Congratulations, you’ve finally arrived at your new home! You can feel all the excitement bubbling away as you get ready to unpack and settle in – but where should you start? There is a lot to consider when moving to a new house and many people often overlook the things to do after arriving at the new home and before unpacking. Getting familiar with your new living environment and planning where everything should go in your new house will help you to settle in easily and quickly. Read on to find out the top 10 things to do when moving into a new house.
1. Do a thorough inspection
Before unpacking and setting up the furniture, take a look around in your new house and do a thorough walkthrough to make sure everything is in working order. Some of the things that you should check include outlets, switches, fixtures, showers, toilets and faucets. Ensure all terms of the sales are complete such as agreed-upon repairs and chattels (curtains, blinds, appliances etc). If you find any issues, contact your realtor as soon as possible.
Pro tip: Create a checklist of all the items you will need to check, including the terms agreed from your sales contract.
2. Deep clean the house from top to bottom
Make this the most opportune moment to deep clean your entire house. While your new house is still empty, you can easily reach and thoroughly clean every surface and corner of each room. If you can’t spare the time and you have some budget, consider hiring professional cleaning services to give your new house a refresh.
Pro tip: Pack cleaning supplies together in its own dedicated box so you can easily find them once arriving at your new home.
3. Child-proof and pet-proof your new house
If you’re moving into a new house with children or pets then it is essential to ensure that they are safe in their new home. Some of the immediate things that you should child-proof or pet-proof at your new place may include outlets, sharp edges, open doors and windows, stairs, hot surfaces, moving hazards, and heavy or fragile objects that could tip over or break. Be sure to also keep unpacking equipment (scissors, box cutters, plastic bags etc) and cleaning supplies out of children and pet’s reach.
Pro tip: Create a separate kid-free zone for discarded packing materials.
4. Make an unpacking plan
Before getting too excited and unpacking straightaway upon arriving at your new house, save yourself some time and trouble by making a plan on what to unpack first and where to place your furniture. Make a list of things that you must need and unpack in that priority order. For example, you may need your toiletry and kitchen items before your living room items. Mapping out where to place your furniture in each room will also save you a lot of hassle, especially if you have heavy furniture to move.
Pro tip #1: Label your packed boxes ahead of the move and pack ‘first night’ boxes that contain everything you will need on your first day and night at your new home. For example, toiletries, sleepwear, bedding and linens, snacks and cleaning supplies.
Pro tip #2: Use masking tape to help ‘outline’ on the floor where your furniture will go in each room without actually moving the furniture. Once you have decided where they will go, move your furniture to the marked locations and remove the masking tape.
5. Get your utilities connected
You should have arranged utilities for your new house before moving in. But if you haven’t or if you find that your utilities are not running, contact your utility companies as soon as possible. Naturally, the most fundamental utilities are power and water. Other utilities that you may also need to get set up and connected include internet, phone and other important services.
Pro tip: Schedule for your utilities to be connected before your moving day. Some providers may also allow you to transfer your account from one location to another. Consider booking appointments in advance if utility installation visits are required.
6. Secure your house
It is good practice to ensure your new house is safe and secure. Even if you are not concerned about the previous house owner, you may never know how many copies of your house key were in circulation before you received them or who were the earlier owners. For peace of mind, get a locksmith to change the locks and checking all windows and doors can properly close. You could also consider installing a burglar alarm, security system or smart doorbell.
7. Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
Ensuring your fire alarms are functioning is another must-do when moving into a new house. Test each fire alarm and replace the batteries while you are checking them so you know you are covered for the next few months.
8. Locate the fuse box and water valve
In the unfortunate event that there is an outage or emergency, knowing where your fuse box and water valve are located can be hugely helpful. Find out where your fuse box and water valve is located, make a note of the type of electrical panel and check the circuit breakers.
Pro tip: In free-standing houses, the fuse box is typically located at either the basement, garage or utility closet. In apartments, the fuse box is usually in a central location such as the hallway or laundry area. The water valve should be located somewhere around the perimeter of your house.
9. Change your address
If you haven’t already notified your change of address during the planning of your move, now is the time to do it. Contact your local post office and arrange for your mail to be forwarded. Additionally, contact family, friends and key businesses of your new address. These may include banks, loan providers, subscription services, utilities, healthcare providers, schools and anyone else you receive regular correspondence or bills.
Pro tip: If you are moving within the United States, you can register online your change of address and schedule for mail forwarding.
10. Meet the neighbors
Although the thought of this may make you want to cringe, meeting your neighbors while moving in is a lot easier (and also less awkward) than after you have settled in for a few weeks. Consider walking over next door to say ‘hi’ and introduce yourself. It is not only a sign of good manners, but it gives you a chance to befriend those in your neighborhood who will undoubtedly help you settle in and learn about the area.
Looking for more moving advice? Contact National Van Lines for more great tips and a free moving quote!
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