What New Movers Can Teach Us About a Home’s Essential Needs

published Oct 9, 2017
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(Image credit: Lula Poggi)

Whew, I hope you’re sitting down. Of course you’re sitting down, because you’ve just spent the past week settling into your new place, somehow unpacking more boxes than you remember packing, and wondering how you’ve acquired so many novelty coffee mugs. (Garfield? Really?) But now that you’ve stacked what seems like two tons of cardboard on top of the recycle bins, what else do you need to do? Not as much as you think. Investing in a few essentials now will help you keep your home in shape, long-term, and free you up to figure out how you’ll fit all of those mugs into one kitchen cabinet.

Here are a few things you need:

Smoke alarms are standard in most homes and apartments, but it’s worth adding a carbon monoxide detector to your safety arsenal. If there’s not a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, you’ll want to tuck one in an easily accessible location, because – trust me – even tater tots can be highly flammable. Also, this is a good time to go ahead and replace the batteries in the existing smoke detectors and to stock up on whatever oddly shaped extras they might need in the future.

Buying HVAC filters might be the unsexiest thing you’ll ever write on your to-do list but, to keep your place well-ventilated and to keep your system in shape, you should plan on replacing the filter every 2-3 months. (Unless your HVAC system requires a strange set of dimensions, you can usually buy them in multi-packs, so you’ll be set for the next year). Also, if the one that’s in place now doesn’t look box-fresh, go ahead and swap it out. That way, you can check periodically to see whether you’ll need to change it more or less frequently.

(Image credit: O-Cedar)

If this is your first place – or your first time without a landlord or a half-dozen roommates – start putting a basic toolkit together. At the very least, you’ll want a hammer, multi-head screwdriver, tape measure, pliers, and a small wrench set. (Especially if you plan on buying some Swedish flat-packed furniture in the near future).

Reconsider your cleaning tools. This is a good time to rethink your regimen for controlling dust, pollen, and pet hair to keep both you and your home in good health going forward. If you have hardwood (or any hard floor surface for that matter), pick up the ProMist® MAX Microfiber Spray Mop. Its larger, double-sided mop head flips 180 degrees cleaning 2.5x more surface area — i.e., less time mopping. The ProMist® MAX has a reusable mop head you can toss in the washer up to 100 times (no more spending money on disposable pads!), and its reusable bottle allows you to use any cleaning solution. (note to self: buy cleaning solution).

This post is sponsored by O-Cedar and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.