What to Do Once You’ve Moved Into Your New Property
Give your travel itinerary to family and friends. Furnish them with contact numbers, and make plans to check in with them on arrival or on a regular time-line. Make sure your cellphone is well charged and you have a charger.
Be prepared for a busy day; getting the keys from the lawyers can sometimes be delayed. It is a good idea to move in the day after you get access to the home. The previous owner could also be moving out, or elevators could be booked at the end of a month, etc. Use the possession date to do a light clean, plan your furniture placement, etc. Camp out or rent a room; getting a fresh start in the morning is a much better option. Watch for bottlenecks on local moves as well. You do not want to be paying the movers by the hour to wait on delays.
You won’t have a phone or email, so make sure your cellphone is well charged. Call communication providers (cable, internet, phone, etc.), and make appointments for activation or installation.
Have a good idea of the floor plan. The movers will place the furniture where you want it and will shuffle a little. The more organized you are, the better placed boxes will be in designated rooms. Have a catch-all area for items you cannot decide on right away or that may not fit.
Clearly print numbers 1-2-3-4 etc. and tape on door frames of rooms to make it easy to direct the movers or friends.
A professional mover will provide you with a “bingo sheet.” All items are tagged and listed when loaded (on long-distance moves). The numbers on the tags are called out as the goods are brought into the home, and you check them off the list. If you have not checked off a number, the piece was not delivered. Have the driver sign the bill of lading, indicating the piece is missing. The mover will search for the item, or you will have to file a claim for the item.
If you notice any damaged items or damage to the property, bring it to the driver’s attention right away. Have him/her make note of it on the bill of lading, and sign it; this will expedite any claim you may make.
Open and inspect contents in any boxes that are visibly damaged or pushed in. Have the driver make note of any damage. Take a photo of the box if possible. Do this for boxes “you” have packed as well as boxes the mover has packed.
With Major van lines, you have 30 days to inspect your goods. Many movers will allow up to 60 days (you would have clarified this earlier in the estimate process) but inspect your goods as soon as possible. If there is damage, do not discard of it; you must file a claim, and the item has to be inspected.
If you did not have time to get in and clean, try to clean, vacuum, or scrub the areas you will be placing heavy furniture on (beds, sofas, dressers, etc.). You can get the rest of the area later, and you won’t have to try to move the big items without help.
If moving into cramped quarters, some items may not fit. Be prepared to have a backup plan. Movers will hoist goods over balconies, or carry upstairs if they do not fit into the elevator, but there are added charges. Have an alternate plan if the goods just do not fit, for example, a storage locker or a friend’s house.
If you have hired a professional with a full-service move, unpacking does not include placing the items back into cupboards or on shelves. This is called a shelf-to-shelf service and has extra costs. Unpacking includes setting up beds, tables, and cabinets. Everything they have disassembled, they will reassemble. Unpacking also only includes the mover placing china and dishes on a flat surface countertop, unpacking wardrobes, and taking pictures out of boxes, but not hanging them. They basically get you started.
Movers work very hard and appreciate tips. The gratuity is up to you, depending on the work they provided. You will see how hard they work, so you make the call.
When unpacking, be very careful not to throw out any smaller items with the wrapping paper it is in. Movers will come back and pick up your empty boxes but may charge for the service.
In Canada, movers will pick up used boxes. In the US, they charge for the service. In the heat of the summer, however, it is difficult to get boxes picked up, so be prepared to take action. Keep the good ones for your next move. Place boxes in recycling bins, or better yet, if they are clean and in good shape, sell them or give them away online. You can also place a note on your building or work bulletin board. People are always moving and needing boxes. Think of the landfill before you discard.
Go Green in your new home. Use eco-friendly paint, energy-efficient lighting, set up a clothesline, get a rain barrel, waste less, compost, eat local, buy eco-friendly cleaners, and check insulation. If remodeling; use water-saving faucets, low flow dual-flush toilets, get an energy audit, or plant a tree. Your new home is a perfect place to start a new green lifestyle.
Display or enter local emergency numbers on your phone. Go online and take a drive to locate your local fire and police stations, hospitals, gas stations, churches, government buildings, etc.
Check all fire alarms; place new batteries in all fire alarms, have a family meeting, and plan an escape route and meeting area in case of fire. Check with local fire departments for more details.
Yard work is a great way to meet the neighbors. Getting outside to do some lawn work, snow removal, or playing with the kids is an invitation to socialize.
Register your auto as soon as possible. Some areas have timelines as short as 5 days.
Get parking organized at home and at work.
Get health insurance or make sure your health insurance is in place as soon as possible.
Go to the bank and get new accounts, credit cards, safety deposit box, etc. set up.
Call the department of sanitation to get garbage pickup and recycle dates.
Locate clubs, chamber of commerce, gyms, and community centers.
Get involved with your kid’s school, sports, dance, and music.
Start setting appointments with professionals. If you received referrals from your origin providers, give them a call. If you asked Welcome Wagon to visit, they can also introduce you to local contacts.
The grass is always greener on the other side, but you still have to cut it. Inspect your home; if there are any odd jobs that need doing, start the old job jar.
Service, license, and insure your recreational vehicles.
Source and join a newcomers club. Is there a social club at work?
If you can claim any part of your move, get everything ready for tax time. Your Move File is worth its weight in gold now. Compile all of your receipts for your move; find an accountant or do it yourself. We can email you your expense form if interested.
Feelings of doubt are normal when you move long distance. It takes a year or so to adjust, so give the move some time. Keep a close eye on family members. Stay close particularly for the first few months, and make sure everyone is adjusting; communication is more important now than ever. It is a big change, but with electronics and live social networking, the world is truly getting smaller.