Moving is no picnic, that is for sure. Between organizing, packing, transporting, and unpacking, there are moving parts aplenty to figure out and keep track of. But once all the logistics of the big move are sorted, there are a few things you should do as soon as you arrive. While it may be tempting to dive in and start unpacking those boxes right away, there are some vital steps to take even before that happens.
Being proactive about things as soon as you move into your new home can save you a lot of hassle in the long run. So in this article, we will take a look at what you need to do as soon as you move into your new home, ranked in no particular order.
Do A Full Walkthrough
First things first, you will want to make sure that everything is in good working order, before you start bringing in the furniture and unloading your gadgets and household items. The best time to do a complete walkthrough of your brand new house? When it has just been cleaned and it is completely empty of stuff.
Make a checklist of things to look out for, then carefully appraise the situation in each room and hallway. Check to see that everything that you were expecting to be included in the house sale is present and accounted for. If, for instance, the previous owner was supposed to leave behind the dishwasher, or washing machine, and you find that that item is missing once you arrive, call your realtor. They should help you figure out what rights you have to complain in the situation.
If there were any repairs that the previous owner agreed to as part of the sales negotiation, make sure that they followed through and made those repairs before your arrival. Make sure each outlet, light fixture, electrical switch, door, and window is in good working order. Check to see where the previous owner left any and all maintenance and warranty guides, to make sure you have access to important information in terms of ongoing house upkeep.
Look for any evidence of dirt, construction debris, rodents, insects, other pests, or mold in the house. The last thing you want is to move into a house that suddenly needs to be tented to get rid of a surprise termite infestation- particularly if it is something the seller may have known about ahead of time. If, however, any of these issues were not addressed in your sales contract, then they are now your responsibility to deal with. So it will be better for you to know about them at the start, and deal with them quickly, before you get all settled into your new home.
Map Out Your Furniture
One thing you should take note of as you do your initial walkthrough of the empty house is where you will put all of your furniture once it arrives. Make sure that you have enough space to fit all of your furnishings, then make a map of where you think each item should go.
Particularly for large, heavy furniture items, like sofas, dining room tables, and any heavy kitchen appliances, you will want to know where to direct the movers to place them. Once they are in place it may be difficult to move them later. Having a plan in mind ahead of time will not only save you time, but also a lot of hassle.
As you are setting up the layout of each room, think about your utilities as well. If, for example, you are setting up a home office in one room, make sure that the Wi-fi connection in that space is strong enough to support your online work. You may even want get your internet, phone, heating, cooling, gas, water, and electric all set up and running before you start to map out which room goes where.
And on the subject of utilities, make sure you have set up garbage, recycling, and compost (if applicable) pickup with your new local waste management facility. Then you will be ready to easily discard all the packaging that surrounds your furniture and other items.
Make Your New Home Safe For Children and Pets
If you are moving with a baby, young children, or pets, then you will want to childproof your home from the get go. That is an important step to make sure all the new residents of your home are protected and ready to adjust to their new surroundings.
Set up childproof gates for areas that may have potential dangers for your young children. As you unpack, discard all of your packing materials in that separated area, so babies and dogs cannot inadvertently crawl into a pile of plastic packaging and get stuck. Instead of piling them high, stack any cardboard boxes that you do leave around in accessible areas. That way your kids can play inside of them without the risk of climbing and falling.
Cover electrical outlets with kid-proof covers and make sure there are cabinet locks on any reachable cabinets. Be particularly attentive to where you store sharp objects and potentially toxic chemicals, like cleaning supplies.
Remember you can always temporarily store fragile objects, alcohol, and sharp knives in places that are not reachable by children and four-legged friends. The last thing you want is for your kiddo to accidentally smash that special crystal goblet that Aunt So-and-so gave you as a wedding present. Put locks on stovetop knobs and the oven door as well as windows and off limits drawers. And keep electrical cords securely stored away, out of reach- they can be an enticing object to put in one’s mouth, if one is a baby, and they also present a trip hazard that can be easily avoided with some careful attention.
Do A Deep Clean
While you may be exhausted after going through the entire process of a big move, cleaning your home before you get settled in is a very smart idea. Think of it as giving your new life a fresh start. Clean the refrigerator first, so that you can store your perishable food items right away. Take out shelves and drawers and clean them with dish soap. Then wipe down the entire interior with a vinegar solution, to help prevent bacteria from growing inside.
Clean tall shelving units, overhead light fixtures, and ceiling fans before you attack the floor. Starting with items closest to the ceiling means that any dust and debris will fall downward, and you can pick it up with the vacuum cleaner once you do the floor at the end. Start with the highest appliances, then work your way down through cabinets, stovetops, countertops, and any other appliances, before you reach the floor.
Clean and sanitize all door handles, light switches, soap dispensers, faucet switches, and the toilet paper holders in the bathrooms. Dust over the tops of doors and around windows; any space that may have been overlooked by the previous owner.
Once you are ready to clean the floors, use a high power vacuum, broom, and mop. For carpets, you may want to do a steam cleaning. For hard to reach corners, try a vacuum attachment, to really ensure that you’ve cleared away all the cobwebs.
Now that your brand new house is sparkling clean, everything has been inspected and repaired, all your appliances and gadgets are in good working order, and you have effectively and thoroughly child and pet proofed your home, you are ready to move on in.
There may be a few more small adjustments to make for security as well, such as changing your locks. And a few more administrative tasks to do, like setting your mail to be forwarded to your new address. But once you have seen to those tasks, you are ready to get settled in your new home. And at that point, what should you do? Go out and meet your new neighbors!
Author: Levi Sims