Let's face it: With all the excitement of a new home, it's easy to forget some important tasks. Plus, certain things are best done while the house is still vacant, long before your boxes and furniture are parked in the place. Put these things off, and it becomes all the harder to tackle them later.
So, before you move—or in case you have moved and are wondering how many of these you hit—check out this moving checklist to know what should be done long before you settle in.
1. Turn on utilities
Electric, gas, water—don't assume they'll be on and operational when you arrive. Instead, get all your utilities set up ahead of time.
2. Set up internet and cable service
Have your home wired for service before you arrive.
3. Order an energy audit
One of the best ways to cut your energy bill is to order a home energy audit.
An energy audit is a professional assessment of your new home’s overall energy performance. This will show you how to make your house more energy-efficient (think insulating the attic, weatherstripping windows, sealing air leaks in crawl spaces), so it's best to have one done and make related repairs before moving in.
4. Do a deep clean
It's never easy to do a deep clean, but it’s best to do it when the house is empty. If you prefer a cleaning service, make sure you shop around as they can get pricy.
5. Change the locks
This is a basic safety measure; however, it can’t be done until after closing.
6. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Make sure these are functioning properly to protect your new home from fires and other emergencies. Also, read up on recommendations of the best type of smoke detector.
7. Set up the alarm system
If the home already has a security system installed, call the provider to confirm that service is set up.
8. Tackle major home renovations
The last thing you want to do is have to tiptoe around a construction zone after you move in. So, if you want to repaint the home, re-sand floors, or make any other renovations, do them in advance.
These projects are best done when the house is empty and usually don’t happen once the furniture shows up.
9. Make repairs
Before moving in, hire a handyman to do any repairs that the seller didn’t agree to make.
10. Get a home warranty
Imagine waking up one morning to a busted boiler or leaking washer in your brand-new home. A home warranty covers the cost of repairing many home appliances.
11. Buy fire extinguishers
Get one for every level of your home, make sure you know how to use it, and plan an escape route in the event of a fire.
12. Get to know your new house
Figure out where the circuit breaker box and main water shut-off valve are before moving in, so you know how to turn off the electricity or water in an emergency. Also, consider labeling your home’s electrical panel.
13. Childproof the home
Have kids? Every year, millions of children get hurt because of accidents around the home. So, before your bundle of joy starts toddling around the house, take steps to fully childproof your new home.
14. Forward your mail
Do not forget to update your address.
15. Update your billing address
Alert your credit card companies, banks, or any other financial institutions of your new address. Also, if you frequently buy anything from a website, you can avoid a future headache by updating your profile with your new address.