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Moving into a new house is a momentous occasion. As you settle in, you’ll want to ensure every detail of your new abode is perfect. To help you make the most of your new space, we compiled a comprehensive checklist of what to do before, during, and after move-in day.
From unpacking your essentials to selecting furnishings and decor, this checklist covers everything you’ll need to do to adjust to your environment and create a sophisticated home. First, we guide you through what to do before moving in to make the transition seamless. Then, we provide tips on renovations, painting, and other projects to personalize and elevate your space.
What to Do Right Before the Move
As your move-in date draws near, you should complete a few important tasks to ensure a smooth and safe transition into your new home. Assuming all logistical tasks have been taken care of, such as hiring a moving company and packing your belongings, the following checklist will help you prepare for the big day.
Do the Final Walk-Through
During the final walk-through, check that everything in your new home is in the same condition as when you agreed to buy or rent the property. Check for any damages that may have occurred as the previous owner or occupant moved out, and ensure that everything is in working order. Specifically, you should do the following:
- Check the faucets for leaks.
- Flush the toilets.
- Inspect and label the circuit breaker.
- Run hot water to test the water heater.
- Test the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Test the outlets.
- Turn on all the lights and appliances.
If you notice any new issues, document them and raise your concerns with the seller or landlord before you move in.
Clean the New House
Even if the previous homeowners cleaned the house before they left, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough cleaning yourself. This includes cleaning the floors, walls, and cabinets and scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchen.
Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to ensure that everything is spotless before you move in. Many local and long-distance moving companies offer this service. If yours does not, they may still be able to recommend reputable third-party providers.
Paint and Make Repairs
If you plan to change your new home’s interior, now is the time to do it. Painting the walls and making other cosmetic changes will be easier before you start moving in furniture. This is also a good opportunity to schedule any necessary repairs. Check for cracks, holes, or other damage that needs fixing.
Turn On the HVAC System
Before you move in, make sure to turn on the heating and cooling systems to ensure they’re working properly. This will help you avoid any uncomfortable surprises on the first night in your new home. If you notice any issues with the HVAC system, it’s best to call a professional to inspect and repair it.
Change the Locks
Changing the locks on all exterior doors will ensure that no one else has access to your new home. Although installing new locks is a relatively simple DIY project, you can hire a locksmith.
Update Your Address With Important Contacts
Notify banks, credit card companies, and other important contacts of your new address. Change your address on any subscriptions and insurance policies, too.
To ensure that you continue to receive important mail and bills at your new home, file a change-of-address form with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). You can do this in person at your local post office or online through the USPS website.
Contact the utility companies for your old and new home to stop, start, or transfer services. You must provide your new address, move-in or move-out date, and other relevant information. You may also need to provide proof of identity and residency, such as a driver’s license or lease agreement. To avoid delays, it’s best to handle this task at least two weeks before your move-in date.
Install a Home Security System
Consider installing a home security system or additional locks and alarms to keep your home secure. A security system can provide peace of mind and protect your home from theft or other security threats. Options include self-installed systems from companies such as SimpliSafe and Cove or professionally installed systems from ADT and other well-established home security companies.
What to Do on Moving Day
When moving day finally arrives, use the following tips to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Organize Your Valuables
Keep your valuables, such as expensive jewelry and important documents, with you during the move. Make sure they are packed securely using bubble wrap and other appropriate packing supplies and you know where they are at all times.
Pack an Essentials Box
Pack a box or suitcase with all the essentials you’ll need for the first day or two in your new home. Include the following items:
- Change of clothes
- Charges for your electronics
- Cleaning supplies
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Toothbrush and other toiletries
By packing these items separately in a clearly labeled box, you will avoid digging through multiple moving boxes to find what you need on your first night.
Stay Hydrated and Fueled
Both local and interstate moves can be exhausting, even if you hire professional movers to handle the packing and heavy lifting. Keep water and snacks handy to stay hydrated and energized throughout the day.
