Checklist Of Things To Do After Moving Into A New Home
Hanna Kielar7-minute read
August 18, 2023
People move for many reasons – for work, to be closer to family, to move to a better school district for their kids and more.
Once you turn the key in the lock and step over the threshold as a new homeowner, you're entitled to bask in the revelation that you've purchased a new home. And once you’re done basking in the glow of your achievement, you’ll need to move on to your “things to do list.”
How Can A New Home Checklist Help You Once You Move In?
Creating a moving checklist can help you stay on track as you pack your belongings for your move. And once you’ve made the move, a move-in checklist will help you stay organized as you unpack.
You may not think of everything that needs to get done, especially after walking into an empty home without the perspective of the previous owner's furniture and decor. A thorough new home checklist will cover all the major tasks to complete to help you start settling into your new home.
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13 Things To Do After You Move
Let's take a look at some post-move tasks and how to handle certain activities as soon as you move into your new home.
1. Schedule A Deep Clean
Your first thought may be to buy cleaning supplies and deep clean your new home. You can do it yourself. Or veto scrubbing floors and hire a cleaning service instead. A cleaning service typically costs $40 – $50 per hour. Pricing will depend on the size of your home, your location, and the degree of cleaning you need. Interview house cleaners before deciding which company you prefer.
2. Unpack Your Supplies
When you have moving boxes stacked in every room in your house, you may be tempted to jump in and pull everything out of every box you see. But consider resisting that impulse. That strategy can get overwhelming quickly. Consider creating an organized system, like putting boxes in their appropriate rooms and unpacking boxes room by room.
You can also try unpacking your most important boxes – such as the boxes with your kitchen and bathroom essentials – first. Prioritizing the rooms you use the most will help you stay organized while unpacking.
3. Set Up Safety Measures For Kids And Pets
Is your new house safe for your children and furry family members? Put up safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs, add outlet covers, secure heavy furniture to walls, keep furniture away from windows, store long electrical and window cords and lock cabinets to help keep kids and pets out.
Keep cleaners and detergents, trash bins, heavy cookware, sharp objects and dangerous packing supplies out of reach of your kids and pets.
4. Change House Locks
Brand-new homeowners should change their house locks once they move in. You don't know who else, besides the previous homeowner, has keys to the home. And the previous owner may have passed out copies of the keys to friends, family or neighbors. Put yourself in control of your home's security and get new locks ASAP.
5. Get A Security System Installed
Consider installing a home security system in your new house right away. It will give you peace of mind after moving into a new neighborhood. While researching the security system for your needs, learn all the usual costs associated with security systems. You’ll pay for the equipment, activation, installation and a monthly fee. Your costs will depend on the home security company and the level of security you require.
6. Test Your Smoke Detectors And HVAC System
Test your new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and HVAC system. If there’s a problem with your detectors or HVAC system, get it checked right away. You want to know that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning work on demand. If you move in the dead of winter or the dog days of summer, you'll want to ensure your home’s systems work.
7. Update Your Address
With everything going on when you move into your new home, updating your address at the post office might be the last thing on your mind. But head over to your local USPS office or usps.com and get your change of address done as soon as possible so you don't miss any mail during the move. Don’t spoil your move-in experience with overdue bills because this critical step escaped you.
8. Transfer Utilities
Make sure the utilities are off at your old house. Then make sure they’re transferred or turned on at your new home. Consider researching utility providers ahead of your move to choose the right provider for you. Depending on the provider, you may need to pay a transfer fee and a new service setup charge. If you're a new customer, check with the utility company about the steps you need to take to set them up.
Prioritize setting up utilities for the following:
- Refuse/trash collection (if applicable to your new home)
After you turn on service at home, a technician will come by to set up your utilities.
9. Set Up Connectivity – TV, Internet And Phone Services
Many providers bundle TV, internet and phone services. Some companies allow their customers to transfer services from one location to another, while others may require customers to cancel their services before they can set them up in their new homes. Once you've decided on a service provider, you can install your internet or cable yourself, or a technician will come by and do it.
10. Get A New License And Register Your Car
Once you move to a new area, it's important to get a new driver’s license and register your car. You can’t register your car without a new license. If you moved somewhere else in your state, you can update your license through the agency that regulates motor vehicles in your state.
If you move out of state, it's important to update your license as soon as possible. Your new state will give you a grace period of 10 – 60 days.
Before you get a new driver’s license, research online for the documents you’ll need to bring to apply for one. You may need specific identification and proof of residency. Fill out the paperwork, take any required tests and pay the required fees.
11. Update Your Important Documentation
Keeping your documentation up to date is crucial when dealing with businesses and agencies that require you to keep them updated, including:
- Tax agencies and bureaus: Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state tax agency must have your new address on file. If you move before you file your taxes, include your new address on your tax return and notify your tax preparer. You can inform the IRS in writing or by calling. Check out the directions online to contact your state’s tax agency.
- Social Security Administration (SSA): You must inform SSA about your change of address if you receive Social Security benefits. Log into your account online and update your contact information. You can also contact your local SSA office to update your address.
- Insurance companies: Your homeowners insurance company likely knows about your change of address because you needed homeowners insurance to get a mortgage. Just make sure you have the right level of coverage for your new home. Tell other insurance providers, like health, life, dental, boat or personal property, about your change of address.
- Your employer: Your employer needs to know your new address to send your tax forms and pay stubs.
- Financial companies: Inform any financial companies, such as your bank, credit card issuers, financial advisor or accountant, about your move.
- Voter registration: You can update your voter registration soon after you move. The deadline to register before an election varies by state. But you typically need to register 15 – 30 days before an election.
12. Find A New Health Care Provider And Transfer Your Medical Records
Ask around and do your research to find the best health care providers for you and our family, everything from orthodontists to pediatricians to family doctors. Call your former provider(s) and ask them to send your medical records to your new doctor’s office. We wouldn’t recommend saving this step for last. You never know when you or your loved one will require medical care.
13. Schedule Home Improvements
As you personalize your new home to your taste and needs, you may uncover repairs that need your attention. Some repairs, like leaky faucets, may require less attention than others, like foundation issues or a roof replacement. Get any problems addressed sooner than later if they can’t fix them before move-in day. Consider prioritizing your home improvements based on the seriousness of each issue. For example, painting a living room is a lower priority than patching a leaky roof. Gather a list of contractors in the area and interview them as soon as you know you’re ready to make home improvements.
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Your Final New Home Checklist
Here's the final checklist of things to do after moving. Feel free to scan, copy or print the checklist. Store it on your phone or keep a printout of the checklist somewhere close so it’s always in plain sight:
- Schedule a deep clean
- Unpack your supplies
- Set up safety measures for kids and pets
- Change house locks
- Get a security system installed
- Test your smoke detectors and HVAC system
- Update your address
- Transfer utilities
- Set up connectivity – TV, internet and phone services
- Get a new license and register your car
- Update your important documentation
- Find a new health care provider and transfer your medical records
- Schedule home improvements
The Bottom Line: A New Home Checklist Can Keep You Organized
Moving can be so overwhelming that it's sometimes hard to know where to start. You have to clean your new home, install a security system, unpack, update your address and transfer utilities. And those are just a few of the tasks on your to-do list.
A successful move requires a plan, and a move-in checklist can help you stay organized and focused.
If you’re ready to make the first step toward homeownership, start the mortgage process today.
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