Almost everyone moves at least a few times in life. I just counted my post-college moves and I’m about to experience my eighth move. When I think about this number, it makes me feel like I should be a complete pro at moving.
However, what I’ve learned is that every move has a different set of challenges and priorities. For example, ten years ago, when moving into my third floor walk-up apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, my priority was to get the move done as quickly as possible and head straight to the pool. Five years ago, my priority was picking out the perfect décor for my first roommate-free home. And while creating a beautifully decorated home is still a priority for me today, my fiancé and I now have three pets and a child on the way, so safety in our new home has taken over the top spot.
Here are my top five favorite ways to create a safe new home:
1. Inspect your fence line. One of my greatest concerns when moving in is making sure that all three of our dogs will remain secured in our new backyard. Walk along the entire perimeter of your fence and check for loose boards or gaps that a dog might be able to squeeze through. Repair any loose boards and patch any holes that you discover.
2. Check for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. CO is labeled the “Silent Killer” for a good reason. It is virtually undetectable until symptoms have set in. Prior to your first night’s sleep in your new home, check to make sure that there are working smoke and CO detectors. I always recommend monitored detectors from your local security company to ensure the highest levels of safety and response.
3. Identify poisonous plants. There are several types of plants that are poisonous and possibly deadly if consumed by pets. Here is a great list of poisonous plants to remove from your new yard, with photos for reference.
4. Remove mouse traps and rat poison. Check the corners of your new home, especially in the garage or shed, for any mouse traps or rat poison that may have been left behind by the previous owners. These items can be a curiosity and danger to both pets and children of all ages and should be disposed of immediately. Call the exterminator!
5. Secure the pool and hot tub. Does your new home have a pool or hot tub? The most important thing you can do for pets and children is to make sure that there is a locked door or gate keeping them from accessing the area and jumping or falling into the water. You can also contact your local security company to see if they can install sensors that will notify you when someone has opened the pool door or gate. Video surveillance cameras are another option for monitoring these often dangerous areas at home.
I hope these tips have helped you think about how to create a safe new home. I know there are many more important tips that have been left off of this list, so I would love to hear your favorites!