So, you’ve completed the packing, moving, and unpacking process. At long last, every single item and piece of furniture has found a new home in your new house, and it feels like you can now relax, even just for a while. What about you? Are you feeling at home in your new house and neighbourhood already? While it’s perfectly acceptable to take a break and catch your breath after the hectic months leading up to the moving day, the list of things that you have to do doesn’t end after you’re done unpacking. Now that you’re in a new neighbourhood, there is a new set of tasks that you’ve got to do—new places to go to, new faces to meet—and without proper planning, this can really seem daunting.
Are you feeling a bit lost after finding yourself in an unfamiliar environment? Then allow us to help you find your footing with this guide on what to do after unpacking!
PART 1: Making sure that everything is in order.
- Double-check your belongings. Once everything has been unpacked, take out your handy-dandy checklist (hopefully, you followed our advice!) and check if everything’s complete and in excellent shape…something that you wouldn’t have to be worried about if you hired our team at Botany Removals during moving day! Otherwise, we can only hope that you read our previous blog and took photographs as evidence that you can show to the insurance provider to claim your coverage should there be anything that is indeed damaged or missing.
- Examine whether the utilities are in perfect working condition. While this is something that you probably should’ve done a few weeks to days before actually moving, it never hurts to recheck whether there are leaks that need to be fixed or whether you’ve successfully transferred your utility account to ensure that there are no surprise fees. Lastly, as a general rule of thumb, don’t forget to take a final meter reading before settling in to verify that any bills left over from previous tenants aren’t included (in case you’re reading this article prior to moving).
- Examine everything and make the necessary repairs. If you’re moving into a property that was previously occupied, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you might have to do a few repairs here and there. More often than not, the previous owners might have left behind things like broken appliances or incomplete repairs. In addition, your new landlord might not tell you about any previous problems, such as leaks, so you really have to step up and take everything into your own hands. Make an inventory of all damaged items and prioritize what needs fixing first before anything else goes wrong!
- Find the water valve and fuse box. If you still haven’t found them while unpacking, now is the best time to do so. Fuse boxes are typically located in garages and basements, whereas the water valve is probably around the perimeter of your house. These are vital appliances that you’ll need access to in case there’s an emergency, so it only makes sense for them to be easy enough for you to find on short notice. When you notice sparks or damaged or frayed wires, for example, you should turn off your electricity to prevent fires.
PART 2: Taking extra steps to add security to your house.
- Make sure the entire house is baby-proofed. If you’re a parent and you’ve read our previous blog about moving homes with children, you would know that baby-proofing (or pet-proofed, if you’ve got fur babies) your house is something that you must do as soon as you get to your new home—perhaps even before you start unpacking. This is so that in case your little one’s got nowhere to be and is hanging around as you get your stuff settled in, at least they’d be a bit safer. Furthermore, keeping them in a clean, separate area, preoccupied and away from all the chaos, is a smart idea. Take note, though, that this should only be your final resort because it really isn’t safe for your younger children to be around huge, heavy boxes without 100% supervision. Furthermore, don’t you think it would be tough to look after your little bundles of energy while unloading large bundles of boxes at the same time?
- Keep your house safe from intruders. Here’s a brief yet not so amusing fact: Australia has the world’s seventh-highest rate of burglaries as of June 2021, with 4.3% of Australian homes reporting at least one break-in or attempted break-in within the span of a year. All this to say that whichever you may have transferred to—whether it be Queensland, Victoria, or NSW—it’s definitely a must for you to take preventive measures to limit the chances of getting burgled. These range from the basic act of locking doors and closing windows to the more technical act of installing security equipment, such as CCTV cameras and burglar alarms. Additionally, leaving exterior lights on to make it appear as if you’re home when you’re not and avoiding posting on social media when you won’t be home for a few days are small adjustments that may go a long way toward preventing your home from being an easy target for burglars.
- Protect your house from natural calamities. Nature is something that we don’t have any control over, so depending on where you chose to move, it’s likely that you’ll experience any of the following: storms, flooding, earthquakes, cyclones, and most notoriously, bushfires. What we do have control over, though, is how affected we will be by these catastrophic events. Each different disaster has a different set of mitigation strategies, but the common denominator is being proactive in identifying potential risks and hazards that could cause further damage in time of a disaster. Consider the following scenario: are you moving somewhere along the coast of northwest Australia? Then you should be aware that this is known to be the most cyclone-prone spot on the whole Australian coastline. As a result, it’d be best not to have any huge trees beside your property since strong winds might cause them to fall over and cause serious damage to your home. Worst, it could also result in grave accidents.
PART 3: Assimilating yourself to your new environment.
- Meet the people living around you. Regardless of whether you’re afraid of stranger danger or simply aren’t fond of meeting new people, we’d be lying if we said that getting to know your new neighbours (even just the ones next door) isn’t one of the best ways to get to know your new community. There are different ways to do so. For instance, you could get yourself involved in community activities or perhaps make a kind gesture that’s as simple as smiling and waving from afar. Since they’ve most likely lived in the area for quite some time, they could give you insider’s information on how things work, some of the locals’ favourite go-to spots, and basically, just kickstart your journey to truly becoming a part of the community. All this and more are on top of the obvious upside of having a friendly face in the neighbourhood—and not just for you! It’s a bonus if they’ve got kids around the same age as yours because that will undoubtedly help your children adjust to their new life.
- Discover your online community. Online communities have risen in popularity in recent years, and people’s willingness to take part in them has only grown as a result of being stuck in a pandemic that has resulted in isolation and strict travel restrictions. Since you may likewise be unable to join face-to-face groups and organisations, joining online communities on social media platforms such as Facebook and Reddit could be your only option to interact with people around the area.
- Search for local resources. During your first few weeks, if possible, it would be best to try and immerse yourself in the local area as much as possible. Take a walk around the neighbourhood and make a list of the stores and establishments that you come across so that you’ll know where to go if you ever need something from them. However, if either the fear of contracting COVID-19 or government-imposed lockdowns might not allow you to casually stroll around the new place, the good news is that you can still do so by using Google Maps.
- Check out some of the most popular hangouts. In order to really feel at home in your new neighbourhood, you’ve got to visit the places that the locals often go to. The stores where they get their clothing, the restaurants that they dine in, and the movie theatres that they go to—oh wait, seems like the pandemic has taken those away from us as well, huh? Well then, it’s such a good thing that just about everything has gone virtual. Need some clothes? Shop online. Wanna try new food? Get it delivered to you. Eager to watch a new film? There are millions of them available on the internet. And as for other recreational activities that the locals enjoy, unfortunately, those might have to wait.
How was it during the first few days of your move? Which of these things were you able to do, and what do you think are ones that we’ve missed? We’d like to hear about your thoughts!
And if you’re still in the midst of planning to move, don’t underestimate the convenience that comes with hiring a professional team of movers. Doing so not only saves you from the stress but also gives you the freedom to allot your time and energy towards other responsibilities, such as work and family obligations. So, what exactly are you waiting for? Call us right now at 1300 903 922 and avail your free quotation!