3 Home Improvement Projects I’d Wish I’d Done Before My Family Moved

Two kids in goggles in big garden bathtub taking a bath

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Some Jobs Are Easier Before the Big Day

Two kids in goggles in big garden bathtub taking a bath
  • What: Home Improvement Projects
  • When: Before moving in
  • Why: Missed opportunity
  • Where: At home

In a stroke of brilliant luck, we moved from our small house to a much bigger place about six months before the pandemic hit. While it remains one of the best decisions we’ve made for our family, I still have a few things I’d do differently. For starters, here’s a list of three things we should’ve done before our big move.

Dated bathroom design with linoleum floors, dark green shower, and wooden cabinets with beige countertops and sink
Our main bathroom functions fine but could use some more modern style.

Renovating Bathrooms: While all two and a half bathrooms in our house are fully functional, none of them spark joy for me or anyone else in the house. Our main bathroom doesn’t need anything major like a new layout. But paint, countertops, and flooring go a long way. Meanwhile, our second bathroom has a giant tub that hogs almost all the space at the cost of the counter and toilet. It doesn’t even have a shower. It definitely needs a smaller tub to make better use of the space.

Garden bath tub with toys around edges
This huge garden tub takes up tons of real estate and doesn’t have a shower.

But in the chaos of packing and moving a household of five, and doing other projects and repairs, we didn’t touch any of the bathrooms. In the three and a half years we’ve lived here, we’ve only managed to switch out two toilets for low-flow models. If I had it to do over again, I’d replace the torn linoleum and paint the cabinets before we moved a single item. 

The hardwood floors really need some attention.

Refinishing Floors: The hardwood floors could also use a touchup. It would’ve been a cinch to have someone come in and refinish the floors in the main addition to the house, which looked ok when we bought the place. Now, they need major help, but the thought of moving all our furniture out of that big room (and where would it even go?) keeps this project from happening.

Family room as seen from above with hardwood floors
Even from above, you can see that the floors need work. And the thought of moving all our stuff out overwhelms me.

Replacing Trim: It’s a small thing, but multiple places throughout the house don’t have trim. Some never had any to start with, and some pieces have gone missing during the house’s lifespan. Measuring and cutting pieces to size, not to mention matching the stain color to the existing trim, would’ve been so much simpler before we had furniture. Instead, we have gaps that, knowing us, will probably remain until we move out.

Hardwood floors and vintage wooden doors with trim missing near staircase
A few random spots are missing trim.

We work really well to deadlines like moving in. And things that need to get done but aren’t urgent tend to get put off indefinitely. Projects that get done faster and easier before we live in a place should get tackled upfront. We have learned from past moves to paint before moving in, and we did finally get wallpaper along one accent wall in the last three years. But if we had done these three things, we could focus our time, energy, and budget on other projects. 

What projects do you wish you had completed before moving day? Let us know in the comments.

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