DO THESE THINGS FIRST BEFORE MOVING IN

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.

Ensuring that these initial tasks are taken care of will give you peace of mind before you move in.

How to Unpack without Exploding

One of the forgotten steps in moving is the fact that physically moving your belongings from one spot to another is only part of the deal. Once you get your boxes and your mattress and your desk to its final destination, you still have to be able to find everything and put everything where it belongs.

A rule of thumb when surveying your house is that no matter how many box-fulls you think you have, a good idea is to at least increase your most generous estimate by at least 50 percent. And remember, for every box you pack, that’s a box you have to unpack.

According to data from the US Census, 14 percent of all American households last year moved. That translates to somewhere around 40 million people switching addresses.

Most of us take weeks, sometimes months to slowly and painstakingly categorize, wrap and pack all of our belongings. We spend months looking at prospective houses, arguing with our real estate agent and we spend days with our fingers crossed hoping we got the property we wanted.

But once you do get your dream house, then what? You took all this time to get everything ready and then you leave yourself….

ONE

DAY

…..to move everything. Yup, it’s just about as crazy as it sounds. But fear not, there are some common sense tips to keep your head from exploding. If you have the money, there are several companies out there that will help you pack up everything, and then once the movers do their thing, they will unpack pretty much everything. They will even take the boxes with them when they go. They will hang pictures, put your toothbrush in the bathroom and put the sheets on the bed. They will even get the computer up and running.

But, as you can imagine, these types of services aren’t cheap. If they aren’t in your budget, here are some good tips for do-it-yourselfers.

  • “See-through” is your friend. Stay away from opaque brown cardboard boxes and try to use as much clear packing material as you can. Clear plastic bins, Ziploc bags for small things, anything that you can think of that is clear and can hold large amounts of stuff.
  •  Lists Lists Lists. Write down what goes in every single box, so when you wake up that first morning in your beautiful new home and you want that first cup of coffee, all you have to do is grab that list and see that it’s in box 91.
  •  Have the utilities turned on before you move in. This is especially important if you have kids. Moves are traumatic enough for adults, but when little Johnny is having his universe ripped apart, it helps to be able to plop the kids in front of  Dora the Explorer for a bit while you try to recover from exhaustion.

While nothing can really prepare you for the mental and physical stress of moving day, being prepared and taking a few common sense steps can help keep things from getting too out of hand.

Free Moving Checklist

Are you moving in the next few weeks or months?  Are you ready for the move? Have you forgotten anything?

My free Moving Checklist identifies up to 60 things you need to take care of before you move; everything from arranging for transfer of your doctor and dental records to transferring your prescriptions, and whom to notify of your change of address.

It is divided into when to do what, starting 6 to 8 weeks before, straight through the big day. It’s a very handy list you’ll want to have, and it’s yours free with my compliments.

To download your free Moving Checklist, just click on the picture on the right, and enjoy your new home!