Congratulations, you are now in your new home! You may ask yourself:
- What life will be like at a new place?
- What should I do to make the new place my new home?
- What issues may arise after moving into a new community?
We hope you’ll find our tips useful. So, let's go through our suggestions of what you should do after the move to make sure you’ll enjoy your new place and have as less troubles as possible. Use this new home checklist after you’ve moved into a new place.
Inspect Your Belongings
Inspect all of your boxes, furniture, and appliances to make sure that all of your household goods have been delivered and nothing was lost or damaged during the move. It's important to do this right away because in case some of your items are damaged or lost, you need to contact the movers as soon as possible to resolve related issues. For example, if a framed art piece was forgotten in the movers’ truck you’d have more chances to retrieve it if you contact movers on the moving day or on the next day rather than in a week or later. Small items can be forgotten in a moving truck and mixed with packaging supplies like moving pads and plastic stretch film used for furniture protection that’s why if you didn’t inspect the truck upon delivery then inspect all of your delivered items as soon as possible.
Inspect Your New Home
Make sure everything in the house is in the right order. Check if your appliances work properly, check for door locks and windows, set up alarms, etc. Inspect your home carefully and check if everything requested, agreed, and included in the sale or rent agreement is present. If something is missing or damaged, you should contact your landlord or agent right away. Perhaps, something needs to be fixed. If this is not critical, just mark it in your plan for the future. If the problem requires an urgent solution, there's nothing to be done, you'll have to plan for the first few days of minor repairs.
You have to transfer the utilities or setup new arrangements when you are moving to a new place. In case you took care of your utilities before moving into a new home, now it’s time to make sure everything is up and running. Check if your utilities – electricity, water, gas, internet, phone, heating, cooling, etc – are working properly. Also, get in contact with your local waste management facility and set up a trash pickup service.
Locate the Fuse Box, Gas & Water Valves
Locate the fuse box, gas, and water stop valves. It’s important to make sure everyone in the household knows how to find and operate your home’s electrical breaker box, water, and gas shut-off valves in case of an emergency or if you’re doing repairs.
Do a Deep Clean
The best time to do the cleaning is right after the move before you start arranging the furniture. Clean up the floors, dust, and cobwebs, wipe out the cabinets, clean refrigerator coils before you start unpacking the boxes and organizing your new home. Just a basic cleaning while the house is still empty. If you don’t want to do the cleaning by yourself or simply don’t have the time consider contacting professional cleaners.
Moving with Pets
If you are moving to a new house with pets, pet-proof the new home to keep these your pet safe and happy. Set up your pet bed and find a space where he/she can eat and drink that is similar to its old surroundings.
Moving with Children
Help your children to set up their rooms in order to create a sense of home and keep them busy. Keep all the dangerous and fragile items out of their reach. Register your children at a new school so they can continue their education right away. Remember to have the required documents with you, the day you start the process.
Unpack important things you need for a new house first. Keep in mind that you don't have to rush to unpack everything at once. There will be time for this. The first day in the new house is not worth ending with the state of "falling down". Start with items that you and your family truly need in order to function, which are: food, clothing, and bathing. Then, proceed to unpack accordingly. Find the boxes or containers where you have your toiletries, medicines, and towels. A good tip is to unpack and set up the bathrooms including toilet paper.
Unpack Mattresses and Bedding Essentials
Unpack your mattresses and bedding essentials, bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house, especially during stressful days right after the move. If you are using a professional moving company then movers should disassemble and reassemble your furniture including bedframes. If you are doing the move yourself don't get stressed out if you are not able to set the beds right away at the new place. You can place the mattresses on the floor and pretend that you and your family are camping out. Remember that having fun while you unpack is one of the core things to do when moving, it makes the process less tedious.
Change Your Locks
If you bought a new house, it’s good practice to change the locks to give you peace of mind and ensure you and your family are safe. You don't know how many people have keys to your home even if you have no concerns about the previous owner. If you feel comfortable doing that, you can change the locks on all exterior doors and windows by yourself.
Important Tip: In case you prefer not to do the task by yourself, hire a locksmith. They usually don't charge much for the job but it’s definitely worth it.
Change Your Address
Change your postal address. Visit the USPS website (www.usps.com) to fill out the change of address application, so they can start forwarding the mail to your new home without delay. Also, don't forget to contact your bank, financial institutions, and other services to let them know about your new location. Make sure you update all important files and documents with your new address. Don’t forget to send everyone your new address.
