Moving comes with a lot of anticipation. You pack, prepare, and wait for the big moving day to come and then go through a flurry of activity to get your family and belongings safely into your new home. After all of this is done you probably just want to kick off your shoes and lay on the couch, but there is still plenty to cross off of your to-do list once you’re officially moved in.
The key to not getting overwhelmed by your long list of tasks is to prioritize the most important ones. Check out these five things you should do right after you move into a new home so that you can rest assured that you’re not forgetting any of the most essential tasks homeowners do after moving into a new home.
Secure the Home
As soon as you move into the new house, you want to be sure that it is secured against any unwanted visitors. Start by changing the locks on all outside doors. The previous homeowners could still have keys to the house, so taking this step right away will ensure that they can’t get into the house. Check the locks on all of your windows as well to ensure that they function correctly and can secure those entry points.
Another smart step to secure your home is to install an alarm system. About 95% of home invasions involve a form of forceful entry, such as picking a lock, breaking a window, or kicking in a door. With a full security system, you’ll have protection beyond the basic door and window locks that home invaders often bypass. Consider investing in a smart security system that you can control from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are to ensure that your home is always safe and secure.
Child-Proof Every Room
While many homeowners may know to secure the outside of their home against unwanted visitors, not everyone will think about securing the inside of their home against curious kids. If you have an infant or toddler, you’ll need to quickly take steps to childproof your new home. This can be especially tricky to do before you’re fully settled into the home, but it’s important that you do some basic childproofing right away to keep little ones safe.
Start by breaking out the baby gates to block off stairs that your children could fall down or rooms that you don’t want them to enter. Be sure to keep any dangerous objects, such as box cutters and cleaning supplies, out of the reach of little hands. You’ll also want to check that they can’t open the windows and doors in your home and that choking hazards, such as the cords on window blinds, are tied up. If you can, it is a good idea to dedicate a separate, kid-free zone for discarded packing materials and tools that you don’t want them to get a hold of.
Check That the Utilities Work
Setting up your new home’s utilities is a common step for the 40 million people who move every year in the United States to do before moving day. Assuming you did arrange for this set-up, now is the time to check that they’re working. As soon as you move into your home, check that your gas, electricity, water, heating and cooling, internet, and phone are working. You should also contact your waste management facility to ensure that your home is set for garbage and recycling pick-up as well. The last thing to do with your utilities is to locate your home’s fuse box and water valve. If the power goes out or you need to turn the water off for some reason, it’s better to know where these devices are beforehand.
Connect Major Appliances
Once you know that your utilities are all set, you can connect any major appliances that you moved from your old home and verify that any appliances included in your new home work. These include the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, dryer, and refrigerator. The fridge tends to be the most fragile of these appliances. If you have moved your refrigerator from your old home, leave it upright in its final kitchen spot for at least three hours before you plug it in and turn it on. If the previous homeowners left a refrigerator for you, check that it is plugged in and cool before loading any of your food and beverages into it. You’ll want to check that the ice dispenser and freezer are working as well.
Explore Your Neighborhood
This is probably the most enjoyable task on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as equally important to do as the others. Introduce yourself to your neighbors right after you move in so that you can get to know each other. Asking your next-door neighbors about property lines can help get a conversation going and can clarify what belongs to who. After you meet the neighbors, drive or walk around your neighborhood to find the local stores and restaurants. In the United States alone there are over 1 million restaurants, so your new neighborhood is sure to have some delectable options. As you explore, keep an eye out for important facilities like urgent care centers and dentist offices so that you know where to go for your medical needs.
Moving into a new home brings you a wide range of new experiences and opportunities. You get to experience living in a new space that you get to customize to your tastes and a new neighborhood can mean a whole new social life. By following these steps, you can get the important stuff out of the way and start your new adventure off on the right foot.