There’s so much to think about when you’re moving from one place to another. Sometimes, we get too engrossed in our preparations. Once moving day is finally over, you look around and see nothing but bare walls, furniture and boxes. Now you must consider what you need to do to get settled in your new home.
When your movers leave, what happens next? Save that housewarming party for later. Here are your top to do’s before you’re settled into your new home.
#1: Unpack your essentials box
Once the movers depart, find your essentials box and unpack it immediately. An essentials box is the last box you pack when preparing for your move. This box will contain everything you & your family need to stay comfortable for the first night - or several nights if you’re moving long distance. The essentials box can be one or multiple boxes, depending on your needs.
If you’re moving a lot of boxes, you may want to move the essentials box on your own. After moving day, you won’t want to waste your time searching through a stockpile of moving cartons.
Here’s what you’ll want to pack in your essentials box:
- Bathroom – shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower curtain, toilet paper and towels.
- Kitchen – Dish soap, sponge, paper plates, cups and mugs, utensils, paper towels, napkins, garbage bags, coffee machine, coffee, water, snacks, pot and pan, cooking utensils, non-perishable meals (such as Ramen noodles or pasta with tomato sauce).
- Bedroom – bed sheets, pillows, pajamas, change of clothes, hamper, privacy curtains with hardware.
- Miscellaneous – batteries, box opener, pet food, small tool kit, scissors, pen and paper, flashlight, broom and dustpan, trash can.
#2: Double check utilities & subscriptions
In most instances, you’ll have contacted & scheduled the utility companies before your move. Make sure you didn’t miss anyone during the chaos of moving. Verify the names and account information for your new electric, gas and water companies. If any technicians are scheduled to come out, make sure they are employed and have the proper credentials. Moving is not inconspicuous. A criminal could easily see the moving van pull out and attempt to steal your belongings under a false alias.
After your primary utilities are set up, consider internet, phone and other services. If you have any magazine subscriptions, newspapers, monthly boxes or meal plans, now would be a great time to remind yourself to do a change of address.
You will also need to change your address for your driver's license, ID and vehicle registration.
#3: Inspect everything
It may have been some time since your home inspection. Inspect and make sure everything is in proper working order. Ensure you haven’t missed anything during your walkthrough. You want to especially look out for any water leaks or evidence of fire damage. Remember to check your attic and crawlspaces. Evaluate the toilets, faucets and plumbing. Place a pan directly underneath your sink pipes to monitor any drips and protect your cabinetry.
Also look out for any nail holes throughout the home. Make sure to note and address these minor repairs before hanging your artwork and drapery. Any built-in lighting should be checked for loose connections or replacement bulbs.
Make sure you’re familiar with the location of your HVAC, water shut off, hose connections and circuit breaker. Since you’re (most likely) unsure of how the old homeowners maintained the property, it may be best to have an HVAC technician come in to ensure everything is in working order.
Check your appliances such as your washer, dryer and refrigerator to make sure they’re functioning mechanically. Make sure all your water and gas connections are hooked up & tightened properly. If you’re moving your appliances, sometimes your movers will hook up your appliances for you, but since they’re not certified plumbers or electricians, you should always double check.
#4: Clean & Detail
Before you start to unpack, give your new home a thorough clean and detail. Wipe down your cabinets, counter tops and other surfaces while they’re still bare. Sweep, dust and mop throughout the entire home. Now is a great time to wipe down your furniture as well. If your goods have been in storage for a while, you may find that dust accumulated. Search online and use a spring-cleaning checklist as a general guide.
In certain instances, you can ask the seller to clean your new home prior to settlement. We suggest doing a twice over with your own cleaning supplies.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask a few friends or family members for help. You can also search for local maid services. Visit Handy for an easy online experience.
#5: Change your locks
Call a local locksmith and change your locks right away. Figure out how many copies and spares you’ll need for your family. It’s always best to give an extra key to a trusted family member in the event of an emergency. Don’t make too many copies; you’ll only want what’s necessary.
For your old keys, online organizations such as Key for Hope will collect old keys via mail, melt them down to scrap metal and donate the profits to charity. If you’re crafty, you can also find unique ideas on Pinterest.
If you’re new to the area, make sure you do your research and find a trusted locksmith. You don’t need the added stress of a scammer on top of moving. Angie’s list has a great article that offers 7 tips to avoid locksmith scams.
#6: Explore the Neighborhood
Introduce yourself to your next-door neighbors. It never hurts to exchange phone numbers. If you’re on social media, start connecting with the town or city’s online community groups. Learn and take advantage of any events where you can get to know the locals. Take a quick drive or walk to learn where your nearest grocery store, gas station, hospital, bank, shopping center, park and school are. Memorize these routes by memory.
If you moved to an area relatively far from your old home’s location, it may be best to research and install a security system. It never hurts to protect you and your family. You can find security options available for any budget. For a wireless option, we recommend the Ring system