So you’ve closed on a new house and you’re holding the keys. It’s all yours! Now what?
To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, here are two definitive checklists to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. One is what to do before you actually move in, and the other is what to do when you’ve started unloading boxes.
AFTER CLOSING ON THE HOUSE
Transfer Utilities-Make sure they’re aware of your move date
Forward Mail and Change Billing Addresses-Start with credit cards and work your way down to magazine subscriptions.
Switch Schools for the Young Ones-Being able to start school right away may sound like torture to them, but it will help them make friends and develop a new routine after the potentially disruptive move
Pest-proof the new place-Before you move in your nice new furniture, de-bug the entire home as thoroughly as possible. We’re not implying that your new place is already roach infested, but it’s a house that’s likely sat empty for at least a few days. It’s easier to handle this issue yourself now than to hire a professional months down the road when you realize it’s a problem.
Deep clean the walls/carpet-There will never be an easier time to deep clean your house than before you even move in.-
Change the locks-We know, you’re super excited about your new keys! But you know who also has that key? The previous owners, their dogsitter, their Realtor, and the list goes on. Give yourself some piece of mind; change the locks before your family moves in.
BONUS: This checklist is full of things to do before the move. But here’s a surprising to-not-do: Paint. Houzz considers painting before the room has any furniture or atmospheres one of the biggest mistakes you can make with your new home right out the gate.
AFTER YOU BEGIN MOVING IN
Inspect Your Belongings-Are all boxes accounted for? For that matter, do you have all your family members in tow still?
Lay Out Essentials for Kids and Pets-Moves are tolling on anyone, but sometimes kids and pets have the hardest time with these big transitions. Put a few comfort items in the kids rooms right away so they can begin feeling ownership over the new space. Lay out dog bowls, litter boxes, and any other pet essentials so that they know they belong in the strange territory.
Don’t Just Unpack… Organize!-Maximize your space from the get-go!
Cover the Windows-Before placing the major furniture, start with the windows. Get the blinds and drapes up, at least in the rooms where people will be sleeping. This is obviously necessary for privacy, but also helps guide decisions on how to the theme the rooms from here on out.
Make the Beds-Whoever’s spending that first night in the house deserves a mattress and some bedding. You can assemble bed frames or make guest beds later. But it’ll never feel like home for your family until they can have a restful night’s sleep in the new place.
Meet the Neighbors-If you get all these essentials knocked out and still have some daylight to kill, go introduce yourself to your street. Yes, it’s awkward. But it’ll make you feel more comfortable in your new home.