Whether you’ve decided to live the Lake Travis Lifestyle, go suburban or stick close to downtown Austin, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of things to tackle when moving into a new house. Keeping track of a few must-do’s for when you finally get those keys, is the key to keeping your sanity.
Here to help is a short list of 5 things to get done before (or pretty darn close to) your first night in your new home.
It’s a great starting point for those of you who are compiling “to-do lists,” as your closing date approaches and with any luck, being organized will allow you time for the fun stuff — like picking one of 86 white paints or bingeing Spanish tile images on Pinterest.
1. Create a Master To-Do List
Moving is often dreaded, but organizing early on will help you and your family enjoy (or at least tolerate) the process.
To keep everyone on track with the move, make a To-Do List early and tack it where it can be easily seen. Be sure to leave space between each item, to allow for easy edits and quick notes. You can even color code it depending on who in the family should tackle what.
Including children in this very visual step toward their new home, helps them to participate in a time that can often feel out of their control. It could be as simple as having them pack up bath toys, or as important as choosing paint chips for their room colors — whatever job you give them — put it on the master list and allow them to feel their importance in this big moment.
2. Handle The Tech Stuff
Getting into your new home is one of the most exciting times, and nothing spoils the moment like dark rooms and no water.
Once you have a closing date, your best bet is to contact all utility companies (don’t forget about internet) and arrange to have new accounts up and running for that day.
Even if you’ve got renovations planned and won’t be living in your new home for a while, keep in mind that water, heat (or AC) and the lights need to be in working order for most renovations and your contractors will thank you.
Additionally, if you get this done right away, you can mark it off your list (which will be ever-growing) and forget it. Unless of course your closing date changes … 😉
3. Pack a Survival Box
Nothing starts you out on the wrong foot like driving a moving van all day (after a rough night’s sleep on an air mattress), only to get to your new home and have no clue where the TP is. To make your first night a smooth transition, pack up a box or even a suitcase of your families essentials and put it into the truck last, or keep it in your car.
This survival kit should include everything you need to make it a night (or two) until you hunt down those bathroom boxes — but toiletries aren’t the only musts. Consider a roll of paper towels, a pack of plastic utensils and paper plates. It’s also smart to have a nightlight or flashlight, a couple of bath towels and a small pack of cleaning wipes in case your home has been sitting empty and needs a few wipe-downs.
Whatever you pack, keep it small and stick to absolute essentials for simplicity (yes — your straightener counts). Above all, don’t forget chocolate or cookies. Or both. No survival kit is complete without them.
4. Kids & Pets: Make Arrangements For The Little Ones
Moving into a new home and especially to a new town, can bring a lot of excitement but also some anxieties. This is especially true for our children (be they two-legged or four) and caring for their needs during this big life change will make the entire moving process much smoother on the whole family.
In addition to ensuring they have their favorite toys and comforts, arrange for family or friends to take care of them the day of the move if possible. At the very least, ensure you foster your child’s excitement by encouraging them to explore their new home and stake claim to their room.
As for your pets, it’s generally best when introducing them to a new home to take it slowly. Give them a safe, confined space like a bathroom or bedroom to begin smelling the new home’s “personality,” and be sure to comfort them, offering water and food and plenty of familiar items like bedding and toys. If possible, keep them in a room that won’t see any traffic from movers and allows them a little quiet time.
Ultimately, you know your family members best and if they need to be in the middle of the action to feel comfortable, so be it. Just don’t forget to consider them as your first day in your new home draws near.
5. Get New Keys & Locks
As soon as your closing day arrives and you are handed the keys to your new place, change them out. We’re sure the family you bought your home from are lovely people, but keep in mind that it’s entirely possible everybody and their brother has a key to your new digs.
Contractors, neighbors, and family of the previous owners may all have access so securing your new home should be a top priority. New lock sets range greatly in style and price and are available at any local home and tool supply shop.
In no time at all, it’s likely (and hopeful) that your family will have made great friends with the neighbors and be handing out keys like candy … but in the meantime, lock it down.
While the list of things to do when moving into a new house could go on and on, getting started with these 5 simple steps will have you on your way to moving like a pro.
As you unpack and take stock of what’s missing, what’s broken and what you can’t believe you kept (spaghetti-stained Tupperware?), be sure to take the time to make introductions with new neighbors and savor this exciting moment.
Whether you’re moving across town or clear cross-country, a new home is a great adventure and though stressful, completely worth every effort — especially once you’ve picked the right white paint.
More About Lake Travis Real Estate
If you’re looking to call the Lake Travis area home, or just looking for a new place to live, we’ve got you covered. Lake Travis Lifestyle spotlights area neighborhoods, development news, and gives you insight on the local market conditions.
Todd Hower Realty is a Lake Travis area real estate company that helps buyers and sellers of residential properties successfully close on their home for the best possible price with the least amount of hassle so they can feel confident that they are making the right decision without wasting their time.
Post image via Creative Commons, Nicolas Huk on Flickr.