CHECKLIST: 8 THINGS TO DO WHEN MOVING INTO A NEW HOME

By Sharon Hurley Hall
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Moving into a new house is a major life change. After packing up your belongings and subsequently unpacking the moving truck, there is still a lot of work to be done. To help you get settled, follow this new home checklist for common tasks every new homeowner should do:

  1. Get the locks changed. You've signed the papers and the old owners handed over the keys. But what about the extra copies of keys they've made over the years for friends, family and neighbors? You'll never know who has access to your house, so arrange a locksmith to update the locks as soon as possible so you can sleep easy.
  2. Clean the house. Start off with a clean slate, and do a deep clean of appliances, bathrooms, and details like moldings and built-ins before you fully unpack in the space. If you're planning on painting, it's a great idea to tackle that project before you've unpacked and arranged furniture too.
  3. Forward the mail. Visit the post office to set up mail forwarding so you don't miss any important bills or communications. You can take care of this before you move, and start the forwarding date on the day you arrive at your new home. The postal service may not forward all types if mail, so as a backup, leave pre-addressed and stamped envelopes with the owners of your previous residence so they can send along any missed mail during that transition period.
  4. Update your address. It's important to notify all relevant companies of your new address so bills, checks, catalogs and any other snail mail reaches you. Start with items like your bank accounts, credit card companies, insurance providers, professional memberships, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

    Moving Into New Home
  5. Update your car registration and license. Moved to a new state? Then you likely need to change your car registration and license information. If you've moved within the same state, you should still update your identification with a current address, and while you're at it you can register to vote in your new location too.
  6. Do a walk through. Familiarize yourself with the house. Check any appliances, fixtures and fittings left in the house and make sure they are in working order. Find out where your circuit breaker and water shut off valve are so you can switch things off if you need to do repairs.
  7. Sort out utilities. Contact your cable, phone, electric, and gas companies to ensure that all the utilities in your new home are transferred over or established as new accounts under your name. Keep in mind, many utility providers need you to be at home to set up services, so make appointments in advance and plan to be present during that time.
  8. Implement safety processes. Post a list of emergency contact numbers in a space where everyone can see it. Unpack items like your first aid kit and fire extinguisher and ensure everyone in the household knows where to locate them. And talk with your family about an emergency exit plan for your new home.

    Moving Into New Home
Once you tackle this moving checklist, it's time to acquaint yourself with your neighborhood, finish unpacking, and enjoy your new space!


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