By Tyranni Rineer, Certified Self Storage Manager
You moved all your items from one place to another, and even placed some items in your storage unit. So, what do you do now? Aren’t you done? Almost. But there are some important items to address after each step of your move. Here are some things to keep in mind after the move is complete.
You had the moving truck arrive (or the people you bribed with the promise of pizza). Make sure that all the boxes are accounted for and none have gone missing. This is especially important if you went with a company whose prices were cheaper because you rented a portion of the truck to provide both you and them a discounted rate on delivery fees. Also inspect the boxes for any visible signs of damage. If you notice major damage to any box or item, make sure to inspect its contents to ensure the belongings are unharmed. If you find damaged items and are using a moving company, make sure to take photos and report the damages.
You’ll also want to go around the home and test the utilities to ensure that everything is up and running. This tends to be done before the move, but it is also a good thing to check after the move as well. Just in case anything went awry or something was forgotten, checking at this point again helps ensure you have it all working. Make sure that you have running water from every faucet (inside and outside), make sure your gas or propane service is working, turn on all light switches to ensure the electricity is on and working, then check and make sure your internet, cable and phone are all working in every room.
Now is one of the best times to inspect the home for any signs of damages. Look for any signs of water damage, listen for running pipes and dripping faucets. Take note if there are any previous signs of fire or smoke damage. Check around for pests to see if a pest control service may be needed. Check walls and molding for any spots that may either need touched up or repaired. Test your smoke detectors and make sure they are in working order or see if they need new batteries. If you do find any damage that wasn’t there when you last toured the property, make sure to document and photograph in detail. This is important in case the previous owner caused damage when they moved out, and it is especially important if you are renting. You don’t want to be charged or held responsible for damage you didn’t cause.
Now it’s time to get cleaning! This is usually the best time to get hard to reach areas; while the house is still empty. Before couches and shelves start blocking the walls and boxes fill the closets, you’ll have lots of room to work and clean easily with nothing in the way. Also ensure that you are checking the heating and A/C units to see if they need cleaned or serviced. Clean out duct work and vents or hire a professional to take care of this for you. You don’t even want to know how many fires are started from clogged vents! It is such a simple way to prevent a catastrophe.
The most fun of all, the unpacking! If you haven’t already sorted the boxes per room where they belong, you need to do this now before they start being opened. What seems like a small step can help avoid so many headaches later on. You don’t want to have to keep moving boxes from one room to another as you open them and realize those items go somewhere else. Then start unpacking the rooms by level of importance. First off, the bedroom. You are definitely going to want a place to lie down and get some sleep after all this. Follow this room with the bathroom. You’ll feel so much better if you have a place to get a shower, and all of your essentials are handy. After this should be the kitchen. Be sure to check that all appliances and connections are working. Continue working through your home and rooms from what you feel would be the most used to the least used. This will ensure that as you continue on with your daily activities you will be able function as normally as possible. Remember that unpacking is a process; and it will likely not be done in a day or two. Know that it will take you some time to get everything put in its proper place, and be ok with that. Trying to rush will just add stress and exhaust you and your family.
Make sure your pets feel safe and adjusted to the new home. Show them where their bed is, their food and water bowls, toys, and so on. You’ll want to ensure they feel welcomed at the new place and not scared of the new surroundings. If they do seem scared, you can put all their necessities in one smaller room with a door that can be closed. Make sure you have all their goodies, and spend some time with them in that small room to give them comfort. Try to avoid making too many loud noises and sudden movements until they settle down. Once they seem like they are curious and want to explore, open the door and let them come out in their own time. Also be sure to find a new veterinarian and establish that relationship soon. You want somewhere to go if something happens to your furry friend.
After most of the big items are dealt with and out of the way, it’s time to check on all the odds and ends that need tied up.
All those boxes.
You will probably have a mass of boxes in all shapes and sizes that you need to get rid of in some way. Check with your new township and see if they have donation centers who could use them. Some examples would be the Salvation Army, women’s shelters, churches and so on. Then see if your friends or relatives are in need of boxes; maybe they are moving soon! If no one needs those empty boxes, you can check recycling centers. Cardboard is always recyclable! This is a great idea especially if the boxes are in too bad of shape to be reused.
Change of address.
This really should have been done before you moved, but make sure to visit the post office to confirm your change of address has been received and is in place. They can hold mail and forward mail for you as well. Contact your family, friends and place of employment to give them your new address. You may also need to contact your credit card companies, banks, insurance providers, and any other financial and legal institutions. Also make sure to update your voter registration and driver’s license.
Check out your new community.
How is the area where you just moved into? Talk with your new neighbors and ask about the crime rate or if there are any concerns on your street, block or neighborhood. Do you need to look into any home security systems based on that information? Your neighbors can also tell you the best places to sit down for a dinner out and which places have the best take our and delivery. They can also tell you the other important places you should check out; like local parks, shopping areas, service centers for your vehicles, grocery stores and more.
You may need to find a new doctor if you moved a great distance. That also means finding a new dentist, optometrist, pediatrician and any other physicians that you and your family need. Do you still need to have your medical files transferred? Do this now before they are needed because this can take a while to complete. Make sure to contact all of your previous doctors to ensure all records are accounted for. You can even ask for copies for you to keep on file.
Check the schools in your area as your kids may need to be registered with a new district. Check into bus schedules and find out when and where the kids need to be once school starts. Find out if they offer before and after school care if you have young ones and both parents work full time. Sign your kids up for sports and activities if that is important to your family. Maybe get involved in the PTA/PTO, which is great way to meet new people in your new town.
Create a list of emergency numbers in your area including police, hospitals and fire departments and keep it handy in everyone’s mobile phone and with a list near the home phone. You can also give this information to your friends and family.
Make sure to save receipts for any expenses related to your move. Things like the moving company you hired, all those boxes your purchased and even hotel rooms and meals for long distance moves and so on. You may be able to use these later for tax deductions.
Just because you moved all your belongings to your new home doesn’t mean you are finished moving. There are many items that need to take place after the move, as you can see from everything we reviewed. Keeping these tips in mind can help create a smooth a transition from one home to another.
If you are ready to move and need a storage unit, you can rent one online now to get started. You can also contact us for more information about moving and using self storage. And, if you have any additional after move tips to share, please post them in the comments below.