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Whether you’ve moved across the country or just across town, relocating is a big life adjustment – both stressful and exciting. Arriving in your new abode is just the first step in the long process. Once you get there, then comes unpacking, a never-ending sea of boxes and rooms that look like a hurricane hit them.
So how do you go from just moved to settled-in? Here are the tips we live by to make settling in less stressful. Trust us, it can be done!
Take Care of Business
The items in this category can often be accomplished before your actual moving day. If you haven’t gotten these done before you move, place these at the top of your priority list.
Change your Address
Make sure the post office, DMV, your banks, health insurance company and any other loan institutions know you’ve moved. This is vital for getting important tax forms and communications.
Transfer Utilities and Services
Be sure to stop water, gas, electric, and phone service to your old home, and turn them on at your new residence. In order of priority: water, power, gas, then phone.
You can’t move in without using the restroom or drinking water. You’ll need to see what you’re doing, and will need to heat or cool your home. Eventually, you’ll need to cook a meal.
Set Up Home Security
While home security may not be the first thing you think of while staring at piles of boxes in your living room, it should be. If your home came with an installed security system, it’s essential to figure out how to use it and set it up right away.
While you undoubtedly moved to a safe neighborhood, the fact is that you did just move, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Since you have all your earthly goods with you, including important papers and documents, it’s essential to make them as secure as you can.
Set up your home alarm or security system if it’s installed by the time you arrive. Otherwise, follow a tip all the pros recommend – change the locks on your door.
This move ensures your family is the only one with keys to your home.
The next step before you unpack is to give your house a good deep clean.
While the former owners definitely cleaned carpets, floors, walls, and windows before they left, it’s always good to give your home a thorough clean before you move in and unpack.
Vacuum and mop floors to clear away dust, wipe down cupboards and windows, and scrub walls if any signs of mildew are present. Clean down countertops, scrub toilets, and wipe the insides of your showers.
By giving your home a good clean, you’ll not only have peace of mind that the environment is up to your standards, but you’ll have one less thing to do during the unpacking process.
Move Boxes and Start Unpacking
Before you start opening boxes, move them into their appropriate rooms. Boxes of kitchen supplies should be stacked out of the way but ready for unpacking in the kitchen. If old enough, your kids can be in charge of making sure their labeled boxes make it into their rooms. Décor and seasonal boxes can wait in the garage or basement.
Unpack essential items first.
The kitchen should be a high priority since you’ll need it for daily meals. Place bowls, plates, cups, and utensils into cupboards. Unbox cooking supplies you regularly use and unpack those as well.
By having your essentials ready, you’ll be able to seamlessly begin unpacking other rooms, knowing you won’t have to dig out your kitchen by dinnertime.
Introduce Yourself Around
It might be tempting to exhaust yourself unpacking and then meet the neighbors. All this will do, however, is delay introductions and leave you feeling worn out, tired, and alone.
Take some time in the middle of unpacking to visit your immediate neighbors. Introduce yourself and the kids, get to know names and learn where the other kids are on your street. Meeting your neighbors will help get you plugged into the community and help your kids start making friends.
You just might find your new acquaintances coming around with homemade cookies or a meal to welcome you in return!
Put Up Knick Knacks and Décor
Once you have your essentials and most of the non-essentials unpacked, it’s time to take out your home décor.
You start putting holes in walls, lay wall décor on the floor. Be sure to get a feel for what you want your walls to look like before you put pictures and items up.
If you have a specific theme in mind, lay all décor for each room before you start mounting items. By envisioning your idea and laying it out ahead of time, you can switch around pieces of décor until you’ve made your home look exactly the way you desire.
Take It One Day at a Time
Now that you’ve read our go-to tips, you should have no trouble establishing a solid game plan for settling into your new home. Whether you’re looking forward to unboxing or meeting the neighbors, we hope these tips will help you smoothly transition into your new chapter of life.