The truly stressful part of moving has passed once your belongings are in your new residence and the movers have left, but there are still plenty of tasks to accomplish to make sure the transition is complete.
Our checklist of the 10 most important things to do after you move will ensure that you do not forget anything crucial as you begin the journey in your new residence. Moreover, many of the things you need to do after you move must be set up before your moving date, so keep that in mind if you have not moved yet.
1. Inspect Your Delivered Boxes and Furnishings for Damage
As a part of organizing your move, you must put together a household inventory, which will help you determine if any of your possessions were lost or damaged during the transition. Use your inventory sheet, or your impeccable memory, to check and inspect each box and piece of furniture as it arrives to your new home. Make sure that every single possession makes it into your residence and it is in good shape when it gets there. If something is missing or broken, let the moving company know about it immediately.
Furthermore, as you unpack your boxes, write down all broken and damaged items that you find and contact the moving company to resolve the issue. Professionally licensed and insured moving companies will work prudently to resolve issues regarding damage done during the move in a way that is in your favor. The moving company may pay for the damage or help you submit a claim through the moving company’s insurance policy. On the other hand, if the moving company refuses to discuss the matter, file a complaint against the mover, and check to see if your homeowner or rental insurance covers the cost.
Remember, accidents occur during a move, so make sure that you have the insurance (or additional insurance) you need to avoid further heartache and inconvenience if damage or loss does occur.
2. Ensure Your Utilities are Set Up
Whether you are moving across town, to a new city, or across the country, it is likely you will have to set up utilities with a new utility provider. Sometimes, it is as simple as transferring service to your new residence, but that is not normally the case. Do not be left in the dark or without water upon arrival to your new home because your life will be on hold as you scramble to get your utilities set up.
Most city-run websites provide information to new residents regarding which utilities are available in the area and what services the town provides, which usually include water, sewer, garbage, and recycling. Electric, gas, and cable providers are numerous and vary within regions.
Utility companies can usually begin their services within three to five days, but do not take this average for granted. Call the providers at least two weeks beforehand to ensure that you have everything in order on the day of your move, or beforehand; it is best to have your utilities turned on the day before your intended move. Keep in mind that during peak moving times, which include the summer, the beginning and end of the month, weekends, and holidays, the wait time to hook up services could be longer. The same is true for disconnecting services at your previous residence. You do not want to be on the hook for utilities at two homes, so plan ahead.
Furthermore, if you are starting service with a new provider, a deposit is sometimes required even for people with good credit.
3. Unpack Your Essentials
What is an essentials box? The first day and night of your move will be a chaotic one with your entire life spread across a dozen, two dozen, or more boxes. Therefore, it is critical to have a box set aside that includes everything you will need on your first day and night at your new house, so that you are not digging through numerous boxes to find the things that you need to survive.
Consider the following items when putting together your “essentials box”:
- Toilet paper
- Shower curtain
- Towels for each member of the family
- Change of clothing for each member of the family
- Toiletries and hygiene products that include shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, etcetera
- Prescription and over-the-counter medicine
- A simple meal or two like pasta for supper and donuts for the morning (consider ordering food for the first few days, so that you do not have to pack a pot or pan)
- Plates, cups, and silverware (consider buying disposable products, so that you do not have to worry about cleaning dishes on your first few days)
- Garbage bags
- Coffee machine and coffee
- Personal devices, laptops, remote controls, and power cords
- Toolkit for assembling essential items like bed frames and entertainment centers
- Flashlight and candles for emergencies
- First-aid kit for minor injuries during the moving process
- Pet food and dishes
- Important documents
Unfortunately, the world does not stop for a few days to allow you to settle into your new home. Your kids have to go to school and you probably have to get to work, so your essentials box should prepare you for the first 24-48 hours.
4. Prioritize Important Post-Move Tasks
Make a list of all the things that you need to do in the first week to get your new home in order. Prioritize the order in which you plan to unpack, the items you need to assemble and set up right away and those that can wait for the next weekend. Map out each day to include a few tasks to complete, and any overwhelming or unsettling feelings you might have about the organization process will dissolve.
