10 things to do after a move

10 Things To Do After You Move​

10 Things To Do After You Move

Moving to a new city can leave you feeling disoriented. Although you will get into the groove of things over time, the post-move can be just as taxing as the actual move. 

This list will help you figure out what to do once you’ve moved into your new home. 

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When we move, the first thing we do is unpack, but how about getting all of the other not-so-fun stuff out of the way before sorting through some things you haven’t looked at in years? You’ll have to change your postal address, find a healthcare provider, and register your car after your cross-country move. Or even something fun, like making new friends. I always cringed as a kid at movie scenes when the annoying neighbors would drop by with home-baked goods and big smiles and laughs to give to their new neighbors who weren’t as excited. But in real life, just a simple introduction, saying hello to new neighbors, or going to meetup events in town, will make your new transition just more enjoyable. I personally like to look for Facebook groups and join their Telegram or Whatsapp chat groups to know what is happening around town and ask for suggestions. 

After a move, what should you do? Here is the How, when, and why should they all be completed?

1. Schedule your time following the move

Before we go any further, did you look into hiring movers to save you time and money? You might think hiring movers is a luxury, but hiring movers saves you money and time in the long run. 

Movers also offer a number of services like the packing, unpacking, assembly and disassembly of your furniture. Not to mention that when you hire movers, all of your priced possessions are insured. 

You might feel relieved once you have finally moved and it feels like a huge weight off of your shoulders, but don’t get too excited. You’re barely at the halfway point. 

Unfortunately, because there are so many things to accomplish while moving into a new home, you won’t have much time to settle in, at least not yet. In actuality, you have to plan your post-move as efficiently as possible.

Consider creating a new to-do list that covers everything you need to do now that the move is over.

2. Unpack bedrooms, bathrooms & Kitchen first

Silk Way wrapped furniture and boxes

Unpacking, unlike packing for a move, may be done at a considerably slower speed. Although unpacking is vital and time-consuming, you don’t have a pressing deadline to get it done. Moving companies offer great rates for helping you unpack, which includes a thorough plan. 

The first boxes you should unpack are your essentials boxes, which contain the most important stuff. Then, start opening all of the Bedroom and Bathroom labeled containers, as they are the two rooms you should prioritize setting up. After all, aren’t your thoughts focused on taking a fast shower and relaxing in your comfortable bed?

Unpacking is undoubtedly one of the first things you should do when moving into a new house. Still, the good news is that you have complete control over the unpacking pace to meet your urgent requirements.

3. Discover your new home's secrets.

In most situations, your new house will be entirely unfamiliar ground for you, so bring out your inner explorer and take a tour of the property. Look for any traces of previous damage, check for leaks in the pipes, and keep an eye out for any symptoms of infestation. In case of an emergency, find the fuse box and the main water stop valve, as well as the readings of your water and electricity meters.

While you’re on your tour, make mental notes on whether your new house is appropriately guarded against unauthorized access (theft) or against Mother Nature’s destructive powers. If you have a young child, your new home should also be thoroughly child-proofed.

Are your doors and windows as secure as possible? Do you have any smoke detectors? What about fire extinguishers strategically put on each floor? It goes without saying that the less secrets your new home has, the better.

4. Change your address

The postal address of your new residence will be different regardless of whether you moved across town, to a new city within the same state, or across the nation. And it means that unless you take the effort to update your address soon after the transfer, you’ll continue to get normal mail at your previous address, which is inconvenient.

The chore of changing your address should not be put off among the many things to accomplish once you move into a new home. Instead, get started as soon as possible. Here, you have two choices: 

1) go to your local post office and fill out a change of address card in person, or 

2) take use of the worldwide network and do it online on the USPS website.

Oh, and don’t forget to give the new owners/renters of your old property some money so that they may forward your mail until your new address takes effect.

If you haven’t done so yet, check out our Change of Address Checklist so that you don’t forget a thing


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If you’re moving within Virginia

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles regulates moves in the area.

Read Your Rights and Responsibilities Moving Within Virginia

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates your relocation if you are moving out of state or overseas.

Read Your Right and Responsibilities Moving Out of Virginia or the U.S.


Keep in mind if you’re not relocating to a new state, you should check with your state, county, or municipal consumer affairs department or state moving association to confirm local mover rules and regulations. Each state’s liability and value standards for movers may differ

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates your relocation if you are moving out of state or overseas.

Read Your Right and Responsibilities Moving Out of Virginia or the U.S.

Keep in mind if you’re not relocating to a new state, you should check with your state, county, or municipal consumer affairs department or state moving association to confirm local mover rules and regulations. Each state’s liability and value standards for movers may differ

Don't forget to:

5. Register your child at a new school

If you’ve just relocated to a new home with a school-aged child, you know how vital it is to find a new school for them so that they may continue their education. That new school must also be renowned in order for your child to get the finest potential start in life.

