Moving can be an exciting new chapter in life, but it often brings challenges beyond transporting belongings. The tasks are multifold and complex – from packing and transportation to settling in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Then, once you’ve reached your new place, you have to face the reality that the challenge and hard work, plus potentially a lot of stress too, doesn’t end with the moving van pulling away; there’s a whole set of post-move tasks that need immediate attention to ensure a smooth transition.
The first few days after a move, when the movers in Salt Lake, or wherever you’re from or off to, put down the last box, can be disorientating. With boxes in every corner and the lack of familiarity with your new surroundings, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. This is where a well-structured post-move checklist can provide a sense of direction amidst the chaos. Each point, when taken together as a whole, is designed to help you minimize stress, save time, and focus on settling into your new home rather than dealing with many unforeseen issues.
Schedule A Deep Clean
Regardless of whether your new abode appears sparklingly clean or could use a bit of elbow grease, a thorough cleaning before you unpack your belongings ensures a fresh start in a hygienic environment. Cleaning an empty house is significantly easier and more efficient as it allows you to reach every nook and cranny without obstacles.
Hiring professional cleaners can be a worthwhile investment during this hectic period, especially if you’re short on time or energy. Professionals have the skills and tools necessary to clean quickly and efficiently, giving you peace of mind and one less task to worry about.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire professionals, a deep clean is more than just a physical process; it’s also a psychological one. It allows you to claim the space as your own, removing traces of the previous occupants and setting the stage for your new life in your new home. This simple step helps create a fresh and clean slate, making the transition into your new surroundings smoother and more enjoyable.
Unpack All Boxes
After the hustle and bustle of moving, the sight of numerous boxes can feel overwhelming. While the temptation to put your feet up, relax, and leave the boxes there, is strong, tackling this head on can help make your post-move transition smoother.
Begin with a strategy. Don’t randomly start opening boxes; instead, focus on one room at a time, making the process less chaotic and more manageable. Moreover, pace yourself to avoid burnout. The key is to steadily make progress while also giving yourself time to adjust to your new surroundings. The kitchen and bedrooms are typically good starting points as these spaces are essential for daily routines.
As you unpack, think about the layout and organization of your new home. This is your opportunity to decide where everything goes and possibly even rethink the placement of items for better functionality or aesthetics. For instance, if you’ve always wished your bookshelf was in the living room instead of the study, now’s your chance to make that change.
Get To Know Your New Home
Knowing how your new home operates can save you precious time, money, and stress in emergencies and for regular maintenance.
Here are key areas that need your attention:
- Find The Breaker And Oil/Gas Shutoff
Knowing the location of your breaker box and oil or gas shutoff is crucial for safety and troubleshooting purposes. The breaker box, also known as the electrical panel, is the control center for managing the flow of electricity to different parts of your home. So, as you settle into your new home, familiarize yourself with the panel layout and make sure it is clearly labeled.
On the other hand, the oil or gas shutoff valve, typically located near your meter, is equally important, especially in case of a gas leak or when you’re doing some DIY home improvements. That said, ensure you know its location and operation, but always consult a professional if you’re unsure.
- Find The Water Shutoff Valve
The water shutoff valve is another critical component of your home. In case of a plumbing mishap like a burst pipe, quickly turning off the water supply can save you from extensive damage and repair costs. The main shutoff valve is usually located near your water meter.
- Set Up A Fire Escape Plan
No one wants to think about the possibility of a fire, but being prepared can be lifesaving. To start, plan a clear and straightforward fire escape route for every room in your home, ensuring all windows and doors can open easily. If you live in a multi-level house, consider investing in fire escape ladders.
Moreover, it’s recommended to conduct a walk-through of the plan with your family and run occasional drills to ensure everyone knows what to do.
- Check The Smoke Detectors
Finally, ensure that your home is equipped with functioning smoke detectors. If your home doesn’t have enough smoke detectors, make it a priority to install additional ones. Ideally, they should be located in bedrooms, common areas, and on every level of your home. Don’t forget to test each unit to make sure it’s working and change the batteries if necessary.
Getting to know your home in these ways can provide peace of mind and help prevent potential crises. Familiarizing yourself with these essential aspects of your home is not only part of responsible homeownership but also a critical step in feeling fully settled and secure in your new home.
Set Up All The Utilities
Utilities are the lifeblood of a functioning household, so list all the essential utilities you need to set up or transfer. This typically includes electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash, internet, cable TV, and possibly others, such as home security systems.
For each utility, find out who the provider is in your new area. Some places have only one provider for certain services, like electricity or water, but for others, like internet or cable, you might have a choice. So, compare plans and prices to get the best deal that suits your needs. From there, contact each utility company to start the service in your name.
Setting up utilities can feel daunting, but breaking it down into smaller steps can make it manageable.
