Moving home is a great opportunity for a fresh start: a new house or flat means a chance to reorganise, redecorate and transform the place into your own, while moving into a new neighbourhood means new friends and new activities you can get involved in.
There are also those last little niggles that need sorting out in your new home before you’re truly settled in.
So once the moving vans have left the driveway and you’re all unpacked, what’s next? Here’s a few suggestions:
1. See the sights
Make the most of your new locale by checking out the nearby tourist attractions and soaking up the scenery. This will be especially helpful if you have children who are still acclimatising.
2. Track down your local services
Make a note of your nearest garage, supermarket, post office, launderette, and anything else you might need in a hurry.
3. Familiarise yourself with local transport
Where’s your nearest bus stop? What are the local train times? Does Uber operate in the area or is there a good local taxi service? Get to know your nearby transport links so you’re well prepared when you need to venture out.
4. Chip your pets
Getting your pets micro-chipped helps ensure you can track them down should they get lost in your new neighbourhood.
5. Tell your friends
Don’t forget to let friends and family know your new address. While it’s tempting to send a mass email or group Facebook message, your loved ones might really appreciate a phone call or personalised letter with your updated details.
6. Join something
Whether you join the local chapter of your favourite club, society or sport from your old neighbourhood or look for something new, find a way to get involved in your local community.
7. Get active
Moving home can be overwhelming. Let off some steam by going for a run or joining your local gym or sports centre.
8. Check your fixtures and appliances
Make sure your fridge, freezer, cooker, washing machine, boiler, shower, etc are free of damage. It’ll be cheaper to fix them now then after they go wrong.
9. Update your insurance policies
Don’t forget to change your address on your life, car, home and any other insurance documentation.
10. Update your paperwork
Dental records, doctors, bank and credit card statements, TV licence, utilities, phone bill, driving licence, council tax… save yourself a headache later and get these up to date now.
11. Change the locks
You don’t know who the old residents gave keys to. Just to be safe, get the locks changed and update any security codes.
12. Cut your keys
Get your house keys cut so your partner, older children and a trusted neighbour all have a set, and get emergency spares.
13. Register to vote
Make sure you have a voice in your new neighbourhood. Contact your local council and register before the next election.
However carefully you pack, you may well discover some items you just don’t need anymore when you unload your boxes. Take the opportunity to recycle or donate any unwanted items before they clutter up your new home.
15. List emergency numbers
The gas man, computer repair, mechanic, plumber, doctor’s surgery… make a list so you can contact them in a rush.
16. Get painting
Chances are the decor that your home’s old residents chose isn’t exactly how you’d like it. Get some samples and start painting or wallpapering, and make the place your own.
17. Introduce yourself
Say hello to your neighbours! Hosting a BBQ or simply inviting the locals round for tea is a great way to get to know who’s who.
18. Apply the finishing touches
Hang pictures and paintings, arrange photos and ornaments: anything to make your house or flat feel like a home.
Settling in is hard work. Take a little time for yourself and enjoy everything you’ve worked for.