Walking In

At last. You’re home. At your new home. Of course, It doesn’t have any furniture yet. Maybe even no window coverings. But if you stuck to your organizational plan for moving, the electricity and water are on. It’s time to say hello.

Whether you are renting or buying the house or apartment, whether or not you have seen it before, wander through and get acquainted. Get each family member to do the same. This may be the first time you have seen it without furniture. Imagine it with your belongings. See the living room with your oak and glass. Or the master bedroom with your antique brass bed. Take your time. Examine all the nooks and corners, all the cupboards and closets. On this first exploration, look at the positives and the possibilities. Soon enough you will take another look to see what needs to be cleaned, repaired, painted, or remodeled.

Your new residence is a fresh canvas ready for your ideas. Spend time in each room, looking and imagining.

  • How do the windows open? (Open them to air out the house.)
  • Where is the thermostat that controls the furnace?
  • Where does the laundry chute come out?
  • What’s behind that door?
  • What might you store in those cupboards?
  • Is there room over the mantel for your favorite painting?
  • Where’s the best place for your couch?
  • What’s the best way to bring in the china cabinet?
  • Can you safely store your treasures in the attic or the basement?
  • Could you some day add a bedroom or a personal retreat?
  • What’s in the garage?
  • Is there a work bench?
  • Is there room for cars as well as bicycles?
  • Where can the lawn mower go?

Once you have become acquainted with the interior of the house and garage, tour the yard.

  • Where will the swing set go?
  • Is there room for lawn games?
  • Is there a sunny garden space?
  • Can you hook up the hose to an exterior faucet?
  • Is the yard fenced for pets and small children?
  • Is the fence in good repair?
  • Are stairs, railings, banisters, and decking in goo9d repair?
  • Will the barbecue fit on the patio?


Take the time to walk around and read the neighborhood. Toys in the yard indicate children who might be around your own youngsters’ ages. A boat or classic car in the driveway lets you know someone nearby shares your interests. Introduce yourself to anyone you meet.


You might just stumble upon a park where you can picnic and where the kids can play. Or you might discover an old-fashioned neighborhood grocery store where you can pick up last minute-items for dinner.

If you still have some time and energy left, get in the car and drive around town. Show the kids their school. Find the nearest supermarket and pharmacy. Beginning to know your way around will help you feel comfortable quickly in your new home and town.

Your pets also need to get to know the new house, the yard, and the neighborhood, but it may be easier to wait until after the truck is unloaded and the extra people gone. A frightened cat or dog could bolt out an open door and get lost or trampled upon.

Before you take your pet in the house, give it a chance to take care of personal business. Then, be sure all doors and unscreened windows are closed. Take the animal in and let it explore its new home.

Decide where the animal will eat and set out fresh water in this place. If the time is near when you feed the animal, go ahead and feed it. Otherwise, offer a treat.

If the yard is safely fenced, let your dog explore there too. If the yard is not fenced, take the dog out on a leash. Even cats that normally spend lots of time outside should be kept inside for a few days. They need to learn that the new house is home and to stay close—at least at mealtime. If you can, take your dog for a walk, on a leash, of course.

Planning the Unload