Changing locks should be the first thing on your move in list.

If you have just bought a home or condo, or are renting an apartment or house, your first chore should be to change the locks.

You just don't know who owned the keys before and just how many copies were made for the neighbor, the kids for after school, or even trades.. you just don't know, even with a brand new house, plus the previous owner most likely has one somewhere.

These may seem like an expensive first gift to yourself, but they will give you peace of mind. Changing locks on all the outside doors is very important. It is also possible that you did not get all the keys for the door locks when you got your deed and key. Many homeowners, simple lose the keys to doors they do not use, or just forget to take them off their key ring, when it is time to hand them in.


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They get busy with the move, and it gets forgotten. For this reason, you should get all the locks changed. You can call a locksmith, but if you go to your local hardware store, they can show you how to change the locks. Depending on the type of door locks you are trying to replace, if you stick with the same make and style, it will be much easier to do.

The hardware store personnel, can show you what to do. You could even take a picture of your door locks with your digital camera, so they can try and get you a similar lock.

So, once that moving truck has gone, and you are surrounded by boxes, this is a good time to work on your door locks. If you have friends helping, get them to help you with this job.

Another set of locks you may want to consider changing, is your shed locks and any outer buildings. This may be simple pad locks, but it doesn't hurt to change them too. Example: When a friend of mine moved into her house, in a beautiful established neighborhood, she went ahead and changed locks to the front, back and side door. She even changed the garage side door lock, but forgot about the shed in the backyard.

As it turns out, a elderly neighbor down the road had a key to the shed, as he used to borrow the lawn mower from the previous homeowner. My friend awoke the next day (Sunday) to see this man in her backyard opening her shed with his key. She was about to call the police, but then realized she had seen him down the street. He looked confused, and was older, and had not realized that the previous owner had moved out. But the previous owner had given him a key so he could borrow the mower.

This could have easily been someone not so nice. If you have a lot of outside equipment, such as lawnmowers and trimmers, in that shed, then you need to monitor that lock as well. Anyone could have that pad lock key, as they can be copied quite easily.

So, make sure to add locks to your move in day list as well as those party foods and take out dinner!