The moving process doesn’t end when you get the keys to your new home. Far from it in fact!. Here’s a fantastic list of what to do when you move into a new house – everything you should do immediately so you can feel at home as quickly as possible.
You’ve done it.
After months of planning, viewing, phone calls, and probably a fair amount of stress, you’ve finally got the keys to your new house in your hand.
But before you can kick back and relax, there are still some things you absolutely need to do when you move in.
These are things that are crucial to the smooth transition to your new home, and need to be done as soon as possible.
Let’s look at all the tasks you should prioritise when you move in, make sure that you do them as early as you can.
TIP – One of the best moving tips I can offer up front is to add all these tasks to your moving house checklist for the new home. That way you’ll definitely remember them all. It’s brilliant to be able to tick things off the list, right!?
9 Crucial Things to Do When You Move In
#1 – Walkthrough The Whole House
The first and most important thing you should do when you move into a new home is called a ‘walkthrough’.
This is exactly what it sounds like: walking through your house in its entirety and checking that everything is in order.
You’ll want to make sure that everything that was advertised in the sale of the house is present and that any repairs that you requested before moving in have been completed to a satisfactory standard.
Also check that all electrical switches and appliances are working correctly.
If anything isn’t quite right, take a picture so that you have evidence when you follow up with the estate agent.
If multiple repairs are required, you should also use this time to make a list in order of priority.
You can’t necessarily manage everything at once, but you can make sure to get the most important things done first.
You don’t want to find something in a few weeks time because then it will have gone from peoples priorities. Getting things looked at as soon as possible means that you’re more likely to fix them more quickly as well.
#2 – Make It Pet, Kid, and YOU(!) Friendly
Danger management is especially important if you have children or pets, but regardless, you should always assess your new home for any dangers that need to be taken care of.
If you have small children or a pet, this could include things as small as putting guards on sharp table corners or figuring out whether you need to install a gate on your stairs.
However, more general safety hazards such as exposed wires should also be identified as part of your walkthrough and corrected as soon as possible.
#3 – Be Ready For Emergencies
If you had a flood, if a light tripped the electricity, if your gas went off, etc… could you handle it?
It’s worth taking time to understand your new property in terms of the following:
- Where’s the stop cock for the water?
- Where’s the fuse box (and is it labelled with what’s what)?
- Is there an emergency exit to use in a fire? (An upstairs window that opens onto a flat roof, for example).
Another huge thing in the ’emergency’ section is to check you’re insured from day one in your new property. If the worst should happen, that would be terrible…
#4 – Check Your Utilities
Ideally, you’ll have set up all of your utility bills before moving into your new home, so everything should be ready for use.
The last thing you want after a hard day of moving in with your belongings is to realise you’ve got no hot water for a shower!
However, it’s a good idea to check your gas, water, and electricity (smart meter if they have one) and make confirmation phone calls on moving day to each energy provider to ensure that everything has been correctly set up.
Take the meter reading for each service and photo them as well so you have the figures you need if asked. Make sure you’re starting from the right place with all these, as you don’t want to get an unexpectedly large energy bill in a month or so…
#5 – Clean Everything
Yes, I know – cleaning is 100% the last thing you want to be doing right now.
However, it will be much easier to do a thorough clean of your home before you’re fully settled in because there will be fewer objects to navigate.
Plus, the earlier you clean, the sooner you’ll feel completely at home.
Hopefully, the house will already have been cleaned to a good standard prior to your moving day, but for hygiene reasons and peace of mind, it’s best to mop all the floors, wipe down all surfaces, and vacuum any carpets.
Ideally do this before any furniture or boxes arrive – to make it quick and easy to get done (this will mean having access to your cleaning products so you may want to box these up and have them with you in your car).
If you’re too exhausted to do this yourself (which is totally understandable), you might want to consider hiring a professional cleaning company to do it for you.
TIP – Have a 2 day move to allow for deep cleaning to take place between the time you get the keys and the time your removals will arrive at your new home. That way you can clean the carpets and it will all feel a little less rushed (plus, there’s something special about ‘camping’ in your new home on the first night before the furniture arrives!)
#6 – Update Things To Your New Address
When your move is official and you’re no longer living at your old house, it’s crucial to update your address with every service you use.
Whether that’s your bank, your doctor’s surgery or any subscription boxes you’ve signed up for, every service, company, or institution that relies on having your current address should be updated.
After all, you don’t want any personal information to be posted through a letterbox that no longer belongs to you, and not updating your address might limit your ability to make use of certain services until the information is corrected.
TIP – Have a list of everything, so you can keep track of what you’ve done and what still needs to be done. There’s one in the Moving Planner if you’d like to use that, or you can of course create your own.
#7 – Change The Locks
A survey in 2014 showed that 74% of homeowners fail to change the locks when they move into their new home.
While it is often overlooked in the chaos of a house move, you can never be too careful when it comes to your own safety and that of your family.
Think about it.
Do you have any idea who the previous owner had given keys for your home to while they were living there?
Sadly, there are some untrustworthy people in this world, so when you move into a new house, it’s best to change all the locks at the earliest opportunity.
Obviously, this will mean getting new keys cut, but it’s worth it for security and peace of mind.
#8 – Sort The Moving Boxes
When you move in, you’re going to have all the furniture placed either by the moving company or yourself – but this HAS to be done first because it has to be moved in properly.
On the other hand – you’ll have a LOT of boxes that need unpacking – but these can wait. For the most part.
If you plan ahead, you can label each of these packing boxes with the room it will go into, and add extra labels for anything you’re going to need quickly (any essential item for each room, that you’ll need to use frequently or in the next week or so – should go in these boxes).
TIP – For REALLY essential things – such as important documents – you’ll want to have these in your own possession for the move. Make sure anything like this will be with you rather than packed away in a box on the removals van.
That way you can unload all boxes into the correct room, and any that aren’t a priority can be stacked up in a corner for unpacking when you have the time.
This will save you a lot of stress from having to open all the boxes on day one to find something you need. If you did need to do this, you just know that it will be in the last box you open…
#9 – Introduce Yourself
Make sure to say hello to your neighbours sooner rather than later!
You’ll probably be living in close proximity to these people for a significant amount of time, and you never know when you might need to ask someone to pet-sit or water your plants while you’re away, so it’s best to make a good impression and build friendships where possible.
Plus, it’s just nice to know who you’re living near. Why not take a bottle of wine to say hi, as a nice gesture (although often you’ll find that neighbours will pop round to welcome you before you get a chance to go to theirs).
As you can see, there’s a lot to be done when you move into a new house, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!
If you take the time to plan and prioritise, you can get all of these things done fairly quickly and start enjoying life in your new home from day one.
Remember, if there is too much on your plate when moving home, you can hire third parties to handle things like cleaning and fitting new locks for you. Just get them booked in ahead of time so that things run well on moving day.
And if you’re wanting to avoid stress on moving day itself – this is the next thing you’ll want to read…