Leaving your current home is difficult enough: The emotional upheaval of leaving behind the wood floors where your son took his first steps; the master closet you invested untold hours designing to make perfect; and saying goodbye to all those built-in cabinets!
But when it comes time to close the front door for the last time, all of those mixed feelings — excitement about your new house, but bittersweet feelings about saying goodbye to the home you've known — can lead to unwitting forgetfulness. And we're not talking about making sure the lights are turned off.
Instead, it's important to remember what you need to do so your new house is ready to receive you and your family as quickly as possible.
And in all our years speaking with clients as they go through this process, there are a few to-dos we see are consistently overlooked.
It's easy to forget all your artwork, mirrors, and family photos didn't just "appear" on the walls of your current home. Someone had to put them there!
Over the years, your art collection grew. Your added a portrait wall. And you finally replaced the vanity mirror in the powder bathroom. But all that progress gets reset to zero on move-in day.
So how to avoid living in a new house with barren walls?
Plan ahead and schedule your art hanging to coincide with your relocation.
It's often best to give yourself about a week after everything is moved in before you bring in a skilled art hanger. (That doesn't mean you should wait to schedule it, however!)
With this extra time, you can leisurely move pieces around the home — to see how the light hits them, and the feeling they create for each room — before you start putting holes in the wall.
And by not directly overlapping move-in day with art hanging, you will avoid subjecting yourself to too much chaos in a single day.
Mail Forwarding and Utility Transfer
You probably won't mind leaving behind all that junk mail when you move. But an invitation to your nephew's wedding? Yeah, you probably want to make sure that gets delivered to your new house!
Forwarding your mail with the United States Postal Service is easy to do, but so often homeowners forget to do it until after moving into the new house ... and they start wondering why they suddenly don't have a mountain of bills showing up.
Luckily you can schedule the change-of-address date in advance with your mail carrier, which means you can do it right now, while you're thinking about it! And USPS mail forwarding typically last for a full year, which means you'll have plenty of time to tell your contacts your new mailing address. (Additionally, carriers like FedEx and UPS allow you to customize alerts when items are being delivered to your address, which allows you to intercept and redirect any packages that are still being sent to your old house.)
But getting your mail isn't the only part of changing your address.
You'll also need to make sure you have your television, Internet, and phone services switched over, along with the accounts for your electricity, gas, and water.
Because utility companies are often slow moving and require several weeks to send out a technician, it's best to schedule these installation appointments the moment you know your new address and when you'll be living there. Some companies will allow a little "overlap," which means you can have your Internet and satellite service installed at the new house (to make sure it's up and running) before you have to disconnect it from your old home.
Don't take this step lightly: You won't be the only family member upset if you move into a new house and, within days, you suddenly are without hot water because the gas account never got swapped!
Television, WiFi, Home Theater, and Audio-Video Setup
Great: You remembered to get the satellite television service installed at the new house. But how are you going to watch Dancing With The Stars if your TVs are not on the wall?
Traditional moving companies may offer to take down your televisions, but they are not skilled at reinstalling flat screens, especially if there's any mounting, drilling, or wiring required.
Which means you must think about where in your new home you want your TVs, home theater, and surround sound speaker systems — and then make sure you have scheduled expert technicians equipped to install your entertainment systems.
Because it's no fun moving into a lovely new home and you can't get your iPhone to connect to the WiFi network or your TV linked to Netflix.
And what if I don't want to do any of this myself?
Glad you asked! Because preparing a new home to be a welcoming space can take the average family weeks when they handle it alone.
From vetting and scheduling technicians to waiting around for them to show up and then closely monitoring their work to ensure it meets your standards ... it's a lot of work.
And that's one of the reasons we created Greystone Relocation Concierge: to take the headache out of changing homes. When clients hire Greystone, we step in to handle these mundane but necessary tasks — and we get it all done according to a seamless master timeline, so each process unfolds when it needs to.
So instead of worrying about art hanging and TV installation and whether Paw Patrol is going to be ready for the kids to watch, you can actually enjoy the first night in your new house.