What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Few Things to Consider When Moving into a New Home

Moving into a new house is exciting.  The surroundings are different inside and out which takes time getting used to.  Some things may not be as you remembered or as they seem though.  In fact they more than likely won't be as you remembered.  Even if you buy a new built home you will be dealing with the remnants of anyone or anything including pets or animals that were in the house prior to you taking possession.   There are a few things to consider when moving:

  • cleanliness - Regardless of how clean the house was when you viewed it or when you started moving in you will have to clean every surface to your standards.  You may need to hire a cleaning service, have carpeting steam cleaned or the exterior of the house power washed.  It is a good idea to use a disinfecting spray or wipe down all hard surfaces including door knobs with rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to kill off any lingering germs.
  • allergen control - Allergens such as pet dander, mold and dust mites stay with the house meaning you get to deal with them.  This can be quite problematic for those with severe allergies.  All window treatment should be removed and washed.  Every nook and cranny should be thoroughly vacuumed (eg. under refrigerator, around baseboards, windowsills, and etc.).  If the house has carpeting it should be treated with a mitacide then steam cleaned.  Mold hides behind wallpaper, anywhere that it is damp (eg. bathrooms, anywhere there's a water leak) and around windows.  Clean these surfaces well with rubbing alcohol, white vinegar or chlorine bleach as well as remove wallpaper or wallpaper border.  Only use chlorine bleach as a last resort as it can cause respiratory problems.  Remove the vent cover and vacuum any heating vents.   Add vent filters on forced air system.  If you have forced air (HVAC) have the duct work cleaned.
  • tobacco residue -  Tobacco leaves a yellowing residue on all surfaces although some show the residue more than others.  If the previous owners/tenants were smokers the ceilings, walls and all light fixtures will need to be washed thoroughly to remove the residue.
  • odours - It is surprising how many odours can linger in your new residence from the previous homeowner or tenant.  You really need to get to the source of the odour meaning the vacuum cleaner is your best friend to rid your new home of odours.  Persistent pet odours can be neutralized with specialized spray combined with a good vacuuming.  Wash any window treatment left behind and wash the windows as well.  A bowl of white vinegar will help neutralize any recent cooking odours.  Change the furnace and range hood filters.  Clean the bathroom exhaust cover.  If a refrigerator is part of your purchase or lease, remove the bottom vent cover then vacuum under the fridge, wash the cover and replace it.  Clean the fridge drip pan if it has one too as this can be a source of odour sometimes.  Neutralizing sprays can be used on any carpeting but they really should be professionally steam cleaned to effectively remove odours.  Neutralizing sprays can be used on hard surfaces as well.  White vinegar will also help neutralize odours on hard surfaces.

Garden Gnome