by Broke Grad
After spending the past couple of years living in apartments where utilities, cable and internet were already setup before I moved in, I seem to have forgotten how much of hassle it can be if you don’t plan ahead for setting these things up. To help you avoid making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past, here are five things you should do before moving into a new apartment:
1. Contact the utility company at least a week in advance
You should do this for two reasons. If the utilities are in your name at your current place, you need to give them a date to stop the utilities at your current residence—unless you really like paying for utilities that you’re not using. Also, if the same company handles the utilities at your new place, then you can set that up at the same time. If not, it will be a little more of a hassle as you’ll have to contact multiple companies.
2. Call to get your cable/internet/phone/etc. set up at least a week in advance
I made the mistake of not doing this for my new place, and I just spent over a week without an internet connection. I didn’t realize that the cable company here required an appointment and, of course, the next available appointment time wasn’t until a week later. Make sure you’re not disconnected by calling at least a week in advance to schedule these appointments.
3. Change your address and get your mail forwarded
There are two options for getting your mail forwarded. If you’re old-school, you can take a trip to your local post office and fill out a Change of Address Form in person. If you enjoy the convenience of technology and don’t mind paying a dollar, then you can fill out a Change of Address Form online. Even though this will get most of your important mail forwarded, you still need to remember to change your address on your bank accounts, credit cards, subscriptions, etc.
4. Sell stuff that you don’t need anymore
Moving is a great time to get rid of stuff. By stuff I mean things you don’t need anymore. If the stuff you have is still in good condition, you can try selling it on Craigslist or eBay. If there are already new tenants lined up for your old apartment, you can see if they’re interested in buying some stuff from you. If so, then you don’t even have to pack/move/disassemble/reassemble your stuff, and you get some extra cash.
5. Start packing early
If there’s any advice that I’m going to give out but never actually follow myself, this is it. I suck at packing early, and I’ve suffered the consequences: staying up all night to finish packing, forgetting where I put things because none of the boxes are labeled and ending up with backbreaking boxes filled with textbooks. All of these issues could have been easily avoided if I had started packing sooner rather than later. The sooner you start, the more time you have to realize that you’re doing something stupid, like putting 100 pounds of textbooks into a single box that you’ll have to carry up and down stairs.