So you’ve moved into a new home—yay! Maybe you’ve even celebrated with your first takeout meal in the middle of your fabulous (and empty) living room floor. But before you get too comfortable and go into a flurry of unpacking all those carefully labeled boxes, check out this list of things to do right after moving into a new place. It’ll set you up to be sitting pretty for years to come.
1. Take Photos
Photos of bare and unadorned rooms? Yep. If you’re renting, these are essential when the time comes to get your security deposit back. Photos are also important if you bought a new home, since a fair amount of time may have passed between the inspection and when the previous owner finally took a powder. If any damage occurred in the interim, or the movers scratched a previously pristine floor, document it. A gallery of pictures taken before your furniture makes it inside will be worth a thousand words—and maybe more than a couple of bucks—should you need to point out damage.
2. Check Your Belongings for Breakage
If you hired movers to either pack or move your belongings, “you have a limited amount of time to report any suspected damage or missing items.”
“Make sure that if a major appliance was moved”—such as a refrigerator, washer or dryer—“they still function as they should. Review your contract to determine liability coverage if you discover a problem.”
3. Figure Out When and Where To Leave Your Trash
As you unpack, you’ll be eager to get rid of the trash, so finding out from your landlord, homeowners association or neighbors when and where you can do that is key. “You won’t want to miss pickup day when you’ve got piles of packing materials lying around”.
4. Change The Locks
It’s your home now, but who else had the keys when the previous residents lived there? No one wants even the slightest question about safety lingering over a new home. This makes swapping out locks as soon as you can “one of the most important things homeowners can do when they are settling into a new property”
5. Register Your Car
Did you move from one country to another? If so, you’ll need to register your car. Remember to check the regulations because each countries requirements are slightly different. Penalties range from fines to impounding your vehicle if you fail to comply in a timely manner. You’ll also need to get a new driver’s license, usually within 30 days of your move.
6. Break Out the Drop Cloth
Most people don’t have the luxury of painting prior to moving in, so, if possible, paint as soon as you regain your strength from the move. “The longer you wait, the tougher it is to paint.” Most people “continue to collect and add furnishings, all of which make painting more difficult,” he says. “Moving heavy furniture or working around furniture isn’t easy, especially smaller rooms.” But with no obstructions besides neat, stackable boxes, painting is a breeze.
7. Check Your Credit Reports
Your credit reports are usually accessed during a move, as everyone from new employers and landlords need to reference them for background checks. That’s why it’s important to “request a copy of your credit report within six months of your relocation”. Besides ensuring that your address change was recorded accurately, “watch for inconsistencies that might indicate you’ve been a victim of fraud. During a move, a great deal of personal financial information is exchanged and forwarded via mail and email. It’s important to make sure your personal information wasn’t compromised.”
8. Emergency Services
Take a drive around and establish where your nearest chemist, medical doctor, hospital, dentist and vet is situated.