Congratulations! You’ve just arrived in your new home! The movers have just left and you’ve got a lot of unpacking and arranging to do.

But wait – don’t dive into the unpacking just yet. There are a few things that you should do before you go down that rabbit hole. As long as you can sleep, eat, and have a shower, put a pause on the rest of it until you take care of a few things.

It doesn’t take long to follow these tips from our friends at McMinnimans Moving & Storage.

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1. Change Your Locks and Get Copies of Keys Made

It’s a good practice to change your locks the first day you move in. You never know who has copies of the old keys.

Once that’s done, make sure you have a handful of spare keys made so you can give one to any family you may have in the area. They’re also handy if you have houseguests.

2. Inspect Your Home and Note Anything in Need of Repair

Take some time and walk around the entire inside and outside of your home. Look behind doors and check light switches, and make a room-by-room list of any issues, from burnt-out lightbulbs and up.

When you’re in the furnace room, check the state of the furnace filter, and if it’s dirty make a note to replace it. If the weather’s warm, ensure the outdoor unit of the air conditioner is free of debris. There should be at least 2 feet of free space all the way around it.

Look at walls, ceilings, and in unfinished areas of the basement for anything that looks like a sign of water damage. If you have trees in your yard, look for any large branches that may be about to split and fall.

Don’t forget to make sure you know where the fusebox is, and the main water shutoff valve for your home.

3. Take “Before” Photos

While you’re walking around your home, document how each room looks so you have proof of its original condition. This can be handy if you ever renovate before moving, or if there’s a problem in the future.

4. Make Sure You Have the Essentials

There are certain supplies that you should make sure you have right from day one.

In the bathroom you’ll need:

  • Toilet paper
  • Toilet brush
  • Hand soap
  • Bathroom cleaner


  • Paper towels
  • Dish soap

For doing laundry you’ll need:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer balls or fabric softener

5. Update your Driver’s License, Health Card, and Vehicle Registration

Moving means changing your address. In Ontario, you need to update your car and driver’s license within 6 days of moving, and you have 30 days to update your health card. The good news is that you can take care of your Health Card and Driver’s License online.

After those are done, you can get a new vehicle registration at your nearest Service Ontario centre. Unfortunately you can’t do that one online.

6. Inspect Your Breakables

It’s time to start unpacking, but be sure to start with valuables and breakables first. Working with your inventory list, make sure everything has arrived in good condition. If anything is damaged, you need to get in touch with your moving company.

Most reputable companies have a variety of protection plans available in case something gets broken. With Cassidy’s, there is basic protection provided at no charge, but for valuable items like art or antiques, you should have them separately insured. We also offer other levels of protection, including a replacement value plan.

Planning a Move? Get the Experts to Do the Hard Part

Packing boxes and loading a moving truck is hard work – let’s face it, it sucks! So why not offload the hard part so you can enjoy the adventure?

Cassidy’s provides a variety of flexible moving packages that allow you to get help with part of your move or the entire move.

We move locally within the Ottawa area, across Canada, and around the world.

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