home is in pristine condition. If not, set aside time to give it a once-over before you begin putting away your belongings. Complete the usual tasks as well as the often-neglected jobs, such as cleaning the heating and cooling filters. (More: A guide to vacuum cleaners)

Sure, it’s likely the last thing you’ll feel like doing, but you’ll feel better when you start settling into your new home from a clean slate. (Plus: How to make your own cleaning products)

Lock in the layout

Pressing pause to plan can help you consider how to best use the space in your home. You want to maximise your floor space. Start by placing big items like furniture where they make sense, but leave the smaller decorative items in one dedicated box in each room until you’re ready to style.

Be sure to make your high-traffic areas functional. In the kitchen, for example, lay out where you’re going to store your crockery and appliances so they’re easily on-hand to complement your cooking.

Unpack room-by-room

Focusing on one room at a time helps beat overwhelm and keeps you on track. 

Begin with the bedroom, because you’ll be needing some serious shut-eye in this sanctuary. Position your bed, set it up with clean linen and avoid piling stuff on top that you’ll have to clean off later. Next, move on to the bathroom, kitchen and living room.  (More: A guide to sustainable bed linens)

Divide and conquer with your family, housemates or the very kind friends you’ve roped in to help.

Tick off the little things

The physical exhaustion can get real during a move. Switch up your time wisely by tackling the smaller tasks in between the more manual labour. 

Connect your internet, set up a binder where you can organise your home’s paperwork and receipts, and put away your toiletries in the bathroom.

Set the tone to make it fun. Open the windows, put on an upbeat playlist and make sure you break often for a breather.

Play the waiting game

Take time to feel out your space before buying bigger items. Allow at least a month to settle in and make yourself familiar. 

Create a list of what you really need after these four weeks, when you’ll have far more energy and enthusiasm for shopping and styling.

The same goes for major renovations. What you think now may change dramatically after you’ve lived in and used the space. Get to know your surroundings for at least a year, then map out any changes you’d like to make. 

Set up security

Secure your surroundings so you can feel at ease from the first sleep. Switch on your home alarm, test your smoke alarms and check window locks are secure.

Consider changing your locks, particularly if you’re taking on a rental lease, as you can’t be sure how many keys have been cut for your home before you were given yours. 

It’s a good time to sort out your lock-out solution, which may be storing a key in a portable combination lock outside or giving a spare to a loved one.

Meet the neighbours

These days, it’s not as likely you’ll be greeted with freshly-baked cookies from your cheery neighbours. But you can easily kick-start a connection with your community by dropping by and introducing yourself. 

Make a special effort to remember their names. Pro-tip: write them down in a notebook or store them in your phone for later reference.
 



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