Create a Maintenance Checklist
It’s useful to create a seasonal maintenance new home checklist for your new house to make sure everything is in good shape. Make a list of monthly, bi-annual, annual checks — things like cleaning the garbage disposal, landscaping, deep cleaning, fixing fences, changing HVAC filters, inspecting water filtration systems, etc. Gather information from your apartment’s maintenance team or other local services and don’t forget to go through the checklist once in a while. This will help your new house function well for a long time.
You’ll probably have to schedule some repairs and home improvements when you move into a new house. Some items need to be fixed immediately (like leaky plumbing, broken window locks), make a list of such repairs, and get to work on those right away. After prioritizing repairs, you can plan other not critical home improvements such as painting the walls or installing new file cabinets.
Important Tip: It’s better to take some time to live in your new home before making major renovations. Take some time, your priorities may change after a while.
Clean Air Conditioner Condensers
Cleaning your air conditioner condensers after the move does not only save you money but also ensures your comfort and safety. Cut off the electricity and clear away grass, leaves, bushes, or any dirt from your condenser's exterior fins. Replace the furnace filter and clean the condition drain to improve airflow and keep your air conditioner from using extra energy. You can do most of the job by yourself or hire a professional if there are unforeseen issues.
Check Smoke and CO Detector
Installing smoke alarms is a cheap, easy, and effective way to protect you and your family from a fire. One of the most important things to do after moving into a new house is to locate your smoke and CO detectors and make sure they are functioning properly in case of an emergency. Add checking, maintaining, and replacing detectors to your maintenance checklist and buy spare batteries just in case.
Decide on a Lock-out Solution
Create a backup plan in case you are locked out of your house if you don’t have keyless entry. Hide a key somewhere around the house – the most common places are under the doormat or a planter, but our advice is to consider another location – or find someone who lives nearby and can hold on to an extra key. Get creative and be prepared!
Contact Insurance Companies
Contact insurance companies such as health and household, to check out if you need new insurance – especially if you've moved to another state. Make your life easier by storing your social security cards, insurance papers and policies, medical records, or other important documents in one place. It’s also a good idea to visit the local DMV office to register your motor vehicle and register to vote in your local area.
Create a Cozy Atmosphere
Make the home arrangement: post your favorite pictures, photos, arrange souvenirs, hang curtains. This will add a cozy atmosphere to your home. It’s important to get as many plants and flowers as possible if, of course, you can take care of them. The next crucial aspect is light. The gloomy rooms aren’t the best place to spend your free time. If you don’t like lamps, you can use candles.
Prepare your family's favorite meals for dinner. During the dinner, share your impressions of the move, dream the whole family, what will be your life in the new house. Make an action plan for the next 10 days: where to go, what to buy, what to do around the house.
There is one more important point of a cozy atmosphere. You should keep your house in order. No matter how many hi-tech devices you have and how cool your interior is, if there are piles of clothes everywhere, you have the whole kitchen table to put the empty cups, you will never feel comfortable. If your new dwelling is a house, you shouldn’t forget about landscape and gardening. Also, it’s possible to install the swings in your backyard.
Explore Your Neighborhood
Research local businesses and locate basic facilities near your new home, including hospitals, schools, banks, post offices, parks, grocery stores, government offices, gas stations, etc. The more you get to know your new location, the more familiar it will become. You will discover many new things: parks, lakes, playgrounds, entertainment centers, etc. Look for a place where you can go as a family to a picnic. Create an emergency contact list of all the local information you'll need, in case you or your family require help.
Meet Your Neighbors
A few days after the move, you can begin meeting with neighbors. There is no better time to do that. Ask neighbors about sights, best shops, schools, etc. Feeling at home isn’t only about a cozy atmosphere. You should be ready to feel like a fish out of water for the first time. Befriending new people can make things better. It doesn't mean you have to forget about old comrades. It means you have to promote your social interaction. You need a person to speak to and spend free time with. It’s important to go well with your neighbors, too.
Finally, don't forget to celebrate your first day in your new house or apartment. You deserve it after all that hard work! Have something you love to eat delivered to your house or get food from the supermarket that is already cooked – like a delicious meal from the deli. Spend the first days with your family - this is important for all family members, but especially for children and pets. A joint pastime will make it easier for everyone to adapt Enjoy a nice break in the company of your loved ones and make these moments count!
In conclusion, it’s worth noticing that relocation is always connected with the necessity to change your habits and even hobbies. It’s impossible to feel at home right after you move. It takes some time and effort.
You can download our new home checklist here.