I cannot believe it’s already been one month since we closed on our very first home! Time is truly flying by and it seems like every day we add new projects to the list. We both are still pretty giddy about waking up here and feel so unbelievably grateful we got the chance to build this beautiful home. Of course, we are by no means close to done decorating it but it’s functional, beautiful and we love being here.
I want to share what to do during the first month in a new home, whether you are buying a pre-existing house or doing a new build. Fortunately, I was able to learn from my family and a few friends on some must-do things.
DEEP CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE
Looking back, I wish we were able to do this before we moved in our stuff but it wasn’t an option. If you read my moving advice post, you’ll know I went through and cleaned all the surfaces. However, I wish we had time to hire a professional cleaning crew or to do a deep clean ourselves. There are some things our builder should have done. They had a cleaning crew but they didn’t clean paint drops off the floors, extra grout on the tile, etc. and I actually reached out to our construction manager about this. Plus, when deep cleaning, especially if you do it yourselves, you’re bound to find things you’ll want to put on your 7-day post-closing list!
I wanted to add to this: I’ve had many followers tell me in a new build home it takes a while for the dust to “settle” so we’ll be cleaning more frequently the first few months and then it will start tapering off. Just something to keep in mind. We are vacuuming every day or every other day and mopping every three days.
I’m not sure if all new-home builders do this but ours did and we really appreciated it! No matter how thorough you are during the build and blue-tape meetings, you’re bound to miss things. The first month in a new house you’ll keep discovering things. Case in point: the handle on our water closet wasn’t level, our shower handle was a little loose – there are all things you have to live in the house to notice. Here’s what was on our list:
- Range hood trim isn’t centered – thank goodness y’all can’t tell in photos! We actually caught this earlier but because of covid restrictions, our construction manager wasn’t able to come in.
- Four small drawers in our master bath don’t open and close properly. Again, we knew this before closing but covid restrictions prevented a team from coming in.
- Laundry room baseboards aren’t completely flush – We found out from our construction manager because the water line runs behind it there’s nothing he can do. I’m hoping to put something in front of it and forget about it.
- East window in our master bedroom makes a noise when opening and closing
- Paint stains on our kitchen backsplash from the open shelves
- Backyard door is missing some paint around the handles
- Handles throughout the home aren’t straight
SEAL YOUR GROUT
There was a bit of a misunderstanding here so we will be sealing our grout this weekend. However, I recommend doing it the first weekend if you can, but if not definitely the first month in a new home! You’ll want to get this squared away before you start bathing and using the areas where there is tile. My sister used Stonetech for her home and actually gave us her leftover bottle. Since there are two of us, we’ll buy an extra paintbrush so we can both seal at once.
INSTALL CABINET HARDWARE
If you’re doing a new build and have soft-close cabinets and drawers, you’re going to want to do this ASAP. There were definitely a few times I thought I was going to break a nail trying to open things since soft-close hinges are hard to open. Also, I wanted to start putting things away, so this was one of the first things we checked off our list because it can be a bit of a messy project.
Johnny and I wrote a blog post on how to easily install hardware here.
MEASURE FOR WINDOW TREATMENTS
To be honest, I’m not sure why we didn’t get this taken care of a lot sooner. We had access to the house and really should have had all the windows measured before we moved in. That said, we’re living in a bit of glasshouse minus our temporary paper shades. Turns out, figuring out whether you want curtains, roller shades, roman shades or a combination can be overwhelming. Our roller shades arrive June 16 and I cannot wait to share with y’all! We got pretty lucky with how the windows are laid out so we don’t mind the “lack” of privacy too much. Plus, the first month in a new home it’s been fun to wave at our neighbors who walk by!
I think it’s kind of funny how so many people stress over what goes inside the house they sometimes neglect the outside. We are totally guilty of this! We forgot a house usually comes with a yard and there are things you need to take care of!
FIGURE OUT LANDSCAPING
We haven’t figured out any of our landscaping plans yet but we did hire someone to mow our lawn. Since we moved into our home in May and it’s summer, we’re at the point where someone is coming every week to mow our lawn. It’s starting to add up and I think Johnny is actually thinking about doing it himself… except there’s the matter of the Texas heat, but we’ll see. A few readers actually suggested we get a lawnmower robot and said this one is the best. We are 100 percent intrigued, ha!
We do have plans for a few plants including peony shrubs, a Meyer lemon tree, a Magnolia tree, lilacs and more. Also, we do want to get pavers in our backyard to extend the patio area a bit. That will most likely come later this summer or in early fall.
We got really lucky in that our construction manager set up our watering schedule for us so we didn’t have to do a thing! However, you’ll want to check to make sure you’re watering your grass enough, especially with a new house so it can grow in all the right spots. We were told once it’s Texas OU weekend (like I said, our construction manager really knows how to talk to us lol) to start dialing it back, then once more after Thanksgiving.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
If you haven’t already, set up mail forwarding with USPS and while you’re at it, sign up for their Daily Digest. I love this because it scans every single item coming through so you get a heads up of what’s coming soon and what’s arriving that day. Also, don’t forget to change your billing address on your credit cards, banks, any utilities you’ve set up, etc. The final step would be to get a new driver’s license, which I still need to do!
You have to love technology nowadays! Nextdoor is an awesome app where you can communicate with your neighbors, whether it’s in your immediate neighborhood or broader local community. This is a great place to get recommendations for any contractors you may need, finding new places to eat, or just asking for advice. I recommend joining and doing an introductory post so you neighbors can get to know you!