To begin, try greatschools.org

You can also ask friends or coworkers for suggestions, or even neighbors who may know which schools are excellent and which are not. The best thing you can do is visit a few schools with your child and chat with the principal or a few instructors to have a better sense of what to expect in the future.

6. Register your car

Is your automobile being transported for you? 

If you’ve just crossed a state line to get to your destination, don’t forget to register your vehicle in the new state. You may also need to transfer your driver’s license, for your information. The good thing is that both of these procedures are rather simple, so all you have to do now is find the time to visit your local DMV office.

If you don’t know where your nearest DMV office is, try the DMV office locator to find out. It’s crucial to keep in mind, however, that the time it takes to register your car in a new state might range from a few days to a month. To avoid potential fines, either contact the state’s central DMV office for further information or do this work within the next few days.

  • Vehicle Registration change of address – Don’t forget to update your address. If you’re moving or just moved to Virginia, you have 60 days to obtain a Virginia driver’s license to legally drive here. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you must obtain a Virginia CDL within 30 days to legally drive in Virginia. After you have insured and titled your vehicle, register it at any Virginia DMV customer service center within 30 days of moving to Virginia.
  • Beginning May 3, 2023, the federal government will require you to present a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card, or another acceptable form of identification, in order to board a domestic flight or enter most secure federal facilities. When you apply for your Virginia driver’s license, consider whether you need to get a Real ID compliant license.
  • Don’t forget to get a Vehicle Safety Inspection Sticker – Drivers in Virginia must pass an annual safety inspection and display a valid safety inspection sticker before operating a vehicle. If you drive your vehicle without an inspection sticker, you may be ticketed by law enforcement. A conviction for violating Virginia inspection laws could result in a fine and be posted to your driving record.
  • Meet Virginia’s Emissions Inspection Standards – If your vehicle is being registered in Virginia for the first time, you may not need to inspect it if you have a valid emissions certificate (performed in the last 12 months). But if you don’t have one, register it if it is garaged in one of the following localities.
    • The counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, or Stafford
    • The cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, or Manassas Park
  • Contact your auto insurance provider – You need to make sure it meets Virginia’s insurance requirements. If insurance is not an option, you must pay a $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee (UMV). Paying this fee does not provide insurance coverage, but it does allow you to register and operate your vehicle in Virginia for one year. If you register your vehicle in Virginia but do not cover the vehicle with liability insurance and do not pay the UMV fee, you face a $500 fine, suspension of your driver’s license and vehicle registration(s), and higher insurance premiums for the next three years. You might as well pay the $500 and save yourself the headache. 
  • Title Your Vehicle – You must title your car within 30 days after relocating to Virginia in order to register it and acquire license plates. If you have any questions about vehicle taxes, check out this FAQ

Obtain a Local Sticker Or Decal From Your Locality – Your locality may ask you to register your car within 30 days of your arrival. Click the link to get instructions how to do so.

7. Get Your Pets Settled In

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If you’ve just moved with a dog or dogs, you shouldn’t be anxious about what to do once you’ve settled in. This is due to the fact that one of the remedies is self-evident: you must check that your animal friend is okay after the rapid change of surroundings and unexpected leap out of their comfort zone.
Because most pets, especially dogs and cats, have a good sense of smell, the first thing you can do for them is thoroughly clean their new house. The next best thing is to show your affection for them by taking care of their needs, playing with them more frequently if possible, and never leaving them alone for long periods of time.

8. Meet new people and make some friends

For everyone concerned, moving into a new house may be difficult. Separation anxiety is one probable adverse effect of the recent home relocation. Moving away from your closest friends and family could make you feel down. To make matters worse, you are unlikely to know anyone in your new city. Not yet, at least.

But, wherever the new city dynamics lead you, remember to maintain in touch with your old friends, since this is a tried and true method of overcoming relocation sadness. I personally like to go check for networking events at Meetup.com, on Facebook groups just by searching your city name + group. If you’re single, maybe consider joining a dating app. Even if it’s just to make local friends to try the cool places in town. 

10. Explore around town

What else is there to do when you move to a new city? A lot! And if you’re a foodie like me, there’s always plenty of new restaurants to try. 

Apart from the strictly practical aspect of knowing where to find the most important places in town like supermarkets, banks, hospitals, post offices, car services, schools,  etc. the more familiar you become with the new place, the more at ease you will feel living and working there.

Take regular exploratory walks, starting in your area and working your way across the city. Get to know the city’s sights, learn a little more about its history, and perhaps even try to comprehend how the residents live in general. 

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