There are few things in life that I dread more than moving house. The packing, the unpacking, living out of boxes and never knowing where anything is, drives me mad.  My partner, by contrast, is a certifiable nomad and hates to be in one place for more than two years, tops. The only thing I hate more than moving is listening to my wife moan incessantly about how badly she wants to move, so like clockwork, every couple of years we throw everything back into boxes and head to the next stop on the journey. All this has given me a great deal of experience and expertise, so I figured I’d share a few tips to help your next move go smoothly.

Safety First

You can never be too careful when moving into a new neighbourhood, and a recent arrival can often make an attractive, soft target for an opportunistic crook. One of the first things I do after moving into a new house or apartment is contact a reputable locksmith to change existing locks or install new ones on external doors and windows. To date, we have never had a break in, so it seems to be working!

Mail Merge

In all the chaos, it can be easy to forget to have your mail forwarded to your new address. While snail mail is dying a slow and painful death at the hands of its electronic cousin, you don’t want to miss important correspondence. The one time I neglected to have my mail forwarded, I missed a speeding fine notice and ended up forking out almost double in penalties and fees due to the late payment. If you aren’t able to have the mail forwarded right away, at least have the USPS hold your mail until you can pick it up.

Gaining Utility

Another horrible mistake I made was not changing the utilities out of my name for my previous home. The new people ended up using electricity, gas, water and internet on my tab for months before the companies started contacting me demanding payment. Make sure you switch all your accounts right away to avoid costly mistakes like mine.

Update Your Records

There is a whole slew of official items that you need to ensure have your updated address. Your driver’s license, car registration and insurance, bank, the electoral role and others all need to be notified so that their records are up-to-date. It’s a bit of a pain, but it will be a bigger one if you leave it unattended.

Meet the Neighbors

While not necessarily on the official list of things to do, a good relationship with your neighbors is worth its weight in gold. Neighbors can be a fabulous source of assistance, friendship and local information. Making a positive first impression will get you started off on the right foot and set the tone for the relationship.

Know Your ‘Hood

You can sometimes be surprised at what you can find simply by walking or driving around your neighborhood. Whether it’s a cute park that the kids will love or a quiet little coffee shop where you can take a break with a book and some sweet, sweet java, discoveries await you, so get out there and find them.

You’re All Covered

If you have home and contents or renter’s insurance, it is well worth contacting your provider and letting them know about the move. You may find that insurance fees will alter depending on your location. You might end up saving money and avoiding hassles.

These items should get you well on the way to a smoother move. Good luck with it all and enjoy your new place!