For some, it has been years in the making and now it is finally happening, but doubling (or more) your living space begs the big question – how to best transition from apartment living to your new house? Make sure to use this apartment to house moving checklist to make sure nothing gets overlooked! You are giving up having to beep/key-fob into the lobby and garage. And after this last move, you most likely will not have to wrap elevator walls in padding in order to get all your belongings from one location to another. However, aside from being responsible for more space, there are definitely new things to both be aware of and take care of, once you are settled in your new home. Getting the complete hang of things will take time, so try to resist the temptation to take it all on at once and/or put pressure on yourself to be perfect at balancing everything immediately. Scan through these 5 simple tips to get you started and running things in your new home underway!

1 – Meet The Neighbours

When you are living in an apartment, it is almost impossible to not meet your neighbours, If it isn’t the gym or stairwell, the fact that your front doors are less than ten feet apart will probably do the trick. One of the biggest changes when you move into a house is that you will actually have to put some effort into meeting your neighbours, instead of avoiding them! Getting used to your neighbourhood, and who you share a street with, can go a long way in making your house feel like a home. It  may (understandably) feel awkward and challenging to introduce yourself to and make small talk with total and complete strangers. Rest assured, it is only something that will inevitably become harder the longer you put it off. Make the shift from apartment to home dwelling smoother by getting your meet and greets out of the way asap.The least labour intensive and naturally classic move is just by simply saying hello! Waving and smiling on moving day is a perfect opportunity to get things off to a friendly start. You can also:

  • Take 5 minutes to chat! We are all in a hurry these days; when you are in your garage or driveway; unloading groceries or washing the car, take a few minutes to chat with your neighbour. Lean over the fence when you are barbecuing and don’t hesitate to roll in their empty garbage and recycling bins (see 2 below) after you have brought in your own. Small acts of kindness carry serious weight, and over the course of months and years, can be the foundation of real neighbourly friendships.
  • Throw yourself in the mix! Does your new neighbourhood have a facebook page? Request to join! Are there local parenting groups or a community house nearby? Check them out. Getting involved and showing interest in becoming a part of the team is a great way to establish early connections.
  • Throw an open house party! In Covid times this might need to be put on the back burner, or perhaps modified so everyone is safely socially distancing in the backyard. Welcoming your new neighbours into your home is an amazing way to send a friendly message, loud and clear.

2 – What’s A Garbage Schedule?

When making the switch from apartment to house, one of the changes that will affect your everyday life the most, might be something you have not even considered. Garbage pickup. More likely than not, the city you live in will provide bins and a pickup service, but it is up to you to figure it out and remember to place your bins out on the correct day, at the correct time. Seems simple enough, but can be a game changer when you have lived with a large garbage room, with gigantic bins that you can toss junk into and forget about, at any time! Furthermore, you probably will not have a garbage chute in your new domestic dwelling. Pro tip: on days where more than one bin is being picked up by your city service, ie. recycling and compost – you must place a walkable space between them. If they are very close together, side by side, trucks will not be able to grab on to them properly and will leave them full and untouched on your driveway. Especially after first moving in, when you are unpacking everything, you are going to want fresh space in your waste bins without having things piling up because of a missed pickup. To avoid frantic scrambling in the early morning when you hear the big trucks rolling by, set up scheduled reminders in your phone, or download your local service app.

3 – The Maintenance Checklist

As you say goodbye to your smaller space in exchange for a bigger one all of your own, you can also say ‘so long’ to pre-scheduled vent cleaning, bug spraying, snow removal and never having to worry about the furnace or water heater. Yikes. Getting acclimated to taking care of the inner working systems of your home all on your own may seem daunting. Simplify the process and cover all your bases by making yourself a good, old fashioned checklist. It does not have to take a ton of time or consume you, just figure out what needs to be looked at monthly, biannually and/or once a year. A great place to start is by using your home inspection report to make a priority chart and decide what is most important to take care of right away. Once you have freshened up filters, added new batteries to your smoke alarms, checked that your fire extinguishers are still in working order, etc.  – you have peace of mind and a great place/ blank slate to start designing your personal checkup schedule.

4 – Prepare For Bigger/Different Bills

If you were renting your apartment you may have had the benefit of your landlord wrapping utility costs into your monthly payment, or taking care of them altogether. Even if you were paying them separately and on your own, the total monthly fees that come along with a 1,000 square foot space will more often than not, be smaller than those you will see when transitioning into your new home. In some circumstances, if you are moving from an older apartment into a brand new, energy efficient home, you may notice the opposite! Bill changes regardless can come as a shock when the charges associated with your new home first roll in – sometimes you can additionally see a transfer/set up fee as well. Brace for this and take a breath. Closing doors and windows when the heat/AC on will always help. Ask your provider about bundle deals or a payment plan option. It may take a few months to adjust, but you can and will learn how to work with this new element of residential living.

5 – The Decorating Breakdown

A beautiful and thorough apartment makeover can oftentimes be completed with one trip to IKEA. Once you move past 1-3 rooms in your apartment however, furnishing multiple floors in your new home can get pricey really quickly. There is no need to rush decorating every single corner and space the second you move in. Pro tip: while you do have rooms that are unfurnished or even empty, take the opportunity to get a super deep clean in. It will never be this easy again! A great way to positively shift a seemingly impossible undertaking is by only taking on one room at a time. Look at your space, envision it finished and fill out your purchase wish list accordingly. This allows for you to create a proper budget and will ultimately lead to rooms being decorated with care and intention, instead of just filling them with stuff in a hurry. How you end up using different rooms throughout your house sometimes isn’t clear right away either. Giving your family time to settle in will hopefully mean that the pieces you do bring into your home are there with purpose.

Whether this is your forever home or a stayover for a couple of years, making a house feel comfortable, one you are happy and relieved to pull up to every day, starts with mindset. It can be intimidating to tackle all the new costs and checklists that come along with a stand alone house when you have become accustomed to apartment living. Remember why you wanted a bigger space in the first place and that if you break your ‘to do’ list down into small, weekly tasks – you will stay on top of everything and keep your house in beautiful shape. The evolution from managing a few rooms to many is achievable!

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