When the removal men have gone and you’re surrounded by cardboard boxes, you might be wondering what to do next.
Our first bit of advice would be to make a brew and put your feet up for 10 minutes, but there are a few other things you should do too! Have a read to find out more:
Step 1: Inspect your home
Walk around your home and make sure that all items of furniture and fittings that were included in the inventory (e.g. carpets, curtain poles, light fittings) are there. If the former owners have removed something they shouldn’t, contact your solicitors straight away to report it. There have been some instances where new properties have been stripped bare because the former owners wanted to get their own back for accepting a lower price that they would have liked, which is unlikely to happen to you, but it pays to double check!
Step 2: Take a meter reading
Take gas and electricity meter readings and contact the existing gas and electricity suppliers that you’ve moved in. To find out who the gas supplier is, give the meter number helpline a bell on 0870 608 1524. To find out who the electricity supplier is, ring the local electricity distribution company and ask to speak to the meter point administration service department, they’ll be able to help. A quick Google should get you the phone number of the relevant company.
You may decide to stay with the current suppliers, or you could shop around to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. A great place to compare prices is USwitch.com.
Step 3: Only unpack the essentials
Don’t try to unpack every box as soon as you close the front door behind you, just unpack the essentials first - the kettle, the tea bags...and then anything you may need for your first night. By the end of the day you’ll be ready to collapse into a heap, so make sure your bed is one of the first things that you set up, or you could just put the mattress on the floor if you’re feeling too exhausted. If you’ve a little one, whip out the travel cot and the older kids might like the idea of camping on the floor in sleeping bags for a night!
If you’ve a spare room or garage, you could put boxes that you don’t need out of view, and then just get them out when you’re ready to unpack them so you don’t feel overwhelmed at the task in hand.
Step 4: Safety first
Check that the smoke detectors work. If they don’t, try replacing the batteries, or if this fails, go and buy some new ones straight away. It’s really important that you don’t put this off as it’s really not worth the risk to you and your family. You may want to think about getting the locks changed too, as you don’t know who has a spare key, but this is something that you can tackle a little later on as you’ll need to call a locksmith, unless you’re a DIY whizz.
Step 5: Deal with any post
If the property has been empty for a while you may find a pile of unopened bills and letters when you first open the front door. It’s best to sort out the post as soon as you can by writing ‘return to sender, not at this address’ on each envelope and popping it in a post box. You legally aren’t allowed to open someone else’s post and you shouldn’t bin it. In the weeks and months that follow you may get more post for the previous occupants and you should do this each time.
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