The time has finally come. You have spent weeks (or even months) crunching the numbers and negotiating a sale. Now everything is set in stone and you have signed the papers to your new home. Congratulations. You’ve worked hard to get to this point and you should be proud. However, you should know that the work has only just begun.
Moving into a new house is an exciting time in a person’s life. An estimated 43 million Americans move each year, which means they experience all the trials and tribulations that happen when moving into a new house.
Moving is exciting, but it can also be stressful. There’s so much to keep track of and plan for. Buying the house was only half the battle; now, you have to actually make plans to move in. So, where do you even start?
If you’re starting to stress about moving, take a deep breath and relax. Then, read on and get these 10 important tips you should follow when moving into a new house.
Do A Clean Sweep
When moving into a new house, you’ll want to take a day or two to clean it before you move your stuff in. Bring over the vacuum, mop, brooms, and carpet shampoo and start deep cleaning.
This is the time to scrub your new place and make it move-in ready. There could be debris left over from showings or from when the previous owner moved out. Now is the time to get rid of any debris and make the house as easy to move into as possible. It’s much easier to clean a house when there’s no furniture to maneuver around. You’ll be able to clean more of your house this way. Plus, doing a deep clean first could expose issues you didn’t see before, such as mold and mildew.
This is also your chance to get rid of anything the previous owners left in the house. Check the attic and basement for old furniture or knick-knacks they left behind. You can donate these items or throw them out. The goal is to free up as much space as possible and save yourself the hassle of having to deal with it while moving all your stuff in.
Check For Damage
Even if you checked for damage before you bought your new house, take the time to check again. A lot could have happened between the time you toured the home and the time you moved in. You can start by checking for cosmetic damage like cracks in the wall, chipped floor tiles, and torn wallpaper.
Once you evaluate the cosmetic damage, you should move on to identifying any structural damage. This includes damage to your foundation. If you notice there’s new damage to your foundation, research foundation companies in your area and see if they can check it out as soon as possible. It’s best to be proactive with foundation damage as it could impact your home’s structure and, if neglected long enough, your home’s value.
Another major part of your home to evaluate for damage is your roof. Look for cracks, loose shingles, and leaks. If you see damage or it’s been over 20 years since your roof has been replaced, it’s time to invest in roof replacement. Research roof repair companies around your home. Once you find a roofer you want to hire, see if you can get an estimate for repairs. It may seem like a big expense at first, but ignoring roof damage could cost you much more in the long run if ignored.
Turn On The Utilities
Before you start moving all your stuff in, don’t forget to turn on the utilities. Get your electricity turned on, get the water running, and make sure your plumbing is good to go. You may have people helping you move and you don’t want to leave them in the dark, without water, or without a properly functioning bathroom.
When turning on the utilities, you should also make sure you know where the fuse box is. You’ll need to access it throughout your time as a homeowner, so it’s best to know where it is right off the bat. You should also take this time to check on the radiator, hot water heater, and the furnace. They may have been sitting idle for some time, so you want to make sure they work properly.
One of the most exciting things to do when moving into a new house is assigning rooms. If you have a family, talk to them about who gets what room. You could assign rooms a number of ways, including by age. For example, if you have a teenager you may want to give them their own room (as long as you have enough space.) Or, if you have a new baby, you may want them to have their own nursery. You should assign rooms based on how effectively you can use the space to fit your family’s needs.
If you don’t have a family, you can explore what you want each room in your home to be. You could have an office, a guest room, an exercise room, and a range of other options. Assigning rooms ahead of time will help you be more organized when it’s time to move your stuff in.
Unpack And Start Organizing Your Home
Moving day will come before you know it. When moving into a new house, make sure you’ve packed everything you want to bring and that you have plenty of moving help. Once you have everything moved in, you can start unpacking and organizing your new home.
You can start by unpacking the things you know you’ll need, such as dishes and clothes. After you unpack your essentials, you can start unpacking things like home decor and other miscellaneous items. This is also a good time to make a list of all the new things you’ll need for your home. You could move all your stuff in and realize you need extra bed sheets or more lamps for your home. Categorize your list into “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.” This will help you not overspend all at once and prioritize what needs to be purchased first.
