We’ve helped a lot of people move into new homes. Quite a few of us have also moved a few times ourselves! It’s given us useful insight into things to do when moving into a new house.
These pointers will help you settle in faster and make your new home yours.
A house doesn’t feel like a home without basics like electricity and water. You may be able to get this sorted out before you even finish packing in your old home. If you’re renting, these may already be set up. All you’ll need to do is change the account holder. Or you can find out which companies provide services to the area to compare options. You may like to move to a new provider.
WiFi is another biggie. If you have data on your phone, or know a public space or café where you can connect, you may be able to take your time setting internet up. Again, research your options for the ideal plan. If there’s an existing provider, you might be happy to stick with them. Just change the account holder.
Plan before unpacking.
Ever searched the entire house trying to remember where you’ve stored the dustpan? Spent an hours trying to find your keys? This is your chance to have an organised house.
A good way to figure this which country you want to try is by browsing online. Look for the experiences expats and travellers have had in different countries. Research where you can do the things that are most important to you. From there you can narrow it down.
While the first thing you may want to do after moving in (after sleeping) is unpack, take a few moments. Look around the house and get to know the layout. What items should go in which room? How should those things be placed in the space? You can also look at extra objects to help you – like a key hook, and closet and drawer organisers.
Local movers may be able to help you with unpacking the bigger items like furniture. Often they can put them into the correct rooms for you. With heavy things, it’s good to take advantage of this!
Check for repairs.
Are the power outlets working? Is the plumbing working properly? Are all the light fittings connected? Is the oven running to the right temperature? Do the windows close properly? Do any carpets need replacing? Always check the functionality of the house when you move in.
If you’re renting, these are things you should record as part of the tenancy agreement. Taking photos is also a good idea. You may be able to request your landlord fix some of these. If you own the property, they’re issues you can start fixing yourself over time. Some moving companies have their own handyman services. You can also ask around to get tips on the best local companies.
Health and safety check.
Is your property going to be safe to live in? Many houses have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed already. You should check these are working properly. You might also like to install a fire extinguisher, if there isn’t already one. Some people also like to have a security system set up.
Have a look at the government website of the country you’re heading for and see what they have to offer. If you’re under 30 or 35, you may be eligible for a work visa that will let you work full time for one or two years. If you have work experience in an area of skills shortage, you might be able to enter based on your skill set. Sponsored visas are also available in most countries.
Pay attention to the fine print. How long will it take to apply? Where do you have to be when you apply? Will it effect your eligibility for other visas in the future? Are there any restrictions on how much time you can spend out of the country to still be eligible?
Clean the house.
Most people will clean the house before leaving – but not everyone will. And even if the last residents have cleaned up, it’s nice to make sure it’s up to standard.
Doing it yourself can help you get to know the ins and out of the house and feel more like it’s yours. If you don’t have time – or don’t like cleaning – you can also hire someone to do it for you. Some local moving companies might be able to recommended services, or even have their own. If you’re doing a DIY job you’ll need to right tools. Think buckets, cloths, cleaning product, mops, a brook, and a vacuum cleaner. Don’t forget the rubber gloves!
Make it yours.
This can be the most exciting part of moving to a new house. Make it feel like yours with a little creative touch. Put your favourite art in visible places. Paint the walls to the colour you like. Get new curtains or cushions. Add and adjust little things around your house to give it your own unique flavour.
There are always cost-saving tips, of course. That’s one that locals, fellow expats, and the internet may be able to give you pointers on before you leave.
If you’re renting, there may be some restrictions to any physical changes you can make. Check your agreement and tenancy regulations before doing anything drastic!
Change the locks
We talk about planning a lot on this blog. That’s because planning your move in advance really does make life much easier.
Who knows who else has a key, and where they might have left it lying around? For your own peace of mind, it’s a good idea to change the lock. If you’re renting, talk to your landlord first. Check your tenancy agreement and local tenancy laws.
Share your new address.
Set up mail forwarding, update your billing address, and let your friends and family know. Of course, if there’s a relative you’d rather not have stop by, you can always conveniently forget…