There’s plenty to do when you first move into a new home, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
Our 7 step guide will get you on the right track from the first night and have will have you settled in no time.
1. Unpack the essentials
On your first night in your new home you will only need the essentials. Make sure you prioritise your unpacking. If you have followed our first night must haves guide then you will have your essentials close to hand.
Depending on your family size you might not need all 4 boxes for your essentials, one might be enough. Make a list of the things you’ll need for your first night and stick to it. Pack these items into one box and clearly label the box. That’s everything you need in the one place so no need to dig to the bottom of every box to find what you need.
2. Make it child friendly
If you have young children its a good idea to make the house child friendly on day one. You will be very busy over the next few days and your attention may be elsewhere. Take time as soon as you can to go round every room and look for anything that could be unsafe. Trips and falls are the most common ways that children get hurt so make sure rug have non-slip mats underneath. You may want to add gates to the stairs and any rooms such as the kitchen that you don’t want your little explorers to venture. Attaching corner protectors to furniture and childproof latches to cupboard doors and drawers will give peace of mind.
3. Help your pets feel at home
Pets can find moving home a tricky time and become very stressed. The general advice for all pets is to put them into a quiet room, somewhere away from all the hustle and bustle and commotion. Make sure they have plenty of food and water and some toys to keep them occupied. Check on them regularly, give lots of cuddles and the occasional treat. If you have a dog or cat make sure the room is secure and they cant get out. Some pets will try to find their way back home from unfamiliar surroundings. Remember, if your pet is microchipped you will need to update the address details.
4. Sort out your utilities
When you move into your new home you will need to take meter readings as soon as you can. If you are moving into a new build this will be done during your handover and your builder will send away the relevant forms to set up your new accounts. If your not moving into a new build then you will have to call the energy providers and give them your meter readings. This will set up new accounts for your new address and you wont end up paying for energy used by the previous owners.
5. Change your address and set up direct debits
Make sure you leave a forwarding address at your old home. You can also register with Royal Mail’s redirection service. Once your moved into your new home you will need to let people know you have moved. There could be a lot of people that you need to inform but start by updating your bank or building society so they can change your address on your accounts. Next sort out the things that involve standing orders or direct debits. This could be things like TV license, insurance, internet provider, mobile phone provider, Car finance and rates.
Its a good idea to update schools and employers too. You will also need to inform your doctor, dentist, vet, DVLA, electoral commission and any subscriptions.
6, Get to know the local area
If your moving to a new area there are a ew things to familiarise your self with once you are feeling a bit more settled. You may need to register with a new doctor and dentist, its a good idea to find one and register as soon as you can. Look for the police and fire stations so you know where these are. You will need to know when the rubbish is collected, keep an eye on what your neighbours do or go online to your council website. Check out the public transport links for getting about.
Don’t forget to look out for the leisure centre and any clubs you can join. Where are the nearest shops, pubs and restaurants ? If you have children look out for after school activities in the area such as sports clubs they can join.
7. Get to know your neighbours
Once you have got all of that out of the way its’s time to meet your neighbours. Its quite common that neighbours may pop round in the first few days to say hello and welcome you. Some may leave you to get moved in as they have all been through a house move and know how busy you are. If your nor comfortable knocking your neighbours door to introduce yourself, make sure you take the time to so hello and acknowledge them in the street. Generally an initial acknowledgment will lead to a comfortable conversation. Knowing your neighbours can help you feel safer in your home, especially helpful if you are away on holiday and know they are keeping an eye out around your house.