Direct the Movers
Ensure you’re available to answer any questions and provide direction as the movers pack, load, and unload your belongings. If you pre-packed any of your belongings, let the movers know where those boxes should go. This will make the unpacking process much more manageable.
Clean Your Old Home
Once all your belongings have been loaded onto the moving truck, take some time to clean your old home. Have a broom, dustpan, vacuum, and cleaning wipes on hand to sweep, vacuum, and wipe down surfaces as necessary. Alternatively, you can hire professionals to handle this final cleaning.
Verify the Inventory
After the movers finish carrying your belongings into your new home, review the inventory list. Make sure each box is accounted for before the movers leave so that you know all your items have safely arrived.
What to Do After the Move
While the moving process may be over, you still have several important tasks to complete. Here’s what you should do after the move to fully settle into your new living space.
Unpack and Organize
Unpacking can be daunting, but it’s important to do it as soon as possible. Start by unpacking the essentials, and work your way through the rest of your belongings. For instance, you might start by setting up your bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchens to comfortably eat, sleep, and shower.
Furnish and Decorate Your New Home
Furnishing your new home is arguably the most fun part of moving. Start with the basics, such as a bed, couch, and dining table. As you shop for furniture and decor, consider your personal style and preferences. You can even hire an interior designer to help you create the perfect space.
Research local landscapers or DIY landscaping projects to enhance your outdoor space. While interior renovations are easier to complete prior to moving day, exterior upgrades can wait until after you are settled in. Depending on the season, it may even be advantageous to hold off on landscaping projects for a while.
Meet Your Neighbors
Getting to know your new neighbors will help you feel more at home in your new community. You could knock on their doors and introduce yourself, or you could attend a neighborhood event to meet people. You can also join local groups, such as book clubs or fitness classes, to make new friends and get involved in the community.
Explore Your New Surroundings
Explore your new neighborhood and surrounding areas to familiarize yourself with the local amenities. If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to the locals for insider tips on the best places to visit and things to do in the area. Take walks or bike rides around your neighborhood, and check out local shops and restaurants to get a feel for the area’s culture and cuisine.
How to Set Up Your New Home
Setting up your new home takes time, planning, and effort, but it can be one of the most enjoyable and gratifying parts of the moving process. Here’s what you need to do:
- Plan your space: Take the time to plan out each room in your new home before you start decorating or furnishing. This includes deciding on a layout, color scheme, and any specific themes or styles you want to incorporate.
- Choose your furniture: Once you’ve planned out your space, start choosing your furniture. Consider your personal style and preferences when selecting pieces, and don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles to create a unique yet cohesive look.
- Decorate with accessories: Throw pillows, rugs, artwork, and other accessories can help tie your rooms together and add personality to your space. Choose accessories that complement your furniture and color scheme. Mix and match different textures and patterns to create a layered and inviting look.
- Incorporate storage: Adequate storage is essential for keeping your new home organized and clutter-free. Consider investing in furniture with built-in storage, such as a storage ottoman or a bookcase. Then, use aesthetically pleasing baskets and bins to corral smaller items.
- Add lighting: Lighting can make a big difference in the look and feel of your new home. Add a mixture of overhead lighting, table lamps, and floor lamps to create a warm ambiance. To create a more versatile space, incorporate dimmable lighting.
- Hang curtains or blinds: Curtains or blinds can add privacy and style to your new home. Choose window treatments that complement your furniture and color scheme, and consider adding blackout curtains to bedrooms for optimal sleep.
By following these steps, you can set up your home in a way that is both functional and stylish. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process of creating a space that feels uniquely yours.
New Home Essentials
When moving into a new home, you’ll want to ensure you have everything needed to make your space functional and comfortable. Below are some essential items to consider for each room.
