Carol George's Blog
Your first week in your new home is an exciting time. It’s also a very busy one. There is just so much to do to get everything in order and settled in! Some things are more important to get done this first week than others. On the other hand, there are tasks you’ll be glad you completed your first week instead of putting them off.
Here’s your guide to your first week in your new home.
Start by opening new accounts for all of your utilities as soon as possible. These are the non-negotiables you simply can’t live without. These utilities include things like:
Internet, phone and cable/satellite
You’ll want to rekey all of the locks of your new home. You never know who has a key to the current locks. While you are having the locks rekeyed be sure to have extras made as well. Give backups to friends and family that you trust and consider getting a safe box for a spare key should you lock yourself out.
Plan to deep clean before you begin unpacking and settling in. Wipe down walls, mop floors, dust every cranny and hire a carpet cleaner. If you plan on repainting do it while the rooms are still (mostly) empty. You will only have to move furniture once and it will be easier to clean up afterward.
Refer to your inspector report for maintenance tasks. Plan them out by making necessary arrangements. Hire professionals, schedule out weekend projects and purchase necessary supplies. If this is your first house you’ll want to purchase equipment to take care of your new yard. Especially items like a lawnmower, hose and gardening tools.
Change your address on important accounts such as bank accounts, credit cards, health insurance, memberships, subscriptions and workplace benefits. Hopefully, you’ve already put in your change of address with the post office. However, this is only for a few months which is why it’s important to make these changes now.
Locate all of your shut off valves in case of emergency. Know where the main shut off valves are as well as the minor ones. Familiarize yourself with your circuit breaker and make sure that it is appropriately labeled. Now is a great time to come up with an emergency plan and course of action for your family in case anything should happen.
The first week in a new home can feel very hectic. There is just so much to do in such a small amount of time! However, there are always tasks that need to take priority. Use this guide for your first week in your new home to get everything in order with the least amount of friction during the process.
Let's face it – if you plan to relocate, you may need to reserve a moving truck. However, many moving truck providers are available, and finding the right one may prove to be a long, arduous process.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of evaluating moving truck companies so that you can make the best possible decision.
Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider before you book a moving truck.
1. How much stuff do I need to move?
If you own a wide range of antiques, books, DVDs and other items, you may need a medium or large moving truck to transport all of your belongings from Point A to Point B. Comparatively, if you rent a studio apartment, you may only need a small moving truck to help you bring your items to your new house.
Take a look at all of your belongings and put together an inventory. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to select a moving truck company that provides a vehicle that matches your moving needs.
2. How far do I need to go?
Distance is an important factor to consider as you evaluate moving truck providers, as most of these companies will require you to pay for the fuel costs associated with a moving vehicle.
For example, if you need to move out of state, you may need to account for the cost of renting a moving truck, along with several hundred dollars in fuel charges. Or, if you are moving just down the road from your current address, the fuel costs associated with a moving truck probably will be minimal.
When it comes to determining which moving truck company to use, it pays to look at how these businesses account for fuel expenses. By doing so, you can budget accordingly.
3. How long will it take to complete my move?
In many instances, a moving truck provider will bill you based on how long you keep a vehicle. This means someone who needs a moving truck for just a few hours may pay significantly less than someone who requires a moving vehicle for several days.
Plan ahead for moving day as much as possible. That way, you can find ways to streamline the moving cycle and cut down on the amount of time that you will need a moving truck.
Lastly, if you need help finding the right moving truck company, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to provide recommendations about various moving truck companies in your area. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can take the guesswork out of buying or selling a house and ensure you can enjoy a seamless move.
Make an informed decision about a moving truck provider – use the aforementioned tips, and you can select a moving truck company that will meet or exceed your expectations.
There was a time when moving across the country was a trip into the unknown. For some, that prospect may be an exciting one. For a homeowner with bills to pay or children to raise, the more you know about a place the better.
Fortunately, today’s technology equips us with tools to learn everything (or almost everything) we need to know about a place without ever visiting. With the use of statistics, maps, and first-hand accounts, would-be homeowners can put in their researcher hats and get a feel for a place without ever even visiting.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to some of those tools. So, if you’re thinking of making a long distance move sometime in the near future, read on for a list of the most useful resources that will help you along your search.
Cost of living
Most of us would love to move to Hawaii or San Francisco, but let’s face it--cost of living differences can make a huge impact on our ability to move wherever we want. Fortunately, there is reliable data on the specific cost of living for different parts of the United States.
Nerdwallet’s cost of living calculator lets you enter your current city and income and then compare what you would need to earn (on average) to move to a city of your choice. Moving to Boston, MA from Denver, CO, for example, would mean a 34% increase in costs like housing, groceries, transportation, etc.
