Every day people move into a house or apartment and wish they had done things differently. It is not their fault no one filled them in on essential tips. For most, it is their first place, so they do not know what to expect. They are just figuring things out as they go and learning from mistakes. You don’t have to make these mistakes though. This guide will fill you in on all the things you should do before moving into your first house or apartment.
- Hire the Right Movers – If you are on a budget you could be thinking that the right movers are the cheapest ones. Unfortunately, this decision could leave you full of regrets. You need to check reviews and make sure the company is licensed and insured. This is easiest done by entering the US DOT number into the Licensing and Insurance Public page on the U.S. Department of Transportation website. Also, make sure you are comparing quotes. If you base your decision on an estimate you will likely end up with a bill full of hidden fees.
- Create an Emergency Kit – You probably already know that you should create an essentials box full of everything you will need to get through the first 24 hours. However, you should also pack an emergency box and have it clearly labeled. The last thing you need is someone getting cut or stung by a bee while you are moving. It is also not fun to deal with a power outage, gas leak, etc., during a move. An emergency box will come in handy. It should have a first aid kit, candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, etc. You may even have kerosene heaters and lanterns in your box.
- Be Emergency Prepared – Having an emergency kit is great, but not enough. You should know where to shut off the water and electricity in your house. So, you need to locate the main water valve and circuit breaker. Make sure there are smoke detectors and that they are in working condition. It is also a good idea to pick up a fire extinguisher to take over there ahead of time.
- Clean – Sometimes, you do not have the option to go in and clean before you move in. However, it does make the transition much smoother, if you can. So, if you have the opportunity to scrub walls and cupboards and clean the carpets, you should definitely do so. It is a lot easier to do when the place is empty than when it is full of boxes and furniture.
- Change the Lock – If you are moving into an apartment then changing the locks probably is not an option. However, you can request to see proof that the landlord or complex did change them after the last tenant. If they didn’t ask if you can change them or pay to have them do it. New locks are cheap, and the peace of mind alone will be money well spent. If you are buying a house, you will change the locks or hire a handyman to do it.
- Change Address – You will need to notify the post office, utilities, banks, creditors, subscriptions, friends, and family of your new address. Most of these can be done right online. You will also need to change your driver’s license. This does not have to be done ahead of time but doesn’t forget about it.
- Insurance – If you don’t already have homeowner or renter’s insurance, this is something you want to look into getting before the move. It is more affordable than you think, and if the day comes when you need it, you will be glad you did the responsible thing and purchased coverage.