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Now that you’ve crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on your final paperwork, it’s official … you’re a homeowner! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, or a seasoned veteran, you may be surprised (and a bit overwhelmed) by all the details and essential items that you need for your new humble abode to make it feel like home.
Worry not! We’ve got your back. With the expert help of a top real estate agent and extensive research for the best tips and tricks, this is your ultimate guide to ensuring you properly plan for your move, knowing the new home essentials you’ll need, and helping you make the transition be as stress-free as possible.
Before the move
The first steps to prepping your move starts weeks, even months, in advance of your moving day. For example, if you’re planning on doing any remodeling to your new home before the move, consider that the construction industry is lacking workers, and because of this, there are often delays in timelines.
Maureen Connolly, a New York real estate agent who has nearly 20 years of experience, offers up some suggestions she gives her clients before they make their big move. To start, think about how you can minimize the disruption to your life before the move to make everything more seamless for you and your family. For instance, consider the convenience of painting or replacing the flooring before you move in all of your furniture.
- Ask your real estate professional or friends you may have in the area for a list of reputable contractors, plumbers, electricians, and more to get a trusted opinion from someone local to your new area.
- Do your own research online by looking up reviews. Try checking out Angi or Thumbtack as a starting place to find the trusted help you need.
- Ask your real estate agent for a list of suggestions for babysitters in the area, best local pizza spots, landscapers, or anything else you think would make moving to a new town a little easier.
- Make sure the day of closing to call and put the utilities in your name. Connolly’s pro tip: don’t do this before closing day to ensure you close when planned.
- Consider downloading a moving checklist to ensure you don’t forget any important steps.
- Be sure to have your moving company lined up before closing (earlier than you would expect), as scheduling can be competitive. Connolly suggests scheduling your movers with at least two months’ notice.
- If you don’t plan on hiring movers, be sure to schedule your moving truck far in advance as well (Connolly suggests a couple months in advance). Similar to the movers being competitive, truck rentals can also be tough to come by.
- Look at the fine print of the moving contract. Some movers charge extra fees (upward of hundreds of dollars) if furniture is heavier than expected, or if it happens to be raining on moving day.
- It’s great to label your moving boxes with the room they belong in to make moving day easier. Connolly says, “Even labeling them with ‘don’t need right away’ can be helpful.” Your future self will thank you.
- It’s also useful to be sure to use quality moving boxes all the same size and strength to ensure you don’t have a collapse in the truck during the move. This mistake can be costly and damage your items.
- Connolly suggests, if you can, to get over to your new home before the move to get your cable and electronics set up ahead of time. This will make your new place feel more like home when you actually move in.
- Think about giving the space a good cleaning while it’s empty (remember to wipe out cabinets, appliances, closet shelving, etc.).
- On your final walkthrough, check that all of the basic safety items are working (i.e. smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors, etc.).
Updating your contact information
- Submit your change of address information with the U.S. Postal Service. You can do this online for added convenience.
- Communicate your move to your homeowners or renters insurance company.
- Change your address with your loan providers, credit card companies, utility companies, etc.
- Notify subscription services that you’re moving so you don’t miss out on your next great beauty finds or BarkBox shipment.
- Update your driver’s license and vehicle registration information. Policies vary by state so make sure you know the guidelines where you live before you make your move so you don’t miss the deadline.
- Depending on how far you’re moving, you may need to update your voter registration.
- Consider fire safety in your new home. In addition to smoke detectors, be sure to have a fire extinguisher, a fireproof safe to store important documents, and start thinking about an exit route in case of an emergency.
- Have a first aid kit ready on moving day — just in case.
- If you’re planning to install a security system, research companies and schedule your installation appointment.
- Contact a locksmith about changing the locks on your new house.
- Be sure to have your tool kit and a flashlight handy before the move to make setting up your new place easier.
Moving day is exciting but it can also feel overwhelming with all the small details that need to fall into place. Here are our top tips to help make sure everything goes smoothly for you on the big day.
- Make sure everything that is supposed to be left in the home per the purchase agreement is left for you (if anything is missing, notify your agent right away)
- Swap out the locks on the doors to ensure safety in the new home
- Note where the circuit breaker and any shut-off valves are
- Check on the sump pump and ensure that it’s working properly (you don’t want a flood!)
- Take a meter reading and document this information for your records
Connolly suggests having some paper plates and cups, basic cleaning supplies, and a shower curtain handy on moving day. This way before you’re unpacked, you can still wipe down the countertops, enjoy a meal, and take a hot shower.
Essential items by room
Whether you’re taking the plunge into your first home and are outfitting your space from scratch, or you’re an established homeowner and you’re supplementing or refreshing what you already have, here’s a look at the top items to help get you started. (Longing for a comprehensive list? We’ve got you covered!)
- Drinking glasses (maybe even some champagne glasses for a celebratory move-in day toast!)
- Cooking utensils
- Cutting board
- Can opener
- Oven mitts
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Dishwashing detergent and sponge
- Dish towels
- Drawer and cabinet organizers
- Shelf liners
- Paper towel holder
- Trash can and bags
- Shower curtain/liner
- Shower hooks/rings
- Shower caddy
- Toilet seat
- Plunger/toilet brush
- Toilet paper
- Toothbrush holder
- Trash can
- Bed frame
- Box spring and mattress
- Mattress protectors
Living & Family Room
- Furniture (i.e. couch, chair, loveseat)
- Throw pillows and blankets
- Area rug
- Coffee table
- Side table
- Wall mirrors
- Curtain rods
- Tie backs
- Mop and bucket
- Broom and dustpan
- Kitchen cleaner
- Bathroom cleaner
- Window cleaner
- Toilet cleaner
- Toilet brush
- Ironing board and iron
- Laundry detergent and dryer sheets
- Smart thermostat
- Surge protectors
- HDMI cables
- Ethernet cables
- Smart locks
- Smart doorbell
- Security cameras
- Smoke detectors
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Home security system
- Fire extinguishers
- Fireproof safe
- First aid kit
- Exterior motion lights
- Basic tool kit
- Duct tape
- Light bulbs
- Tape measure
- Step ladder
- Lawn mower
- Weed whacker
- Outdoor furniture and cushions
- Leaf blower
Feeling comfortable and settled into a new space quickly makes the moving process easier. These new home essentials are just the ticket to making your transition a smooth one. Even if you’re not a planner, getting things in order will help ease stress during a move and make the entire experience more enjoyable. Cheers!
Header Image Source: (Veronika Dee / Unsplash)