You’ve found your dream home, you’ve signed about 500 pages of paperwork, and now you have the keys to your first home in hand. Congrats! Bet you can’t wait to move in and start this new stage of your life, right?
As someone who’s been through this process before, I’ve got a list of things you should do before moving into your new house—besides packing up everything you own to put in it. If you’re moving into a new house, you may not need to do anything at all. Lucky you! But if you’re like us there’s likely things that need to be done and you have to decide whether to wait until you’re moved in, or tackle the job now.
Before I get into the major projects, let’s talk about the things you can handle with a phone call that will make your first days in your new home more comfortable.
Transfer the utilities
A few weeks prior to moving, contact your utility service providers to let them know about your move. While you have them on the phone, go ahead and schedule your disconnect and connect dates for gas and electric.
I couldn’t imagine life without Wi-Fi—it’s like my life line. Call the internet and cable provider to make an appointment right away. This is essential if you don’t want to be without cable and internet for two weeks or more after moving into your new home.
Forward the mail
Don’t forget to forward your snail mail before a move. Otherwise you could end up missing out on important bills, letters and packages. To forward your mail before the move, go to usps.com and choose the date you wish to begin receiving mail at your new address.
Now let’s talk about some other pre-move-in projects that can save you time and trouble. These projects will need some budgeting so choose the projects that are the most pressing. If your budget won’t allow re-carpeting the entire house, just do one floor. If you can’t face paint decisions for every single room, then just do the rooms where the decisions are easy.
After you get the keys, grab some cleaning supplies, a broom, mop, and trash bags. Then take a quick trip to your new home to evaluate the premises. Clean and dust everything. This is your house now. Make sure to wipe your cabinets inside and out and replace contact paper if necessary.
It doesn’t matter if you do the work yourself or hire someone to do it, it’s a lot easier to paint an empty room. There will be no need to move furniture, take down draperies, clear out the closets, or take every picture or mirror off the walls. If you’re doing the work yourself, allow several days to repaint before the movers show up. If you hire professional painters they’ll likely come in and get it over within a day or two. Painting even part of the house before you move in can be a terrific time saver. We decided to paint all the rooms on the main level of our new home— kitchen, dining room, and living room first. We saved the rooms upstairs for later.
The previous owners may have given a key to a number of people—neighbors, workmen, relatives, or cleaning services. Plus, you’ll get some peace of mind if you get new ones.
If you’re moving into a new home, you may have all the electrical outlets you need. But older homes could be a challenge. You can do the upgrades anytime, but everything is easier to get to in an empty room.
Replace your carpets
Replacing is a major project, and if you have the money and you can make just this one decision at moving time, you’ll really be doing yourself a favor. If you put it off, you’ll be faced with moving all your furniture out of the rooms. What a bother! Not just for you, but for the flooring installers as well!
Steam clean carpets
If you’re keeping the carpets, do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself.
One of the great things about having a hardwood floor is that even when it eventually wears down and starts to show signs of age, you have the option of refinishing the material to revitalize it completely. This involves sanding down the surface past any finish or blemishes and then re-applying color treatments and seal. The finished product will look like a completely new hardwood floor and can be achieved for a fraction of the price of a new installation. If this is the only thing you do before you move in, you’re making a great choice.
Using the tips and hints here, you’ll find that moving into your house can really be a pleasant experience. Deep breaths. You’ve got this.