Get the Marcus mobile banking app

Easy mobile access

Getting Ready to Move Into a New Home? Let’s Get Organized

Share this article

Moving is no small feat. There are boxes to pack, paperwork to review and sign…and let’s not forget all the stuff that’s waiting to be sorted into “keep” and “donate” piles. 

There are a lot of things to check off when you’re moving, for sure – and the better prepared you are for each step of the process, the easier it could be to settle in and feel at home in your new place.

To help kick things off, we’ve put together a list of things to do that’ll help you get ready for moving day as well as the days and months ahead.

1. Create a household documents folder

New homes come with a sea of paperwork that you’ll need to hang onto even after the sale goes through. These are a few of the items you’ll want to organize – and store in a location that you’ll remember: 

  • Mortgage and other real estate paperwork: Use this to keep track of payment information, taxes, insurance and moving-related documents.
  • Real estate contacts: This could include your loan rep, real estate agent, home maintenance services and additional providers you may need to contact before and during your move.
  • Home inspection report: This can double as a “to-do” checklist to keep your home in good shape. 

After you move in, begin tracking maintenance expenses so you can nail down this yearly budget more closely.

2. Prepare for security, utilities and packing

  • Plan to change the locks: Buy new locks or home-access pin pads for your new home, make new keys and schedule a security alarm install or connection. 
  • Utilities: Schedule your water, electricity and gas services so they’re up and running before you move in. 
  • Preserve your internet connection: If you’re not 100% streaming, add cable, too so you can continue with your binge list without a hitch.
  • Make “keep, toss and donate” lists: In addition to keeping things organized, these lists could remind you that you really did mean to “forget” the ugly vase when you moved out. If you’re making donations, keep any necessary paperwork for tax season.
logo

Reaching your goal starts with saving for it

3. Create “do now” and “do later” lists

You probably already started making mental notes about projects you’d want to in your new house. 

Listing them in order of importance before you move can help you come up with an action plan about what you’ll tackle when (and maybe help you avoid feeling like you need to do everything at once). 

These are two lists you may want to consider making: 

  • Indoor renovation list: This may include fresh paint, carpet and flooring replacements, and maybe even a few new toilets. Begin getting estimates, so you can schedule these as early as possible. 
  • Ongoing maintenance list: Outline the repairs that need to happen over time (e.g., replacing air filters and cleaning gutters) to keep your house in good shape. 

Plan to revisit your budget and savings within three to six months after you move in.

A popular rule of thumb says to save at least 1% of your home’s value each year for typical home maintenance. If your home was built 25+ years ago, it might be better to save closer to 4%. Of course, these are just estimates. After you move in, begin tracking maintenance expenses so you can nail down this yearly budget more closely. 

4. Forward mail and officially change your address

Even if you handle just about everything on your phone or online, it’s important to update your mailing information. These are some services, organizations and people you should keep in the loop:

  • Finance-related accounts: Credit card accounts, insurance companies, banks or other financial institutions, and your employer.
  • DMV: Update your address on your license, registration and title.
  • The post office: Submit an official change of address, so you don’t miss any important mail or bills.
  • Friends and relatives: So they know where to send birthday cards, holiday cards (and housewarming gifts) in the year ahead! 

5. Revisit your financials 

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what your monthly mortgage, property taxes, insurance and other homeownership costs will be, it’s time to see if you need to adjust your finances and savings goals.

  • Retirement plan: Figure out if you have to make any edits to your contributions to account for additional expenses for your new home. Make sure you’re still saving enough. 
  • Emergency fund: Many financial experts recommend having enough to cover three to six months of living expenses – at a minimum. If your housing and living costs have increased, determine if you need to up your emergency savings to meet this threshold. 
  • Insurance policies: Homeowner’s insurance can help you save big in times of need. Your provider will likely need to know your new address, square footage and amenities like security alarms or sprinkler systems to update your coverage accordingly. It’s also a great time to revisit your life insurance. Consider if you need to up your policy amount to account for your new mortgage and living costs.

Plan to revisit your budget and savings again within three to six months after you move in, when you’ll have a better idea of other bills, like utilities and maintenance.

logo

Marcus Insights’ smart tools and trackers are designed to help you see your money clearly and make empowered financial decisions.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. Articles on this site were commissioned and approved by Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, but may not reflect the institutional opinions of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Bank USA or any of their affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions.