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People move for a lot of reasons. Whatever the reason for the move into a new house, it is a stressful event. Odds are you feel like you’re juggling a lot of things at the same time.
Trying to settle as soon as possible while your life is still in boxes can be an emotional balancing act that may take more from you than you would have anticipated. Among all the unknowns, it’s good to have a checklist of things to do that otherwise might escape your attention. We hope this list will make the move into a new house a lot smoother in the long run.
8 Things To Do When You Move Into A New House
Inspect the house
Ideally, you’d do this before you even carry in the first box. By walking through your empty house and giving it a proper inspection, you can get a clear idea of what’s going to be important to change or repair, and which things can go lower on the priority list.
A move into a new house usually comes with a bunch of quick fixes and small home improvement jobs, and an empty house is a perfect environment to make a to-do list.
Locate the water valve and electrical box
When you start fixing around the house, you need to know where the water valve is and how the electrical box is configured. If you have a multimeter, this is a good time to test all the outlets, too.
A broken outlet or missing fuse in the breaker box is a quick fix, but the best time to fix it is when you’re prepared and before you start the move into a new house.
Next, you’ll want to make sure you’ll have water and electricity as you begin the move-in process. Call the utility companies and the city and make sure to set up all your connections. Common utilities to keep in mind are:
- Water and sewer (these can be the same or separate, depending on where you live)
- Trash and recycling
- Internet and phone
Clean your house
If you’re moving into an empty house, the perfect moment to clean every corner of it is when it is completely empty. Take this chance to clean every room before you unpack your boxes.
Start with the room(s) where you plan to put your boxes and work your way through the house from there. At this point, focus on the areas in the house that will be especially hard to clean when you live there and the house isn’t empty anymore. How to Clean Your Home On A Budget is a great resource to check out.
Have your mail forwarded
The next step to really get settled is to start the process of forwarding your mail. In the United States, USPS will offer a free service that literally sends your mail that is addressed to your old house to your new house free of charge, for a maximum of a one-year period.
You can recognize forwarded mail by the yellow sticker that USPS puts on your envelope. Treat every yellow sticker that comes in as a trigger to send a notice of address change to the sender. This way, you’ll make sure everyone ends up with your new address.
Change the locks
This one may seem strange; after all, you’re the one with the key in hand, and you know exactly how many keys there are, right? Actually, you don’t.
The previous owners might have forgotten about one, have one laying around the yard in a hiding spot that some people still know about, or maybe someone still has their key and has no idea there are new owners in the house – you. To avoid any trouble at all, change the locks in the first few days. This is an easy enough job you can do yourself and can prevent a whole lot of confusion.
Craft an organizing plan
Here’s a simple truth: you can plan whatever you want, but some things are not going to end up the way you think. When you’ve lived in a house for a little while, you learn to optimize where some things go, where they shouldn’t go, and how often you really use your spare bedsheets.
Until then, create a plan that will help you store everything you’ve got. Unpacking boxes often takes much longer than you anticipate, and there’s nothing worse than unpacking a box and packing it back up a week later because you’ve decided the contents are better stored away somewhere else.
An organizing plan can not just help you give everything a place, it will also help you figure out what storage options you need to get everything sorted out. Do you need extra shelves in the basement or a better organization in the closet? The best moment to do those adjustments is when the house is all empty.
Do minor repairs
Using the list you’ve made in step 1, go around the house and do any minor repairs. For the most efficient result, group similar tasks together. A typical fix-up you’re likely to encounter is touching up paint on doorways and trim around the walls.
Go around with a bucket of white paint and a paintbrush, and do all similar repairs at once. Leave bigger repairs and actual projects for a later day, but this is a great time to do the small fixes all at once that will otherwise bug you for the coming weeks.
A move into a new house can be stressful and there’s always a lot to do. This list doesn’t list everything that could be done, and your situation can depend a lot on what you’re moving from and to. Going into a newly built house is a whole different experience than getting into a fixer-upper. This list will help you check off those things that are otherwise most likely to be forgotten, but we’d love to hear your input and experiences, too. What checklist items would you add to our list?