From decluttering to packing to labeling and organizing your belongings, there’s a lot that goes into packing up one home and moving to another. But what about all the items that need to be accomplished after you sign your name on the dotted line?
Overwhelmed with odds and ends? Use our complete guide to make sure no task is left undone.
1. Turn on the lights
Don’t get caught in the dark. Make sure to transfer power, water and gas (if applicable) to your new address. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get on the schedule for cable and internet service, too.
2. Plan for moving day
If you have small children or pets, you’ll need to do some planning ahead of time to ensure they are taken care of during move-in day. Pack a small bag that you can take in your car (not in the moving truck) with the necessary essentials.
While you’re making plans for moving day, arrange for food to be delivered, too. No one likes to move on an empty stomach.
3. Change your address
No need to step foot in your local post office— hop on USPS.com and complete the five minute process to change your address. Kill two birds with one stone and update your address with your bank, major credit cards and driver’s license while you’re at it.
4. Change the locks
Don’t wait until you’re attending a Christmas party six months post-move to find out several neighbors have spare keys to your new home. Call a locksmith and get those locks changed out asap. Be sure to ask the locksmith to make copies for you and your family members while he’s there.
5. Make sure the home is safe
Don’t wait for a break in to think about home security. Call a security company you know and trust to set up peace of mind.
Additionally, make sure to test your new home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too. You should also purchase a fire distinguisher and familiarize yourself on how to use it should an emergency happen.
6. Clean your carpets
Your new carpet may look clean, but you’ll feel so much better knowing you’re walking around on your germs, not the previous owner’s. Check nextdoor for carpet cleaning companies that do a good job— or better yet, go meet one of your new neighbors and get their recommendation.
7. Schedule pest control
If bugs and spiders aren’t your idea of a good time, call pest control to get on a routine service schedule. Consider looking into termite protection, too. Pro tip: If the previous homeowners had termite protection you won’t have to start from scratch, and it’s often times pretty cost effective to just pick up where they left off.
8. Call an appliance tech
Unless you were fortunate enough to be left with owners’ manuals for each new appliance you just acquired, you might have a difficult time operating or understanding the ins and outs of your new hardware. Most local appliance companies charge a nominal fee to come out, inspect the appliance and walk you through how to use them. Money well spent.
9. Service your a/c
Air conditioning experts recommend you schedule a tune up each year to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. It’s a good idea to schedule a technician to come out and check on your system before warm weather strikes.
Likewise, rather than guess when the previous homeowner changed the air filters last, pick up some new ones on your next target run.
10. Learn the HOA rules
If your new neighborhood has an HOA it’s a good move to figure out the rules. Many HOAs have stipulations on paint colors, additions, yard appearance, etc. If you’re unsure where to find the bylaws of your HOA, ask your neighbors— chances are they can help.