8 Tips For Setting Up Your New Home In Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuscaloosa is a vibrant college town located in west-central Alabama along the banks of the Black Warrior River. With a population of around 100,600 residents, it is the fifth-largest city in Alabama and home to the University of Alabama.

Tuscaloosa boasts a lively downtown area with unique local shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues that cater to the large student population. The city is surrounded by the rolling hills and forests of the Southeastern United States, providing plenty of outdoor recreational activities.

Tips For Setting Up Your New Home In Tuscaloosa, Alabama

setting up a new home

For those who have recently purchased a home in Tuscaloosa, you have made an excellent choice. Tuscaloosa provides a high quality of life, a strong sense of community, and the cost of housing below the national average. The median home prices are around $210,000. This makes it an affordable place to set down roots.

As you get ready to move into your new Tuscaloosa home, here are eight tips to help make the transition smooth and comfortable.

#1 Update Locks and Install Security

For safety, as soon as you move in, change the locks on all exterior doors and windows, including the garage entry and any sheds or outbuildings. Get this done by a professional locksmith. Also, consider installing a monitored home security system, especially if you will be living alone or traveling frequently.

And don’t forget to ensure that all exterior lighting is working. You can also install motion sensor lights in key areas if needed.

#2 Make a Detailed Moving Plan

Create a detailed moving plan by reserving a truck or professional movers and selecting your official move-in day. Before the big move, consider utilizing Tuscaloosa storage units to store items you might not need immediately. This can be especially helpful if there’s a gap between moving out of your old place and moving into the new one. Sort through all belongings in advance and separate into “keep,” “donate,” and “trash” piles.

Pack a “first-night” box with essentials like towels, soap, snacks, sheets, phone chargers, etc. If you’ve stored some items in storage units, ensure you’ve retained essentials for the first night outside the storage. Also, ensure you have utilities turned on the day before your move-in.

Carefully measure large furniture pieces to ensure they will fit through doorways in your new home, and consider any special accommodations needed for moving day, like elevator reservations or parking permits.

#3 Get to Know the Neighborhood

Once you get the keys, walk or drive around your neighborhood to familiarize yourself. Pop in and introduce yourself to your immediate neighbors – perhaps bring over a small housewarming gift like baked goods or a plant.

Additionally, drive or walk around the block to learn about the nearest park, trails, coffee shops, grocery store, bank, gas station, library, etc. You can even check online community calendars or stop by the visitor’s center to find out about upcoming neighborhood events, festivals, concerts, and more that you can attend to meet more of your fellow residents.

Tuscaloosa neighborhoods are very friendly, so people will be happy to welcome you.

#4 Deep Clean the Property

Even if the previous owners cleaned before listing, do a deep clean to remove allergens and make the space feel fresh. The areas you need to tackle are:

  • Clean ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and window treatments.
  • Fully sanitize the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Shampoo carpets and rugs or have them professionally cleaned.
  • Wash all windows, screens, baseboards, and doors.
  • Consider renting or buying a carpet cleaner to give carpets and upholstery a refreshed look.
  • Replace air filters and have ducts cleaned as well.
  • Inspect Systems and Appliances

Before move-in day, test that all appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical are functioning properly. This is an important step to ensure that all your appliances run smoothly once you start living.

#5 Activate the heat and A/C to verify performance.

Run the dishwasher, washing machine, oven, etc., with empty loads to check all functions.

Flush toilets, turn on faucets and look for leaks.

Address any issues immediately by either making repairs or replacing systems so everything works smoothly from day one.

Ensure you have enough time for repairs or shipping if appliances need ordering. And if there are any newer systems, review warranties on them to save money.

#6 Update Interior Paint and Flooring

Giving walls a fresh coat of neutral paint, like a warm white or light gray, makes the entire space feel clean and new.

Consider painting the cabinets, interior doors, or an accent wall in a vibrant hue that reflects your personality and style for a bolder update. If you’re taking the DIY route, carefully prep surfaces by cleaning them first. Next, patch the holes, sand, and prime before painting.

You may also need to evaluate the condition of existing flooring to determine if refinishing hardwoods or installing new carpeting or luxury vinyl plank floors would better suit your needs and aesthetic.

Additionally, you can consider updating old cabinet hardware with modern brushed nickel or matte black pulls for visual punch. Examine if any rooms need new trim, molding, or baseboard installed for a finished look.

#7 Arrange Internet and Cable

Having internet and cable installed and activated before move-in day makes the transition much less stressful. Research plans from reputable local providers to compare deals. If you’re renting a place, check if cable and internet are already included.

#8 Transfer Utilities

To keep water, gas, electricity, garbage pickup, and other services running, contact the local utilities to transfer accounts to your name. These may include Alabama Power, Tuscaloosa Water & Sewer, Waste Management, etc. Make sure to schedule service start dates close to your move-in date.


Moving to a new city and home can feel overwhelming. But taking small steps like updating locks, cleaning thoroughly, arranging utilities, exploring the area, and meeting neighbors will help you feel at home in your new space. Settling in takes time, but before long, you will be giving tips to the next new arrivals in this warm and welcoming Alabama community.

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