6 Things to Do Before Moving Into Your New Home

A man and woman carrying boxes into the kitchen of their new home.

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You don't want to forget to do these six things when you move.

Buying a house takes a lot of effort. From finding the best mortgage loan to tracking down your dream home and getting an offer accepted, there's a lot to do. Unfortunately, even after you're ready to pack up and move, the work doesn't stop.

To make certain your transition to your new place goes smoothly, there are six tasks you must check off your to-do list.

1. Turn on utilities and schedule essential services

The last thing you want is to get to your new home after a hard day of moving and have no water, electricity, cable, or internet. Set up for these basic necessities, along with trash pickup, by scheduling your utilities and services to turn on when you move in. Most companies let you set a specific start date, so take this step early.

Ideally, the current homeowners will give you a list of the companies that provide your services. However, in some areas you may have choices. If that's the case, research which options are most affordable. You may also need to make a deposit to set up your account, so have some money set aside to cover this.

2. Change your address

You don't want bills or other important mail to slip through the cracks, so notify the companies you do business with that you're moving. Go through your recent bank and credit card statements and your address book and make a list of everyone you should notify about your move. It's best to do this at least a week or two before you move.

3. Forward your mail

Chances are good you won't remember to notify everyone in your life about your new address, so sign up for mail forwarding with the post office to ensure that all the mail sent to your old address reaches you. The postal service says to allow up to two weeks, although it's possible for mail to begin forwarding in as little as three days.

4. Register your kids for school

If you're changing school districts, register your kids with their new school. This is necessary even if your kids will only attend online classes. You may need to have their records forwarded by their old school, so be sure you allow time for that.

5. Switch your license address

When you move, you must update the address on your driver's license. This can be important for proof of residency and identification. Many DMVs allow you to do this online, although you can expect to pay a small fee.

6. Research local service providers

You never know when you'll need a veterinarian, a doctor, a dentist, a plumber, or another professional. If you're moving far enough away that you need new service people, compile a list before you move so you aren't scrambling in an emergency. Consider asking the current homeowners to make a list for you. They often have insights into things that are seasonal or particular to your new location, like snow removal or debris pickup for spring cleanup.

By taking these steps, you'll be well prepared to enjoy your new home, and you won't face unpleasant surprises like a lack of running water or a missed bill.

Our Research Expert