How To Schedule Your Utilities and More When You Move
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Here's how to ensure your electricity, internet connection, Amazon packages and other essentials follow you to your new home.
Moving is always an adventure. It has its exciting moments, like finally getting your hands on those new keys, plotting out where to put all your furniture, and that first night sleeping in a new space. It’s not all fun, of course — the packing, the lifting, the king-size-bed assembly.
But there’s one part of moving that’s neither exciting nor all that painful, but still needs to be done. You’ll need power and water and other services in your new home, and sadly, they’re not just going to transfer themselves. You’ll also need to update your address with numerous companies.
Thankfully, it’s not a difficult job, just a pesky one. And these days, it’s a job made easier because much of it can be done online.
Utilities: Water, Gas, Electricity, Phone/Cable/Internet (set up + autopay)
Who to contact
Don’t miss anyone — you may need to reach out to water, gas, electricity, cable and internet providers, although you’ll find some may share billing and accounts. In some areas, waste, recycling and compost pickup are handled through your city. In others, you may have to choose from a number of private providers.
Depending on the weather where you live and your desire and ability to handle outdoor chores, you may want to set up snow-removal and lawn-mowing services. If your new home has a security system and you plan to continue that service, contact them, too.
If you still have a landline phone, yes, you’ll need to cancel it and get a new number. But if you rely on cell phones, you can probably keep your provider and phone number, even if you’re moving out of the area code your phone represents. Do give your provider your new address.
Be aware that if you’re moving into a community with a homeowners association (HOA), you may pay some of your fees to them. If you’re unsure who provides what service in your new neighborhood, ask your real estate agent or landlord.
When to start?
Try and contact your new utility providers at least two weeks before move-in day. If equipment needs to be installed — a satellite dish, for example — reach out to that company even earlier, say, a month in advance. It may take time to get on their installation schedule.
How to proceed?
If there’s one thing most companies are good at, it’s taking your money. You’ll find most of your new utilities have simple links on their website that will get you signed up without even a phone call.
Don’t forget to cancel any utilities in your name at your old address and pay off any remaining bills. And while you’re hooking up your new address, consider getting out your credit card and signing up for autopay. You’ll save on hassle and late fees, plus eliminate paper bills.
Professional Services: Employer, Bank, Credit Cards, Medical and Service Providers
Your co-workers may know you’re moving, but make sure your employer does, too. They need to have your current address on file. Also share that information with your bank and credit card companies and any investment companies, as well as your doctors and dentist.
Your homeowners or rental insurance company likely is already aware of your move, but let your car insurance company know, too. Got a car payment or a student loan? They’re still going to want their money, so log in or call and make the address change.
Government Agencies: Post Office, DMV, Social Security and Tax Agencies
Even if you don’t receive much printed mail anymore, be sure to change your mailing address with the post office. The USPS makes it easy online, plus sweetens the pot with free coupons for moving products and services.
You’ll need an updated driver’s license, or state-issued ID if you don’t drive. Check with your local department of motor vehicles — some states give you a month or so to change your address, others want it done just 10 days after your move.
If you receive Social Security benefits or Medicare, update your information with the Social Security Administration. And there’s no escaping the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has a whole page of ways to pass along your new address, from calling them to filling out a form or sending a statement.
Have a passport? The State Department says you don’t need to update your current passport with your new address. But if you have an application in process, let them know so it’s mailed to the right place.
Personal Contacts (Friends and Family)
Updating your address with friends and family has changed since the internet took over so much of our lives. You can send a mass email to your online contacts. Be sure to blind carbon copy (BCC) the names, otherwise anyone receiving the email can reply-all, and that’s just a mess.
You can also go old school and send out address-change postcards via regular mail. Almost all the photo services — Snapfish, Shutterfly, Target Photo, etc. — allow you to design personalized cards. You can even include a photo of your new home if you’d like.
Subscriptions and Online Shopping
If you get print magazines in the mail, you can usually update your address online. It’s easier if you have a copy of the magazine with your address label on it, because that often has your account number. No need to rush this change, though — you can handle subscriptions separately as they arrive. Those first few issues will be forwarded, as long as you’ve changed your address with the post office.
Your address is probably already on file with various online services, from Amazon.com to DoorDash. Make a list of the five or so sites you use most frequently, log in and update your address there. The sites you use less frequently can be updated when you next visit.