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  • Scott Westfall

19 Things to Do Before Moving Into Your New Home [2023 Checklist]

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

After closing on your new house – but before moving all your belongings in – there are several things you should do so that settling in will be a breeze. Here are 19 things to do before you move into the home you just bought - in Virginia Beach or beyond.

What things should you do after closing on a house but before moving in? Heres a checklist

Congrats! The contract is signed, the down payment made, and the house is yours! When moving house, there’s an endless checklist of things to do. However, before you start transporting all your worldly possessions into your new home, there are a few things you should do first if you are able.

Checklist of 19 Things to Do Before Moving House

Here’s our ultimate list of what you should do before moving into your new home - and don’t miss the free printable checklist below!

Switch utilities to your own name

Don’t get caught without water or electricity on your first day in your new home! Make sure to contact all the utility companies (water, gas, electric, internet, etc.) before moving in and put your personal information on the accounts so that everything is ready when you arrive to start living there.

Make a repair punch-list

Before you get to work making your new home your own, it’s a good idea to get out a copy of the home inspection that’s usually completed during the homebuying process. You can separate it into sections: things to repair before moving in, major repairs you need to budget for, and routine maintenance like HVAC servicing or cleaning the fireplace. Consider the season, too – you don’t want to be stuck without A/C in a Virginia Beach summer!

Psst: If for any reason you waived the inspection, it’s still wise to get one done after you’ve closed. Having a professional take a look at your new property will help you know what needs to be done before moving in and allow you to budget well.

Get to know your house

Take the time to get to know your property inside and out. Note the state of your major systems, what will need regular preventative maintenance, and how you can see each room being used. Locate things such as the breaker panel (and make sure it’s well-labeled) and your shut-off valves. Write down anything that needs to be updated or tweaked to add to your budget.

Make an updated move-in budget

It’s not just major repairs that cost money in a move. Replacing light bulbs, touching up some paint, cleaning out closets and crawl spaces, and replacing filters may be smaller chores than a full kitchen upgrade, but the little things can add up quickly when moving house. New homeowners will often spend their whole “moving budget” on new furnishings before addressing the small repairs or preventative maintenance needs of the house.


We recommend completing as many renovations as possible before moving into the house you just bought! Getting major repairs out of the way while the property is still empty will give you more room to work without having to constantly move furniture and belongings, not to mention covering or cleaning them. Check out your repair punch-list and decide on an order - demolition and painting should come before new floors!


Don’t love the puce living room walls or that garish orange in the bedroom? Get any big painting projects done before bringing your belongings into the house. Just like renovating beforehand, this will keep your belongings safe and out of the way, ultimately saving you time, hassle, and money in the end.

Any concrete floors in your home or garage? Consider painting those, too!

Deep clean

Unlike moving into an apartment complex, you can’t expect a professionally-cleaned home come moving day. You won’t regret taking the time to deep clean your property before bringing your belongings on site. Sweeping, scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, and sanitizing are must-dos before moving in.

Change the locks on your new house

It’s your house now! Protect your newest asset from the start by swapping all the locks and getting spare keys for them made. Don’t forget the garage door and electronic lock codes, too. After you close, no one should need to access your property but you!

Set up your security system

In addition to making sure your doors are secure, getting your security system up and running can add peace of mind to the process of renovating and moving. Vacant properties are often more susceptible to vandalism and break-ins, so it’s a good idea to take preventative measures right away.

Check your filters

Some tasks, such as changing the air filters and water filters, need to be completed at regular intervals. It’s a good idea to check these right away before settling into your new place and replace them as needed, because it probably wasn’t high on the priority list of those selling the home.

Test your smoke detectors

Moving time can be more hazardous than usual, with boxes everywhere and renovation materials floating around. As soon as you close on your new home, take a few minutes to test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (if your home uses gas) so that everything is in order. Not only do these need to be properly installed, but they should be up to date, as smoke detectors usually expire after 10 years.

Make a floor plan

Planning where you’ll put your furniture ahead of time can be a huge help during a move. You could start with a list of pieces to move into each room, or get fancy with a 3D digital model of the house. There are lots of free and affordable tools out there that let you design a floor plan based on your house’s specific dimensions.

Using that new house as a rental property? Here’s how to make it enviable for renters.

Child-proof and/or pet-proof your new house

The last thing you need - on top of moving into a brand-new home - is the dog to break out or the baby’s leg to get stuck in a floor vent. Pull out any pet-proofing or child-proofing supplies you’ll need and get them put up before it becomes your place of residence.

Pare down your possessions

If there’s anything you don’t plan on using in your new home, sell, or donate it before you move in. There’s no need for extra hassle moving hefty coaches or awkward tables into your new place if you’re just anticipating taking them right back out again. List it to sell or arrange a donation pick-up (try CHKD in Virginia Beach) before moving into your new home.

Bring in the necessities

Though you haven’t moved into the house yet, you’ll still need a few items there while you work, renovate, and/or paint. Things like toilet paper, hand soap, bottled water, paper towels, and a broom are necessities to have on hand before and during the move-in process.

Get familiar with your HOA

If you have a homeowners association, read up on that before getting too far into updates on your home. You need to know where your dues should be paid, whether you need permission to paint the exterior of your house a specific color, and any local restrictions. You’ll want to start on the right foot with your neighborhood.

Update your address

You don’t want to miss any important documents or packages coming to you! Make sure that you’ve forwarded your mail not only from the USPS, but also from Amazon, UPS, and FedEx. There are lots of other places that will need your new address, too - your employer, bank, credit card company, and DMV, to name a few. (We’ve got a good long list for your convenience on our “Before You Move In Checklist.”)

Check the local trash and recycling laws

Let’s face it: nothing generates trash and recycling like moving houses. Look up your area’s regulations about trash collection and recycling bins to make sure that you have the correct receptacles and know when to put them out, or where you’ll need to take any old lightbulbs or other items discarded during renovations.

Prep some move-in meals

Moving into a new place makes for a long enough day (or days) without having to make a big dinner. Identify some easy meals, prepare some to heat and eat, or budget for your favorite take-out on moving days. If the kitchen is getting an update, note which appliances may not be available for cooking and plan accordingly.

Get Your Free Checklist to Get Organized Before Moving In

Not everyone may have the means or a place to live while doing all of these things before they move into their new home. However, this checklist is a great thing to have on hand to get you organized when moving house. Download our free printable checklist here for an ultimate look at everything to do on your property after you close but before you move in!

The Bottom Line

Buying a house and moving into it are huge life events! With a checklist of things to do before moving into your new home in hand, you’ll be ready to tackle the move in an organized manner.

If you’re ready to find that perfect place to move into in Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads, just reach out to Scott Westfall at CGP Real Estate for expert advice that you can trust to invest with confidence.


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