There’s nothing more exciting than moving to a new home for the first time. From exploring the new digs to setting up your furniture, there’s plenty to look forward to when moving. Just don’t forget to also take care of a few necessary to-dos. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of moving, it’s crucial that you stay focused on the important tasks ahead. To help you get organized before and after a move, check out our official move in checklist below. Best of luck and happy moving!

1. Inspect home for pests and damage

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for bugs, rodents and other pests to get inside a home that has been empty for long periods of time. To ensure that your new home is ready to be inhabited, we recommend hiring a local pest control service to assess whether or not you have a pest problem. It’s also a good idea to walk around the interior and exterior of the home to identify any recent damage that needs to be fixed prior to moving in.

2. Clean the new house as soon as possible

The last thing you want is to move to a dirty house with dirty house problems. From smelly rooms and dusty surfaces to mildewy showers and filthy fridges, a dirty home is not only disgusting, but also a health hazard to you and your family. So before moving into your new home, we highly recommend doing a thorough cleaning of the house (think: vacuuming, mopping and dusting). Whether you decide to hire a professional cleaning crew or prefer to do it yourself, giving the home a good cleaning will ensure a healthy, happy start in the new home.

3. Paint the home

Don’t forget to add “painting” to the top of your move in checklist. Whether you decide to have professionals paint it before moving in or you wish to DIY after you’re settled, make sure you have a paint plan in place. Before deciding on colors, head to your local paint store to purchase several samples. Make sure to paint the samples on the wall prior to deciding on a color. The reason? Paint colors look different in different lights, so it’s important that you try out a sample in the room before fully committing.

4. Enlist a handyman to have necessary repairs made

When you move into your new home, you’ll need to have all necessary repairs made as soon as possible. From fixing broken appliances to replacing AC filters, it’s important that the new home is in tip-top shape when you first move in. This will prevent you from having to deal with unexpected problems upon arrival. To get everything in working order, we recommend hiring a handyman and/or an electrician to take care of any problems prior to moving.

5. Figure out your trash removal and recycling pick up days 

Upon moving in, figure out your neighborhood’s trash and recycling pick up days as soon as possible. Most areas have at least two trash pick up days a week and one recycling pick up day a week. If you’re unsure of the pick up day, be sure to ask your neighbors for guidance.

6. Unpack strategically 

Time to start unpacking! Once the boxes have been dropped off, and the movers have left, you can finally start the unpacking process. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, focus on unpacking the most important rooms first: the bedrooms and kitchen. You’ll need essentials such as bed linens, clothing and pots during the first few days in a new home. After you’ve unpacked the necessities, take your time unpacking the remainder of the house.

7. Change the locks 

Don’t forget to change the locks when moving to a new home. From cleaners to neighbors, there’s no telling who the previous owners gave their keys to. For safety and security purposes, it’s important that you hire a locksmith asap to rekey the home.

8. Check smoke alarms and install carbon monoxide detectors 

With all the excitement surrounding a move, it’s easy to forget necessary safety precautions. When moving into your new home, make sure to check all smoke detector batteries and replace if needed. Go ahead and order several carbon monoxide detectors before moving in as well. You should have at least one installed on every level of your home.

9. Explore your neighbourhood and meet the neighbours 

After moving to a new neighborhood, it’s important that you explore the area. Find the local grocery store, coffee shop and hardware store. Walk your dog and meet the neighbors. Discover a new running path. Whatever you do, don’t just sit inside and wait for people to introduce themselves. Get outside and acquaint yourself with your new surroundings.

10. Change your address

From your credit card billing addresses to your snail mail, it’s important that you go ahead and change your address once you move in. 

11. Baby-proof and kid-proof the home

Moving with babies and children? You are going to need to child-proof the new home as soon as possible. We recommend starting by removing any potentially dangerous moving supplies (think: scissors, packing tape, plastic bags etc), placing outlet covers on top of the electrical outlets, blocking stairs with a gate, removing window cords, securing furniture to the floor and baby-proofing cabinets with medicine and chemicals inside.