Moving into a new mobile home can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. What do you do first? What requires your prompt attention, and what can be put off a day or two? (Or three.)
We break down the first things to do when moving into a mobile home so you can quickly focus your energies and then begin to have some fun in your new home and its community.
1. Plan Your Unpacking
Whether packing or unpacking, the process of moving into a new home presents us with a rare occurrence: the need to touch pretty much everything we own.
One estimate puts the number of items the average American owns at 300,000. Even if you’re not unpacking that many things, you can bet the amount will be high … as will your stress level.
Make the experience easier on yourself. Here’s how:
Be patient. Set realistic goals for yourself so you don’t feel overwhelmed with the scope of the effort. You don’t need to have everything in tip-top shape within half a day, or even a full day. Give yourself a couple of full days to get through all of your boxes.
Prep a relaxation space. Unpack a room or area that can serve as a spot where you — and anyone helping you — can take a breather. This might be a corner of the living room or a place in the kitchen. Set out some snacks and drinks; staying hydrated is very important during such manual labor.
Unpack the essentials first. After a long day of unpacking, you’re not going to want to step into your bedroom and unpack bedding, pillows, etc. Neither will you want to dig through boxes for your toothbrush and other pre-bedtime necessities. Once you’re done setting up your relaxation space, hit the critical stuff right away.
The portfolio in which you keep your mobile home title, mobile home VIN number, and other relevant documents should also find a safe place right away so there’s no chance of it getting lost.
2. Keep It Super Simple
One reason mobile home living attracts as many people as it does is the opportunity to live a more simple life. It’s almost a necessity since the average single-wide mobile home offers fewer square feet than the average traditional site-built home. This motivates owners to be choosier about which items they keep and those with which they part. (And with 300,000 possessions, we can all stand to part with a few of them.)
When you move into your mobile home, then, try to keep it super simple.
Declutter. Ideally, you made your “keep” and “get rid of” decisions before you moved. Doing so saves time, money, and the effort required of hauling all of that stuff around. If circumstances prevented you from doing that, unpacking all of those same items is another chance to get it done.
Think “green.” As you unpack, think about how your furniture fits around each room’s outlets. Retaining easy access to them makes it more convenient to unplug unused electronics, which conserves energy. Also, be careful not to stack boxes around vents. Blocking supply vents restricts airflow and can force your HVAC system to work as much as 25%.
Delay purchases. Once everything is unpacked, you might consider adding a potted plant in that corner in the living room or getting a small bench to place next to the back door. Hold off on that; give yourself time to acclimate to your new surroundings before you add items that may not be as useful as you initially thought. (Looking at you, treadmill collecting dust in the carport.) This is a good idea for your pocketbook as well as your mental health.
3. Prepare for Tomorrow
There are a few small projects you should prioritize to increase your mobile home’s safety and security.
Change the locks. Unless you’re moving into a brand-new mobile home, there’s no way to know for sure how many keys exist to its door locks. That’s especially true if the seller used a lockbox to store a key — professionals share multiple concerns about them.
Check outdoor lights. In the lead-up to your purchase, you may not have been by your new mobile home place after dark. Now that you’re there, walk around its perimeter and check to see if any lightbulbs require replacement.
Review the surrounding foliage. Safety experts recommend that bushes and hedges around any home be no higher than 36 inches. That makes it more difficult for criminals to use them for cover.
Proactively prepare for problems. There’s no good time to suffer a burst pipe, electrical failure, or find yourself needing mobile home heater parts. What makes it especially bad is when it happens before you’ve had the opportunity to collect names and contact information for respected local experts you can call for help. Go ahead and collect that information now and keep it in an accessible place.
Determine how you’ll invest/spend the money you save. A key benefit to mobile home living is the savings it offers compared to larger site-built homes. Since you’re not breaking the bank to cover your mortgage, invest the time it takes to work out a savings strategy that helps you meet longer-term life goals.
4. Settle In
Congratulations! You’re now pretty much moved into your new home. But your work isn’t done quite yet. Because while you’ll spend most of your time inside, there will be plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy life.
Introduce yourself to the neighbors. Living in a mobile home park offers a sense of community that many traditional suburbs lack. Contribute to the community by making a point to meet your immediate neighbors right away, and other neighbors when the opportunities present themselves.
Review park rules. Chatting with your neighbors is a great way to identify the most important park rules, as well as which ones aren’t actively enforced. Meeting with park management to get a more thorough rules rundown may also be beneficial.
Have fun — but don’t be obnoxious. One key benefit mobile home living has over apartments or condos is that you’re not sharing walls with anyone. This alleviates some of the stress that comes with making sure you’re not being too loud for your neighbors. However, it’s also not a license to play especially loud music or entertain noisy friends late into the evening.
Stay a Step Ahead with MHVillage
Just as with any home, your responsibilities don’t end here. Bookmark MHVillage.com so you can always stay one step ahead of the vital care and maintenance that your mobile home needs long after you’ve moved in.