You might not think an empty house or apartment as an especially beautiful thing. There’s a reason why houses are staged when they go on the market, and that is because people usually think of empty houses and apartments as sad and lonely. But, after you’ve signed on the dotted line and the home is yours, the emptiness can be a spectacular vision. Instead of loneliness, the space is a blank slate for all the happy memories (and awesome decor) to come.
But don’t get ahead of yourself: That blank slate also offers you ample opportunity to do the things that can cause massive headaches after move-in. Before you pivot the couches and cabinets over the threshold, take advantage of those empty rooms with these stress-busting tasks you might not otherwise think of doing.
Moving into a pre-war apartment or an old house? Use this time to pull out the white gunk and line where the walls meet the floorboards. By closing even the slightest gaps in the lining of the house, you’re preventing drafts and moisture from leaking into your space. You’re also closing the door for any potential critters to visit in the future.
2. Measure everything.
Yes, it’s advice that’s as ubiquitous as “wear sunscreen,” but it’s one worth repeating: Measure everything in the house and save the measurement in your phone before you move in. And we mean everything: Doorways, length of halls, the sine and tangent of the corner where the hall turns left into the living room, the height of windows. Pulling out the measuring tape before the boxes come can save you future returns since you’ll know everything will fit at point of sale.
3. Make storage a priority.
When you’re moving, organization is probably the last thing you’re thinking about. Organizers, shelves, hooks, and the like are probably on your “to buy later” list. But guess what: You should actually be planning out storage opportunities before you have anything in your new place. In fact, not having places to put everything is the sole reason everyone has “that box” that never gets unpacked. “Storage is a key to mental health,” says Glenn Gissler, interior designer. “If you don’t have adequate storage, you’ll always have stuff laying around.” Use your empty house to plan out storage plans strategically: You’ll have less clutter clouding your vision and you’ll be able to put everything away right when you move in.
4. Stock your fridge.
Save yourself from a week of expensive takeout by stocking your freezer with healthy, easy (maybe even microwavable!) meals before you begin the move. Once that home is filled with boxes, you’ll be too lazy to cook. Also invest in a set of new plates, cups, and silverware, so you can live comfortably without a rush to unpack your kitchen box. Buy a few bottles of wine when you’re at it, too, because a new home is worth celebrating!