For many people, the first few hours after a move are a stressful time. There’s so much to do that it can be hard to even figure out where to start. That’s where we come in. We’ve narrowed down the seven most important household tasks to take care of after the move. Read them over and use them as a  a jumpstart on that to-do list.

Collect this idea

after a move

Take care of the utilities before anything else. Image: Garrison Hullinger Interior Design Inc.

Turn on utilities

The last thing you want to happen after a long moving day is for the sun to go down and you realize that you don’t have any electricity. If you haven’t taken care of it already, call your utility companies and transfer service into your name. If you’re moving locally, this should be as easy as changing the address on your account. However, if you’re moving from out of the area, you may want to get your new utility information from the seller.

Locate the breaker box and water shut off valve

In the middle of an emergency, you don’t want to be searching around frantically for these important items. Make sure you know where they’re located before you need to use them. It’s worth the effort to find them when you first move in. Be sure to learn how to use them, as well. Test out all of the switches in the breaker box and label them for easy access later. Turn off the water and faucets to ensure the valve will do its job in a pinch.

Collect this idea

locks

Be sure to change the locks. Image: Urban Home Windsor

Change the locks

When you move into a new home, you don’t know who might have an extra set of keys to it. It’s in your best interest to have a mobile locksmith come and change all the locks as soon as possible. If an exterior door is missing a deadbolt, this is a good opportunity to have one of those installed, too. Once you’ve been handed your new keys, be sure to label them so that you know which key is used for which door. You can have extras made later, just in case.

Check your moving boxes and furniture

The next step is to check all your moving boxes and furniture for signs of damage or dings. Also make sure that nothing got lost in the shuffle. (This is where your packing inventory list will come in handy.) You’ll want to do this as soon as possible after a move so that you can submit a claim to the moving company and your insurance company. Take photographs of any visible damage and keep your paperwork handy so you can refer back to it later, if needed.

Collect this idea

bed

Put together sleeping arrangements well before it’s time for bed. Image: Gaetano Hardwood Floors, Inc.

Make your bed

Even if you’ve prepared well beforehand, moving day is going to be a long one. To minimize stress and frustration at the end of the night, make sure you have your bed and sleeping arrangements set up well in advance of when you plan to use them. That said, you don’t have to take care of unpacking every single item in one day after a move. Just make sure that you have your bedding, a change of clothes, and any essentials like toiletries or medications ready to go when you’re ready to call it a night.

Change your address

Next, make sure that all your mail gets to the right place. If you haven’t already, fill out a change of address form with the post office. (Luckily, these days, you can take care of this task online.) In addition, you’ll also want to change your address with any agencies who regularly contact you through the mail, like your credit cards and insurance companies.

Collect this idea

neighbors

Don’t forget to say hello to the neighbors. Image: CJS Woodworking & Design

Greet your new neighbors

The last step after a move is to get out and greet your neighbors. You don’t have to do this on the first day you move in, but the sooner you take care of it, the sooner you’ll settle into the neighborhood. Greeting the neighbors doesn’t have to involve a big gesture like handing out fresh-baked cookies (although it can). Simply going door-to-door and introducing yourself should be enough to assure the neighbors that they can find a friend in you.