For first-time home buyers and seasoned homeowners alike, moving day is a major drag. Sure, it’s exciting to start the next chapter of your life in a brand-new place, but the process of moving is often a grueling, exhausting ordeal. Aside from having to sort through literally everything you own, you also have to deal with the physical side of moving: packing boxes, lifting furniture, and deep-cleaning your house.
“Move-in day can be pretty nerve-wracking; there’s a lot to do,” says Paul Travaglini, a real estate agent at Century 21 Seaport in Winthrop, MA. “My advice is to try to take it slow, and to make sure you have some necessities handy.”
We spoke with experts and rounded out the ultimate checklist of things you’ll appreciate having on moving day. These items will help you get settled sooner and ultimately make a smooth transition into your new home.
1. Bottled water and food
You are likely be starving after hours of cleaning and moving, and won’t want to make a trip to the supermarket. Have some water bottles on hand, and get easy-to-make food, such as pasta and sauce, for the first couple of days, while you settle into your new home.
This will make it easier to open the boxes that you overtaped.
3. Cleaning supplies
You’ll want to give your house a good scrubbing before you move in. “Don’t forget paper towels and other cleaning supplies in case the house is dusty,” says Travaglini. Bring your supplies from your old home, or head to the store and buy soap, floor cleaner, sponges, a mop, bucket, window cleaners, a vacuum, bathroom cleaner, and a toilet scrubber.
4. Closet hangers
You’ve made sure your new home is spotless. Now make sure your clothes aren’t wrinkled. (You’ll thank us for this one.)
5. Cooler with ice
This is a good idea if the previous owner didn’t leave a fridge, and yours hasn’t arrived yet.
6. Furniture sliders
Even if you have movers, you may want furniture sliders, the little things that go under the legs of chairs and couches and allow you to slide them easily without scratching your floor. You can pick them up at any hardware store.
7. New front-door lock
That ceremonious moment when you’re handed the keys to your new home is exciting. But you can’t be sure who else has a pair. Plan ahead and buy a new front-door lock, and set an appointment with a locksmith to change the locks or rekey the doors. You can have them come by on move-in day or shortly after.
Don’t spend your first night in your new house in the dark! Pack up all the lamps and light fixtures you’re planning to keep from your previous home and have them readily available. “Some rooms don’t have overhead lighting, so lamps will be very helpful,” says Rita Patriarca, a real estate agent at Re/Max Encore in Wilmington, MA.
9. Lightbulbs and batteries
These are other items you can usually buy in bulk. Most large retail and hardware stores carry bulbs in various wattage and shapes.
Personal hygiene might be the last thing on your mind on move-in day, but make sure you have soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and anything else you need. Moving day is a sweaty experience, and you’ll need a shower when you’re done. Plus, your new home will attract neighbors and friends. You’ll want to smell and look nice. Right?
11. Trash can and trash bags
If you plan to keep your trash barrel outside of a cabinet and you have a pet, it’s a good idea to get one with a secure top. You don’t want Fido or Tabby getting into the trash.
12. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
You never want to go a day living in a house without property smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the house on move-in day to make sure you have enough detectors. Test each one to make sure the batteries are working.
13. Sticky notes
Mark down where you want things. It’s a good idea to label where you want your furniture, TV, dining-room table, etc. You can do this by writing on a sticky note and leaving it where you want the items located. This will help the movers know where to put everything.
14. Your favorite beverage
Whether you prefer champagne, Dr. Pepper, or Maker’s Mark, get yourself your favorite beverage to celebrate your new home. Toast yourself, your significant other, your kids, your friends and family, and everyone else who played a part in the move. You’ve earned it.