When closing is finally complete and the keys to your new home are in your hand, there are a number of things you will want to do to make your move as smooth as possible. If your schedule allows, plan on a day or more to get your new place ready before the boxes actually come through the door. Then move through the following checklist.

Change the Locks
You really don’t know who has keys to your new home, so changing the locks gives you assurance that you are the only one with access. New deadbolts are the smartest choice, and installation is not expensive.

Locate the Mains
Find the location of your new home’s breaker box. You don’t want to put this off until an incident leaves you fumbling in the dark looking for a flashlight that is still packed away. If the breakers aren’t labelled, get this done to save guesswork later. Finally, find the main water valve to your new home.

Pest Proof
Setting off a bug bomb or having an exterminator spray before you move in is a good plan. Even if you don’t see any crawly things, they are likely there, and you don’t want to share your new place with them.

Deep Clean
It will never be as easy to clean your new house again as when it is empty. Wipe out cabinets and add shelf paper if you like. Dust baseboards and windowsills. Have the carpet steam cleaned. Run a phantom load through the dishwasher and washing machine. Wipe out the refrigerator, freezer, and oven.

After the Movers Leave
Inspect everything after the boxes and furniture have been moved into your new home. Unpack the essentials first, including towels, bed linens, toiletries, and a enough clothes for the next few days. Find the coffee maker and the pet supplies, A few bumps and scrapes are likely during unpacking, so unpack a few basic first aid items. Make the beds. Other things for your “open first” box: toilet paper, trash bags, paper towels, kitchen basics and scissors. Once all those are done, you can move onto everything else from organizing closets to hanging pictures.

Let Everyone Know
You have a new address, and you need to share it. Fill out change of address information with the post office, credit card companies, banks, insurance company, and magazine subscriptions. If you have moved to a new state, your automobile registration, driver’s license, and voter registration will need to be updated.

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