Relocating to a new community involves a lot of planning and attention to detail. Much attention goes into getting moved out, but getting moved in is just as important. Here are some of the things you'll want to do once you arrive at your new home:
# 1: Unpack the essentials
With a little planning you can create an "open first" box or two that will have your essentials for the first few days. If you're not moving everything yourself, plan for the possibility of arriving before your stuff does. Toiletries, medicine, a few changes of clothes, and basic kitchen items (such as a can opener, wooden spoon, cutting knife, one pot and one pan) are good examples of must-have items.
# 2: Help your pets acclimate
A move can leave pets excited and scared. If possible do not leave them unattended in the yard. Staying in their presence will be calming and lessens the chance of runaways.
# 3: Get the kids settled
If your things have arrived, help each child set up their bed and unpack one box of toys. Otherwise, get them excited about "camping" in their new home. Make sure you have a bag with their few favorite toys, or for teens and pre-teens some CD's and books or magazines.
# 4: Go to the grocery store
Consider eating out the first night, and buy essential groceries on the way home. Focus on easy-to-make foods and quick snack items. Buy any cleaning supplies that you need (most chemicals should not be transported anyway). If you have a pet, buy any food and supplies not already in your "essentials" box.
# 5: Cover the windows
If your home doesn't yet have the proper window coverings, hang sheets up to add privacy and security.
# 6: Set a finish line
Make a list specifying the order in which you will unpack and complete other moving-in tasks. Creating a time frame in advance will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
# 7: Get the lay of the land
Walk through your new home to check the heating, air conditioning, and electricity, as well as all appliances. Take your family on a walk through the neighborhood to learn your surroundings, and if possible meet your neighbors.
This is by no means everything you need to know about getting settled, but it's a good place to start. I have more resources on relocation located on my website. If you have any questions about settling in to your new community, please give me a call.