Top Priorities When Moving into a New Home
You have much to consider when you move to a new home. Settling in involves more than unpacking. You need to prioritize the tasks and tackle the project in an organized way. So to help you set your to-do list straight, we’ve put together this quick list of the most important tasks that you need to do when moving into a new home.
1. Determine which furniture items go where
You’ll save yourself a lot of time and trouble when moving into a new home if you make a plan of attack for setting everything up instead of just winging it. This is particularly true for large and heavy items like furniture. While you probably already have a basic idea of what goes in what room, give yourself a moment to think about exactly how you’d like the setup to look.
2. Set up the utilities and water
Hopefully, you took care of arranging for your utilities to be transferred or set up before moving into your new home, in which case now is the time to make sure that everything is ready to go and working properly. On moving day, verify that your electric, gas, water, heating and cooling, phone and internet are set up. Then call your local waste management facility to ensure that your new home is set up for garbage pickup as well.
3. Locate the fuse box and water valve
The fuse box and water valve are two things that you don’t want to end up looking for when you really need them. It’s much better to identify their locations now so that if your power goes out or you need to turn off the water for some reason, you’ll be able to make your way there directly. Typically, your fuse box will likely be in your basement, garage or storage room. You can usually find your home’s water valve somewhere around the perimeter of your house.
4. Change your locks
It is always good practice to change the locks on your new home. Even if you’re not concerned about the previous owner, you never know who might have a key. This is definitely one of those areas where it’s better to be safe than sorry, so schedule a locksmith to come by or, if you feel comfortable doing it, change the locks yourself. Re-key the locks on all doors leading between the interior and exterior of your home, as well as on the windows. It’s a small expense to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
5. Change your address
You may have already set up a change of address with the post office before moving day, but if you haven’t yet, now is the time. Be sure to notify others of your move as well, including friends and family, subscription services, your bank, any loan providers you have, and anyone else who sends you regular correspondence or bills (consult our change-of-address checklist to get a complete list of whom to notify). If you’ve moved to a new state, you’re also going to need to contact your department of motor vehicles to arrange for a new driver’s license and updated vehicle registration.
6. Meet your neighbors
Meeting your neighbors is a lot easier to do right when you’ve moved in. In addition to getting yourself off on the right foot in your new neighborhood, meeting your neighbors is helpful for starting to learn about your community and for getting recommendations for local services if you need them. A little friendliness will definitely go a long way. Here are some tips for getting to know your neighbors after you’ve moved in:
7. Do some deep cleaning
The last thing you probably want to do after going through the moving process is clean your new home from top to bottom, but right after moving is the best time to do it. Here are some tips:
Ceiling fans, overhead lighting fixtures, shelving and other features close to the ceiling are just as prone to getting grimy as the furniture and the floors, but they don’t get cleaned as often and tend to sprinkle dirt and dust onto the space below them when they finally do get a scrub down. Start at the top in each room and then work your way down.
8. Clean the fridge first
Storing your perishable food is a priority, so before you get to everything else, start by sanitizing your new fridge. It shouldn’t take long as it’s empty. Remove the shelves and drawers if you can and clean those individually with soap and warm water. For the inside of the fridge, make a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar, and use a clean rag to scrub down all the surfaces. If there’s any stuck-on gunk to remove, let the water/vinegar solution sit and soak in for a bit. Make sure shelves are completely dry and then return them to the fridge. Do the same with the freezer.
9 Clean the rest of the kitchen
Once the fridge is clean you can get to work on the rest of the kitchen. Start with the lighting fixtures, corners of the ceiling and the tops of the cabinets. Then do the appliances: stovetop, oven, microwave, dishwasher and sink, followed by the countertops. Do the cabinets next, making sure to clean them on both the inside and the outside and paying special attention to their handles. Hold off on doing the floor for now.
10 Clean the bathrooms
Bathroom cleaning is as much about disinfecting as it is about spotless surfaces. After the initial scrub down, follow up with an antibacterial spray to get rid of any lingering germs. For toilet seats, just go ahead and replace them. It’s a small expense, and the most efficient way to ensure they’re really clean. Be sure to clean and sanitize the toilet paper holder, light switches, faucets and door handles.
11. Prioritize repairs
Unless you are moving into a brand new home, you will likely have a few repairs. You should have a general idea already of what these are from your home inspection, but it doesn’t hurt to walk around on your own and get a handle on what needs to be done and what tops the list in terms of priorities. While you don’t necessarily need to get to work on these repairs right away (there will be plenty of time for that after you’re settled in), making a list of what needs to get done and in what order you intend to do it will help you put your repair needs into perspective and give you a better footing for when it’s time to get the ball rolling.