Congrats on the new home! You’re probably excited, exhausted, and in need of somewhere to start – sounds like a job for our new home checklist.
Let’s cut to the chase, the new home journey can be overwhelming. You’re excited to start your new life, but getting there can feel like a lifetime of preparation. From cable to comforters to crock-pots, there’s a lot that goes into moving into a new home. If you don’t stay organized, move-in day can be a total bust. It’s common to worry, but lucky for you, this ultimate new home checklist will put your mind at ease and simplify the moving process.
1. Transfer utilities
Before you can move into your new home and get comfortable, you need to set up your physical utilities: water, gas, and electricity. Depending on where your new home is located, you may or may not have some say in which company you work with. Although physical utilities companies are usually timely about activation, the sooner you notify them of your move-in date, the better. This is especially true if they’re in the midst of moving season when they’re working with a ton of accounts.
2. Connect TV and internet
No one likes moving into a dead zone. Make sure you’re up and running before move-in day by setting up services that work for you. Do your homework in order to know where you stand in order to compare pricing and figure out what service providers will best suit your needs. Schedule installation at least 2-3 weeks in advance to ensure that your services are activated in a timely manner and to also get the appointment slot that is most convenient for you.
3. Update your address
Your address is connected to so many aspects of your life that you may not even realize. From forwarding your mail, to maintaining subscriptions and loyalty programs, to banks and credit cards, to insurance, to checkbooks, to car registration and driver’s licenses… We think you get the point. When you update your address, you update your life! Not sure how to go about doing this? No worries, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about updating your address.
4. Gather important documents
You know those super important documents that sit and collect dust in your filing cabinet? They have to come along for the ride too. We’re talking birth certificates, social security cards, medical records, insurance policies, and anything else of that nature. Now’s the time to purge what you don’t need and label and organize everything that you do. Grab your shredder and some banker’s boxes and get to work! Important documents are items that cannot be overlooked on your new home checklist.
5. Take photos of valuable items
Moving your valuables is nerve-racking, but if you take proper precautions you’ll be more than fine. A good method of damage control is creating a valuables inventory and taking photos of each item. This could be anything from your grandmother’s antique mirror to your TV and computer monitor. By taking photos of these items, you have proof of their original condition in the event that they are damaged during the move. No matter how careful or responsible your moving company is, accidents can happen so moving insurance is worth looking into.
6. Research local businesses
When you move to a different town or state, it’s good to get the lay of the land of local businesses. Chances are you won’t be frequenting the businesses you usually do anymore, so you’ll want to explore your new options. From a new doctor, to a new hairdresser, to new landscapers, you’ll have to do quite a bit of research. Apps like Yelp can show you reviews, recommendations, and photos of local businesses to help you make educated decisions.
7. Take off from work
Within the first few days of your move, not only will you be unpacking a sea of boxes, but you’ll also be waiting on deliveries, repairs, and installations. It’s a good idea to notify your employer that you’ll be moving so you have ample time to coordinate these appointments before you head back into the office. The 48 hours post-move is crucial to getting (somewhat) settled, so make sure you plan and schedule accordingly.
8. Schedule a cleaning
Before you move your furniture, it’s a good idea to clean all the nooks and crannies of your new home. Chances are, the previous owner didn’t take the time to thoroughly clean it for your arrival (at least not to your standards), so schedule a cleaning service to come in and do a thorough once-over. With all the effort that you’re putting into your new home, you deserve a spotless canvas!
9. Schedule home improvements
Repairs and home improvements are an inevitable part of moving into a new home (whether an apartment or a house). There are some repairs that require more attention than others (i.e. leaky plumbing, windows that don’t lock, etc). It’s necessary that these are taken care of beforehand by either the previous owner or your property management company. If they aren’t, get on that ASAP! But maybe you just want to paint an accent wall or install built-in bookcases, these are the kind of home improvements you’re in charge of. You should schedule these improvements ahead of time so you’re not worrying about them come move-in day. Get the messy stuff out of the way first, it’ll make your life way easier.
10. Prepare to pack
As you inch closer to move-in day, start to throw out or donate things you don’t need and take note of what needs to be replaced. Keep the layout and measurements of your new home in mind as this could mean more or less space for your belongings. Save money by collecting free moving boxes from local businesses and retailers or use laundry bins, suitcases, and large bags to transport items. It’s also a good idea to label or color coordinate all boxes according to what room they go in to expedite the process for your moving company. Lastly, an open-first box is a must! You should include in this box everything you need to survive the first 24 hours in your new home. Think air mattress, a fresh outfit, a toothbrush, some snacks, water, and extra cash. You will thank yourself when the time comes. Trust us, it’s a not-to-be-missed item on your new home checklist!