You may not realize it in the beginning, but the first 24 hours in the home you just moved to are really important because they can set the tone for the entire post-relocation period.
You definitely won’t be thrilled to learn that there are a number of essential things to do right when you move in, and failure to get care of those crucial post-move tasks will prove to be a bad start, at least in most cases.
Of course, what you do on the very first day in your new house or apartment will depend on the exact time of arrive at the residence. If it’s already too late in the evening, then you’ll only have time to have something quick to eat, take a shower and go to bed. In such cases, the next day will your first day in your new house.
Here are the top 7 things to do on the first day in a new house or apartment.
#1. Document the condition of the house or apartment
First things first! If you’re a renter, make sure you document the condition of your home immediately after you move into it. If your landlord has requested that you fill in a condition report, your priority task is to get it done as soon as you can.
Take as many photos of the place as you can, especially if you notice any problems such as pre-existing damage or something out of the ordinary. Make sure you take detailed notes as well as you’re doing the first-day walk-through of the place you’ll be calling home from now on.
Ultimately, having a detailed record of what the new home looks like will help you get your security deposit when you decide to leave it one day.
See also: What things to photograph when moving, and why
#2. Place all boxes in the correct rooms
If you’ve hired movers to unload your items from the moving truck, then they will carry all the boxes in the right rooms provided that those boxes are clearly labeled. However, if you’re unloading the moving vehicle with a bunch of friends, then it’s much more tempting to just pile up all the boxes in the middle of the largest room and call it a day.
Remember that a few extra efforts at the end of Moving day can make things so much easier on the first day in your new home and the next few days after that. Save yourself tons of time and hours of hard work by placing all boxes and pieces of furniture in their corresponding rooms for easier access.
#3. Unpack your essentials boxes
There’s a reason why your essentials boxes are called like that – they should contain items of absolute necessity that will help you survive the first day or the first few days in case the rest of your household goods are yet to be delivered.
Make sure you unpack your Open-First boxes immediately after moving in. Get the much-needed access to toiletries and various items for personal hygiene, bedding, a change of clothes for each family member, medications, essential electronic devices, and so on.
Some families choose to pack one essentials box per person – a tactical move that really simplifies the entire process of locating, identifying and unpacking those survival boxes.
Read also: What to pack in an open-first box
#4. Put together all the essential furniture
The crazy-busy and energy-draining moving day may be over but the very first day in your new house or apartment is not the right time to put up your feet and relax. Just not yet.
What to do immediately after you move in is to set up the important pieces of furniture – the ones that will need to be re-assembled before they can be used. Needless to say, the kitchen table, some chairs, and the bed are top priority because, you know, you’re going to need them very soon.
If your household items, including the major furniture, have not arrived yet, then it’s time to improvise and use a sleeping bag to spend the night.
Useful info: Is it better to move furniture or buy new?
#5. Install your large appliances
If you’ve decided to move some of the large household appliances to the new home, then one of the first things to do after moving in is to install them properly.
Position the refrigerator, cooking stove, washing machine or dishwasher to their pre-determined places in the new home and set them up for proper use. Follow the instructions on their user’s manuals to complete this important post-move task.
In case you’re not sure how to install those large appliances, don’t risk possible damage to them or injury to yourself. Instead, seek professional assistance.
Good to know: How to move household appliances safely
#6. Tend to your loved ones
If you just moved home with children, then you must clearly realize that nothing is more important or more urgent than the safety, comfort, and well-being of your loved ones. Make sure your angels are showered with attention and all their needs are satisfied so that they can make it through the initial shock of the strange place.
Find something interesting for your kids to do while you work on other important post-move tasks – maybe hooking up the TV or letting them play their favorite video or board games. If nothing inside the house works, then hit the pause button of all the work and have a refreshing walk around the new neighborhood and visit the local attractions.
If you just moved in with pets (dogs, cats, birds), then you’ll have to tend to their immediate needs as well.
Important: How moving affects children
#7. Clean the strategic places in the new home
It’s obvious that you won’t have enough time and energy to clean thoroughly the new home right after you move into it. Nevertheless, there are some specific places and spots that you do want to make sure you clean immediately after the move, even if you’ve moved into a new construction home.
Make a mental note to sanitize the bathroom (the toilet bowl and the area immediately around it) and the kitchen (the principle areas that you’re going to need right away. Also, clean up the high-traffic areas that will have surely got messy after Moving day.
You’re going to need this: Moving-in cleaning checklist
Bonus advice: Take it easy: it’s just Day 1
It’s important to understand that the post-relocation period is full to the brim with tasks that you must take care of as soon as possible. And yet, it’s even more important to realize that you can’t do it all in one single day.
Be realistic about what you can actually do on the first day after moving into your new home and don’t be too hard on yourself. Find time to rest – after all, you’ve just survived a residential move!
To keep you on the right track, here’s a brief list of rest of the things to do after moving to a new home:
- Initiate the long and exhausting unpacking process;
- Inspect your new home thoroughly and learn its secrets;
- Improve the security of the home by changing all outdoor locks and changing the security codes of the alarm system, if applicable;
- Clean your new home thoroughly;
- Child-proof and pet-proof your new house or apartment, if applicable;
- Change your postal address if you haven’t done it by now;
- Register your vehicle at the local DMV office;
- Say hi to your neighbors;
- Get to know the new town or city, little by little;
- Set up and re-arrange the place to make it your own special home.
See also: What to do after moving into a new house
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