A Checklist For Moving Into A New House

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

Getting ready to move into a new house? If so, that means you have a long to-do list of items to tackle, far beyond packing boxes. With so many things to do, it’s easy for things to slip your mind. Having a handy list helps keep things from falling through the cracks.

Plan ahead, book a moving company a few months in advance, and gather supplies for your move. Give your landlord notice, if applicable, set up utilities, find insurance, and update your address. Determine if you’ll need a storage unit, inventory your items, and enlist help from friends. Change the locks in your new place, get to know the neighborhood, and unpack essentials.

Considering all of the things a move entails can seem like a daunting task. But with a bit of direction and a clear plan, it isn’t as overwhelming as it first seems.

What to Do When You’re Moving To A New House

Once you’ve made it through the roller coaster of house hunting and are wrapping things up, it’s time for a whole new adventure — moving into your new place. It’s undeniably an exciting time, but it also involves a lot of moving parts (no pun intended).

Use this list to keep your move going as smoothly as possible.

1. Create A Moving Plan

Do you plan to hire a moving company? Are you asking friends and family to help you? Many moving companies require you to get on their schedule months in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute.

2. Start Gathering Moving Supplies

Spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers that you’re moving and need boxes, newspaper, bubble wrap, etc. The more you can gather ahead of time, the more you save and you can start packing early. You’ll also need packaging tape and markers to label boxes.

3. Get A Headstart On Packing (And Decluttering)

Even if you haven’t finalized the purchase of your new home, if you know you’re moving soon, start packing. Moving to a new home is the perfect time to declutter and get rid of stuff you don't need or use. Then, pack up the rest, starting with the items you don’t need often, like seasonal pieces and decor. Make sure to label all boxes with the contents as well as the room they go in.

4. If You’re Currently Renting, Give Your Landlord Notice

Make sure you give proper notice to your landlord about your impending move. Read over your lease, so you’re clear on the terms. If you need to break your lease to move, have any necessary funds ready.

5. Find The Right Insurance

Before you close on your new home, you’ll need to show proof of insurance (unless you’re buying the house in cash). However, a lender wants to ensure you have proper protections in place before they finalize any loan. Once the seller accepts your offer, shop around for quotes to secure homeowner’s insurance and other applicable coverage, like flood or earthquake insurance.

6. Transfer And Setup Utilities

Contact the utility companies to set up service at your new residence. Also, make sure you provide stop dates for your services at your old place. You don’t want move-in day to come and have no power or water.

7. Make Preparations For Necessary Repairs

When you first toured your future home, you may have noticed a few things that needed repairs. Before closing, you should do a final walk-through to verify if the sellers fixed anything they were supposed to. For the rest of it, line up professionals or create a plan for making necessary repairs, starting with the most pressing items.

8. Forward Your Mail And Change Your Address

Process an official change of address with the US Postal Service. For any subscriptions, bills, bank statements, etc., change your address directly in their systems to avoid any delays. Give your new address to friends and family members.

9. Create A Space Plan For Your New Home

When you do your final walk-through of your home before closing, take pictures and measurements of the rooms. Use these details to draw a ground plan for each room to try out various furniture layouts. Using a space plan will save you lots of time and headaches on moving day since you’ll already know where you want things to go.

10. Take Inventory Of Your Belongings

As you box up your stuff, make an inventory to ensure everything arrives at your new place. This is especially important if you’re using a moving company or outside help. You’ll need a list for insurance purposes and to support any claims for missing items. In addition to a list, create a quick video log of items as a visual record.

11. Reserve A Storage Unit If Needed

Unless you can move straight into your new home from your old one, you may need a storage unit in the interim. Book the size you need ahead of time, so you’re not stuck without a place for your extra stuff.

12. Pack A Bag For Move-In Day

Make move-in day less hectic with a weekend bag. When you pack your things, pack a bag or suitcase as if you’re going away for the weekend. This way, you’ll have your essentials at your fingertips during those first few days in your new place. You don’t want to waste hours digging through boxes trying to find your toothbrush or a change of clothes.

13. Enlist Help Ahead Of Time

Be respectful of others' time and schedules. Don’t assume people can just drop what they’re doing to help you move. If you need help from friends or family, ask them well in advance.

14. Get Cash For Tips

Unless the moving company has a no-tip policy, prepare to tip your movers. Have cash on hand to give each mover about $20. If they do an exceptional job or you have an especially difficult move (lots of stairs, oversized furniture), you may decide to give more. It’s also nice to offer some snacks or drinks.

15. Clean Your New Home

Get into your home ahead of the movers to clean it. Whether you do it yourself or hire a service, it’s the perfect time to clean when there’s not a lot of furniture and stuff.

16. Turn On The AC Or Heat

You should have already set up your utilities, so have the AC or heat on before you move in to make things comfortable. This way, you and your helpers aren’t burning up or freezing during the move.

17. Paint, Make Repairs, And Prep As Needed

When you clean before bringing in your stuff, this is also a great time to do any painting and make repairs. Again, depending on your timeline and budget, hire professionals to lend a hand and tackle some of the work for you.

18. Change The Locks

The previous sellers may have given keys to their house cleaner, handyman, and Uncle Joe, and now all those people have keys to your house. As soon as the house is yours, hire a locksmith and change out all the locks.

19. Organize Paperwork For Your New Home

Make a file for your new house papers. Include insurance information, title, mortgage info, and any other relevant paperwork. Keep it all in one place, so it’s easy to find when you need it.

20. Start Unpacking Necessities

When it’s time to start unpacking, begin with the necessities. For example, you may start with your kitchen essentials, then clothing, etc. Things like holiday decorations and old photo albums can wait until the end.

21. Make Things Safe

Set up a security system, baby-proof or pet-proof the house if needed, and test existing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If there aren’t any, install some.

22. Get To Know The Neighborhood

Check out the neighborhood and familiarize yourself with nearby stores, parks, and other prime locations. Introduce yourself to neighbors, and find out important info regarding trash pick-up days, recycling, etc.

23. Find Trusted Home Service Professionals

Unless your new home is in the same area as your old house, you’ll need to reassemble a team of trusted home professionals. Don’t wait until you have a problem to find a reputable service person. Start getting referrals for a plumber, pest control, electrician, handyman, and HVAC specialist.

24. Continue To Unpack And Setup Your Belongings

As you work your way through the latter part of this list and you’re settling into your new place, continue unpacking. Take it a step at a time, unpacking a few boxes a day so you don’t get overwhelmed. As you unpack, reassess your items in case there are things that no longer make sense for your new home.

25. Throw A House-Warming Party

Celebrate your new place with a house-warming party for your close friends and family. It’s a great way to show them your place and also make it feel like home.

Settling Into Your New Home, Sweet Home

Moving into a new house is a big endeavor, so having a list of things to do certainly helps keep things more manageable. The biggest thing is to make sure you plan ahead and avoid waiting until the last minute to pack, set up utilities, and gather supplies.

Have a solid plan, book help in advance, and start with the essentials. When you’re all settled in, celebrate your new home with those closest to you.

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Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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