So you’ve just moved to West London? Congratulations, and welcome to one of the most thriving parts of the capital. It’s home to some of the country’s finest restaurants and bars, most beautiful green spaces, and cultural centres—but of course, you almost certainly knew that already!
Before you can settle into your new surroundings, there are a few things you will need to take care of on the home front first. Follow the steps we outline below and we guarantee that you will make the first week of your move as painless and fuss-free as possible.
Check your boxes, and unpack what you need
Counting all of your boxes to make sure everything made it in one piece might not be the most fun thing to do immediately after the moving van has driven away, but it might just be the most important. Depending on the size of your new property, you may need to double check an inventory of over a hundred boxes of your belongings to make sure they are present, correct and unscathed after their journey. However, this will also save you from any panic further down the line if a box has been lost in transit, or left behind at your old home.
If you’ve planned ahead well enough, one of these boxes should be full of the things you will immediately need during the first 24 hours after your move. From bedding to phone chargers, toiletries to mugs and kettles, a first-night essentials kit will make it easier for you to feel settled in before the harder unpacking work begins.
Make sure your home security is in order
Having retrieved possession of your most valuable belongings, it’s equally important that you can keep them protected. Although West London is statistically one of the safest areas of the capital, there is no reason you shouldn’t take precautions around your home’s security. Basic steps such as changing locks after you move are ignored by over half of homeowners, which may have a detrimental impact on your home insurance policy.
Another security measure which can often be overlooked is burglar alarm installation. Ground or first floor flats are nearly 50% more likely to be targeted by an intruder than the average house, which means that any security measures in communal areas simply aren’t enough to guarantee protection. As security experts Banham note, the best alarm systems for flats are wireless, “due to their minimal disruption to a property’s structure compared with wired alarms”. Arranging to have a wireless security alarm system professionally installed in your new flat as close to your move as possible is an easy way give you the peace of mind that you deserve in your new home.
Set up your utilities and update your addresses
This is another high priority task if you’ve recently moved home, whether you need to transfer the property’s existing tariffs to your name or your personal tariff to your new address. If you neglect to do either of these, you may be left without water, gas or electricity altogether for a few days—hardly the dream start to life in your new home.
You should also make sure to find the fuse box and energy meters in your new property as soon as you move in so you can take an initial reading. This will prevent you from the likely scenario of having to pay above the odds based on the estimate given by your suppliers. It is also worth noting that, whilst you may be itching to have your landline, internet and TV sorted out as soon as possible—the basic utilities should be your main priority.
Indeed, while you are registering your new property or your new utility tariff, now would be the perfect time to consider updating your addresses for other essentials. For example, re-registering your driver’s license and council tax, and updating the electoral register with your new address should be done within your first week of moving, as well as researching the location of your nearest GP.