7 no-brainer tips for any new homeowner

Take the stress out of moving house with our 7 no-brainer tips to help you prepare, pack and settle into your new home

If you're about to become a new homeowner - congratulations! It may feel like moving day can't come soon enough, but now's the time to start preparing for the big move.

Here are 7 no-brainer tips for new homeowners, to help you prepare, pack and settle into your new home:

1. Prep, prep, prep

Never underestimate the time it takes to move house. When it comes to preparing for moving day, you can't start early enough...

  • Collect cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes, crates, plastic storage boxes and thick bin liners and begin by filling them up, first with items you hardly ever use such as DIY books and the sentimental ornaments you can't bear to part with.
  • Cleary label your boxes as you go using sticky labels and a thick marker pen, to make unpacking easier at the other end.
  • It's also worth investing in plastic wrap to protect your furniture during the move.
  • For the day of the move, you'll need to pack a suitcase containing all the essentials you'll need straightaway like a change of clothes, medication and your toothbrush.
  • And don't forget to redirect your mail to your new address.

floral suitcase with books and clothes

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

2. Buying things for your new home

Don't get carried away buying things for your new home, until you get in there. We know it's tempting to purchase the pretty vase you have your eye on, but wouldn't it be a waste if it doesn't go with anything?

However you will need to order larger furniture such as a sofa, wardrobe or bed, well in advance, as it can take months for some items to arrive. So you can have your fun, but do take measurements first to avoid feeling disappointed if your lovely new piece of furniture doesn't fit into the space as well as you thought it would.

woman with measuring tape and blue top

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

3. Home removals and storage

You won't realise just how much stuff you have until your life-long possessions are packed into boxes - it's nearly impossible to fit it all into the car. Hire a large van or better still, book a removal company (well in advance) to move it all for you and carry it all into your new home too. You'll be glad you did.

There are also a couple of things you can do to make things easier at the other end, such as dismantling large furniture like beds and wardrobes so they're small enough to fit through your new front door and up the stairs.

And think about where you want to put all of those boxes once you get there. Is there a garage,
shed or a spare room? It will help if you can put them all in one space and once you have all of your furniture in place, you can tackle those boxes and start the process of unpacking in your own time.

moving house with green car and wooden stairs

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

4. Keep calm and carry on moving

Moving is stressful! Full stop. So do whatever it takes to lighten the load, keep calm and lessen those inevitable arguments. Order takeout on the first night to save you cooking and washing up and consider taking your pets and children out of the equation by booking in a cat/babysitter. After all, it won't be easy to slide that over-sized wardrobe up the stairs with kids and pets running riot.

babysitter with cushions and cat

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

5.The big clean

When you set foot into your lovely new home for the first time, you might get a shock. You'll discover a massive carpet stain where there once stood a sofa, years of grease and grime on top of the kitchen cabinetry and even mouse droppings lurking inside! Yes, be prepared for the spring clean of your life and arm yourself with rubber gloves, bin liners, mops, sponges and disinfectants galore.

clean with basket and brush

(Image credit: Tim Young)

6. Painting, decorating and building work

Once you're settled in, you'll get to know your new home better. As you start striping wallpaper or paint you might notice a few problems (such as damp or dodgy plaster). And even if you've had a comprehensive survey completed, there could be all sorts of potential building work you didn't account for.

Remember it's never to early to start planning (and saving up). Check out our list of 7 things to consider before having building work done.

repairs and painting wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Tim Young)

7. Make friends with the neighbours

Make a good first impression by introducing yourself to your new neighbours and let them know if you are planning any noisy building work - it's only polite.

Enjoy your new home!


Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.