You are ready to move in, unpack, and breathe a sigh of relief that the process is finally complete, right? Well, before you move into that new apartment or house there are a few things you should do first to ensure a positive experience.

  1. Measure – Simply looking at the place will not tell you if your furniture will fit. Realtors have a way of staging space, so it looks significantly larger than it is. Not to mention, the room size is not your only concern. You also need to make sure everything will fit through doors, stairways, hallways, and elevators. 
  1. Compare Movers – Do not make the move any harder than it has to be by handling the process yourself or hiring the first movers you find that give you a decent quote. You need to look into the company you are interested in. Take the time to read reviews, and check the rating with the Better Business Bureau. 
  1. Clean – Fair enough, sometimes you simply do not have the time (or the keys) to get into your new place and clean before you move. However, if you can get the keys a day early, and if you can make time to clean, you really should try to before moving everything in. It is a lot easier, and you will feel more comfortable having your belongings placed in a home that meets your clean standards. 
  1. Change Your Address – It can take a week or more for your mail to get transferred to your new address, so do not wait until the last minute to do so. You will also need to notify utilities, banks, creditors, newspapers, magazines you subscribe to, friends, and family. 
  1. Update Homeowners or Renters Insurance – If you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy you will want to contact your agent directly. Make sure your new home is covered from the time you have your keys and your old home is covered until you are officially moved in. This will generally overlap for a few days. You should also find out what coverage is provided for your belongings during the move, so you know how much extra moving insurance you need. 
  1. Have an Emergency Kit – A first aid kit should always be accessible. Also, if there is a going to be one day of the year when the power goes out, it will be when you are waist-deep inboxes. Have a box clearly marked with emergency preparedness items and make sure it includes snacks, water, emergency numbers, a solar cellphone charger, and anything else you may need. 
  1. Discover Electricity Breaker and Water Shutoff – Stumbling around in a dark home you are not familiar with trying to find a circuit breaker is no fun. Trying to find a water shut-off valve when you need one is no party either. While you are at it, test the smoke detectors and know where the fire extinguisher is, as well. Creating an emergency escape plan should not be put off either, especially if you have children. 
  1. Change Locks – If you are moving into a rental, ask to see proof that the locks were changed. Just because your landlord got two sets of keys back does not mean there are not more out there floating around. If you purchased a home, always change the locks.