In the midst of leaving your old residence, don’t forget to plan for important details in your new home — like setting up all the utilities you need to be comfortable there.

Read on for our checklist of what to do in order to have these services ready when you need them.

Two weeks before the move
Here’s a handy list of the major utilities you’ll need to consider for your new home. Each one will require its own set-up call or online application.

  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Internet
  • Phone
  • Recycling/trash pick-up

Rate shopping
Though many utility services can have your account active with just a few days’ notice, it would be a good idea to take this moment to shop around for the best rates you can find. Though you likely won’t be able to negotiate prices for water or electricity, you can search for competitive rates and sometimes find cash incentives from providers of many of these services.

The most efficient rate shopping for various utilities can be done online. Most states have sites that will help you compare utility rates. You can also consult your state’s official web site, which should include utilities information.

For services such as cable, Internet and phone, there are a number of national carriers that offer bundled and individual services. AT&T , Comcast and Time Warner Cable are three providers which offer many services under one umbrella. Vonage is a viable phone service alternative that uses an Internet connection for voice communication. You may have some local carriers near you that will also provide competitive rates for single and bundled services.

Setting up utilities for your new home is a good time to decide whether you want to have a land-line phone. You might take this opportunity to switch to cell phone service only.  

More gritty details
You’ll need to select a garbage pick-up service that serves your neighborhood and inquire about their pick-up times. Also, you can check city or county government web sites to learn about recycling services in your area. 

A few days before your move
Take a few minutes to call and verify your new utility services, just to be sure that they will be ready by your agreed-upon start date. You’ll want to know that your new home is ready to shelter you from the elements, especially in the heat of summer or during winter temperatures.

After the move-in
In the excitement following a move, don’t forget to double check that your utilities are being billed properly. As you receive your first billing statement, it’s a good idea to:

  • Read each charge carefully to make sure you have the plan you signed up for and that there aren’t any mysterious charges or unfamiliar rates. 
  • If you plan to use paperless online billing, create your account online and remember to check statements there monthly. (Some companies offer a discount for customers who set up automatic bill pay each month.)

Setting up utility service for your new home can feel like just another burden on top of so many other moving plans. Start early and shop around for the best rates so that everything will be ready for you — at prices you can live with — on your first day in your new home!