It goes without saying that buying a home is time-consuming.
First, there’s the financial planning to determine when you’re ready to buy a home. Then you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage and start looking for homes. After viewing several homes you finally find the perfect home. Then comes the difficult process of making an offer and negotiating the cost of the home. If all goes well, your offer is accepted and you get to enter the lengthy mortgage closing process. However, your work is not yet done. You’ll have to move out of your current residence and into your new home. All of this while juggling your work and social life.
After all of this, it might seem like the only thing left to do is relax in your new home. While it may be true that you certainly deserve a break, there are some things you should do sooner rather than later when you move into your new home.
In this article, we’ll cover ten things you should do right away once you move into your new home.
1. Home security
Your chief consideration when moving into your new home should be making sure it’s safe. The best first step to take is to change all of the locks on your house. In spite of how trustworthy the previous homeowner may have seemed, you can never be 100% sure who had spare keys to their home. Changing locks is quick and inexpensive, especially considering what’s at stake.
Another important step in home security is to put new batteries in and test all smoke detectors, make sure fire extinguishers are up-to-date, and ensure air filters are cleaned.
2. Set up your utilities
One of the first things you have to do when moving into a new home is to call your utility companies and transfer services into your name. Make a list of the services you’ll need to set up (electricity, water, garbage removal, internet, home security, heating, etc.). This is also a good time to set up online accounts and autopay for these services. It will save you time each month and make it easier to keep track of your bills if you simplify this process from the get-go.
You should have already had the home inspected by a professional prior to closing on the house. However, things can change in the time that someone moves all of their belongings out of a home and you move all of yours in. Wiring can be damaged, pipes banged, windows cracked, and so on. Do a thorough inspection of your home to check for leaks, broken wires, and fire hazards to be sure that your home is in good condition.
4. Deep clean
It might be tempting to just move your belongings into their new places once you arrive at your new home. However, the best time to clean a room is when it’s empty. Before you set up your furniture or fill your cabinets, give them a thorough cleaning.
5. Familiarize yourself with circuit breaker and water valves
When disaster strikes, you’ll want to be ready for it. Get to know your circuit box before the first power outage. Store flashlights in easily accessible places and make sure they have fresh batteries. Similarly, familiarize yourself with the main water shutoff valve in case you have a pipe burst. If the former homeowner lived alone and you have a large family, there’s a chance that the sudden surge in power and water usage could reveal issues with plumbing and wiring that the former owner wasn’t aware of.
Planning to sell your house in the next few weeks or months? If so, you likely will want to declutter to improve your house's appearance and make it easy for potential homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your residence.
Ultimately, donating items may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for those who want to declutter and move in the near future.
By donating items that you no longer need, you can quickly and easily remove clutter from your residence. Plus, you may be able to secure a tax credit for your charitable contributions.
Before you donate your items, however, you should take a close look at your personal belongings and decide which things to keep and which to give to charity.
Now, let's take a look at three items that you can donate to charity:
If you intend to move from Florida to Alaska – or vice-versa – there may be a wide range of clothing that you can donate before you move.
Ensure that any clothing that you plan to donate is clean. If necessary, wash any dresses, t-shirts and other apparel that you intend to donate.
Also, it is always better to err on the side of caution when you donate clothing. And if you have clothes that are faded or torn, you should dispose of these items.
For those who plan to downsize, donating electronics is ideal. That way, you can get rid of electronics that won't fit into your new home and do a good deed at the same time.
Evaluate your electronics and make sure they work correctly before you donate them. In addition, it often pays to tape any electronics cords, wires and accessories to the items themselves.
Check out a charity's electronics donations policies prior to scheduling a donation pick-up too. By doing so, you can guarantee that a charity can pick up and use your excess electronics.
In many instances, an individual may move into a new address that comes equipped with a new refrigerator, washer, dryer and other appliances. If this happens, you may want to contact local charities to see if they can pick up your current appliances.
Reach out to a local charity to find out whether it can pick up your current appliances – you'll be glad you did. If the answer is "Yes," you may be able to avoid having to move big, heavy appliances on your own.
As the aforementioned list shows, there are lots of great items that you can donate to charity. Conduct an in-depth search of charities in your city or town, and you can work with a local charity that can use your excess items.
Lastly, if you ever have questions about which charities in your area will accept donations, don't hesitate to reach out to these organizations directly. And if you're looking for extra assistance as you declutter your residence and prepare to list your home, it certainly helps to contact an expert real estate agent as well.
Often, you cannot choose the timing of your move. If the rainy season happens to be in full swing, moisture could become an added challenge to your relocation strategy. Even a drizzle could cause damage to your property but you can avoid issues if you are prepared. Below are tips on how to have a successful move on a rainy day.
Wrap what you can
The best way to protect your valuables from moisture is by wrapping your boxes with plastic wrap before they leave the house. Moving blankets are not usually water-resistant and as such would do little to protect your belongings when it rains. Place smaller boxes in trash bags. For larger cartons and furniture, purchase spools of stretch wrap from your moving store or DIY retailer. In a pinch, use cling film to cover boxes and small furniture. Cover large furniture items such as sofas and mattresses with tarps as you move them from your home into the truck or vice versa.
Line inside your boxes
If you haven’t started to pack yet, consider lining the inside of your boxes before loading them. Line your boxes with trash bags, secure the bags tightly and seal the boxes afterward. For additional protection, wrap the exterior of the boxes.
