Congratulations on moving into your new home! This is an exciting time, and enjoying the space is likely your top priority. However, there are still several tasks you should address during the month after your move. So before kicking back and relaxing in your favorite chair, use this post-move-in checklist to help you settle into your new home.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when moving into a new space. Because there’s so much to do, you may not even know where to begin, let alone how to organize your things. A well-thought-out plan can help you stay focused and avoid unnecessary stress.
Unpack and inspect your belongings
- Formulate a plan for unpacking each room and area. Organize your closets and storage spaces now to avoid double work later.
- Break down and discard boxes as you go; they’ll take up less space and be easier to remove.
- Inspect all your fragile-labeled items—such as your furniture, TV, artwork, mirrors, and chandeliers—as well as the floors and walls in your new home for damage that may have occurred during the move. If you notice any problems, report them immediately to your moving company since there is often a deadline for filing a claim for damaged or lost items.
Update personal information
One of your most important post-move tasks is changing your address to avoid any mailing or legal issues. Download the checklist at the end of the article to help you keep track of all the places you’ll need to notify.
- Change your legal address on your tax documents, credit cards, and employee information, and notify your banks, lenders, and insurance companies of your move.
- For out-of-state moves, obtain a new license and car registration (most states give a thirty-day grace period) and change your voter registration.
Check systems and appliances
During the month after moving into your new home, you should check that all systems are in working order. You can use your home inspection report to create a to-do list, repair checklist, and maintenance schedule to help you stay organized.
Service and clean appliances and systems
- Clean the refrigerator coils to help ensure the compressor is operating at the optimal level.
- Remove lint from the dryer duct, and change all air-vent filters.
- To keep the heating and cooling system working as efficiently as possible, clean the HVAC condenser and evaporator and check the furnace filter.
- Set up pest control services to spray for bugs and other pests.
Make it safe
The safety of your family members is of the utmost importance. Therefore, you should take the necessary steps to ensure their protection immediately upon moving into your home.
Childproof your home
- Install appropriate locks, latches, handles, doorknob covers, outlet covers, and corner protectors.
- Use safety gates to block the stairs and areas that are off-limits.
- Check the water heater temperature to avoid potential scalding.
Test and check safety measures
- Ensure that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working, fire extinguishers are filled, and none of your devices’ expiration dates have passed.
- Locate all water and gas shutoff valves in case of an emergency.
- Know the location of the electrical panel, and make sure that each breaker is appropriately labeled.
- Change all locks and programmable garage door openers, deactivate and reset the home-security alarm (if you have one), make a set of spare keys, and establish a safe hiding spot to keep them in.
- Replace burned-out lights around the outside perimeter of your home.
Don’t forget the small stuff
Because there is a lot to do when you first move into your new home, you may overlook certain tasks. Use this list to identify any smaller items you still need to take care of.
- Send your new address to friends and family.
- Update your newspaper and monthly subscription deliveries.
- Map out the best routes to and from work and school.
- Introduce yourself to the neighbors to establish a rapport.
- Post an emergency contact list on your fridge for everyone to see.
- Research the trash- and recycling-collection processes to determine the schedule and approved containers. Depending on your township, you may have several trash-collection companies to choose from.
- Purchase a homeowner’s warranty for your protection in case problems arise after you move.
- Research doctors in your new community to establish medical care, and forward all your medical records to the new providers.
- Check your local laws for pet licensing, find a new veterinarian, and locate potential pet-sitting or boarding services.
Once the hard work is done, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Consider hosting a housewarming party with your friends and family. And don’t forget to invite your neighbors—it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know them and learn about your new neighborhood.