1. Go Camping
Your first day in a new home is more like camping, where you’ll feel (if not actually be) isolated from your usual resources, and less like staying in a hotel, where luxury awaits at every turn, so be sure to keep what you need for the first 24 – 48 hours with you.
For each person, pack a bag of essentials (whatever each one of you can’t live without).
For one person, it might be every charger and game device in order to keep new-home anxiety at bay. For a little one, it might be an oft-loved stuffed animal (or three) and a blanket and pillow cases that “smells like home”.
Be sure to pack a box of household essentials too, a set of (possibly disposable) plates, cutlery, cups, and napkins would be useful so nobody has to forego a meal or eat pizza standing over the sink.
A shower curtain and bathmat or rug (because taking a tub shower without curtains makes not only for a flooded first morning, but a cranky household), hand soap, and towels adequate for cleaning and drying yourselves will go a long way to eliminating churlishness when everything feels a bit out of sorts.
Have at least a few legal pads or notebooks and writing utensils handy, because even if your Wi-Fi gets set up before the move (which is unlikely), it might be wonky in those first few days.
2. Be a Good Scout and Be Prepared
The initial focus in the first week in a new home is usually on the tangibles – what stuff goes where, and how will it all fit?
But it’s important to nurture your mind, body, and spirit as well as stock your chest of drawers and pantry full of snack food so before you move to a new neighborhood or new town, build your list of resources.
Ask people on social media, bookmark your community’s website, and have your real estate agent or leasing office connect you with the best contacts (or websites to find them).
Brainstorm possible calamities first: in an emergency, what’s the best place to call for a locksmith? Where’s the nearest pediatric and/or adult urgent care (and find out their hours)? Where’s the nearest 24-hour pharmacy? Then move on to comfort-related information.
If your coffee pot is still packed that first morning, where’s the best (or nearest) place to get that jolt of java? Who delivers pizza to the satisfaction of everyone in your home? If a house of worship, meditation path, or yoga class is important to you, spend some time well ahead of the move to plan where you’ll go to get your uplift, check on times of services or classes (and if necessary, map the directions and pin the location as a favorite in your phone).
3. Get Official
Sit down and make three lists.
First, for what accounts do you have to update your account information or cancel and rebook in another area? (Think: electricity, gas, water, sewer, trash pick-up, telephone, cable/satellite, etc.)
Next, consider everyone who needs a change of address and start doing what you can via online updates. It helps to go through your financial files, account by account (like bank and brokerage accounts, lenders, credit card companies, student loan services, your auto and home or renter’s insurance companies, etc.).
Finally, make a list of everything you need to get brand-new (so consider your registration card, library card, driver’s license, health and dental insurance companies, your workplace’s HR department, etc.).