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10 Critical Things I Always Do After Moving to a New House

Chris Wilson - Writer for Top10.com
10 Critical Things I Always Do After Moving to a New House
Moving to a new home is an exciting adventure but often comes with its fair share of stress.

When it comes to your new home, feeling safe in your home is one of the most important aspects to consider. By integrating a good home security system into your moving process, you'll make your new home experience feel so much better.

Use the strategies below to assess what you need before you move, on moving day, as well as things to consider in the months after you've moved in but are still getting fully settled.

1. Get a home security system

Home security systems are installed can be professionally or with a DIY kit. These systems often include door and window sensors, motion detectors, and even security cameras.

Installing a home security system in a new home enhances safety, deters potential burglars, and provides peace of mind by monitoring for emergencies like break-ins, fires, and carbon monoxide leaks.

Each home has different needs: When we moved into our home we decided to add some security cameras as there were areas around the home that we couldn't see as well from inside. Knowing this, we selected a security system that would allow us to have the sensors we wanted, as well as the security camera views, all from the same app on our phone.

2. Have the locks re-keyed

It's best to change the locks on your new house right away. You never know who might have a key, even if you're not worried about the previous owner.

Scheduling a locksmith to visit or, if you feel comfortable doing it yourself, changing the locks yourself is a good idea. All interior and exterior doors to your home, as well as the windows, should have their locks rekeyed.

If you have a home warranty, check with them to see if they cover this service. I was able to have a home completely re-keyed for no cost, as my home warranty included a one-time re-keying of the home as part of their coverage.

3. Do a full walkthrough

It's a good idea to walk through your new home before moving. Seeing the house as a blank slate allows you to envision how your personal belongings will fit in, especially if it was staged when you first saw it. Bring a tape measure to help you plan more precisely where things like furniture will go.

Not only should you use the walkthrough as a vision board, but it's also crucial to remember that all of the conditions of the sale were fulfilled. Verify that all agreed-upon repairs have been made, all appliances that were supposed to stay (or be removed), and the outlets, switches, and other fixtures are in good working order.

Before moving in, do a full walkthrough and bring a tape measure to help you plan where things like furniture will go even more precisely.

4. Setup your utilities and connectivity

As part of your moving checklist, you should make sure that your utilities (electricity, gas, and water) are set up so they are ready for your move-in date because you probably don't want to spend your first night in your new home in the dark. In addition to standard utilities, think about internet, Wi-Fi, a phone line, and cable.

Depending on how far you're moving, some companies will let you transfer service from one location to another, especially if the company serves both addresses, but other times you'll need to completely cancel one location before starting over at another.

Make sure that your utilities (electricity, gas, and water) are set up so they are ready for your move-in date.

5. Have the house cleaned

When your house is empty, there is no better time to clean it thoroughly. It's worth a scrub down if you have the time between closing and the point at which your home is overrun with moving boxes.

Even if you build or purchase a new construction home, there are still elements of construction debris that are left behind, and having the home deep cleaned will help you and your family settle in comfortably.

6. Plan for where things will go

Spending time thinking about where things will go will help make the move-in process go smoother.

As you've seen your new home as a blank slate, use this time to think about how you and your family, will want to use the space. It's important to consider where things that you use every day will be located - for example, where is the best place to hang jackets? or leave shoes by the door?

Once you've made the plan, it's time to start unpacking!

7. Locate important spots in the home

Hope for the best, but be ready for the worst, as the saying goes. The worst time to search for your circuit breaker in a new house is right after the power has abruptly gone out.

Keep track of where the main water valve, fuse box, or circuit breakers are as you move in. Similar to cleaning, these should be much easier to locate when the home is empty. Make a note of the locations of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to ensure they are working properly.

Make a note of the locations of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to ensure they are working properly.

A home we recently purchased actually had 2 circuit breaker panels, and I was able to use the time before moving in to locate what items were wired to each panel, as well as ensure they were labeled correctly, making future troubleshooting and electrical work much easier and less stressful. We also identified the need to add smoke detector, which was quickly and easily done before we moved in.

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8. Explore your new community

Take a walk or drive around your new neighborhood to explore when you need a break from unpacking; focus not only on your neighborhood but also the amenities and attractions that are close by. Find the shops, community centers, and tourist attractions that will become your family's new favorite hangouts.

Getting to know your neighbors is not a lost art, and being cordial with your neighbors can help your new home feel more like a home.

There are numerous social platforms available for connections specific to a given neighborhood. Find out what's going on in your new neighborhood by joining those.

Getting to know your neighbors is not a lost art, and being cordial with your neighbors can help your new home feel more like a home. You don't have to go door to door (Though that still works!), but just taking time to say hello as you see a new face can go a long way.

9. Sign up with the local neighborhood watch

While there are various apps and social platforms to get alerts about going on in your neighborhood, there's still tremendous value in joining your local neighborhood watch.

You can search the National Neighborhood Watch database to find your local law enforcement agency. Reach out to them for more info on the local neighborhood watch and how you can get signed up and start attending meetings as a volunteer. They likely have a notification system that will keep you updated on the meetings and happenings around you.

We found this to be a great way to both learn about our new community as well as meet people who lived there. Getting to know these people gave us a better connection with them and we were able to feel much safer about our new community.

10. Have an emergency plan

When it comes to emergency preparedness, it's never too early to start planning. Establish a plan of action for each family member's escape in the event of a fire. Create a plan of action and a place to shelter if you relocate to an area prone to natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes.

When you draft your plan, be sure to include things such as phone numbers for your home security system, neighbors, phone number and location of the closest hospital, contact info for the fire department, police department, and more.

Securing Your Home First

As you can see, many things go into ensuring that you have safety and security as you get settled in your new home and community. If you decide to install a security system yourself, companies like SimpliSafe and Cove are there to help along the way. They can help with the traditional sensors and detectors needed to protect your home and provide solutions that integrate with various smart home offerings.

After moving, don't feel that you must complete everything by yourself, or right away. Getting used to a new home can take time.

» Already started packing? Take a look at what moving companies will and won't move.

Chris Wilson - Writer for Top10.com
Chris Wilson contributes to Top10.com as a CSPM with over 23 years of experience in the North American security market. His expertise includes system design, project management, and solutions engineering. Chris has written for SDM and Locksmith Ledger and co-published various blogs within the security industry.