1. Never walk under a ladder. If there’s no way around it, protect yourself by crossing your fingers or making the fig sign with your hand — closed fist, with the thumb between your index and middle fingers.
2. When you move out of a house, leave the broom behind. Along with the dust and dirt of your old home, old brooms also carry the negative aspects of your life. A new broom signifies a fresh start in your new home.
3. Carry bread and salt with you when you first enter a new home (along with your new broom). After crossing the threshold, sprinkle salt in front of the door to keep evil spirits away.
4. It’s bad luck to carry a hoe into the house. If you do it by mistake, carry it out by walking backwards through the same door — it’ll reverse the bad luck.
5. Stuff fennel, an herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves, into your keyhole or hang it over the door to protect your home from witches.
6. Paint your front porch blue to ward off ghosts. This superstition, which originated in Southern plantation homes, tells us that “haints,” or ghosts, can’t cross water. Painting the porch “haint blue” would confuse ghosts into thinking the porch was made of water, so they wouldn’t enter the home.
7. Never put shoes on a dresser or table. Bad luck will ensue, according to a Jewish superstition.
8. In fung shui architecture, there should be windows on a house’s east side to face the sunrise. A 27-story home in Mumbai, valued at $1 billion, currently sits empty because its owner believes the lack of windows on the east side will bring him bad luck.
9. On Chinese New Year, which will be celebrated on Feb. 10 this year, you should clean your home thoroughly to get rid of bad luck and accept new luck into your home. Also decorate your doors and windows with posters featuring the word “fu,” which means good luck and happiness.
10. According to a Norse superstition, placing an acorn on a windowsill will protect a house from being struck by lightning. Window blind pulls decorated like acorns are still popular.
11. Never open an umbrella inside. Doing so would be an insult to the sun god, as umbrellas are commonly used for protection against the sun.
12. Don’t move into a new place on a Friday, Saturday, or rainy day. These days are unlucky and may prevent you from ever truly settling into your new home. According to Indian superstition, Thursday is the luckiest day to move in.
13. Never pound a nail after sunset, or you’ll wake the tree gods. Wouldn’t want to do that.