Change Locks And Set Up Security
Change all the locks in your new home. Regardless of the information you receive about the keys’ distribution, there’s no foolproof way of knowing how many keys are in circulation or who might possess them, leaving your home vulnerable to unauthorized access. That said, engage a reputable locksmith to change the locks on all external doors and, if necessary, windows. This ensures that you have complete control over who can access your home.
Next, consider installing a home security system if your new home isn’t equipped with one. Today’s security systems come with a wide range of options, from simple door and window alarms to comprehensive systems with 24/7 monitoring, cameras, and smart home compatibility. It can help to evaluate your home, neighborhood, and personal comfort level to determine the level of security needed. Always remember, even a basic security system can be a significant deterrent for potential burglars.
Send Notice Of Your New Address
Sending notice of your new address is not a task to be procrastinated; it should ideally be done promptly to avoid any lapses.
First, notify all relevant government agencies, such as the post office, IRS, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Remember to update your voter registration information, too. Generally, all your official documents and correspondence should carry your updated address.
Your financial institutions should be next on the list. Inform your bank, credit card companies, and insurance providers about the change of address. Also, consider any investments, retirement funds, and financial advisors you might have. Don’t forget to update your address with any health-related services, too, including your health insurance company, doctors’ offices, and pharmacy.
Lastly, subscription services, both physical and digital, should be notified of your move. These may include newspapers, magazines, music or video streaming services, meal delivery services, and online shopping accounts. Your address details should be up-to-date to ensure you continue receiving your subscriptions without interruption.
While notifying others of your new address can feel like a tedious process, it is necessary to ensure smooth communication and uninterrupted service. It’s part of transferring your life from one place to another, setting the stage for a smooth transition to your new home.
Find Healthcare Providers Or Hospitals
Another vital item on your post-move checklist is identifying healthcare resources in your new community. Whether it’s for routine check-ups, emergencies, or continuing care, having easy access to trusted healthcare providers is crucial.
Start by identifying a primary care physician or a general practitioner near your new residence. If you’ve moved within the same insurance network, ask your previous doctor for recommendations or contact your insurance company for a list of covered providers in your new area. Look for nearby dental providers as well, as this is one, you’ll have to see at least twice annually, so it’s worth preparing early for that.
For families with children, finding a reliable pediatrician should also be a priority. You can ask for recommendations from neighbors or colleagues with children or check with local parenting groups online. You can also ask your insurance company to provide a list of pediatricians within the area.
Next, consider any specialists you or your family might require, such as dermatologists, allergists, or cardiologists. If you’re moving away from your current specialists, consider asking them for referrals in your new location. If this isn’t possible, your new primary care physician should be able to provide recommendations.
Lastly, familiarize yourself with the nearest hospitals and emergency care facilities. Knowing where to go in case of an emergency can save valuable time. It’s also best to ensure everyone in the family knows the location of these facilities.
Explore The New Neighborhood
Once the dust has settled from your move and you’ve begun establishing a new routine, it’s time to familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood. This is not merely a fun task on your post-move checklist; it’s also an essential step toward feeling more at home in your new environment. You can better integrate and start building new relationships and routines by getting to know the local area, its amenities, and its community.
Begin by taking a walk or a drive around your immediate area. Locate key amenities such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, post offices, and restaurants. This will give you a sense of your neighborhood’s layout and the convenience of accessing essential services. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, look for local parks, gyms, or running trails.
Next, pay attention to public transportation links if you will be using them regularly. Find the nearest bus stop, subway station, or train station, and familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules.
Arrange The Furniture
Arranging furniture in your new home transforms it into a comfortable, livable space. However, it’s more than just placing items, as thoughtful planning can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, optimizing space and creating a flow that suits your lifestyle.
So, before you start, visualize how you want each room to look and function. Think about your daily routines, too, and how your space can support them. And when it comes to the actual arrangement, be mindful of traffic flow. You should be able to move easily from one part of the room to another without bumping into furniture.
Remember, arranging your furniture is not a task you have to get perfect the first time. Feel free to live with your initial arrangement for a few days and adjust as you see fit. The ultimate goal is to create a space that feels inviting, functional, and reflective of your personal style.
From the initial confusion of unpacking to setting up essential services and exploring your new neighborhood, the comprehensive checklist discussed in the article provides a roadmap to navigate these often overwhelming tasks. Use this as an invaluable tool to streamline your transition, reducing stress and providing clarity amid a chaotic time.
With careful planning and mindful execution, a smooth and successful transition is within your reach. May this new chapter in your life open with less stress and more joy as you transform your new house into a home.
Kenneth is a proud native of sydney, born and raised there. However, he pursued his education abroad and studied in Australia. Kenneth has worked as a journalist for almost a decade, making valuable contributions to prominent publications such as Yahoo News and The Verge. Currently, he serves as a journalist for The Hear Up, where he focuses on covering climate and science news. You can reach Kenneth at [email protected].