Moving Checklist: 6 tips for staying safe when you move
Moving sucks. There’s no two ways about it—it just does. Whether you’re packing your belongings into a truck and going across town, or being professionally relocated across the country, the experience guarantees to be unpleasant and stressful. While we can’t pack your kitchen or help you carry that awkward sectional upstairs, we can offer some tips to help keep you, your family, and your stuff safe during your move this summer.
Change the door locks before you move in
I know what you’re thinking and “yes” we lead with this intentionally. We sell locks—so it comes at no surprise that this in on the top of our list. Honestly though, think of all the potential keys floating out there. Real estate and leasing agents, service workmen, and former residents (or anyone associated with a former resident) are all likely to have keys to your new abode. We recommend immediately swapping the old locks for keyless locks. Keyless locks deliver keyless, always locked, never locked out security and allow you to reduce risk and regulate access to your home.
Get to know your surroundings
If you’re moving to an unfamiliar area spend some time with your family getting comfortable with the neighborhood. Talk to your new neighbors, get familiar with vehicles that are regularly parked on your street, and inquire about neighborhood watch programs. Property crime is less likely in areas where neighbors look out for each other.
Hire help on moving day
Ask a relative or babysitter to watch the kids on move day—and maybe even a day before and after to allow for more efficient packing/unpacking. With stacked boxes and distractions everywhere and the wound of inaccessible, packed-away toys still fresh—it’s wise to keep the kiddos at grandma’s house until things aren’t so hectic and dangerous.
If the house has an alarm system, change access codes and notify the alarm service of new ownership. Security, monitoring company, and/or beware of dog signs placed in noticeable spots in the yard can act as a strong deterrent to burglary—even if they’re not completely honest. Speaking of burglars, walk around your home at different times of the day and try to enter the mind of someone trying to break-in. Look for any susceptibility such as especially dark areas conducive to hiding or places where it would be easy climb to access windows.
Upgrade your house number
Your address should be easily seen in the dark from the street so police and firefighters can find your location quickly during an emergency. Trim any plants that may hinder visibility and replace the address with reflective numbers.
Make it look like you’re home
Ok, really this is more of a general home security tip, but it is certainly helpful right after a move and you’re not 100% comfortable with the neighborhood yet.
When you aren’t at home—don’t make it look that way. Letting newspapers, real-estate cards and take-out flyers pile up in front of your door is a clear indication you’ve been gone for awhile. Here’s a mini-checklist to make it appear that you’re home, when you’re not.
— Don’t leave the porch light on 24 hours a day
— Don’t leave the trash out on a Monday for a Thursday pickup
— Hold the mail/paper delivery
— Put 3-4 of your main lights on timers (about $13 each)
— Bribe your friends or family to cut the grass, water the plants, feed the pets, and close the curtains—if possible, varying their routine to add a note of unpredictability.
Here is another resource for home security, our blog post: Protect Your Home From Home Invasions: Home Security Infographic