Six Things to Do Before Moving

Buying a new home and moving can be one of the most exhilarating moments in your life. But next to a death, it tops the list as of one of the biggest causes of stress. Great news! We’ve put together a condensed list of the top things you can do to plan ahead and avoid some of the common pitfalls of moving. Get a handle on these tasks, and then revel in that new-home feeling your first night in the new place.

1. Set up internet and power before moving in.

What’s worse than realizing you don’t have hot water or electricity when you arrive at the new digs? How about attempting to binge Stranger Things the day the new season drops (which also coincides with your move-in date), but no luck. You forgot to activate your internet and power! Never fear, with this list you won’t make that mistake.

2. Clean the new place. Or, better yet, have a professional do it.

We get it. Not everyone can throw money at professional cleaners. If you don’t have funds for that simply laying around (and you just bought a house, so, totally makes sense), consider going by to make sure the previous owners did the job the way you like it. Some new houses have been vacant for a while and need a quick once over, and let’s be honest, everyone has different standards of clean. So don’t be afraid to do a quick pass with the vacuum and the microfiber cloth, then hit the kitchen and bathrooms with your favorite disinfectants. It may give you a bit of peace knowing that the place is really yours.

3. If necessary, plan to have your young children looked after during the move.

Depending on the age of your children, it may be necessary to arrange a fun a playdate for a few hours with a family member or a friend. Kids under a certain age require more attention than older children, who can help carry small items or with packing/unpacking boxes. Either way, have a plan in mind for what your kids will or won’t be doing (the baby won’t be crying in a play-yard while mom and dad try to supervise the movers or unpack, right?).

4. All that address and map stuff.

Need a map for your new area? Hardly! Unless you don’t have access to Google Maps, Yelp, or Apple Maps. That said, not everyone will know where you’ve moved. Consider using the easy link on the USPS website to update your address so that your snail mail can still find you. For important items like credit card statements (if you still haven’t opted out of print statements—welcome to the future!), be sure to track down the places that rely on an up-to-date address. Some states have laws about having a correct physical address in the state driver’s license database, so remember to check that one out as well. And services like PayPal, Venmo, and Apple Pay all like to have a correct billing address for electronic payment transactions.

5. Pack a Go-To Box.

What is a go-to box? It’s a term we invented to describe The Box that has all the tools you’ll be sure to need the day you arrive. Until they invent furniture that shrinks/transforms for a move, many large pieces need to be dismantled to fit through the front door. Put screws and other small pieces in ziplock bags or your choice of an eco-friendly container, for easy access. Also throw in the tools required to put them back together like screwdrivers, Allen wrenches, and any other small bits that you’ll need to put bookshelves back together. You’ll also want to put together a box that contains everything you’ll need to feel comfortable the first night, like toothbrushes, toilet paper, bedding, toiletries, pajamas, and stuff for the kids or pets.

6. During the move, have pet care arranged so that Max the cat doesn’t run out the open front door in a panic.

Many a family pet have been lost into the wilds of a new city during the frightening transition. Whether it happens in those crucial hours as boxes or large items like the grandfather clock are being hauled through the front door, or weeks following the move as Rover is acclimating to the new digs, consider having identity tags on your pet, a microchip, or the pet kept in a room away from the exits where windows and doors are sealed. A plan that considers your best feline or canine pet will go a long way to keep you in love with your own transition.

There you go! These can be done in any order, just remember to do them before you’re about to lay down in your bed after a long day, but you can’t find the bed sheets or flip on Netflix, or even actually find the bed (don’t forget to put the frame together)!

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