Your furniture and boxes have made it into your new home, but now what? There’s still a lot of work to be done, including the monumental task of unpacking. We know you have a lot on your plate in the days following a move but delaying important post-moving tasks can cause you additional hassles. As experienced Tampa local movers, we’ve created this guide to serve as a checklist for getting settled into your new home.
Ideally, you should contact the utility companies before moving, but if you forgot to call them or just ran out of time, this task should be at the top of your to-do list. You won’t be the first person who had to call and transfer the water, gas, or electricity into your name as the movers were unloading the truck. The good news is the power company doesn’t usually turn the electricity off unless the house has been vacant for a while.
These links will help you get started with setting up or transferring services in Hillsborough County:
Hillsborough County Public Utilities
The first few nights in a new place can feel a little unsettling, but there are several things you can do to make sure your home is safe and secure. Check that all windows are locked and change the door locks as soon as possible since you don’t know who may have keys to your home. You might also need to reprogram the existing alarm system or have a new one installed.
As you explore your new home, be sure to locate the electrical panel, propane or oil shutoff, and the main water valve so that you can quickly shut any of these off in an emergency. More importantly, check to make sure the smoke detectors are working.
As soon as you get the keys to your new home, it’s essential to walk through and evaluate the condition of the place, noting any problem areas, especially if the house is a rental. Fill out your move-in checklist thoroughly and take photos so the landlord won’t blame you for already-there issues.
In addition to noting existing damage and possibly submitting a repair request, make a to-do list of maintenance items you’ll be taking care of yourself. These tasks might include changing the locks, making spare keys, and changing your A/C filters if they’re dirty.
Ideally, you packed an “Open First” box with everyday household items such as sheets, towels, and cleaning products. With a local move, your essential items might be nothing more than a laundry basket full of clean linens along with a cleaning caddy you brought over in your car after cleaning the old house.
Other items to unpack right away include comfort objects to help your kids and pets acclimate to their new home. Ideally, you brought some of these items in your overnight bag along with your toiletries and a change of clothes.
If possible, clean and sanitize your new home before you start unpacking, especially the kitchen and bathrooms. Even if you and your family are the first residents of a newly built home, you’ll want to at least give the toilet seats a swipe with a disinfecting wipe.
A step that is often overlooked after a move is taking inventory while unpacking. This step is more doable if you made a list of your belongings while boxing them up and you still have that list in your moving binder. Don’t worry too much if you skipped this step, though— experienced Tampa professional movers create their own inventory of your household items, and you can ask them for a copy of that list. If anything was lost or damaged during the move, you should file a lost or damaged claim with the moving company.
Although it’s best to downsize before a move, sometimes you don’t know until after you move in that some of your stuff isn’t needed at your new home. It’s often necessary to continue decluttering as you unpack. You will also want to flatten and stack the empty boxes as you go to get them out of your way.
One of the best things about moving is the opportunity to start fresh and be more organized in your new home. Be intentional as you put items away in closets and cupboards. If your moving budget allows, pick up some closet organizers and storage bins at your local home improvement store. You’ll feel better about your new home if you have a suitable place to store each item.
There’s also the matter of filing important paperwork in a safe place, and that includes your moving receipts. As Tampa professional movers, we recommend that you save your receipts for tax time in case you’re able to write off your moving expenses.
The moving process will typically leave you with a lot to recycle and throw away, which is why it’s vital to figure out where the trash carts and recycling bins are. If these items have been removed from your property during the transition, you’ll need to contact Hillsborough County Utilities or the City of Tampa.
You’ve probably been eating out for the last few days, and you may have purged your condiments when you cleaned out the fridge before moving day. Exploring the nearest grocery store will give you a much-needed break from unpacking.
When running those first errands, you’re likely to encounter your new neighbors while coming and going. Even if you’re too shy to introduce yourself, try to make eye contact, smile and wave, and be approachable.
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to complete a change of address form with the USPS, but don’t rely too heavily on the forwarding order. Keep in mind that the post office will only forward your mail for so long, and they won’t forward certain types of mail. This is why you need to update your address with:
If your kids attend public school and your local move puts them in a new area, visit Hillsborough County Public Schools online to find out about their new school. If you’ve moved during the school year, getting your kids enrolled as soon as possible will allow them to start making friends in the new neighborhood.
There’s also the matter of updating the address on your driver’s license and vehicle registration. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires that you notify them within 30 days of moving to a new address, so you have a little time to complete this task.
Another item to attend to after establishing residence at a new address is updating your voter registration information and finding out where your new polling place may be. For information about voter registration, election dates, and local precinct locations, visit the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections website. If you’re already registered to vote in the state of Florida, it’s easy to update your information online.
If this is a local Tampa move, you’re likely familiar with the city and county ordinances here. But suppose you’re relocating to a neighborhood like Westchase that has a homeowner’s association. In that case, you’re going to want to sit down and familiarize yourself with any additional rules and regulations in the HOA manual.
Once you’ve completed the above tasks, it’s time for some much-needed rest and relaxation in your new home. Don’t expect too much of yourself during this busy season of life, but make sure you get out of the house occasionally too. This guide just wouldn’t be complete without reminding you to take a leisurely walk and explore your new neighborhood.
If you haven’t already moved but are in the planning stages, the above tips will give you ideas for things you can do ahead of time to make your relocation easier; in addition, read our guide to moving to Tampa. If you’re still feeling overwhelmed about the logistics of your upcoming move, Tampa professional movers like Suddath can help.
When researching Tampa moving companies, please keep in mind that full-service movers like Suddath offer optional packing and unpacking services. When you go with Suddath, your moving team will place your furniture and other items in the proper rooms and can also unpack and haul away the boxes. Alternatively, we can unpack only the items you tell us to or simply place your furniture and boxes in the right rooms so you can unpack when you’re ready.
If you have questions or are ready to get started, contact our professional local movers in Tampa at 727-498-0709 for more information.