Although moving home is incredibly exciting, it can also be overwhelming and stressful.
Not only is there the exhilarating journey of finding your dream home, but also the not-so-exhilarating paperwork that comes with it. Once you’ve made it through the gauntlet, there’s only one thing left to do: move into your new home.
Moving — even if it's just up the road — takes precision planning to make sure everything reaches the right place at the right time.
Beyond physically moving boxes from one place to another, there are a number of additional considerations to factor in before your new house truly feels like home.
Now that you’re ready to move into your new house, here are a few of the things you should have on your priority list.
Even if the previous owners or tenants have handed over their keys, you should still get your locks changed. You never know how many keys might be floating around among previous residents of your new house.
Ideally, you should get the locks changed before you move in, but if that’s not possible, you should do it as soon as you can.
Setting up your utilities is probably one of the most tedious parts of moving into a new home, but it’s also one of the most important.
If, for example, you forget to reconnect your gas and electricity before moving in, you may find you'll be stuck without them until you've updated your details with your service provider.
Before you move, you should make a list of all of the utilities you need to transfer and, if possible, make a booking with your service provider so that they can do any necessary installation as soon as you move in.
Some of the utilities you may need to transfer, reconnect, or sign up for include:
Depending on your child's age or the types of pets you have, child- and pet-proofing are highly customisable to your specific needs.
Before deciding what needs to be child- or pet-proofed, go through your new house and try to see things through their eyes to anticipate what kind of trouble they could get into.
This will depend on how old your child is. Younger kids will need constant supervision, while older kids may need minimal child-proofing.
Here are some of the most popular ways to child-proof your home:
If you have a furry family companion, you must consider how you will pet-proof your house with your unique circumstances in mind.
You may want to consider implementing these pet-proofing techniques in your new home:
If it’s possible, you should do a house deep cleaning before moving day. After all, cleaning only becomes more difficult when you’re navigating around furniture and moving boxes.
If you’re only able to clean after you’ve moved in, prioritise a house deep cleaning before you unpack anything. Not only will this make cleaning easier, but you’ll also protect your items from getting dirty or splashed with water.
Here are some tips for effective deep cleaning:
Fans, light fixtures, shelves, and cupboards are likely to be as dirty as the floors — but they probably haven’t been cleaned for a much longer time. Start by cleaning the tops of each room, as dust is likely to settle on the floors, which you can then clean later.
If your new home comes with appliances, you should sanitise them on the inside and out, even if they look clean. For an easy, low-cost cleaning solution, mix water and white vinegar and use a rag or cloth to clean all surfaces.
Clean and sanitise every surface in the bathrooms, including the toilet paper holder, towel rack, and door handles. If you can afford the extra expense, replace the toilet seats — it’s the most effective way to know that they’re truly clean.
Your floors should be the last thing you clean. For wooden or tiled floors, vacuum, then sweep up any remaining debris. After that, mop all of the floors with a cleaning solution and warm water.
If your floors are carpeted, you should use a steam cleaner for the most efficient cleaning. If you don’t have one, you’ll want to call a professional cleaning service. While vacuuming may make carpets look cleaner, this is just a surface solution and won’t remove deep dirt, dust, or allergens.
One of the most frustrating things about unpacking in your new home is trying to figure out where your essentials, like your toothbrush or clothes, are packed after a long and exhausting day.
When you pack up your old place, remember to write a brief list of contents on the front of each box. Along with helping you know what to unpack first, this will also help you during the move. You and your movers will be able to instantly see which boxes are fragile, and which ones can be tossed into the back of a van without any breakage.
It’s tempting to unpack as quickly as possible to make your house feel more like a home than a storage unit, but taking a strategic approach will end up saving you time and a lot of potential frustration. Don’t be too hasty to unpack. It can take a couple of months to work out where some items (like wall art and photos) should go.
Here’s what you should focus on unpacking in each room for an easy first day:
After getting your utilities set up, this is the second-most time-consuming thing new homeowners need to do, and it will probably take a couple of weeks to complete. Some of the most important changes and updates you’ll need to make include:
Unless you’re moving into a newly-built house or apartment, chances are that there are going to be repairs you’ll need to carry out, especially if renters lived there before you and the previous owner didn’t carry out repairs unless they were essential.
It’ll probably take a few weeks of living in the house to spot all of the repairs that need to be done. For example, a door that doesn’t close properly might not have bothered the previous residents but, if you have kids or pets, it may be important that they can’t access a particular room.
Here are some of the repairs you should prioritise when moving in:
If entry and exit doors or windows don’t close properly, you’ll want to have these repaired as soon as possible. You don’t want to make it easy for burglars to simply walk through your front door or enter through a window.
Any issues that may compromise your water or electricity should be addressed immediately because these can lead to even greater — and costlier — damage further down the line. If you notice something that has the potential to cause damage or injury (especially if you have kids), you should have these repaired as soon as you can.
Even if you aren’t particularly handy, there are a lot of repairs you can carry out yourself with a bit of elbow grease and the help of the internet. Not only does this save you money in the short term, but having the confidence to carry out minor repairs will continue to save you money over the long term. Remember, plumbing and electrical repairs should always be left to professionals.
Meeting your neighbours isn’t about becoming friends with them, but having a friendly relationship is hugely beneficial in the long run. There’s no better resource than your neighbours if you want a handyman recommendation or need to know which day rubbish gets collected.
It’s also important to know who your neighbours are for safety and security reasons. For example, if you see someone lurking outside a neighbour’s window, you’ll be able to tell whether your neighbour locked themselves out or if it’s a potential criminal that you should alert your neighbourhood community group to.
Getting to know your neighbours can be as simple as smiling, waving and introducing yourself whenever you happen to meet them. If you’re outgoing, you can even host a welcome party or go door-to-door to introduce yourself.
While moving into a new home is always a little overwhelming, following these simple steps will make the process much easier and faster.
It is a lot to do, so don’t be afraid to reach out to family members or friends (ideally ones with a van) for help. The sooner you take care of the details and get the grunt work done, the sooner you can settle into your dream home.
To find out more about everything you need to know about buying, selling and moving, read our expert resources on our content hub to make your next move as seamless as possible.