Anyone who has bought a new home will agree that there are things any homeowner needs to do after they close on their home. Certain things are better to get done while you still have an empty house. No matter how far you are moving, this list can help you to make sure you get everything wrapped up.
Start Your Utility Services
The last thing you want to happen when moving to a new home is having no utilities when you first move in. It is best to have your services turned on before you move in but sometimes this is just not possible if you do not know who you will be getting your services from. Start with your essentials like electric, gas, and water providers and then move on to some of the less important utilities. These can be your cable, phone, and internet services. After unpacking all of your boxes, you will need to figure out where and when you will need to place your trash for pick up. When moving to a new area, it is a good idea to scout out new service professionals that can be used when things need fixing.
Locate Fuse Box and Water Main Valve
In case of emergencies or repairs, you will want to locate your fuse box and water main valve. Make sure each fuse is labeled and if they are not, the easiest way to figure them out is to have someone shut one off and have another person investigate what area of the house it controls. Check that your water main valve functions properly and if it does not work the way it should, replace it before it becomes an issue. This is also a great time to check for leaks around the house before it has the chance to damage your belongings.
Secure Your New Home
The home may be yours now, but how do you know that the previous homeowner turned in all of their keys. That is why it is best to change all of the locks. After changing the locks, it is a good idea to hide a key so you never run the risk of getting locked out. Try not to hide it in the typical place like under your welcome mat. Instead, find a creative place like a fake rock or other decorations people would not expect. While you are securing your new home, you should also check all of the window locks to ensure they all work properly. Inspect your smoke detectors for dead batteries and install more if there is not one in every room. Consider installing a home security system if you choose.
Change your address
It does not matter if you moved next door or across the country, you will still need to change your address with the postal service. This task should not be left for later or you might lose some of your important mail. There are two ways you can handle switching your address. You can make a trip to your local post office and fill out their form or you can go online using the USPS Website. You should also contact your bank, credit card providers, insurance, and other important places that need to know of your change of address.
Clean Your House Top to Bottom
Having a fresh start in a new home can feel great. Before unpacking all of your belongings, it is best to completely clean the house from top to bottom. Cleaning while your house is empty really helps with getting into places normally covered by furniture. Start from the top and work your way down to the floors. Do not forget to clean your appliances like your oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Knowing your house is clean will give you peace of mind. Replace air filters and check your dryer vent for built-up lint. If you come across any critters, be sure to get them out and make sure they stay out. This also is your chance to organize your house as you unpack your belongings.
Find a New School for Your Children
Moving to a new location provides the task of choosing a new school for your children. You can start by seeking recommendations from friends or colleagues, or even from new neighbors in the area. Next, gather more information about school from doing an online search. A great resource is the National Center for Education Statistics which will allow you to search by location. After you have narrowed your choices to a few, visit each one to decide which one will be best for your child’s needs. When registering your child, be prepared to provide transcripts from their previous school as well as the typical documents like their birth certificate and immunization records.
Find Healthcare Providers
When moving to a new area, you will need to find new health care providers. If you are still in the same area you previously lived in or not too far from your previous providers you will not need to seek new providers. It is the best idea and the easiest to ask for recommendations from your current providers. When researching new providers, start online and then seek recommendations from family and friends. Make a visit to possible options before making a final decision.
Register Your Vehicle
Relocating to a new state will mean you need to register your vehicle and transfer your driver’s license. Visit your new local DMV in person to switch everything over. Keep in mind that you will need to provide proof of insurance for your new location as well. While you are at the DMV, you can also update your voting information and learn where your new voting location will be.
Appraise Your Financial and Insurance Situation
If you relocated to a new state, your bank and insurance providers may not be available in your new location. This means that you will need to close your old account and create a new one. Update your insurance policy to include your new house, vehicle, and health care providers.
Create an Emergency Plan and Kit
Moving to a new home means having to create a new plan for what to do in the event of an emergency. Research what types of emergencies or disasters can happen in your new area. Discuss with your children escape routes to use in case of a fire and establish a meeting place outside of your home for everyone to run to. It is even a great idea to practice your plan. Establish which area of your house is the safest for a tornado warning or an earthquake. Create a new list of emergency contacts with local emergency services and law enforcement. Put together an emergency kit with bottles of water, food, candles, blankets, and a first aid kit.