Congratulations on your new home! Moving into a new house can be an exciting time, but it can also bring its share of challenges if you don’t stay organized. From setting up utility services to making sure everyone received the memo of your new address, there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to moving.
At United, we understand what it takes to coordinate a smooth transition into your new home. We’ve collected a list of last-minute tips and tricks toward making move-in day less hectic for you and the entire family.
Not quite ready for move-in day? United offers storage services designed to provide flexibility for those with unique moving situations.
Being Prepared for Move-In Day Checklist
Below are important steps that should be taken prior to moving into your new home:
- Make sure utilities are set up. Your new home will be more comfortable and start to feel like a home with running electricity, water, and heat or air conditioning. Use a company like our partner, Utilities USA, to help get your utilities lined up at your new home.
- Clean your new home before the movers arrive; take the time to do a deep clean from top to bottom. By cleaning prior to your move, you have a fresh slate, and all you need to do is unpack! If you don’t have the time to clean your new place — you have a lot going on during move-in day, so we understand — consider hiring professional house cleaners instead.
- Change your postal address and make sure your mail is being forwarded to your new residence. Don’t forget to update the following: bank accounts, community memberships, home and lawn services, subscription services, Internal Revenue Service, Veterans Affairs, Medicaid and Medicare offices, medical records, voter registration, insurance policies, employer and payroll departments.
- Explore the advantages of setting up a home security system and having it in place before or as soon as you move in. Also, you may want to consider changing the locks on your new home for additional security.
- Develop a plan for where you would like to have your furniture placed in the home, even if it’s a simple drawing. This will save you the trouble of moving furniture by yourself after your movers depart.
- Talk with your professional movers about item placement and share any last-minute details about your new home that were not already covered within pre-move consultations.
- If you can, have two people in the new home on move-in day. One person can make sure everything from your inventory list is unloaded and the other can tell the movers where you would like the items placed.
- Consider hiring a babysitter if you have small children in the house and put pets somewhere where they will be safe and out of the way.
Greet Your Movers at Your New Home
Whether you’ve hired professional movers or have family and friends helping you, be sure to welcome them when they arrive. Provide them with any important information about your new property and discuss any concerns you may have about the moving process.
If you have hired United for your big day, your movers will meet you at your new home at a pre-determined time.
On the day of delivery, the van operator or a member of the moving crew will attempt to contact you by phone and/or will stop by your new home if he/she is unable to reach you. If you have hired United and you or an authorized individual cannot accept delivery of your belongings within United’s standard free waiting time (i.e., generally, up to two hours; ask your move consultant for details), you may request additional waiting time (for an additional cost) until the delivery can be made.
If you cannot be there personally, be sure to authorize an adult to be your representative to accept delivery and, if not already paid, to pay the moving charges for you.
Check in with your move coordinator and ask any remaining questions about your moving services.
It’s Time to Move In!
If you have hired professional movers, let them do the heavy lifting.
Check your household goods as they are delivered. If you notice any damage or that something is missing, personally report it to your move coordinator or representative. If there is any change in the condition of your property from what is noted on the inventory list created by the movers at the time of loading, note discrepancies on the mover’s copy of the inventory. By signing the inventory, you are acknowledging receipt and condition of all items listed.
When unloading, each piece of furniture will be placed as you direct, including placing of rugs and setting up any beds that were disassembled at origin. If you would like your mattresses unpacked or appliances installed, your move coordinator can help you arrange for these additional moving or third-party services.
Lastly, keep all your moving documents in a safe place. If you are handling the move yourself, make sure you have ample manpower, supplies, stay hydrated, etc.
Double-Check Inventory Before Sending Your Movers on Their Way
Ask the moving crew to conduct a final sweep of the moving van for items, thank your movers and begin the unpacking process.
Inspect delivered boxes for damage. Make sure your move went smoothly by examining your boxes and making sure nothing is broken. United offers a move protection option in the rare event that something happens to your belongings during your United move.
