After moving into a new home, you will likely have a million things on your to-do list. The amount of work required after a move is daunting and you can get quickly overwhelmed if you do not know where to start. Making a checklist can help you organize this enormous task list and can help you streamline the entire process. Work through your checklist one item at a time and your moving experience will go as smoothly as possible. To help you get started, we have compiled a list of the first 10 things you should try to do when you first move into a new home.
1. Change the Locks and Security Codes for the Home
When you purchase a home, the previous owners will hand over the keys to the property. However, it is very possible that the previous owners have given out spare keys that they may have forgotten to collect. Many homeowners provide trusted friends or families with a spare key in case of emergency. When you move into a new home, you should prioritize changing the locks on the property as a safety measure. You should also be sure to change the locks on any garage doors or codes for security systems in the house.
Bonus Tip: Once you change all the locks, come up with a plan to prevent getting locked out of your house. Some families give keys to trusted friends and families while others keep a spare in a secure lockbox on the property.
2. Isolate Pets to a Separate Room
Moving to a new home can be a stressful and scary experience for some pets, so it is important to keep them in a calm environment whenever possible. Keep your pets away from the hectic commotion of moving so that they feel safe and prevent them from panicking and running away. Take your pets into a separate room with anything they might need like:
- Litter boxes.
- Toys and treats.
- Food dishes.
3. Turn on Utilities
After you purchase a new home, you will be required to call the appropriate utility companies to transfer the gas, water, electrical, trash and sewer to your name. In some areas, you may have the county utilities transferred by the escrow company, but you should always ask to make sure when you are closing on the purchase. Make sure that you are aware of your situation with utilities so you and your family can avoid spending a night without water or electricity.
4. Set Up Your Alarm System
If you are concerned about the safety of your family and your home, you may want to set up a security system as soon as possible. In some cases, the previous owner will already have an alarm system installed and you will simply need to get the security company to activate it for you. Otherwise, you are encouraged to shop around and find a security system that offers peace of mind for you and your family.
5. Test Out All Detectors
Although your home inspector should have performed a smoke and carbon monoxide detector check, you should be safe and test them again after you move it. It can be a good idea to replace the batteries on all detectors so that you know they will all be working.
6. Replace Filters
Changing the air filter on your heating and air conditioning systems is an easy and cheap way to ensure that they are working safely and efficiently. While you are at it, you may want to purchase some extra filters to make it easier the next time you need to replace them. If necessary, change the filters on your sink faucets to get stronger water pressure.
7. Establish Wi-Fi Connection
Nowadays, a Wi-Fi connection is vital for using a lot of security systems, digital doorbells and other apps for homeowners. You will also need Wi-Fi to set up streaming services on your television or go on the internet with your computer. If you want to avoid being disconnected for too long, you are encouraged to set up your home Wi-Fi as soon as possible.
8. Meet the Neighbors
After settling into your new home, it’s a great idea to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Not only is it nice to socialize with the people in your new community, neighbors can also be a helpful resource in certain situations. For example, neighbors can sometimes provide valuable information if you need a recommendation for nearby doctors, schools or community activities. Trustworthy neighbors can also help house-sit while you are away.
9. Establish Sleeping Arrangements
Moving is a long, tiring process and by the end of it, you and your family are going to want to sleep soundly through the night. Do not wait until you are worn out to establish the sleeping arrangements for the night. When your family is unpacking furniture, make sure to set up the beds first so that you have somewhere to rest comfortably at night. Make sure to pack an overnight bag that contains everything your family will need before going to sleep and after waking up in the morning including:
- Toothpaste and brushes.
- Contact lenses (if necessary).
- A fresh set of clothes.
10. Organize All Your Paperwork
Finally, once everything is settled and all your belongings are in the proper place, you should organize the paperwork for your new home. You will need these documents for tax purposes and if you want to complete a financial transaction in the future, such as selling the home. Store a copy of your home inspection, home warranty and homeowner’s insurance documents in the same location for safekeeping.
Bonus Tip: Scan these important documents to keep an extra digital record.