Have a plan
Have a plan to ensure the rain comes in contact with your property as little as possible. Map out how to load the truck before you begin to avoid having to unload your belongings onto wet pavement or grass and reload in the rain.
Reinforce weak or damaged boxes
Discard or reinforce boxes that might be thin or ripped to prevent damage to the contents inside. Tape the seams completely then apply another line of tape opposite to the seams for added strength.
Line the truck bed with tarps
Water will likely collect on your belongings as they are transported to and from the truck. Arrange tarps around your items as they are loaded to protect them from getting soaked by water puddling on the floor or dripping from other items.
Dry items as you load them
To minimize puddles inside the truck, dry your belongings as soon as you load them into the vehicle. Keep extra towels in the truck bed to wipe off items and keep them as dry as possible during the trip. Monitor the weather closely, whenever possible, schedule your loading and unloading during a clear moment or when the precipitation is lighter.
Moving in the rain might seem very discouraging but it’s an activity that can be completed successfully with a carefully crafted plan.
If you are working with a moving company, check for professionals with experience moving in inclement weather. Secure insurance for your belongings to protect against moisture damage. Your realtor is an excellent resource for finding professionals to make your relocation run smoothly.
When you consider the cost of a long distance move with a professional moving company, you will discover that DIY movement has an advantage of saving you a substantial amount of money, especially for a long-distance move. You will spend less when moving by yourself. There are lots of options for DIY moving. The choice ranges from moving containers and truck rentals to moving equipment rentals and labor-only professionals. Getting all you need for your DIY move is easy. Here are some tips that you need to know for a successful DIY move:
Timeline and Plan
One of the advantages of DIY moving is that you can move based on your schedule. It is, therefore, your responsibility to plan and coordinate your move. You need to create a timeline for yourself to ensure a stress-free and successful DIY move. Your planning will include deciding on the exact date and time of your movement as well as all stages of the moving process.
Moving Container or Moving Truck Rental
If you are not using your car to move, you have to decide on which one to go for, whether a moving truck rental or moving container. Truck rentals are relatively cheaper; they give you total control over your schedule. A moving container is also a more comfortable option to consider but cost a little more than moving truck rentals. When you rent a moving vessel, your only duty is to load and off-load the container. The moving container will be responsible for transportation, giving you the privilege to concentrate on crucial aspects of the move.
Professional Moving Labor
You are going to need assistance especially during the loading and offloading of your things. If your family and friend are not around to help, you can employ the services of labor-only movers. They will help with the heavy lifting and any other demanding task associated with the moving.
Proper Packing Supplies
You need the right packing supplying to protect your household belongings from getting damaged. Look for the right moving box that will protect your things when moving. Consider using specific boxes like telescopic boxes, wardrobe boxes, corrugated boxes, plastic bins, and banker’s boxes.
An Essential Bag
Get an essential bag a day before moving to keep everything you are going to need on the first day you get to your new home. The kit should contain household supplies like trash bags, paper rolls, bath towel, light bulbs, plastics, cups, cleaning supplies, plates, and many more.
Are you planning to embark on a DIY move? Do not be discouraged; follow the tips given above for a stress-free, cheap, and successful transition to your new home.
So you've found the perfect home to move to, whether it is your first home up- or downsizing, congratulations. Now it is time to pack up. The rest is exciting, but now you dread the headache of packing, knowing how much supplies that you need to get (without a million trips to the store) and making sure that your fragile items make it to the new place intact.
How many supplies you need depends on what you have
The pros have enough experience to help with estimating how much supplies you should get based on the size and the description of your home and possessions. To get a picture of what is needed, a rule of thumb to measure by is per 1200 square feet of living space. Some suggestions are one 25-lb roll of packing paper, six rolls of tape, one roll of small bubble wrap (more if you have a bursting kitchen or many trinkets), mattress covers for all your mattresses and box springs (make sure they are the right size) and 80-100 furniture blankets.
Getting and keeping your boxes sealed
Depending on the scope of the move (length, time, movers or friends, etc.) you may be used to folding the flaps of your boxes closed, but this leaves them vulnerable to moisture, insects and other stuff getting into your boxes. Not to mention that it makes it much more likely that something will fall through (cue driveway full of what was once packed nicely into the box now empty in your hands). The easiest way to ensure that nothing goes in or out of your boxes once packed place three strips of tape across the top and bottom of all of your boxes. Types and number of boxes can be determined by asking your movers or putting it into a moving supplies calculator online.
Packing paper helps protect breakable items by preventing friction between objects. It does not leave ink residue that you have to try to remove after unpacking everything. It also helps to cover knives and other such items to help keep injuries from happening while unpacking. Bubble wrap is for the more fragile items in your house. Small bubbles for smaller things and large bubbles for things like large art and such.
Mattresses and box springs need care too
Mattress covers are essential for protecting the place where you spend one-third of your life and ensuring that no stains, dust or rips affect your investment. If you have a king size bed, remember that the box spring is usually two extra-long twin size so remember to get covers accordingly.
Don't forget to protect your furniture during the move. Scratches, dings, and dents, or broken drawers and doors, especially on expensive or heirloom furniture, could put a damper on any move. If that many blankets are too many for your budget, get enough for your most important furniture and then get paper moving pads or shrink wrap for the rest.
Avoiding the headache that can accompany moving
Although moving can be stressful, there is no reason to make it any more so than necessary. Do some research or ask a professional near you to take the stress, and trips to the store, out of moving this time around and enjoy your new home.