You’ve closed the deal on that dream home and you have the keys in your hand. It’s official now- you are a homeowner! What’s next? You need to decide on a move in schedule.
And to help you prepare for that big day, we’ve gathered our top 10 essential moving in tips for new homeowners. These tips will be useful in the weeks leading up to your move, and the first few weeks of living in your new home.
- Secure your new home.
Buying your own home is a momentous time, and in your excitement, it’s easy to forget the most important things– including home security. Change the door locks and get spare keys. Know what to do in case you get locked out of your house. If your home comes with a security system, set up new codes and find out who to call in case of emergencies.
But home security goes beyond just changing the locks. If you plan to use home automation, arm yourself with knowledge on securing your home wifi network. Secure your home as soon as the agent hands you the keys.
- Give the house a deep clean and fresh coat of paint.
Even if the house is newly built or just recently empty, there’s a good chance it will be dusty and dirty by the time you move in. If you have some time between closing the deal on your new property and the date of your move, it’s a good idea to hire professional cleaners to bring the cleanliness of the house up to your own standard.
If you prefer the DIY route, set aside at least two weeks to give the house a deep clean and a fresh coat of paint. Fresh paint can give your home a clean and welcoming vibe. It’s an important step in updating the house to express your unique style and personality. The right shade on your wall can create the perfect backdrop for your home furnishings, so choose your colors well.
- Connect essential services like electricity, gas, water and internet.
The last thing you want is to move into a new house and the lights are not working, or there’s no water in the tap. Even worse – the last homeowner forgot to settle the gas bill, leaving you to sort out the mess.
Utility companies are usually timely when it comes to activating services. But it’s best to inform them soon after you have a move-in date. If you happen to transfer during the peak moving season, your service provider might be busy activating other accounts, therefore delaying yours. Make sure to get your services hooked up ahead of time.
- Find out the condo, apartment or community rules for moving in.
So you show up in your new condo with moving trucks only to be turned away because you need a permit to use the elevator. You realize you could have saved yourself from the hassle if you had just coordinated your move in schedule with the building administration.
In order to avoid this problem, make sure the condo administrators approve your move-in date. They need to organize a time for you to use the elevator to minimize disrupting the schedules of the residents in the building. As a new resident, you’ll appreciate being able to use the elevator without bumping into large boxes and furniture.
- Have a plan for kids and pets during moving day.
Do you have pets that might be traumatized during the move? You may be excited about finally settling into a home of your own. But for your pets, the move will be a stressful experience. In the midst of the busy activity, with strangers carrying boxes and moving about, your pet’s temper could flare. You could find yourself Googling “ways to calm a pet during a move,” while your dog is scratching himself silly from the stress.
If you have young children, ask a family member to look after them while you organize your new home. The kids can help unpack their own stuff. But when it’s still chaotic and disorganized, and all the boxes are gathered in the living room and all over the kitchen floor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing a trusted family member is looking after your children’s needs.
- Pack an “Open Me First” box.
After a full day of moving, and all you want is a shower and sleep, you’ll appreciate having all the essential items organized in one place. This is why you need an “Open Me First” box. This is a box that contains must-have items to help you through your first day or night at your new home. The essentials box is usually a clear lidded container, but a regular cardboard box will work just as well. Just make sure the box stands out so it’s easy to spot.
What should you pack in an essentials box? Think of the things you must have to prepare a meal, take a shower, or have a good night’s rest. Your essentials box should contain more than just a few plates, towels and toiletries. Also consider packing in curtains, bed sheets, screwdrivers to assemble your bed, and some entertainment to liven up your home.
- Create an unpacking plan.
An unpacking plan is a written guide to help you keep your move organized. Just as you would create a packing schedule for the move, you should also divide the tasks related to unpacking. You could have 60 or 600 boxes, but you can go through the process much faster if you already have a plan.
Should you start with the kitchen, or unpack the bedroom boxes first? If you have a plan, the process will seem more manageable to you. Depending on the size of your move, you may be spending more than just a few days organizing your new home. So, create a schedule, pace yourself and just have fun putting your things in their new places.
- Pack a cooler with ready to eat food and beverages.
Your hands will be full overseeing the moving process. Between checking your antique mirrors to make sure they didn’t break, and trying to fit a huge cabinet through the bedroom door, your hands will be more than full.
Pack a cooler with beverages, and prepare light snacks such as biscuits and sandwiches. The last thing you want is an empty stomach making you grumpy and getting in the way of an otherwise successful and enjoyable moving experience. So, prepare your meals before moving, or plan to have food delivered.
- Find a handyman or home repair services.
You never know when you would need a handyman, and you might need one as soon as you move in! While there are many home repair services on the market, finding a reliable and trustworthy handyman is more art than science. You might work with a few repair services before you find the company that’s right for you.
Ask for referrals from your agent, friends or next-door neighbor and read reviews on Yelp and Google. Compare prices and vet the services.
Reliable handyman and repair services are a must if you are a homeowner. Although owning a home is a smart investment, there are also a few downsides – like not being able to call your landlord when something goes awry.
- Familiarize yourself with your new home.
Finally, all the boxes are unloaded and the movers have finished their work. Now’s the time to explore your new environment and become familiar with the switches and controls that run your home.
During the home selling process, you may not have needed to see where the electrical control panel and main water shut off valves are located. But now that you’ve moved in, you’ll need to know how to cut off the water, or restore electricity if needed.
Hiring the Right Moving Company
Just like buying a home, choosing a moving company takes time and planning. At The Padded Wagon, we encourage you to check customer testimonials and do your research before making a decision on which movers to hire. Read our guide on selecting a moving company for more detailed information.