There is a lot to consider when you’re moving into a new home. Unpacking isn’t the only major task standing in the way of fully settling in. Getting associated with your house, learning how it functions and prioritizing what projects you want to tackle is part and parcel of taking on your role as a homeowner. It’s better to do it all right when you move in instead of waiting and just assuming you’ll figure it all out later. Of course, you’ve got a lot going on already. So to help you set your to-do list straight, we’ve put together this quick list of the most important things that you need to do when moving into a new home:
Child/pet proof if necessary
If you’re moving into a new home with a baby or little kids (or even just furry four-legged kids) then an immediate step is going to be doing some initial childproofing to keep everyone safe until you can put your full setup into place.
Figure out what’s going where
You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble when moving into a new home if you make a plan of attack for setting everything up instead of just winging it. This is particularly true for large and heavy items like furniture. While you probably already have a basic idea of what goes in what room, give yourself a moment to think about exactly how you’d like the setup to look. You can make changes later, of course, but going into this task with a general plan is always going to make the job easier.
Make sure that your utilities are set up
Hopefully, you took care of arranging for your utilities to be transferred or set up before moving into your new home, in which case now is the time to make sure that everything is ready to go and working properly. On moving day, verify that your electric, gas, water, heating and cooling, phone and internet are set up. Then call your local waste management facility to ensure that your new home is set up for garbage pickup as well.
Perform a deep cleaning session
The last thing you probably want to do after going through the moving process is clean your new home from top to bottom, but right after moving is the best time to do it.
Unless you are moving into a new home that didn’t have any previous owners, chances are you’re going to have some repair projects. You should have a general idea already of what these are from your home inspection, but it doesn’t hurt to walk around on your own and get a handle on what needs to be done and what tops the list in terms of priorities. While you don’t necessarily need to get to work on these repairs right away (there will be plenty of time for that after you’re settled in), making a list of what needs to get done and in what order you intend to do it will help you put your repair needs into perspective and give you a better footing for when it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Change your locks
It is always good practice to change the locks on your new home. Even if you’re not concerned about the previous owner, you never know who might have a key. This is one of those areas where it’s better to be safe than sorry, so schedule a locksmith to come by or, if you feel comfortable doing it, change the locks yourself. Re-key the locks on all doors leading between the interior and exterior of your home, as well as on the windows. It’s a small expense to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
Meet your neighbors
Meeting your neighbors is a lot easier — and less awkward — to do right when you’ve moved in. And in addition to getting yourself off on the right foot in your new neighborhood, meeting your neighbors is helpful for starting to learn about your community and for getting recommendations for local services if you need them. You don’t need to go door to door but do make a point of introducing yourself the first time that you run into a new neighbor. A little friendliness will go a long way.