Moving into a new house is exciting, but the list of “to dos” can be overwhelming. You not only have to pack and prep the new house, but you have to tie up all the loose ends at the old place. Here are 15 tasks that are easily overlooked when moving into a new home – if you take care of these, you’ll have a leg up on moving day. For even more detailed information on what to do for your new home, check out this New House Checklist from U-Pack.
Before Moving Out…
1. Compare moving quotes and reserve your move. As you compare prices, also double check reviews. You not only want to make sure that you’re choosing a reputable moving service, but that you get your move reserved in advance to ensure availability. Summer is peak moving season, so don’t delay or your preferred moving service might be booked!
2. Sell, donate, or trash unwanted items. Before you start packing, go through your entire home – every cabinet, drawer, and closet – and get rid of anything you don’t want to move. We recommend separating your items into three categories: things to sell, things to donate, or things to trash. If you wouldn’t want to pay to move it, get rid of it. (Paring down your belongings is especially important if you use a service like U-Pack because you pay for the space you use, so moving less means paying less!)
3. Buy packing supplies. I know it’s easy to find boxes, but the boxes you get at the corner grocery store really aren’t made for moving. Professional moving supplies will keep your belongings safe and secure during your move.
4. Arrange for utility cut-off. Contact your utility company and arrange for service to be terminated. We recommend that you set this date for the day after you plan on moving out, just to be sure you aren’t moving in the dark.
5. Create an essentials box. This is a box full of everything you’ll need first at your new home: scissors, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, paper products, and a first aid kit. Either keep this box with you as you move, or load it last so you can unload it at your new home first.
6. Submit a change of address form. You can do this online at the USPS website for $1.05, or you can submit a paper form at your local post office for free.
7. Let financial institutions know you’re moving. This one is twofold: 1) Make sure your card limits can handle your moving costs. 2) If you’re moving long distance and plan on using your credit card while traveling, let your bank or credit card company know you’ll be traveling. Some companies may suspend your card if they consider your spending away from your hometown possible fraudulent activity, but if you alert them ahead of time, you’ll be fine.
Before Moving In…
8. Clean! Before you unload all of your belongings into your new home, take time to clean it top to bottom. Wipe out the cabinets, clean the carpets, and scrub every nook and cranny.
9. Paint. It’s so much easier to paint an empty home than a full one. If you need to touch up paint, or want to change the wall color, do it before the moving trailer arrives with your furniture.
10. Get organized. If you want any organizational systems in your cabinets, closets, or storage areas, install those before you unload and unpack. Check Pinterest for some great inspiration!
11. Set up utilities. Call the utility company to arrange for set up. Remember to call these service providers: electric, cable, phone, gas, internet, trash pickup, sewer, water, and any other utility services you might need. We recommend having all utilities hooked up before you move in—it’s just easier than having all the utility workers trying to maneuver around while you’re carrying in furniture and unpacking.
12. Change the locks. If you are not the first residents in the new home, change the locks to be on the safe side.
13. Enroll kids in their new school. Visit the school and complete any paperwork. Even if you’re moving this summer and school doesn’t start until fall, taking care of this now and taking a quick tour of the campus can help ease some anxiety your children may have.
14. Drive around the neighborhood. Familiarize yourself with the area. Find the local grocery store, doctor’s office, post office, bank, and other necessary businesses. This way, you’ll already know where they are when you need them.
15. Treat your home for pests. Either prepare your new home with sprays and treatments from the local home improvement store, or call in a professional.
There you have it! Fifteen tasks to accomplish before moving into a new house. Just take it one item at a time and you’ll be ready to move into your new home before you know it!
Brittney Lee is a moving expert at U-Pack. Brittney loves finding unique ways to make your move easier. In her free time, she loves playing with her dog, cooking up vegetables from the farmer’s market, and teaching Zumba fitness classes.