Don’t Forget to Do These 6 Things Before You Move

Christa Baxter
Researcher & Writer
Read More
July 27, 2017
4 min read

At a glance

With so much to do during a move, it's easy to forget about the little things that can make the difference between a smooth transition and a frustrating, time-consuming ordeal.

You probably can't completely eliminate the stressful parts of moving, but you can take the edge off with some careful planning. If you're moving soon, remember to do these six things.

1. Change your address

Update your address with the US Postal Service here. You can tell them if the move is permanent or temporary and give them a specific date to start forwarding your mail.

We also suggest updating your address with the following places either before or immediately after your move:

  • Medical and auto insurance providers
  • Banks and credit card companies
  • The DMV
  • Mailing subscriptions
  • Online accounts like Amazon
  • Your company’s HR department

2. Transfer your utilities

Don’t wait until you move to make sure your home has essential utilities like power and water. You shouldn’t have to take a frigid shower at the end of a long moving day because you don’t have hot water yet. Most utility companies will let you schedule a start date ahead of time, so contact your new utility company a few weeks before you move to make sure your utilities are ready on move-in day.

  • Looking for a gas or electricity providerThis website lets you search for utility providers by ZIP code.
  • Many states now have deregulated energy, which gives consumers more providers to choose from. With more choices, you may be able to find a provider that can save you money on your monthly utilities. Find out if your new city has deregulated energy options here.
  • Water and sewer services are usually handled by local cities. This site lets you type in your ZIP code to find water departments in your area.
  • Trash removal and recycling are also often managed by city governments. A quick google search should help you find services for your new home. There are also companies that provide services some cities do not. If you’re looking for more than your city offers, check Republic Services or Waste Management to find out what else is available in your neighborhood.

3. Sign up for internet and TV service

For many of us, internet service is almost as essential as water and power. Make sure you can answer emails, stream music, schedule online payments, and look up directions to nearby restaurants by signing up for internet service as soon as possible.

Internet providers often offer discounted rates for new customers, so don’t just transfer your service—consider switching to a new company or use the opportunity to negotiate a better rate with your current provider. lets you look up providers in your area and compare packages. This site makes it easy to find service that suits your needs, whether you’re looking for very fast download speeds, lots of bandwidth for multiple users, or a low price on basic service.

While TV service is less crucial than internet, it is nice to be able to unwind at the end of a long day and watch a funny TV show or movie, whether you’ve just finished unpacking or you’re tired from a long day at work. can help you find TV providers in your area and pick a package that comes with the channels you want. You may also be able to find a deal that combines internet and TV service into one convenient monthly bundle.

4. Update your insurance coverage

Don’t risk going without insurance protection-even for a few days while you’re in between locations. It is crucial to make sure your assets are protected, but you’ll also want to make sure you have liability coverage if someone gets injured on your property (even if you aren’t living there yet) or if you get in a car accident while you’re driving across the country to your new home.

Either update your current policies to make sure you’re covered when you move or look into finding a new provider.

Find insurance providers and learn more about how much coverage you need at

The protection insurance offers is worth the investment, but you may be able to keep costs down by bundling your insurance policies. Many insurers also provide discounts if you install a home security system.

5. Secure your home

Protect your family and your secure new home by investing in a security system. Installing a security system may get you a better deal on a home insurance policy (as mentioned above), but it will also help you keep your loved ones and your property safe.

If you’re looking for home security system recommendations, check out this detailed review and ranking of home security system providers.

There are also lots of options out there if you’re looking for an unmonitored system. An unmonitored system wouldn’t offer the same level of security as a monitored system, but it can still help protect your home.

6. Stock up on cleaning and moving supplies

Don't lose valuable time making lots of little trips to the store to grab packing tape, extra boxes, paper towels, bubble wrap, or window cleaner. Instead, go online to stock up on supplies ahead of time so you'll have everything you need when you're ready to pack and clean.

  • Find moving boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap and more on Amazon.
  • Order Clorox wipes, bathroom cleaners, scrub brushes, and other cleaning supplies through Target or Walmart.

Christa Baxter
Written by
Christa Baxter
Christa Baxter has worked as an editor for more than eight years and specialized in moving content for the last three. She leads the content team in producing whip-smart moving tips and recs. After relocating four times in the last calendar year, she’s got strong opinions about moving best practices. (Just don’t ever pull a Marie Kondo and suggest she whittle down her personal library.) She earned a BA and MA in English with a minor in editing.