Young African-American couple unpacking boxes in their new kitchen.

Checklist Of Things To Do After Moving Into A New Home

Melissa Brock6-minute read

August 17, 2022

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People relocate for many reasons – moving 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 bought a new home. However, next on your "things to do list" is just that – everything else you need to do.

How Can A Moving Checklist Help You Prepare For Your Move?

Creating a moving checklist ahead of time can help keep you organized. It's true that you may not think of everything, especially once you actually see your home without the previous owner's furniture in the living room or pool table in the basement.

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Things To Do After You Move

Let's take a look at some moving tips and how to handle certain things as soon as you move into your new home.

1. Schedule A Deep Clean

Your first thought may be to deep clean your new home. You can do it yourself or you may want to forgo scrubbing floors and hire a cleaning service instead. A cleaning service typically costs $40 – $50 per hour, depending on the size of your home, the location and the type of cleaning you need. It's a good idea to interview house cleaners ahead of time before you make a decision about the cleaner you prefer.

2. Unpack Your Supplies

When you have moving boxes sitting around in every room in your house from the moving company, your first reaction may be to jump in and start taking things out of every box you see. You may want to resist that impulse, however, because it can get overwhelming quickly. It's a good idea to consider having an organized system at hand, such as putting boxes that belong in each room and unpacking two at a time.

You may also want to consider unpacking the most important boxes first, such as kitchen and bathroom supplies. Prioritizing the rooms you'll use the most will help you stay organized while you're going through the process of unpacking.

3. Set Up Safety Measures For Kids And Pets

Is your new house safe for children and pets? Put up safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, add outlet covers, secure heavy furniture to the wall, keep furniture away from windows, stow long electrical and window cords and lock cabinets and windows to keep kids and pets out.

Keep cleaners and detergents, trash bins, heavy cookware and sharp objects out of reach. Keep any other dangerous packing supplies away from both kids and pets.

4. Change House Locks

It's important for brand-new homeowners to change their house locks once they move in. You don't know who has keys to the home besides the previous homeowner, who could have passed out a dozen copies of the keys and given them to various friends and neighbors. It's better to put yourself in control of your home's security. Get new house locks as soon as possible.

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 when you move into a new neighborhood.

You'll pay for the cost of equipment, activation and installation cost and a monthly fee. The cost of equipment ranges from about $199 to $399; installation may cost anywhere between $0 and $199 and the monthly fees for the service may cost anywhere between $25 and $50.

6. Test Your Smoke Detectors And HVAC System

Test your new smoke detectors and HVAC system. If there is a problem with either, it's a good idea to get them checked out right away. You want to know that your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are working. If you move in the dead of winter or during the heat of summer, you'll want to make sure your systems are working well.

7. Update Your Address

In the hubbub of everything going on when you move into your home, updating your address through the post office might be the last thing on your mind. It's a good idea to get your change of address done as soon as possible at USPS.com/move so you don't miss out on any important mail during the process of moving. You don't want to spend 2 weeks moving only to realize that you haven't paid specific bills that haven't been getting in the mail!

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8. Transfer Utilities

Make sure your utilities are turned off at your old residence, then make sure they are transferred or turned on at your new location. Consider researching utility providers ahead of your move to determine whether you've chosen the right provider for you. Depending on the company, 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 to find out what you need to do to set them up.

Consider prioritizing by setting up utilities for the following:

  • Water/sewer
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Refuse/trash collection (if applicable to your new home)

Once you've switched your service to a new home, a technician will come by to set up your utilities.

9. Set Up Connectivity – TV, Internet And Phone Services

Many providers can give you access to various connectivity services, such as TV, internet and phone. Some companies allow their customers to transfer services from one location to another, while others may force them to cancel the services at one place before setting up services at another. Once you've decided on a service provider, you can pay an installer or in some cases, such as installing internet or cable, you can do it yourself.

You may pay a relocation fee, depending on the company's policies.

10. Get A New License And Register Your Car

Once you move to a new area, it's important to get a new license and register your car. You can’t register your car without a new license. If you've moved somewhere else in state, you can update your license through your local department of motor vehicles (DMV).

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 license, research the documents online that you need to bring with you in order to get one. You may need to provide specific identification and proof of residency. Fill out the paperwork to get a new license, take any required tests and pay the required fees.

