The move is over and now the fun part begins—settling in to your new home! Unpacking your things is an important part of moving in, but there’s more to it than that. It's equally important to consider some basics, such as where to find and how to operate your utilities and how to plan for emergencies that might arise. Here are four steps you can use to get comfortable and better acquainted with your new home.
Step 1: Home heating system
It's important to know where your heating system is located and whether it uses natural gas or another type of fuel. You should also know where the emergency shutoff valve is located. Prior knowledge of the location and the ability to operate the shutoff can reduce property damage if a disaster occurs.
Step 2: Electrical
Take the time to find out where the main electrical shutoff switch and circuit-breaker box are located in your new home. The main lever or breaker shutoff cuts off the supply of electricity to the entire house. The individual unit shutoff is found in multi-unit buildings and cuts off electricity to the separate units.
Step 3: Water shutoff
Water can do a significant amount of damage to structures, furnishings and appliances if it pools on floors and saturates surroundings. Water can also cause electrocution if it is energized by electrical wires. Knowing where the shutoff valve is located inside your home can be invaluable in the event of a leak or damage to the structure. The inside water shutoff also cuts off supply to the home except for the supply of water for the fire sprinklers, if the home is equipped with them. If you have other questions about any of your home systems, an associate at The Home Depot may have the answers.
Step 4: Know the neighborhood
It’s just as important to familiarize yourself with the inside of your home as it is the outside. When you need a break from unpacking, explore your new neighborhood by car, foot or public transit. Locate the nearest department and grocery stores, coffee shops, pizza parlors and video stores, plus the police station, a hospital and the post office. Take notes on where everything is so you can remember for next time. Introduce yourself and your family to your neighbors. Figure out the fastest way to get to work and school so you and your children won’t be late on your first day. Write down key addresses for your children, like your home, their school and a trusted neighbor or friend.