5. Inspect Your House or Apartment
Learn your new home. In particular, if you are moving into a rental home or apartment, you will need to conduct a thorough investigation of all nooks and crannies for damage to the interior and exterior. The most common cause of damage is from water, so check for plumbing leaks, faucets that drip endlessly, running commodes, and harm to floors and walls because of water issues. If you are renting, mark the issues down on your rental inspection checklist, and even if you purchased your home, have the repairs made immediately. Plumbing issues lead to increased water bills, sewage problems, foundation issues, and damaged floors, ceilings, and walls.
Also, look for fire damage, holes and blemishes in walls caused by the hanging art and wall mounts of the previous occupant, and ensure that all appliances work and work correctly. Furthermore, inspect the yard for pests because you will want to eliminate the issues before they end up in your home.
6. Locate the Fuse Box, Gas Shutoff, and Main Water Supply Shutoff
When accidental damage is caused to water lines, gas lines, or electrical outlets and wiring, you will need to know how to turn off the main water supply, gas, and electricity throughout your home until they receive the proper repairs. Furthermore, if your fuse box switches are not labeled or labeled incorrectly, you will need to do some homework and label it yourself, so that you are prepared for future electrical dilemmas and repairs.
Locate your fuse box, which is normally located in a closet or garage. Find your main water supply shutoff, which is usually located in the yard somewhere and requires a special water key in order to turn it on and off. Finally, your natural gas main shutoff is located just before the gas meter. The “street-side” valve is usually a rectangular handle that is “open” when it is parallel to the incoming gas line. This is not always the case, so seek help if you are mystified.
7. Childproof Your Home
If you have a baby or toddler, there are precautions you must take to ensure their safety. The process of childproofing your home involves locating household hazards and snuffing them out one at a time. Secure changing tables and other unstable furnishings to safeguard against them accidentally tipping over. Use window guards, so that windows cannot be opened by anyone but an adult. Install cordless blinds, so that your child does not get caught up in the pull strings and injure themselves. Finally, add electric outlet protectors to the walls, and affix locks to cabinets, so that your child does not get electrocuted or get into any harmful cleaning chemicals.
8. Update your Address
Make sure you put in a change of address form at the post office on the day before your move, but also call your bank and other important institutions that send you regular statements through snail mail.
In addition, you will need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles in person or on the internet to update your new address on you license. There is a small fine attached for “Failure to Report a Change of Address” on your license and vehicle registration within 30 days of your move. Furthermore, you will want to transfer your medical records and find a new pharmacy if you receive prescriptions on a schedule.
9. Greet your Neighbors and Scout your Area
There is no better way to begin your scouting of your new area then through the wise eyes of your neighbors, who have lived in the neighborhood longer than you. Asking them about the area’s hidden secrets, lively spots, and best places to eat and shop is a great icebreaker. Furthermore, talking to your neighbors after you move is good etiquette and could prove to be beneficial in the future if you need someone to look after your house or feed your pets while you are away for a few days, or need to borrow an item in an emergency situation.
10. Throw a Party
If you have made it this far, it is definitely time to celebrate the massive achievement of a transitioning to your new home. Moving is hard, moving is expensive, moving is stressful, but the post-move party puts it all to bed. While some people maintain a positive attitude and have an organized plan from the beginning to the end of the move, it is not usually the case. Therefore, if your move was not orderly and nothing but negative, there is still the chance to end the experience on good terms as you wind down and celebrate the beginning of a new experience, which resolves around your new residence.
The term “housewarming” comes from the actual act of warming the home. In times before central heat and air, or even electricity, guests would bring firewood as a gift for the home’s wood burning fireplaces and furnaces. In addition, a housewarming party was a ritual to warm the house with warm bodies to repel any evil spirits that might be lurking in dark corners.
Today, housewarming parties serve as a means to showcase your new home, reward friends who helped along the way or dealt with your anxiety through the transition. It also offers the opportunity to meet your news neighbors. In addition, you might receive a few gifts for the home.
Traditionally, a housewarming party is held soon after moving into a new home, usually within a month of moving and consists of friends, extended family, and even new neighbors. Give your guests at least a two-week notice before the party, and try to choose a time that is most convenient for most of the people who will attend. The afternoon is a great time for a party because having a gathering late in the evening might upset your new neighbors instead of generating a positive feeling by inviting them.
To make the party simple, have a potluck in which guests bring their favorite dish and drinks to share with other attendees. However, what matters the most is that you and your family enjoy yourself and unwind, while creating great memories since this is the first big occasion in your new residence.
Have fun and good luck!
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