We all know that moving can be stressful—even more so if you don’t plan for what’s coming. But how can you plan for something you’ve never done? Here are our best tips for moving into your first home, so you can be prepared for the unexpected during moving.
Planning for unexpected moving expenses
Naturally, you’ve prepared to pay your movers (or treat your friends to lots of pizza and beer, whatever works!) but there are some moving expenses that first-timers often forget:
Unusual utility costs and fees – Sometimes moving into a new place, especially if it’s in a new city or state, will mean fairly large deposits for utilities. If you’re going from an apartment to a house you may have new bills for the garbage and sewer, for example. Also, how you heat a home changes from place to place. Will you have a furnace? A radiator? Will you need propane, oil, firewood, or anything else? Make sure you know before you’re hitting the road.
Insurance surprises – Needless to say, surprises from your insurance company are never fun. You probably already know that your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance costs will likely change when you move, but did you know that your car insurance, your life insurance, and sometimes even your health insurance rates might also change along with your address? Find out well in advance so your first bill in your new place isn’t a shock.
Storage – Often when you move you discover you have a lot less space than you imagined. If so, you’ll need to invest in some storage until you figure out what to do with your stuff. For your own sanity, know where the storage options are, and how much they cost so you can make a quick decision if needed.
New stuff – We’ve all been there: that old, rickety table collapses on the way out to the moving truck and gets left on the curb. Despite your best efforts, items get ruined in the move. Be ready to replace things that might be too old or in too poor a state for your new place. Cut these costs considerably by renting things like furniture or appliances initially.
Once you take possession before your stuff is inside
Congratulations, you made it! You’re halfway there. But before you start moving in, take steps to stay on the safe side:
Change the locks – No matter what, always do this immediately.
Find out where key infrastructure is – Get acquainted with the main water valve, the circuit breaker, the hot water heater, and the thermostat. Find out where everything is for those times you might need to be relighting a pilot light, or checking to see if a breaker was tripped.
Look for plumbing problems – Even if you had a home inspection, double check. Look for running toilets, dripping faucets, and any signs of leaks around the water heater.
Pest control – Not everyone does this, but it can be a good idea—especially if your place has been vacant for awhile (or if previous tenants were slobs)—to schedule a visit from pest control.
Steam the carpets – If you’ve got carpets, steam clean them before you move in, even if they look perfect. You’d be surprised what can get trapped in there.
Moving day and beyond
As you’re finally moving into your new place, enjoy the excitement! This is a big deal. Here are some final pointers to ease the way:
Drawers – To save time and effort, tightly fold your clothing and keep it in your drawers. You can pull the drawers themselves out of the furniture’s frame to carry to the truck, and then replace them for the ride.
Cleaning supplies – Even if your new place has been professionally cleaned, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll need to clean something up on moving day. Keep cleaning supplies handy so you don’t have to dig through things or make a frustrating trip to the store.
Keep a lid on your buying – It’s a lot of fun to shop for a new place and it’s even easier to get caught up in the excitement of the move, but don’t buy everything at once. Ease into it, and remember that you can save a lot of money—not to mention try out a new style—by renting furniture in your new place until you’re really ready to buy.
Extra cash – Remember, most people end up ordering out a lot for at least the whole week of their move. Be ready with some extra cash set aside for this so you don’t worry about ordering out, and enjoy your take-out pizza in peace.
Get out your welcome mat! – Even though you may be tired or feeling kind of grubby after the move, make sure you wave and say hi to new neighbors you might see. Leave out a welcome mat, literally, if you have one. Let people know that you’re glad to be there, and eager to meet them. You might make some new friends, or even score a dinner invite when you’re at the end of your unpacking rope and can’t find a single pan or dish anywhere.
The bottom line
Moving can be a chore, especially as a first-timer. But if you keep everything you should know about moving into your first home in mind, you’ll be great! Don’t forget, you can cross a few tasks off your list, get a great new look, and save plenty of money by renting furniture for your new place from Fashion Furniture Rental.