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

11 Things To Do When You Move Into A New Home

6-minute read

April 13, 2022

Share:

Moving homes marks the start of a new chapter in your life. Packing up your treasured belongings, backing out of your driveway and waving goodbye to your old house can be bittersweet, but it’s well worth the satisfaction of starting fresh in a new space.

While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of buying a home and moving, there are certain things that need to happen before you can kick back and settle down. Here we’ve outlined an essential checklist of what to do when you move into a new home.

Table Of Contents

    Moving Into Your New Home Checklist

    Keeping a checklist is essential to guarantee your move is as seamless as possible. Check off each task as you complete it and add any additional tasks or notes to the bottom of the list.

    Download Button For Google Doc Template Checklist "What To Do When You Move Into A New House".

     

    For a more in-depth look at what to do when you move into a new home, see our tips below.

    1. Walk Through Your Empty Home

    Home inspections are typically performed prior to closing the deal on your new house. The final walkthrough is your opportunity to make sure that no fixtures have been removed and any additional repairs promised have been made. You don’t want to find out that something’s broken or not as it should be later down the road.

    During the final walkthrough:

    • Check the toilets, sinks and showers for mold
    • Look for pest droppings or small holes in the wall
    • Test the faucets, stove and other appliances

    If you find any issues, you should bring them to the seller’s attention immediately. Depending on the severity, you might negotiate your house price or walk away from the deal altogether. If that’s the case, talk through your options with your real estate agent.

    Tested. Trusted. Top-rated.

    Visit Rocket HomesSM to get a proven real estate agent that’s handpicked just for you.

    2. Plan How To Unpack

    Having a system for unpacking helps you move efficiently and with less stress. If you’re scatterbrained while you unpack, that’s a one-way ticket to a cluttered household.

    Instead, pack your essentials in one box, and when you arrive, unpack that box first. From there, check off one room at a time. Maybe you start with the kitchen and the primary bedroom and then work your way to the bathroom and the garage.

    For more guidance, check out our moving checklist.

    3. Set Up Utilities In Advance

    It’s easy to take your house utilities for granted until you live the first week in your new home without electricity, internet or water. To prevent this, inform your utility providers of your move a couple of weeks in advance. To find utility providers in your area, check your local state or county websites.

    While you’re at it, update your address with your utility providers while also completing the necessary change-of-address forms with USPS. This will prevent you from missing any important bills or notifications.

    4. Change The Locks

    The ideal home is a safe space that gives its occupants peace of mind. That peace can certainly be disturbed if the previous homeowner is walking in and out of the house as they please. To ensure your house is yours and only yours, make sure to replace the old locks as soon as possible.

    The Redditor below shares how changing their locks saved their privacy.

    Reddit screenshot "...found out later 10 of the neighbors had keys."

    While it’s unlikely that your whole neighborhood will have spare keys to your new place, it’s better to change your locks before your house becomes a community recreation center.

    5. Deep Clean Before You Settle Down

    The best time to deep clean your new home is when you first move in and your space is empty.

    Kenneth Reed, real estate investor at Better Home Buyers says, “You don’t know what kind of mess the previous owners have left behind, so it’s better to clean up first and then set yourself up.

    This way you’ll familiarize yourself with the home too. You’ll understand which wall, floor or tile needs special care and which corner of the home collects the most dust. Getting to know all the tidbits and hidden crooks of your home early on will help you later.1

    Reddit screenshot about deep cleaning before you move in: "...it's the one time your home will be completely empty. Take advantage of it."

    As the Reddit user above suggests, you could also hire a cleaning crew to deep clean your home. It might be tempting to skip this task so you can move in faster, but it will be worth it when you move into a sparkling clean space.

    6. Add A Fresh Coat Of Paint

    The best time to paint your house is when you first move in, before your furniture can get in the way. Having a blank canvas makes painting easier, faster and less messy.

    When a Redditor asked what first-time home buyers wished they had done before moving, the top answer was short and to the point:

    Reddit screenshot "Paint!"

    That fresh coat of paint goes a long way toward making your new home feel like it’s yours.

    7. Check Smoke And Fire Alarms

    Fire alarms and smoke detectors are crucial for securing your home when disaster strikes. To ensure these safety features are functioning properly, they should be tested on a monthly basis and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.

    If you test an alarm and its siren is faint or absent, try replacing the batteries. If that doesn’t work, you may have to replace the alarm altogether.

    8. Safety-Proof Everything

    When you’re moving, it’s common for cardboard boxes, packing peanuts, box cutters and miscellaneous knickknacks to be strewn about. If you have a pet or a child in your home, you need to be especially mindful of the potential dangers of these items.

    Some important safety-proofing to-dos include:

    • Dispose of any choking hazards such as packing peanuts and bubble wrap
    • Use electrical outlet safety covers
    • Put cleaning and laundry supplies somewhere secure
    • Keep all glassware out of reach

    You should also be mindful of heavy objects that can fall over and consider gating off unsafe sections of the home. When it comes to baby-proofing, you can never be too careful.

    9. Start A House Binder

    There’s no better time to start a house binder than when you first close on a house. You can use it to keep track of warranties, maintenance checks and appliance manuals. It might seem tedious, but staying organized will pay off down the road.

    In a Reddit thread titled “What’s something you wish you had done as soon as you moved in?,” one of the top responses by homeowners was wishing they’d created a house binder.

    Reddit screenshot of what to include in your House Binder

    That way you’re always on top of maintenance and have information ready when something goes wrong with your home.

    10. Create A Home Maintenance Checklist

    To keep your house in peak condition, regular maintenance checks are a must. Tasks will vary depending on your home and the weather. If you live in a colder environment, you may need to clear snow from your roof. In the fall, cleaning the gutters might top your priority list.

    Here are some general tasks that should be included in your home maintenance checklist:

    • Check your toilets and sinks for leaks
    • Check your HVAC filters
    • Clean your gutters
    • Test your lawn irrigation system
    • Schedule a chimney cleaning and a fireplace inspection 

    Staying on top of these tasks helps prevent long-term issues and keeps your home looking its best.

    11. Connect With Your Neighbors

    It helps to have relationships with your neighbors when you need somebody to house-sit or in an emergency. Knowing your neighbors can also help you feel at home in a new community.

    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 the occasional conversation

    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.

    For more tips on how to optimize your home for mental health, check out the infographic below.

    Download button for Tips To Optimize Your Home For Mental Health infographic

    Moving into a new home can be both exciting and stressful. To set yourself up for comfort and happiness, make sure to follow our tips above.

     

    If you’re still in the process of buying a home, Rocket Mortgage® is here to help you every step of the way. From searching for a house to applying for a home loan and managing your mortgage, we’ve got you covered.

     

    Sources:

    1 Kenneth Reed, Better Home Buyers, direct communication

    Get approved to buy a home.

    Rocket Mortgage® lets you get to house hunting sooner.

    See What You Qualify For