What to Do When You’ve Just Moved Into a New Neighbourhood

So you’ve just moved into a new neighbourhood – congratulations!  Perhaps you’ve just purchased a new home, or maybe you’ve moved into a new rental unit.  You’re about to discover that moving in means a lot more than simply unpacking all those boxes.  There are many things to discover and organize.  Here’s a list to get you started.

Number one priority before anything else can be done is cleaning up the space, even if the previous tenant or homeowner did the cleaning before he left.  No one is ever quite as finicky about our own space as we are.  We want to make sure that we get every nook and cranny cleaned up, from the corners of the floors in the closets to the inside of the heat vents.  Taking the time to clean everything properly means we will notice any minor repairs that need to be done, as well as whether there is an immediate need to freshen up the paint.

Once that’s done, get the big pieces of furniture into place.  Connect all your major appliances, and make sure that they are properly connected and fully functional.  Locate the fuse box and the water valve, and write down the numbers on all the meters.

Now you’re ready to start unpacking, but don’t unpack everything all at once.  Start by unpacking the box you’ve labelled “Immediate” or whatever you will absolutely need for your first day – this is likely to be your toiletries, a change of clothes, perhaps a few plates and pieces of cutlery, and your bedding essentials so that you can get some sleep if by this time it is already late.

If you’ve done all that and there are still some daylight hours left, take a break from unpacking, find out where the closest hardware store is, and change the locks on all your doors.  Get copies made of your keys.  While you’re out buying your new locks, scout around the neighbourhood and locate the necessary shops if you haven’t already done this before you moved: you’ll want to find restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, drugstores, banks, schools, doctor, dentist, vet, and hairdresser.   If you will be renovating your new home, find out where the city hall is and get to know the rules for what you can and cannot do.  If you will be using public transportation, make notes about the bus stops you see so that you can find out where the buses go.

Once you get back home, accomplish whatever paperwork  you haven’t had a chance to complete before you moved – have your mail forwarded, send your new address to the government and utility companies, find out your trash pick-up dates, subscribe to your local newspaper (this will give you ideas for discovering your new neighbourhood), and prepare a list of emergency phone numbers and service technicians in your area.

Now that you’ve gotten your paperwork accomplished, you can get back to unpacking and organizing, and then don’t forget to reward yourself with a nice meal at one of the restaurants you’ve just discovered.

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