Do you freelance or work from home and have the ability to travel wherever you want? If so, check out the Nomad List. It lets you compare housing costs, safety, weather, and--perhaps most important for freelancers--internet speeds in cities around the country and around the world.
How’s the weather?
Another important consideration for long distance moves is the climate. Not only will it determine your wardrobe and comfort level, but it also could mean more expensive heating in the winter or air conditioning in the winter.
To check out the average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels, check out U.S. Climate Data.
It’s hard to judge schools based on a few numbers, and it’s best to see what kind of programs and classes they’ll offer for your children as well. However, to get a glimpse of the nearby schools, you can check out City Data or NeighborhoodScout.
Safety is always a concern when visiting or moving to a new place. Fortunately, there are several good sources of information for neighborhood safety.
When we think of safety, most of us think of things like crime rates. NeighborhoodScout provides all the data you’ll need on crime. However, there are other safety concerns that should be addressed.
It must have been frightening, in the days before the internet, to move to a new place that you knew little about. The culture, the people, the things to do--all of these things are now at our fingertips thanks to Google and others.
However, it can still be difficult to get used to a new town, especially if you’re moving far away from your previous home. So, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to investigate your new town. That way, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of things you can do for fun, where to eat, and countless other things you might want to know about the place you’ll soon call home.
The lay of the land
A good place to start your search is on Google Maps. From here you can explore your future neighborhood; find out how close you are to grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even get an estimate on how long your work commute will take each day.
Since many of these places will have ratings and reviews, you can also take some time to read the reviews for popular places around town.
Eating around town
It can seem like you’re always flipping a coin when you eat at a new restaurant. When you move to a new town, you’ll have to discover new favorite places to eat. However, you don’t have to do these experiments on your own.
Check out Yelp reviews for local restaurants and cafes to get a sense of the pricing and atmosphere. This way you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of enjoying the experience.
Meeting new people
Making friends is hard enough as an adult. In today’s world, many people meet their friends online or through other connections, rather than simply hanging around with their neighbors.
Luckily, sites like Facebook and Meetup make it easier to introduce yourself to like-minded people.
Browse local meetups that you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to try out a new activity or attend a paint night--you might meet new people and discover a new hobby all at once.
Most towns have a strong presence on Facebook in terms of things like groups and events. Joining local groups will give you an idea of the type of things people do for fun around town and give you a way to introduce yourself to new people.
Read the news
Many towns are covered by a local or regional newspaper. They can often be found online or at a local library or cafe. These newspapers are often the key to discovering the good and the bad about your new home, tipping you off to the things you’ll want to pay attention to when you move.
If there is one project you will be thankful for taking on before a move it’s a giant declutter session. Or even sessions. It doesn’t matter how many it takes you, getting rid of the stuff that just sits around taking up space and collecting dust feels liberating.
Because stuff is more than just stuff. Everything comes with a reason or attachment that is keeping us from letting go. Even your cell phone from 2012 that you’ve been planning to recycle responsibly for years.
Sometimes the “junk” we collect in drawers and boxes has a lot more to say about us than the more sentimental items like holey t-shirts and ticket stubs.
But don’t worry we won’t go there. Instead, here are four different tactics for getting the clutter out before moving day. Because less stuff means fewer boxes, less to carry and less unpacking.
Let’s start with the most extreme, what would you do if you had to start over from scratch? If you couldn’t take anything with you what would you need to run out and replace ASAP? What are the non-negotiables that make your life yours?
Alternatively, schedule small bursts throughout the next few weeks where you tackle decluttering room by room. Breaking down a total declutter into smaller projects makes it easier to wrap our brains around. I’d recommend tackling one room per weekend.
If you’re finding that breaking up your declutter room by room is too overwhelming, here’s a different technique. Plan a few days a week where you set a timer for just an hour or two to go through one junk drawer/closet/bookshelf at a time. This works because it puts an immediate end in sight that you can quite literally count down to.
Struggling with what to keep and what to toss?
Consider how often do you actually use the item in question. If it’s of sentimental value how often do you pull it out to reminisce? Did you think to yourself “Wow! I totally forgot about this”? What value does this item add to your day to day to life? If the answer is rarely to never, it’s time to let go.
Sort items into the classic four box system. Create four boxes or piles: keep, donate, pack away, toss. And then, once everything is sorted, take action! Actually, donate those items. Toss out your collections of dead pens and old cell phones.
Or box everything up, bring it with you to the new place and toss or donate anything you haven’t unpacked within a month. With the exception of seasonal items, of course. The downside here is that you’re still going to have to pack it all up and move. But it’s a less extreme version of imagining you are starting over from scratch.