We know that moving is already a hassle, and the last thing you want to do is add more to your plate. If you put these key tasks off, though, you’re ultimately making them harder to tackle in the long run. Knock out these to-dos before moving in, and you’ll be able to enjoy life in your new home stress-free, the way you deserve.
You can also download a free Moving House Checklist to simplify the moving process.
11 Top Tips from The Valor Group
1. Change the locks
First and foremost, it’s important to keep your family and your property safe. You don’t want a stranger running around with a key to your front door, so changing the locks at your home is a natural step. Do it before moving in, and you’ll thank yourself when you’re lying in bed the first few nights in your new home. Plus, getting the locks changed before you move in, your belongings prevents them from being exposed during that brief window while your locks are getting switched over.
2. Update your address
Changing your address doesn’t have to be a daunting process. Did you know that Australia Post offers mail forwarding for movers? All you have to do is head to the Change of Address portion of their website. It will walk you through simple steps, then ask for a small payment of around $30 for 3 months. A few dollars and 2 minutes of your time are all you need to get your mail at your new home. Sure, you’ll eventually need to update your address with your RMS, Banks, subscription accounts, etc., but getting set up with the Australia Post’s mail forwarding buys you some time and ensures that you don’t miss any important documents.
3. Check for leaks
Ideally, your home inspector ensured that your house is leak-free. But with a simple double-check, you can give yourself peace of mind. When you’re moving in and not yet using any water, check your water meter. Wait two hours, making sure no one uses any water, then recheck your meter. It should read the same. If it doesn’t, you have a plumbing leak. You may or may not choose to deal with it right away, but at least you’ll be aware of the current state of your pipes. Plus, it’s a lot easier to arrange two water-free hours during moving – when everyone in your family is out of their routine – than in the normal course of daily life.
4. Change the toilet seats
A simple toilet seat swap will help you feel like the home is yours – and it will keep you from worrying about what happened in it before you got the keys. If you want to go the extra mile, consider choosing a detachable toilet seat. You know that frustrating feeling of scrubbing your toilet seat hinges, never feeling like they’re spotless? With a removable seat, you can take the whole thing off and get every nook and cranny sparkling.
5. Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
Don’t sleep a single night in your home without these safeguards in place. Before moving, head to your new place with a box of batteries and test every smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. If your new home doesn’t have a carbon monoxide detector, buy one at a home improvement store or from Amazon. When you first set it, do so outdoors, so it gets a clean reading of fresh air as its baseline.
6. Find your meter box and shutoff valves
Hunting for your meter box with only a flashlight isn’t fun, but all too many people find themselves in that situation because they didn’t take the time to locate it when they had the help of their home’s electricity. While you’re at it, locate your main water shutoff and gas shutoff valves before moving in. Again, it’s better to find them now than to be frantically looking for the valve as a burst pipe gushes water onto your floors.
7. Clean the cabinets and closets
Before you unload your dishware and clothes, give everything a thorough wipedown. It will take you minutes if you do it now, but the task becomes much more difficult once it involves unloading everything off of each shelf.
8. Tackle major maintenance tasks
First off, vacuum out the coils underneath or behind your fridge. Over time, these coils can get clogged with hair and dust. This makes it more difficult for them to release heat, ultimately forcing your fridge to work harder. After you vacuum, use a coil cleaning brush to get them thoroughly cleaned. While you’re at it, flush your water heater to clear out any sediment and check if your air filters need to be replaced. Getting all of these tasks handled makes it easy to set a maintenance calendar from your move-in date, rather than having to remember a bunch of different dates when each task was last completed.
9. Create a home maintenance checklist
It’s a good idea to perform seasonal maintenance checks to ensure your new home is in good shape. Some of these maintenance checks you may not have had to do at your previous home. Things like cleaning the gutters, landscaping, unclogging bathroom drains, or checking up on snow plow services may be relevant to you now, so you should gather the contact info from local services for when the time comes.
10. Find a spot for a safe
Remember those important documents we mentioned before? They’ll need a new home too. If you don’t already have a trusty safe or filing cabinet, it’s a good idea to invest in one. Even more so, it’s important to find a spot for them. Some common areas for safes are in closets, attics and garage but there’s room for creativity here also. Hardcover books, freezers, brick walls – whatever sneaky spot will keep your private information on lock. Even if you live in an apartment and don’t have room for a massive safe, it doesn’t mean your valuables should be left unsecured. Use your imagination and protect your possessions.
11. Throw a housewarming party
Last but not least, on our new home checklist, the infamous housewarming party! Once you’re done the unpacking, save any energy you have left for this shindig. Setting a date for a housewarming party also sets an excellent unpacking deadline for you to follow. So many new homeowners beat themselves up over small improvements and repairs instead of celebrating their hard work. Don’t make that mistake. Trust us; you’re going to have plenty of time in your new home to put in more work. Instead, invite your closest family and friends over for a great time. Start making memories.