Moving is very stressful and overwhelming. But if you take the time to slow down and go step by step, things will develop much smoother than they otherwise would. This includes doing all of the little things right before moving in. Here are some of our top tips:
1. Have Carpets Professionally Cleaned
Your new home’s carpets might look clean, but you can’t ever be sure. We highly recommend having carpets professionally cleaned to avoid exposing our family to germs, viruses, bacteria, pet dander, and disgusting odors.
Alternatively, you can purchase your own carpet cleaner so that you can cost-effectively clean your rugs and carpets multiple times per year.
2. Clean Out Appliances
Most homeowners will leave a house in pretty good shape before handing it off to the new homeowner. However, there will always be certain aspects of a house that don’t get much attention – and appliances are one of them.
As nasty as it can be, we highly recommend cleaning out appliances like dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves immediately upon moving in. This will make the kitchen feel more like your own.
3. Child-Proof and Pet-Proof (If Necessary)
If you have young children or pets, move-in day is the perfect time to start thinking about safety. For toddlers, things like outlet covers, baby gates, doorknob guards, and furniture straps should be installed right away. For pets, put a gate at the top of the stairs and ensure the backyard fencing doesn’t have any holes or gaps that could allow your furry friend to escape.
4. Locate All Key Systems
The first couple of weeks in a new house can be a bit strange. While it’s your house, you still feel like you’re living in someone else’s property. Over time, you get used to the different quirks of the house and are able to find things more easily. But don’t wait days or weeks to locate key systems in the home. In case of an emergency, you need to know precisely where they are. This includes the main water shut-off valve, circuit breakers, the water heater, and AC units and furnaces.
5. Get Utilities Properly Set Up
Hopefully, you’ve already determined who your utility providers are before move-in day. In fact, you should contact the utility companies at least two weeks in advance to make sure they’ll be successfully transferred over from the previous owner without any disruptions. However, it’s always a good idea to make one more phone call on move-in day to verify that everything is still good to go. (For example, if utilities accidentally get shut off, it can cost several hundred dollars to have them turned back on.)
6. Change Your Locks
The exchange of the keys from the previous owner to the new owner is one of the most exciting parts of the home purchase process. But don’t be so quick to add them to your keychain.
“While you get the keys to your new home at the closing, you can’t know how many copies of the keys the previous owners had made and how many might still be floating around. That’s why it’s important to have the locks changed out,” locksmith Chris Strauss writes. “A professional locksmith is able to get the job done securely and quickly while you get to the other things on your list.”
Thankfully, changing out locks isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Many of today’s locks even have features that allow them to be changed without replacing them. However, whenever in doubt, a professional locksmith can help you figure out the best and most economical way to secure your new home.
Make Your Move a Success
According to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans, 64 percent of people say a recent move was one of the most stressful things they’ve ever done. Approximately 43 percent say they never want to do it again. In fact, when you compare the stress of moving to other life events, people rank it more stressful than marriage, divorce, or even having kids.
Common stressors associated with moving include the physical challenge of moving possessions, the cost of hiring movers, and the challenges associated with moving into a new space that’s unfamiliar.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go through the same torture that most people put themselves through in a move. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure a safe, efficient, and stress-free move that allows you to enjoy the experience – rather than dread or regret it.