Unpacking can be overwhelming when moving into a new house, but if you remember to take it one step at a time, you’ll be able to manage it.
Secure Your Home
After you’re moved in, you should look at ways you can secure your home. First, evaluate your home’s safety as-is. Do the locks work properly? If not, you should consider changing them and getting ones that do work. You can also explore the idea of investing in a home security system. There are a number of security systems that can help you reach your home security goals. You could invest in an alarm system, or go a step further and get security cameras. The system you choose will depend on the level of security you want.
When looking at your home’s security, there’s one place you shouldn’t overlook: the garage. If you have a garage, check if your garage door is secure. Does it close automatically, or can someone manually open it? Does the door work properly, or does it need to be fixed? If it does need to be fixed, call a garage door repair service as quickly as possible. A broken garage door could be a safety issue, as someone could open it and get inside your home.
Officially Change Your Address
There are some things that can get overlooked when moving into a new house, but you shouldn’t overlook changing your address as soon as possible. You need to change your address with the postal service, your banks, your employer, etc. You also need to make an appointment to change your address on your license.
This is an important step in the moving process for numerous reasons. First, it ensures that you don’t miss any important mail you receive. Also, states require you to change your address after you move. This is to ensure your vehicle registration and license are current. If you don’t update your address, you could get into trouble with the law. To avoid this, make a note in your calendar to remind yourself to change your address within 30 days of moving.
Research What’s Around You
If you moved to a new town, take the time to research what’s around you. It’s easy to put your sole focus on getting everything settled when moving into a new house, but you need to get to know your surroundings.
Take a drive around town and make note of where important facilities are. These include places you can seek out medical attention, such as dental offices, hospitals, and urgent care locations, as well as the places your family will need to visit regularly, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and schools. You can also make note of other recreational or leisurely places like restaurants, parks, gyms, and shopping malls. If you moved to a new place, it can feel like you’re a complete stranger to the area you now call home. However, the more you explore, the more you’ll familiarize yourself with your surroundings and feel at home.
Tour The Neighborhood
Another way to start making your new house feel like home is to tour your neighborhood. You can take a walk or a drive to see what your neighborhood has to offer. Are there parks where you and/or your family can go to? Are there any new developments under construction that could change your neighborhood? You should get a sense of what your neighborhood is like and what changes may come.
This is also your chance to meet your new neighbors. If you see your neighbors out and about, take the time to introduce yourself. Knowing who you live close to will help you feel more secure in your new place, and you could make some new friends in the process. You’ll also get a sense of who lives in your neighborhood. Are there a lot of families with children, or are there mostly couples with no children? This can help you determine what activities in your neighborhood may look like.
You could take a more proactive approach to meeting your neighbors by hosting a neighborhood party or barbecue at your new home. Or, you could organize a neighborhood block party and introduce yourselves there. You’re going to be in your neighborhood for the foreseeable future, so why not meet the neighbors and get to know the people you share a community with?
Start Planning New Projects
When moving into a new house, you may be focused on getting everything settled at first. Once you start to feel comfortable, you can start planning new projects for the house.
When planning projects, you should rank them in order of priority. Which ones are the most important, and which ones do you want to tackle first? You could start with the smaller ones you know you can accomplish relatively quickly, like getting a new shed for the backyard or repainting the master bedroom. Then, you can focus your efforts and resources on planning a larger remodeling project, like installing new windows or redoing the bathroom.
You may want to do all these projects at once, but it’s important to spread them out over time. For starters, these improvement projects could get expensive. You need to stick to a budget and make sure you have money to pay for your usual expenses. Also, managing multiple projects while working and raising a family can get overwhelming quickly. You want to dedicate time to these projects but not have them take over your life. Spread them out over time so that you give each project the appropriate time and dedication.
There are a lot of things to look forward to when moving into a new house. It’s your chance to make new memories, build equity, and make a home that’s truly yours. That’s why it’s important to start off on the right foot when moving in. By following these tips, you’ll minimize the stress of moving and focus on what’s important: creating a home you’ve worked so hard to get.