When I moved out to my first apartment, I experienced the moment where I thought to myself – what next? After moving about 6 times now (and counting), I’ve came to the realization that I have a to do list for what to do immediately after moving.
I didn’t realize how important this was because I was learning as I moved. So, I have compiled a list on what you should do immediately after moving to cover all the gaps.
What you need to do is:
- Rekey all the locks and garage door
- Change all lightbulbs to LED
- Get to know your breaker switch control
- Clean the ducts for the dryer/vent
- Start saving for potential issues
- Bug bomb/Insect services
These should be on everyone’s list regardless of if you’re buying or renting.
Rekey all locks after moving
The most important thing on this list is to rekey all the entrance door locks. This includes the garage door code or gate code if you have one.
You want to do this because you want to eliminate any potential security issues down the road. You don’t know who has the key or a copy of it. The previous owners could have easily made copies and I would feel very uncomfortable knowing that.
To make myself feel secure, I always change the lock plugs. You can find them at any local hardware store for about $10-$20 dollars each. It’s not that expensive and it’s a quick and easy job. There are videos on YouTube on if you don’t know how to replace a lock plug.
If you are renting, you can call your landlord and have them change it. You can do it yourself but will have to provide a copy of the key to the landlord as it is their right to be able to get in for an emergency.
Change all light bulbs to LED immediately after moving
In my experience, this is the 2nd most important step on what to do immediately after moving. LED lights save a ton of energy and most importantly lower your electricity bill. “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”
When I first moved out, it took me 2 months to change my light bulbs. I can tell you that my bill went from about $40 to about $15 as soon as I changed them. I learned my lesson immediately after seeing the results and now change them as soon as I move in.
Some states have free LED bulbs that you can get by making a simple call. You should call your Electric Provider and see if they have programs where they send a technician come out and change them for you. This service comes with no cost because not only is it a benefit to you, but it also helps lower the load on the power grid for the service provider. Many providers are even requiring new homes to have LED bulbs.
You can find LED bulbs at Walmart or your local hardware store. They are very inexpensive. I’ve seen some from about $5-$15. LEDs that dim is in the $20 to $30 range. Because LED bulbs are made of glass and can break easily during transit, I would suggest not ordering them online.
Get to know your breaker switch control
Another thing you should do when you immediately move is to find and locate the breaker switches for your home.
If you are a renter, most places will have an onsite person who will know how to reset it. But, if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t have one, you should call the landlord. They will most likely be able to help you either remotely or in person. You should immediately tell your landlord if the breakers trip even if you’re able to flip them back. The reason why they are turning off is because there is an overload on the switch. For safety purposes, it needs to be addressed immediately.
If you live in a home, you should be able to map out each switch and where they go to. If they are not labeled, a good way to figure this out is to trip the switch and see what areas loses power. This will let you know what area is controlled by the switch in the tripped position. You should go one by one and manually trip every switch until you have a list of the location of where they all belong to.
Clean the ducts for the dryer/vent once you move in
For fire safety, the dryer ducts and vents should be cleaned out periodically. Fire departments suggest cleaning them once per year. You can always clean them more than that if you want to have your dyer working efficiently.
Additionally, if you have a duct or vent that is clogged, you will notice it will take longer for your clothes to dry. This will result in spending more in electricity/utilities which translates to a higher bill.
If you are renting, and your unit has dryer, you should be able to have it professionally cleaned before you move in by asking your landlord.
If you’re a homeowner, you should call a reputable vent cleaner to get this done for you. This job is not an easy task and will require special tools that are not easy to come by.
Start saving for potential issues immediately after moving
Whether you’re renting or buying, you should start saving immediately after moving in. You don’t know when an emergency will occur.
It is best for you to be ready by being on top of future costs. I, for one, had a dental emergency 2 months after moving to my first apartment. I was so happy to have the funds to foot my bill with no worries.
For homeowners, the emergency may look more like a leaky roof or pipe or even a personal emergency like mine. The plan remains the same. You should be ready for when an emergency hits you.
Bug bomb/Insect services before you move in
Finally, one thing you should do is bug bomb your house or have it professionally treated for insects/rodents.
Everyone should clean the house before moving in, but sometimes cleaning won’t stop annoying critters from trying to raid your home.
If you are renting, you should ask your landlord to have this done before you move in. This is the best time to do it as you don’t want your personal belongings exposed to toxic chemicals. It just makes life easier.
If you are buying, most new houses won’t require this. But if you get a used house, and you’re planning on living inside immediately after purchase, then you should bomb it!
Ultimately, you should have a plan on what to do immediately after moving in. With the steps I provided above, it will help you get the important things taken care of. Moving can be stressful, but not for those who are prepared! I’ve done my share of moving and I can tell you that I never move without checking off this To-Do list.