Essential Steps When Moving Into A Previously Lived-In Home

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Relocating to a new home is a thrilling adventure, full of opportunities and fresh starts.

However, when your new abode has been previously occupied, certain tasks should top your to-do list to ensure it’s clean, safe, and truly feels like your own.

Let’s walk through the essential steps when moving into a previously lived-in home.

essential steps when moving into a previously lived in home

Acquaint Yourself with Your Home

Spend some quality time getting to know your new surroundings. Identify key systems such as the HVAC system, water heater, and electrical panel. Understand their operations, keep their manuals accessible, and establish when they were last serviced to plan future maintenance.

Conduct a Thorough Cleaning

The initial move into a previously occupied home calls for a comprehensive cleaning. Regardless of how tidy the previous occupants were, a deep clean will give you peace of mind. This process should encompass every room, including often overlooked areas like appliances and carpets. If you find your time limited, or if you prefer a professional touch, consider enlisting a professional house cleaning service.

According to the experts at Calibre Cleaning, a company that provides house cleaning in Sydney and various cities in Australia, having your new property thoroughly cleaned before moving in can not only save time and effort, but can also help prevent the spread of germs and viruses. 

You may wonder, “Wouldn’t the previous tenant handle it with an end of lease cleaning?” The answer is, only sometimes. In most cases, tenants must pay a security deposit which is returned upon moving out. If the property has been left in an unclean state, chances are they won’t get their security deposit back. And even when they do, there’s no saying what might have been left behind.

Check Safety Devices

Ensure the safety of your new home by inspecting all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. It’s also an opportune time to locate and familiarise yourself with the home’s electrical panel and main water shut-off valve.

It is also crucial that you check for any signs of mildew or water damage and take the necessary steps to rectify the situation if needed. Air quality is also a key consideration. If you find any signs of mould or other airborne toxins, it’s important that you take immediate action to minimise the risk posed by such hazards.

Refresh with New Paint

The transformative power of a fresh coat of paint cannot be overstated. Repainting your home can breathe new life into it and allows you to put a personal stamp on your new space. Whether you want to maintain the current palette or introduce new colours, house painting is a key step in making the space yours.

Depending on your resources and skill level, you might paint yourself or hire professional house painters. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so carefully weigh your options before making a decision.

Update the Lighting

The lighting in your home is key to setting the atmosphere you want to create and can also help you save on energy costs. Consider replacing light fixtures with LED bulbs or low-wattage CFLs where necessary.

Replace the Locks

Security is paramount, and as such, replacing all locks when you move into your new home is highly recommended. It’s impossible to know who might still have keys from the previous owners, so changing the locks provides an added layer of security and peace of mind.

For extra safety, it would also be beneficial to have a new alarm system installed. Discuss your options with a qualified installer to ensure you get the best solution for your needs.

Address Required Repairs

Any repair needs during the home inspection should be dealt with promptly. Whether it’s a minor repair like a dripping faucet or a larger issue like wall damage, addressing these problems early can prevent them from escalating into more serious, expensive fixes later on.

It can be quite overwhelming to take this on before you even settle into the new place, but putting in the effort now will save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Add Your Personal Touch

Lastly, the most exciting aspect of moving into a new home – making it your own! Now’s your chance to arrange furniture, hang pictures, and decorate in a way that reflects your personality and tastes. Whether showcasing your favourite art, organising your cherished book collection, or crafting a cozy reading corner, these personalised touches will transform your new house into a home.

In conclusion, moving into a previously lived-in home involves more than just unpacking boxes. It calls for a thoughtful process that includes detailed house cleaning and potentially a new coat of paint. Each step is vital to create a space that is comfortable, secure, and distinctly yours. Enjoy the journey of making your new house a home!

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.