11. Update Your Important Documentation

It's important to update any documentation with the businesses and agencies that require you to keep them updated, including:

  • Tax documentation: Both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and your state tax agency will want to know your new address. If you move before you file, you can include your new address on your tax return but notify your tax preparer as well. You may complete Form 8822 and send it in. You can also inform the IRS in writing or by calling. For state tax documentation, check out the directions online through your state tax agency.
  • Social Security Administration: It's important to let the Social Security Administration (SSA) know about your change of address if you receive Social Security benefits. Log into your account online and update your contact information there. You can also contact your local office to update your address.
  • Insurance companies: Your homeowners insurance company may already know about your change in address because you'll need homeowners insurance to get a mortgage – just make sure that you have the right amount of coverage for your new home. However, make sure your health, life, dental, boat, personal property and other insurance companies know about your change of address.
  • Your employer: Your employer will need to be able to send your paycheck to you (even if you get your paychecks directly deposited into your bank account) because they'll need to send you your tax forms and pay stubs.
  • Financial companies: Financial companies, such as your bank, credit card company, financial advisor, accountant and other types of financial documents that need to be updated.
  • Voter registration: As soon as you can, change your voter registration after you move. Every state has a different deadline, but you may need to register 15 to 30 days before an election.

12. Find A New Health Care Provider And Transfer Your Medical Records

Ask around in your new community to determine the best health care providers for your needs. If necessary, find new doctors for everyone in your family, from orthodontists to pediatricians to family doctors. Call your old provider and ask them to send your medical records to your new provider's office. It's a good idea to get this done as soon as possible because you never know when you'll need a new doctor!

13. Schedule Home Improvements

What repairs do you need to make to your new home? Some repairs may require more attention than others, such as leaky pipes, structural issues, a roof that needs replaced, etc. Get any problems addressed sooner than later if they aren’t taken care of before move-in day. Consider prioritizing the home improvements you need to have done based on the seriousness of each issue. Painting a room likely ranks on a lower priority than a leaky roof, for example. Consider getting a list of contractors in the area and interview them as soon as you know you'll need to make improvements to your new home.

14. Tailor Your New Area To You

One of the best parts of moving into a new home means that you get to make it all your own.  You can personalize your space by putting your favorite paintings or decor on the walls. Similarly, you may also want to tailor your activities to fit you as well. In other words, look for opportunities to do activities that you used to enjoy in your previous community.

For example, if you enjoy playing pickleball, find the closest pickleball courts and start making new friends. If you want to connect with other moms, you may want to check "mommy and me" groups in the area. Whatever you like to do, start integrating yourself into the community to start feeling like you're a part of the community.

15. Connect With New Neighbors

Your neighborhood can also help you get connected and feel a part of the community. It helps to have relationships with your neighbors when you need somebody to house-sit or in an emergency. Here are some tips to get to know your neighbors:

  • Wave and smile in passing
  • Send them gifts or baked goods during the holidays
  • Host a block party
  • Strike up occasional conversations

To make friends with your neighbors, you need to be a good neighbor yourself. With small gestures and conversations here and there, you can build relationships that positively impact your surroundings and even your mental health.

A Final Checklist For After Your Move

Here's the final checklist of things to do after moving. You may want to copy and paste it, store it on your phone or print it out so you have a checklist in plain sight:

  1. Schedule a deep clean.
  2. Unpack your supplies.
  3. Set up safety measures for kids and pets.
  4. Change house locks.
  5. Get a security system installed.
  6. Test your smoke detectors and HVAC system.
  7. Update your address.
  8. Transfer utilities.
  9. Set up connectivity – TV, internet and phone services.
  10. Get a new license and register your car.
  11. Update your important documentation.
  12. Find a new health care provider and transfer your medical records.
  13. Schedule home improvements.
  14. Tailor your new area to you.
  15. Connect with new neighbors.

The Bottom Line

In the craziness of moving, it's often hard to know where to start. Begin with our checklist so you have a good start diving into all the tasks you need to accomplish after your move.

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Melissa Brock.

Melissa Brock

Melissa Brock is a freelance writer and editor who writes about higher education, trading, investing, personal finance, cryptocurrency, mortgages and insurance. Melissa also writes SEO-driven blog copy for independent educational consultants and runs her website, College Money Tips, to help families navigate the college journey. She spent 12 years in the admission office at her alma mater.