A Checklist of Things to Do Once You've Moved In

You've closed on your mortgage, moved all your stuff in, and begun to settle into your brand new space. That's it! You're all done, right?

Not so fast. These simple but critical tasks are things every homeowner should consider doing when they move into a new home. If you haven't already, be sure to:

Inspect your window treatments

Consider whether you need to replace blinds, buy new curtains,or upgrade what's already there. This is a matter of privacy, as well as décor.

Adjust temperatures

If you haven't already, check your water heater and see what the temperature is set to. The EPA recommends setting it to 120 degrees for maximum efficiency and safety. Install a digital thermostat that will help you conserve energy when no one's home or everyone's asleep.

Water main

Locate the water main shut-off valve, which stops all water flowing into your home. No one expects a burst pipe or broken dishwasher seal, but if the unexpected happens, being able to shut the water off quickly will save you some serious trouble - and possibly some money, too.

Breaker box

If the circuit breakers in your breaker box are not already labeled, it's worth taking the time to sort out what controls which outlets and fixtures. This job goes much faster with two or three people working together.

Clean up appliances

If the previous owners left you with the refrigerator and clothes dryer, it's a good idea to vacuum the fridge coils and clear out the dryer lint trap and duct. Even if you brought your own appliances, it's a good idea to make sure you've given them a proper cleaning.

Take stock of your wants and needs

Now that you've been in your home for some time, you have a better idea of what does and doesn't work for you. Although you really should give it a year before you make any radical changes, you can start a list now of areas you may want to upgrade or renovate.