You’ll experience many milestones throughout your life, and moving into your first home is one you’ll never forget. This exciting event marks a rite of passage in adulthood that you should be proud of. Whether you bought your first home because of a new job, a significant life change or because the renting life isn’t for you anymore, moving into your new space can feel exciting and daunting.
Owning your first house means you are in charge of many tasks to get everything ready for move-in day. You’ll encounter several differences when you move into a house you own versus moving into a rental or apartment.
What Should I Do First When Moving Into My First Home?
Learn how to move into your first home with this helpful new home checklist to make the process easier.
1. Change Your Mailing Address
You’ll need to inform your local United States Postal Service (USPS) office of your address change around two weeks before moving into your new home. This information allows the post office to begin forwarding mail addressed to your old residence to your new address for a year after informing them. You can notify the USPS of your address change online.
You’ll also need to inform other places and services, like your credit cards, banks, workplace, insurance, doctors’ offices and anyone else who will need your updated address. Make sure you update your address on your driver’s license or ID card when you move into your home. This helps ensure you receive important documents from the state and update your voter registration location.
2. Get Your Utilities Changed Over
Changing your utilities to your new address is another task you’ll need to complete. Utilities can include gas, electricity, phone, internet, cable, water, sewage and trash collection.
As soon as you know your move-in date, you’ll need to inform the electric and gas company of your new address and the day you’ll need services turned on. You’ll also need to inform them when to turn off the services at your current place of residence. This will help ensure you continue to live in a home with proper electricity and gas.
Next, contact your cable provider to cancel your services at your previous residence and transfer them to your new home. This may include your cable TV, internet and landline.
Finally, you’ll need to notify the companies in charge of water, sewage and garbage pickup of your change of address. Depending on where you live, you may only be responsible for some of these utilities or all of them.
3. Make a Maintenance Checklist
Now that you’re a homeowner, you can’t rely on a landlord or maintenance team to fix repairs at your house. You’ll be in charge of all fixes and repairs, and it’s helpful to regularly take care of your home to catch any issues before they grow into something more serious.
Making a maintenance checklist for your new home can help ensure you don’t forget maintenance tasks. Check out this maintenance checklist to help get your list started:
- Monthly tasks: Clean plumbing fixtures, change HVAC filters, clean garbage disposal, clean drains and clean range hood filter.
- Biannually: Clean entire home, test carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector, inspect water filtration systems and clean out refrigerator coils.
- Annually: Schedule pest inspection, clean porch or patio, inspect the roof, clean gutters, schedule HVAC inspection and plumbing inspection, clean exterior dryer vent and check grout in bathroom and kitchen.
4. Measure Your House
Before you start moving your furniture over or purchase a new sofa, measure your home to make sure all your furniture and belongings will fit. It’s important to measure the rooms and the doorways in your new home to ensure your big boxes and large pieces of furniture can make their way into the home.
Other important parts of the home to measure are:
- Windows: Measure your windows to know what size curtains you need or to see if an item that is too large for a doorway can make its way into the house through a window.
- Hallways: The width and height of a hallway can determine whether an item can be transported to a particular room in your new house. You’ll also need to consider light fixtures and other objects in the hallway that can prevent large furniture from fitting.
- Stairways: Your stairs can also make it tricky to move new furniture into your house. Measure the height from each step to the ceiling and the width of the staircase to know if any large box or piece of furniture will fit.
When you hire a moving company to assist with your transition, they can help you navigate this part of the process with their moving expertise.
5. Change the Locks
One of the first things you should do when you’re handed the keys to your new home is go to the house and change the locks. The previous owners may still have keys that can access the home, and you shouldn’t take any chances on your safety.
It’s relatively easy to change the locks on your house. You can go to your local home improvement store and purchase new door knobs for all entry points into your new home. Once you change the locks, make sure everyone in your home has a copy of the new key, and secure a spare key in case you lose your original.
6. Test All the Appliances
Before you move into your home, make sure all the appliances are functioning correctly. Run all appliances to see if they are working or if you need to replace them before you move. This includes major appliances like the range, refrigerator, washer and dryer, dishwasher and microwave.
7. Clean or Replace the Air Filters
People often forget to replace their air filters regularly, but you want to be breathing clean air when you move into your new home. Once you move in, check the air filters on your HVAC system to see if they need to be cleaned or if you need to replace them. Also check the exhaust fans in your bathroom. These fixtures can collect dust and debris.
8. Label Moving Boxes With Critical Items
While you’re packing up your belongings for your big move, mark all your boxes so you know what room they go in or what important items are inside. To make your first day in your new home relaxing, you can mark the most critical boxes to ensure you locate them on your first night. Items like your toiletries, blankets, chargers and toilet paper are necessities, and labeling the moving boxes so these items are easy to find can save you time and stress.
Make Your Move Easier With David McCarthy Moving
To make your moving process smooth and straightforward, contact David McCarthy Moving to help pack your belongings for your residential move. We’ll help manage the essential details of moving and transfer your belongings to your new home safely. Reach out today to learn more about our moving services.