Moving house is an exciting time, moving can be stressful. Between packing up your old home, changing neighbourhoods and transporting all your belongings, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you finally arrive at your new place.
And moving in isn’t the final step! There’s still a mountain of admin and other work to do once you’re moved in, and it’s normal to not know where to start. So if you’re wondering “what are the first things I should do when I move into my new house?” this list should help. With the help of our guide, you can spend the first few days and weeks stress-free in your new home.
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you arrive at your new home is clean the place thoroughly. While the former owner has probably cleaned most of the house up, you’ll want to do a deep clean anyway just to get things off to a good start and feel at home.
Enlist the help of your family to get the cleaning done as fast as possible. You’ll also probably want to bring a separate cleaning bag with you on your move-in day. This will help you avoid losing time rummaging through suitcases, boxes and bags looking for the bleach and mops. Bringing a dedicated “move in box” will make everything easier.
If you’ve got pets or young children living in your new home, you’ll want to safety-proof your new house or flat as soon as possible. Safety proofing includes covering any open plug points, covering hard surfaces with padding and installing baby gates at the top of any stairs.
You should also think about drawers and cupboards within the baby’s reach, and try to lock them if they present a danger to your baby or toddler. Rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom should be priority, as these rooms can pose more of a danger to exploring babies.
When it comes to pets, you’ll want to pet-proof your home too. Organise your kitchen in a way that keeps all human food out of reach of any wandering paws. You can use latches on any cupboards and fridges that are in reach of your furry friend, while also protecting your pets from harm by installing gates on any stairs.
Unpacking your new home is definitely much more fun than packing up your belongings to move. Unpacking and organising your belongings is a fun way to feel at home in your new place, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Unpacking can actually be stressful if you haven’t organised a plan or schedule for each room.
If you want to ensure that the unpacking process runs smoothly, organise your unpacking by room. You can either work with your family (or friends, if you’re moving in alone) or assign rooms to each person moving in (or helping.) For this to work, you’ll need to have organised your packing boxes strategically during the moving process.
You don’t want to move into your new home and find that you won’t be able to take a hot shower after unpacking all your things. Make sure you’ve planned or organised your utilities for your new home in advance, so there’s no waiting period. Ideally, this should be done before your move-in date.
Before leaving your old home, you should also check the meter and take a photograph of the last reading. And don’t forget to inform your old utilities companies that you’re moving and changing address. Failing to do so might mean you get charged twice both for your new and former home, so you want to inform them ideally before your move-in day.
It’s incredibly important to update your address when you move house. Mortgage providers, banks, employers and any relevant government agencies should be at the top of the list of those you inform first.
Updating your address is important for several reasons. Firstly, you don’t want private and confidential information arriving by post at your old address. Secondly, you can find yourself in serious problems with your bank if you fail to update your address. If your bank sees that all your bills are being redirected to an unknown address, they may suspect fraud and put a temporary hold on your account. While it will be temporary, it can be highly inconvenient, especially if you’re in a new area and just settling in.
Avoid this by informing all relevant bodies of your change of address at least 3 weeks before your move-in date.
Once you’re settled in, you’ll want to secure your home. To protect your home from intruders, the first step should be changing the locks. While we doubt that the former owners would try using this method to break into your house, it’s just a necessary safety step. People often hand out keys to friends and family and forget to inform them that they’ve moved, so it’s a good idea to protect yourself and feel more secure by changing the locks.
You can also go further by installing a smart doorbell, security cameras and other extra means of security if necessary. You should also familiarise yourself with any existing security functions in the home, such as fire alarms and gas detectors, and make sure they work.
Once you’ve organised your security, updated your utility companies and unpacked all your belongings, you can move onto the fun parts. This includes exploring your new area. While you might be tempted to first go greet the neighbours, your priority should be to familiarise yourself with your new area. Find nearby shops, pharmacies, petrol stations and newsagents, so you know where you can go to find a quick pint of milk.
If you have school-age children, you should also help familiarise them with the area so they’re less likely to find themselves lost when returning from school or a friend’s house.
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