Moving can feel overwhelming, and you might find yourself focusing on everything you need to do before you move out of your current home. But there are things you should do before you move into your new house, including the following:
1. Decide whether you want to do any work before you move in. This includes cleaning, painting, repairs, and so on. Such work is easier to do yourself or have done by someone else while the house is vacant, but it may make more sense financially to move into the house, and then do the work.
2. Make sure that what you’ll need immediately upon moving is readily accessible. Every family member should have one or two changes of clothes and toiletries available, but you may also want to make sure that you can easily pull out bedding, your coffee maker, and other items that you might want to use right away.
3. Change the locks and make spare keys. Although the previous homeowner might claim to have turned over all keys to the house, someone else might have copies of the house keys. You shouldn’t risk the possibility that someone might be able to enter your home without permission, so be sure to change the locks. Then take a few minutes to get copies of the new keys made. Most home improvement stores, like Home Depot, as well as many hardware stores, have the ability to make extra keys.
4. Arrange to have utilities turned on or set up. This includes water, electricity, gas, internet, and phone service. If you have a choice of provider, be sure to shop around for the best provider. That won’t necessarily be the cheapest service. You should check to see which providers have the most consistent, uninterrupted service, and a reputation for good customer service.
5. Ask the post office to forward your mail. You can now do this online at USPS.com. Note that some types of mail, such as magazines, will not be forwarded, especially after a certain amount of time. Therefore, you should update your address with anyone who sends you mail, including banks, creditors, magazines, and so on.
6. Know the local laws and regulations. Some cities have parking restrictions at certain hours, so you’ll want to make sure you’re not parking a moving truck in front of your house at that time. If you are moving into an area that is covered by Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (“CC&Rs”), make sure you are aware of any restrictions on moving. Some CC&Rs limit the hours during which you can move, or restrict where you can park the moving truck.
7. Make a plan for kids and pets. Older kids may be able to help with the moving process, although things may go more smoothly if you discuss your expectations and their responsibilities with them ahead of time. You may need to arrange entertainment or even child care for younger children. If you have pets, plan ahead about where to put them while you are moving so they’re not underfoot and can’t escape.