After days of hectic packing, you’ve finally moved into your new home. You are excited, but also worried whether you’ve made the right decision. There are dozens of boxes in every room and you are wondering when you will be finally able to get everything done. But don’t worry, here are our top nine tips to help you get settled into your new home as quickly and easily as possible.
Review your home’s safety features
Change the outside door locks of your new home as soon as you move in. If you are renting the property, you may want to check with your landlord/property manager before doing this. Don’t skip this step because there may be many keys out there you are not aware of, especially if the property has been rented before. Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and the fire extinguisher is filled. Also find out where the circuit breaker and water shut-off are located.
Clean before you begin unpacking
Your new home would have most likely been cleaned before you moved in, but if you are anything like me, you won’t be able to sleep until you have stamped the place with your own brand of cleaning. Hopefully, you have set aside a few cleaning supplies – a multi-surface cleaning agent, a dry/wet mop, a toilet scrubber, disinfectant wipes - in your move-in day essentials bag.
Hit the main areas first – your bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. Clean the rest of the space before you start unpacking. It can be quite difficult to give a thorough scrubbing after the furniture has been arranged and all of your stuff has been put away.
Tackle boxes on priority
You don’t have to unpack everything the first day. Get the bedroom set up first so that you have a place to rest at night. If you have kids, help them unpack some of their favorite toys or books to keep them company in your new home while you try to set up the house.
Deal with the kitchen next, because obviously, you have to eat at some time! Unpack what you would need immediately for the next morning – essentials like paper napkins, a frying pan, a toaster, a coffee maker, plates, mugs and a few utensils. The rest can remain in boxes.
Move on to the bathrooms. Unpack your toiletries, bathroom mats and shower curtain. Put some fresh towels out, and there you go - you are set for your first day in your new home. Don’t forget to clean up as you go so that you don’t end up walking through mounds of trash the next morning to get to the front door.
Keep track of your paperwork
Store all your moving-related paperwork, bills and receipts in a folder. You may need them when you file your next tax return. If you have not already made arrangements for change-of-address at the post office, do it as soon as possible. Make sure that your bank, office, and insurance provider all have the new address. Register your children with a local pediatrician and place a transfer request for their medical records. Find out if you need to get your driver’s license updated.
Continue with the unpacking
Start unpacking one room at a time – this will help you stay focused on the task at hand and complete it quickly. It is always easy to get overwhelmed when faced with several open boxes at once. If necessary, allot separate rooms to each member of the family so that the entire burden does not fall on one person.
If you come across stuff that you have to put in storage, sort them into separate designated boxes to be transferred to the attic or the basement at a later date. Make sure that each item you take out of a box finds a proper place in your new home immediately. Don’t leave things lying around, adding to the mess and clutter.
Start making it a home
You know all the little things that make a house your home? I’m talking about your children’s artwork, your favorite decorative vases, paintings, framed vacation photos, prized books – take some time and arrange them around the house so that it starts feeling more like home.
As difficult as it might be with most of the stuff still lying around unpacked, cook your family’s favorite dinner and sit down for some much-needed “together” time. It helps reassure your family that it does not matter where you are, the most important thing is that you are together.
Get into your regular routine
Moving hits children and pets especially hard, so get back to your regular routine as soon as possible to make it easier on them. If there are a few things your children look forward to each week, such as a movie night on Friday, don’t skip them. Get your children registered in their new school quickly so that they have something to look forward to every morning.
Explore your neighborhood
Introduce yourself to your new neighbors (if you haven’t met them yet) and other residents in the community. Familiarize yourself with the local events and happenings by subscribing to the local newspapers and magazines. The community library is another great place to start to get to know your area. Take your children to the neighborhood park where they can meet new friends. Find out which are the best restaurants in town, who delivers the fastest pizza. or where to shop for the best bargains. Volunteer at your children’s schools and get to know other parents. If possible, invite them over for tea so that your children have a chance to make new friends.
Celebrate the new beginning
Throw a party for your new neighbors and colleagues and get ready to have some fun. Take up a new hobby or join the local health club. If you’ve always wanted to decorate your new house in a different way, now is your chance to try that out. It’s a new beginning, make the most of it!