Moving from one home to another can be a stressful, hectic and exhausting time. There are so many things that you need to do. From notifying your utilities of your change to packing up everything in your home, garage, shed and backyard. We all know moving can be an emotional and draining experience. Most recently (and during Covid-19 lockdowns), I did exactly that.
So, to make things easier, we have compiled the following for how you can keep up your home security during your move. By taking note of the following security tips, you can protect your old home and your new one.
Before the move
Before the move, it is all about getting your security in order before the big rush of moving day. The more you do in this stage of the move, the less stress and fewer tasks you’ll encounter later.
Finding the right removalist is important. This means doing thorough research on each of the companies. It’s not always worth going with the cheapest one you find. I made this simple mistake, and it ended up costing more than all the other quotes I had gathered. So check their reviews online, whether it's Google, their website or social media. We also recommend you look at the fine print. There can be extra costs for things like going up/downstairs, weekend penalty rates and so on. Plus, pay particular attention if you need heavy and fragile items moved like a piano. You will want to know if they can handle this type of item.
Pack everything yourself. This way, you’ll know what's in each box. Plus, it also allowed me to find what has simply been gathering dust and bagged these items ready for donation. Take care to wrap fragile items carefully and label these boxes accordingly. To make things easier for yourself, label each box with where it has to go in your new home and count how many you have. This way, you'll realise sooner rather than later that a box is missing.
Whilst we’re on the topic of packing things into boxes, don’t advertise you’re in the middle packing up and moving out. So, keep your blinds closed and place your boxes out of sight from the street. While you may trust your next-door neighbour, news of your move can spread quickly and land on the wrong ears.
If you’re renting, you will need to check that everything is as it should be. This includes cleaning the entire property and fixing anything that broke during your term. Don't forget to hand back the same number of keys. Check with your state or territory to find out more.
What about your new place? Have you thought about the home security there before the move happens?
If your new home requires some finishing touches, get these done whilst the house is empty. Tasks such as carpet cleaning and kitchen renovations mean tradies coming and going. So not only will an empty house be easier to watch, but there won't be anything in the house worth stealing.
Does your new home have any window coverings? If not, get these sorted out. Let’s not advertise your belongings for the world to see. Next, check the window restrictors and locks work. If not, get your local locksmith to get these fixed along with new keys.
Updating your insurance policy is a must before you move too. Schedule the change of insured address to coincide with the date of your move. Plus, have your policy updated to include any specific valuables that you have recently purchased. I found it easier to call them instead, informing them that the items would be in a truck for a period of time.
On the day of the move, you should be well prepared yourself. So get decent sleep the night before. Dress well and wear a pair of comfy sneakers. Stay vigilant and supervise your removalists, so nothing gets missed. So stay away from your social media apps.
Never leave boxes unsupervised. Just because they go into a van doesn’t mean that your belongings there are secure. The best thing to do is to watch over the van as your belongings are being loaded. Any smaller boxes you should take with you to avoid theft, breakage or it being completely missed in the move. This also means that you should be counting the number of boxes the removalists will take. This way, when it comes to unpacking, you can ensure that the right number of boxes are taken out of the van too.
Personal documents and valuables are too important to leave to the removalists. Take these with you and store them somewhere safe where you won’t lose them. This is especially true if you are moving interstate where you won't see your packed belongings for a few days or weeks.
After the move
Now that you have all your belongings in the new home, it is time to sort out the last items for your home security. What should you do?
The first priority is to change the door locks on your new property. If you know what you are doing, feel free to change the locks yourself. However, if you’re not handy with the tools; we recommend enlisting the help of a locksmith. Again, as with removalists, do your research thoroughly. Why change the locks? Well, do you know if you have received all the copies of your front and back doors? This is especially essential when checking external doors like your garage and front door.
Install a smart security camera system to watch over the front and back of your new home, complete with a burglar alarm. Activate the alerts, so you are notified of any activity on your property.
The next item to check is the outside lights. Are they motion activated? If the answer is no, consider opting for a smart camera that has a light feature. Not only will the camera record any activity, but the light will shine on any unwanted visitors looking to sneak by without notice. Along with this, double-check if your smoke detectors and alarms are working properly and according to state guidelines. Sometimes, natural disasters and mishaps can also be threatening to your safety.
Finally, go and say hello to your new neighbours. Kindly introduce yourself and get to know their names. By having friendly neighbours, you can then call on them for minor help when you’re away. They can take care of your mail and watch over your place for any suspicious activity.
Moving to a new home is hard work. But by being smart about your home security will make your move easier, less stressful, and less chaotic.