10 Things to Do Immediately Upon Moving Into a New House
Moving Into a New Home Checklist at a Glance
- Make repairs
- Organize utilities
- Change locks
- Test alarms
- Inspect systems
- Plan furniture layout
- Officially change address
- Research surrounding area
- Meet community
Moving is often an exciting time, but the list of things to do when moving into a new home can feel overwhelming. If you're moving for the first time, you may feel uncertain about what needs to be done after you’re handed the keys.
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Fortunately, a little planning and organization can make it much easier to keep on top of repair, admin and maintenance tasks in your new home. Follow this checklist for some peace of mind, and to ensure nothing's forgotten.
What Are the First Things You Should Do When Moving Into a New Home?
Before you start working through the checklist below, grab a notebook to write down any tasks that need completing. Having your notes all in one place can make it much easier to keep on top of the things you need to do when moving into a new home.
Not sure where to start? Try these:
1. Start Necessary Repairs
Before you start planning repairs, walk through your new home and check that the sellers have completed any previously agreed repairs. Contact your real estate agent right away if your sellers haven't carried out any work included in the sale contract to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
If you notice any needed repairs that weren't part of your contract, you will need to complete them yourself. Make a list of everything that needs fixing during your walkthrough in order of urgency. You can then begin to work through your list to improve your new home's condition.
2. Clean Thoroughly
Deep cleaning a house is never a fun prospect, and it's probably the last thing you want to think about after picking up the keys to your new home. However, it's far easier to get the house clean before you start unpacking your belongings and moving in furniture. If you need to get your new home habitable quickly or simply don't wish to spend the first few days scrubbing, it's worth considering hiring professional cleaners to do it for you.
3. Organize Utilities
If you haven't already set up utilities for your new property, now is the time to get in touch with utility companies to ensure you have electricity, water and internet connectivity. If you're already set, check that everything is connected and fully functioning. You'll also need to ensure that you have garbage collection and recycling pickup scheduled.
While you're checking your utilities, it's a good idea to figure out where the fuse box and main water supply are located. This is important because these points allow you to shut off your home's water or power supply in an emergency.
4. Change the Locks
Changing the locks is one of the most important things to do when moving into a new home, and you should get it done as soon as possible. This crucial step prevents any of your seller's keyholders from accessing your home once you've moved in. After you've changed the locks, have a key cut for every family member, plus a few spare sets.
5. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Your home's smoke and carbon monoxide alarms could save your life, so don't just assume they're functioning correctly. You should test every alarm in the house before going to bed on the first night and replace faulty ones. When you're done, set a reminder on your phone or calendar to routinely test the alarms again every two months.
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6. Inspect Your Home Systems
Properly functioning HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems are essential, especially if you live in an extremely hot or cold climate. After moving in, thoroughly inspect your heating and cooling systems to check that they're functioning correctly and in good condition. It's also sensible to check that your plumbing fixtures all work properly and that you don't have any broken or flickering lights.
If you notice any maintenance issues, make a list of what needs doing and attend to them as quickly as possible. Dealing with home maintenance early can stop small problems from developing into major issues, saving you time and money.
7. Plan Your Layout
One of the most exciting things to do when moving into a new house is planning where your furniture and belongings will go. Ideally, you’ll label each box with the room it belongs in when you pack so that it's easy for your movers to put things in the right place.
Having a plan for where to put large items of furniture can help you achieve a more practical layout than making a split-second decision after moving in. Although you can always move things around later, this could be difficult if you have heavy or bulky items. When you're planning, consider arranging your furniture to allow access to electrical outlets and radiators and maintain clear walkways.
8. Change Your Address
If you haven't already, ensure that your utility companies, bank, creditors and subscription providers are aware of your change of address. It's also worth updating your friends and family. You can redirect your mail by contacting the post office. If you're a driver, be sure to let the Department of Motor Vehicles know you've moved, even if you've stayed in the same state. You'll most likely need a new driver's license.
9. Research Local Amenities
Once you're settled in, it's time to find out more about your local area. First, you'll need to locate essential amenities, such as your nearest doctor's office, hospital and grocery store. It's also worth checking with your new neighbors to find out about any local gems, such as the best places to eat out.
10. Meet the Community
Moving into a new area is much less daunting once you've made friends and contacts in the local community. Knowing your neighbors isn't just important for company; they can also provide a wealth of information, which could prove invaluable if you need a recommendation for a local tradesperson or want help deciding on the best school for your kids.
Making time to say hello when you bump into your neighbors can help you forge new friendships and integrate into your community. You could also consider joining a social group to meet even more locals.