In the living area, focus on creating a cozy space in which to relax and entertain guests. Include the following essentials:
- Area rug
- Coffee table or side tables
- Comfortable seating, such as a couch or chairs
- Curtains or blinds for privacy and light control
- Lighting, such as floor lamps or table lamps
- Television and entertainment center
The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. It’s important to have essentials on hand for cooking and dining, including the following:
- Basic appliances, such as a toaster and coffee maker
- Cookware, such as pots and pans
- Dinnerware and flatware
- Glassware and mugs
- Trash cans and trash bags
- Utensils, such as spatulas and serving spoons
A well-stocked bathroom can make getting ready in the morning a breeze. Here are some essential bathroom items:
- Basic toiletries, such as soap and toothbrushes
- Bath mat
- Shower curtain and liner
- Toilet brush and plunger
- Toilet paper holder
- Toothbrush holder
- Towels and washcloths
- Wastebasket and liners
The bedroom is your personal retreat, so make sure it’s equipped with everything you need for a good night’s sleep:
- Comfortable mattress and bedding
- Clothes hangers and closet organizers
- Curtains or blinds for privacy and light control
- Dresser or alternative clothing storage solution
- Nightstands and bedside lamps
Whether you work from home or just need a space to pay bills, a home office is a must-have for many people. Make sure yours includes the following:
- Basic office supplies, such as pens and paper
- Computer, printer, and scanner
- Desk and chair
- Lighting, such as a desk lamp
- Storage solutions, such as bookshelves or filing cabinets
Having a functional laundry room can make the chore of doing laundry a little easier. Here are some essentials to include:
- Washer and dryer
- Laundry detergent and fabric softener
- Clothes hangers or drying rack
- Iron and ironing board
- Laundry basket or hamper
If you have an outdoor space, procure the following items to ensure it’s properly equipped for relaxing and entertaining:
- Grill or alternative outdoor cooking equipment
- Lawn mower and gardening tools
- Outdoor furniture, such as a table and chairs
- Outdoor lighting, such as string lights or lanterns
- Outdoor storage solutions, such as a shed or deck box
By ensuring you have these essential items in each room, you can make your new house feel like home in no time. Don’t forget to personalize your space with decor and other items that reflect your personal style and enhance your comfort.
Moving into a new home is a monumental task, but with proper planning and preparation, it can also be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Before moving in, it’s crucial to do a final walk-through, clean your new home, and make any necessary repairs or upgrades. On moving day, keep important documents and valuables with you and be available to answer any questions from the movers.
Once you’re moved in, spend time personalizing your space and filling each room with the essentials. Meeting your neighbors and exploring your new surroundings can also help you feel more comfortable. Follow our comprehensive checklist to ensure you’re fully settled in your new home and that it’s functional, comfortable, and personalized to your needs and preferences. Along the way, don’t forget to take your time and enjoy the process of making your new house a home.
Moving Into a New House FAQ
What is the first thing to do when moving into a new house?
First, conduct a final walk-through of the home to identify any issues that need to be addressed before move-in day. This includes things such as cleaning, making necessary repairs, and repainting. It is also important to transfer utilities, change the locks, and file a change of address with the USPS.
What essentials are needed when moving into a new house?
The following essentials are needed when moving into a new house:
• Bedding and pillows
• Cookware, dinnerware, and utensils
• Paper towels and toilet paper
• Disinfectant wipes and other cleaning supplies
• Extra batteries, lightbulbs, and a first-aid kit
• Hose and lawnmower
• New locks
• Storage solutions
• Toiletries, towels, and a shower curtain
• Window coverings and lighting
• Working smoke detectors
What items should be placed in the garage?
The most obvious thing to store in the garage is your car. However, if you have extra space, you can also place the following items in the garage:
• Automotive supplies
• Lawn and garden tools
• Outdoor gear
• Seasonal decorations
• Sports equipment
• Tools and hardware
What are the best ways to organize a new house?
The best ways to organize a new house include the following:
• Creating designated spaces
• Hiring a professional organizer
• Investing in storage solutions
• Maximizing closet space
• Sorting items by category