After all of the searching, holding your breath, and crossing your fingers, you’ve finally closed on your first new home – congrats! Becoming a new homeowner is an accomplishing feeling. But as many of you may, or may not know, finding the perfect home is just the beginning. Upon moving into your perfect abode, there’s still a great deal of work to be done in order to ensure a smooth transition. From packing and cleaning to the actual move, we got in touch with Maria from Close to Home to share some tips for creating a comprehensive new house checklist.
Two Weeks Before Move• Start calling moving companies as soon as you become aware of your moving date. Be sure to compare prices, check availability and set up estimate visits. If you plan on managing the transition of boxes yourself, contact several rental truck companies and ask similar questions about availability, costs, rental return policies, mileage, equipment or moving help.
Related: Top Questions to Ask When Hiring Professional Movers
• To avoid lots of confusion down the road, be sure to change the address on your driver’s license, vehicle registration, credit cards, doctors, utility companies and your employer.
• Submit a postal change of address form online.
• "Make a list of all utilities you need to change or add", and, "notify all magazines, bills etc of your new location," says Maria. Be sure to set a date for the last meter read as well.
• If relocating to another city, request all medical, dental, vision and school records to take with you.
• Start collecting or purchasing packing boxes, tape, markers, bubble wrap and newspapers for filler material. A cheap trick is to call and visit your local grocery or home goods stores to see if you can nab their boxes before they’re broken down.
One Week Before…• Defrost freezer and empty ice maker and ice cube trays.
• Clean refrigerator, stove top and oven. Note: Even if you’re moving from an apartment or condo, doing this will help you avoid unnecessary incidental costs from a landlord or leasing office.
• Disconnect and drain all appliances if these are moving with you.
• Make a calendar to plan a room-by-room packing strategy, and track your progress.
• Have payment ready for movers.
• Confirm travel arrangements.
• Confirm arrival time of movers or pick-up time of rental truck.
• Gather and clean outdoor furniture.
• Return cable box, cable modem and DSL modem if necessary.
• Pack suitcases for each family member with clothes and toiletries to get through the first three days.
• Pack a file of important papers to keep with you, such as a birth and marriage certificates, bank records, closing papers and insurance policies.
Side Bar: More on Packing• If you are moving yourself, pre-pack as many of the items you know you won’t need right away.This is also a good time to enlist the help of friends and family.
• Try not to pack more than 50lbs into a single box.
• Mark boxes clearly with the corresponding room in the new house, and list the contents on the outside of the box. Be sure to indicate whether the contents are fragile or heavy.
• Use strong, solid boxes that can be closed and taped tightly. Tape the tops and bottoms of all boxes.
• Styrofoam picnic plates can be placed in between glass and china plates for cushioning.
• Cushion contents with recyclable materials like newspaper, packing paper, shredded papers or tissue. Wrap breakable items individually. You can also use your towels, sheets and blankets for wrapping and padding items.
• Pack books in small boxes – they can be very heavy.
• It’s usually best to fill boxes and cartons completely, but without overstuffing, to keep the contents from shifting when in transport.
• When packing the moving vehicle, put all the boxes in first and load the large furniture in last.
The Day Of…• Check that all cupboards, closets, dishwasher and all appliances are empty.
• Give movers a tour and instructions for what is being moved.
• Separate the items you’ll move yourself from the items you’ll want the movers to handle.
• Ensure parking space for moving truck.
• Take a note of utility meter readings.
• Leave a note with your new address in the house so that future residents can forward any stray mail.
• Be sure to take a box with you containing the family’s bedding, pillows, towels and medicines to be used on the first night. Take a box with paper goods, soap, light bulbs and household cleaning items.
• Leave some of your children’s favorite toys, games and books unpacked so they’ll have things to play with when they first arrive.
Maria also explains that getting a home inspection is extremely beneficial. It'll help you with the next step to becoming comfortable in your new home. You'll be able to be proactive and fix any signs of issues before they become a burden, and you'll feel confident in knowing that your new home is in order.
Other helpful websites to use for your move:
U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development
American Home Shield Pricing & Plans
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