You bought your new home, now you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed with moving boxes and bubble wrap to focus on anything other than getting your stuff from point A to point B. Besides ensuring a smooth moving process, there are other important things you need to take care of as you’re getting settled into your new home. Here are some things you need to make sure are on your to-do list for after you move-in.
Transfer your utilities and services
Change electricity, gas, water, cable, phone, and Internet to your new address. Most utilities let you sign up for service or change your existing service online, or you can use websites that let you hook up all of your utilities online, such as WhiteFence.com to help simplify the process and identify the proper companies available in your new area.
Clean before you begin unpacking
Your new home would have most likely been cleaned before you move in, however, it may not always be up to your standards. Hit the main areas first; your bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom. Clean the rest of the space before you start unpacking. It can be quite difficult to give a thorough scrubbing after the furniture has been arranged and all of your stuff has been put away.
Fill out a change of address form
Visit your local post office or go to the United States Postal Service website to complete an official change of address form. For banks, financial companies, insurance company, doctors, DMV and everyone else you do business with contact them directly to let them know you’ve moved. Don’t forget to also let your friends and family know what your new address is (you can take a photo of your new home and send a postcard with your new address).
Keep track of your paperwork
Store all your moving-related paperwork, bills, and receipts in a folder. You may need them when you file your next tax return.
Tackle boxes based on priority
Even though you may want to, you don’t have to unpack everything the first day. Get the bedroom set up first so that you have a place to rest that night. If you have kids, help them unpack some of their favorite toys or books to keep them company in their new home while you are trying to set up the rest of the house.
Deal with the kitchen next. Unpack what you would need immediately for the next morning, essentials like paper napkins, a frying pan, a toaster, a coffee maker, plates, mugs, and a few utensils. The rest can remain in boxes until you are ready to get back to it.
Move on to the bathrooms. Unpack your toiletries, bathroom mats, and shower curtain and put some fresh towels out.
Don’t forget to clean up as you go so that you don’t end up walking through mounds of trash the next morning trying to get to the front door.
Secure your home
You never know who the previous homeowners gave keys to, friends and family can all have copies, so call a locksmith and have all the outside door locks changed. Also, change the garage door opener codes.
Check your safety features
Make sure the home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries, check the expiration dates on fire extinguishers and make sure all safety devices are in working order. Change any alarm codes if there is an alarm system already in the house.
Get to know your home
Find the home’s main circuit breaker and make sure it’s clearly labeled so you know which breaker turns off which area. Also, find your home’s water shut-off valve.
Map out the area
If you are new to the neighborhood, take a drive or a walk around to find the nearest grocery store, gas station, bank, hospital and post office.
Meet your new neighbors
Your neighbors can keep an eye on your home when you’re away, so introduce yourself to start establishing a good rapport with them.
Now it’s time to start relaxing some. You’ve survived the home-buying process and move-in day, so the hardest parts are over. Take a deep breath and enjoy the feeling of being in your new home!