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Moving to a new home is equal parts exciting and stressful. With so many variables and to-dos, it's easy to get overwhelmed and forget some of the important details. A move-in checklist can help you stay organized as you prepare for your next chapter.

Here are some tips to make your move as smooth as possible:

Schedule a Home Inspection

Even if you're convinced that you've found your dream house, you'll need a home inspection before you purchase it — and before you start packing up for your move. Professional inspectors will thoroughly review the structural integrity of the home, along with essential systems such as heating, cooling, and plumbing. They'll also be able to tell you what types of maintenance you'll need to do on the home. An inspection will either reassure you that the house is as great as you initially thought, or it may make you think twice before buying a certain property. At the very least, the information you glean from a home inspection will help you prepare financially for what's ahead.

Create a Moving Budget

Avoid adding financial stress to an already complex process by figuring out how much money you'll need to move. Factor in travel costs (such as gas, hotels, and flights), packing supplies, as well as the moving company's fees if you decide to go that route. It's a good idea to create a buffer of a few hundred dollars to cover unexpected costs as well. Once you move into the new home, you may realize that you need certain tools, appliances, or furnishings you hadn't anticipated. And chances are, you'll be dining out for a few days until the kitchen is set up, so budget for those additional costs as well.

Decide Whether You Need (or Want) to Hire Movers

Hiring movers can seriously reduce the stress of a move, especially if you're working full-time up until moving day. Movers will alleviate the need for renting a moving truck and carrying your possessions out of your current home and into the new one. However, you may find that hiring movers costs more than you may expect, or you may want to do it yourself to ensure that your valuables are handled with care.

Purchase Moving Supplies

Purchase boxes or bins a few months in advance of your moving day, along with miscellaneous necessities such as packing tape, bubble wrap, and scissors. If you're averse to using cardboard that will only get thrown away, consider using reusable bins that you can repurpose for storage in your new home. Or, rent moving boxes that you can return as soon as you've unpacked.

Strategize Your Packing Plans

Start packing as early as possible. Keepsake items, seasonal clothes, and non-essential appliances are great candidates for the first round of packing. Not only will you save yourself the headache of packing the entire house at once right before your move, but packing early will help you shift into the moving mindset and get you excited about your new place.

Schedule Your Change of Address

Visit the United States Postal Service website several weeks before your moving date to set up mail forwarding. Doing so will prevent you from missing any important documents or packages; it'll also prevent delays in receiving mail. Be sure to provide your current and future addresses.

Organize Current and Future Utilities Payments

Don't wait until the last minute to schedule cancellations of utilities such as water, electricity, and Wi-Fi. Let your providers know when you're moving so that you don't end up paying for services after you leave. Schedule any necessary installations or turn-on dates for the new home as well. Having hot water, power, and internet up and running from day one will make the transition that much easier.

Make Time for Heartfelt Goodbyes

As moving day gets closer, you'll have little time for leisure, so schedule quality time with loved ones during the months and weeks before you leave the area. A relaxed dinner, a walk around a local park you know you'll miss, a Saturday morning game of ultimate Frisbee — these are great ways to bond one last time before you leave the area, as long as you don't try to cram events into your final packing week.

Every move comes with some unknowns, but using a move-in checklist will help you stay ahead of the elements you can control — making for a much happier, more peaceful transition into your new home.

Disclosures

This information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable, but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither KeyBank nor its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering any tax, accounting, or legal advice.

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