If you have completed your move with United, now would be the time to make a claim if necessary. Although we do not anticipate it, sometimes the unexpected can happen and an item may be lost or damaged. If this does occur, you will be able to file your claim through the online portal.
Before beginning your claim, be sure to have an image of the item that was damaged or a description of the lost item. Also, be sure to have your order number on hand.
Afternoon and Evening
Check Your Utilities
Make sure your HVAC, water and electricity are all working. Test your smoke detectors and your breaker box. Cable and internet can wait!
Start Unpacking Your “Open First” Boxes
Now is the time to grab those box(s) you set aside to travel with you separately. These are items you’ll need for basic unpacking, cleaning, eating and hygiene. We recommend you pack a “first night” box to help you settle in to the first couple of nights in your new home as smoothly as possible.
It’s especially important to prepare for your first night’s stay well ahead of time when you are moving with children and/or pets. After such a busy day, everyone involved in your move will likely be a little restless and hungry. Organizing and separately packing personal items and a few household necessities will dramatically reduce the stress level.
This box of essentials should travel with you, or if that’s not possible, you can ask the movers for it to be the last box loaded onto the moving truck.
Re-Assemble Large Furniture
Re-assembling your large furniture is a big part of the unpacking process and helps you get a feel for your new space. Start with the bedrooms and make sure boxes and furniture are placed in their respective rooms for easy unpacking and setup. After a long day of moving, you’ll want to make sure that at the very least your bed is assembled and ready for your first night.
Baby-Proof and Pet-Proof Your New Home
Before introducing your children and pets to their new home, make sure that you have your basics covered to help protect them. The following checklists will provide you with the peace of mind you need to help ensure a smooth transition:
Finish Unpacking and Make Your Home Yours
This is the first thing you will want to complete — but realize that it takes time. Start unpacking rooms you will be using the most and unpack things you know you will need immediately, like dishware, toiletries, clothes and food. Next, set up your shower curtain/s in your bathroom/s.
Have kids help unpack and set up their rooms. Provide them with containers, bins and shelves to help them organize their belongings.
Unpack a little at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed. Take an opportunity to do a second wave of decluttering during the unpacking process. Throw away, donate or sell items that you don’t want to keep. Save yourself a trip to the dumpster and consider debris pickup service for trash and surplus materials you don’t want to keep.
Keep in mind that many moving companies will offer additional services for a separate charge, including electronics installation.
Lastly, consider utilizing an unpacking service to save time. United can help you get organized with our unpacking services that allow you to focus on more important things like settling into your new home.
Stock Your Home with Essentials
Pick up (or have delivered) any groceries and/or personal items from the store that you’ll need for your first week in your new home. Or, if you don’t feel like preparing food for your first couple meals, make sure you have the phone numbers for local eateries on hand for pickup or delivery. Double-check that your house address is visible for deliveries and future mail.
Enjoy Your First Night at Home
Now is the time to take a breath and settle into your new space. Celebrate this exciting evening with a new tradition or by simply exploring all the nooks and crannies of your new home!
Here are some additional suggestions for settling into your home and neighborhood your first week and the weeks to come:
- Introduce yourself to your new neighbors
- Plan a housewarming party
- Set up playdates for your children
- Create a repair and maintenance checklist
- Take measurements and determine what new furniture will need to be purchased
- Explore your new neighborhood and city
- Ask for recommendations on the best local businesses, restaurants, services, etc.
- Leave an online review for your moving company
- Get involved in community organizations
Whether you are moving across the country or just over the state line, United can help take you there. Learn more about the moving services United specializes in and how we can make your next move as seamless as possible — no matter where life takes you next.
For additional moving tips and checklists, click here.
Planning a move during the COVID-19 pandemic? You may want to consider some additional actions you can take to help make your move-in day safer. Find out more with our Top 10 Tips for Moving Safely During COVID-19.