Moving from Start to Finish: Everything You Need to Consider
How many steps does it take to successfully move from one house to another? 5? 10? 100,000? Sometimes it seems as if there is a never-ending list of steps to take before you can finally consider yourself completely moved. And there are always steps that you wished you had thought about sooner that inevitably cause headaches.
While no move is completely without hiccup, the moving experts at College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving are here to help make your move as smooth as possible. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of important but easily forgotten things to do right before you move in.
Essential things to do before moving into a new house
You’ve already bought your new house. You’re almost completely packed, you have your movers scheduled, you’ve closed on the house, and you’re only a few short weeks or days before you move. Here’s what you need to do next:
- Change the locks. There’s no way to know who the previous owner gave spare keys to, or what less-than-scrupulous handyman may have made an extra copy. So do the smart thing and change all the locks in your new home. This way you know you’ll be safe once you finally move in. You can buy new locks and change them out yourself for about $10 per lock, or hire a locksmith or handyman for an extra $10-$20 per lock for labor. You could also have the current locks rekeyed instead of buying a whole new lock. It’s entirely up to you which way you want to go, but it’s always a smart idea to change the locks before you move a single box in.
- Paint. If you hate the colors that the previous owner selected, or you just know that you can’t live with white walls, now is the perfect time to paint. It’s always easier to paint in an empty room when you don’t have to worry about furniture, window coverings, wall hangings or anything else. Even if you aren’t sure exactly what you want, but you know it isn’t what the current owners picked, going with a neutral base on all the walls will at least make it liveable while you decide on accent walls and other pops of color. Sometimes you have to live in a space for a while before you know what color would work best. But it’s probably not the faux sponge maroon or the handpainted mural of Dagobah the previous owners painted. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.
- Flooring, floorboards, and molding. If you want to change out the carpets or replace the laminate or tile, now is the time to do it. If you have time between when you close on the house and when you move, get these big changes done right off the bat so you don’t have to worry about them later. It’s so much easier to change out the flooring, replace the floorboards, or add crown molding to a house when it’s empty and there is no one around to disturb.
- Upgrades. Similarly, if you plan on making any remodeling changes, now is your chance to do so without disrupting your whole life. Even if all you want to do is upgrade all the outlets to include USB plugs so you can charge your phone in every room of the house, it’ll be less of a hassle to do it now. That way, when you move in, it’s already done for you. If you plan on a big upgrade like rewiring, new kitchen countertops, or a complete bathroom remodel, getting it out of the way now will mean less headaches for you when you do move in.
- Clean everything. Right before you move in, take some time in your new house and clean everything from top to bottom. Scrub all the walls, bleach the tubs and showers, dust all the blinds, mop the tile, and steam clean the carpets. Unless you’re buying brand new construction, someone else was living in your new house before you, and who knows what they did and where they did it. If they had pets, you’ll want to get the pet odors out of the carpets. If they smoked, same thing. Start the new house with a clean slate — literally. Every surface should be cleaned thoroughly before a single one of your belongings is brought inside. Wipe out the cabinets, and line the shelves with contact paper if your cabinets are older. Just get everything ready.
- Replace the filters. And we don’t just mean the air filters, though of course those should be changed too. Check out the aeration filters in the kitchen and bathroom spigots, as well as the vent filter above the stove.
- Check everything. Check out the electrical box. Check out the plumbing. Check out the main water valve, and the fans and the faucets and everything to make sure it all works. Yes, we know you had an inspection that covered all of it, and we aren’t saying that the seller went and sabotaged everything after that was done — really, we’re not! — we just want you to become familiar with your house. If you blow a circuit the day after you move in, and you aren’t sure where the circuit breaker box is, you could be wondering around in the dark for a long while before you find it. And if you do find it, but it hasn’t been properly marked, you might have a hard time finding the right switch. Familiarize yourself with all of the working components of your new home so you can feel comfortable and secure when you move in. If you have any questions, now is the time to ask the seller.
- Confirm your services. There are few things more annoying on moving day than showing up at your new place and find it sweltering hot or freezing cold because the electricity or gas wasn’t turned on like it was supposed to be. We recommend that you schedule the switch or turn on of all your services at least a week or two before you move, and then confirm with all of them in the days leading up to your move. Get confirmation numbers if you can, as well as any details you may need about providers coming out to switch things on. And it isn’t just gas, electric, and water you’ll need to consider — make sure cable, internet, and phone lines are ready to go on moving day, as well as sewer and trash pickup.
This might not include everything that you’ll need to consider before you move, but it will certainly help you avoid some headaches in the days before you move into your new house. If you’d like a more comprehensive and overly-detailed list of everything you should expect to do during a move, check out our Essential Moving Checklist.
And remember, for all your moving needs, College Hunks Hauling Junk and Moving is here for you.