Basic Utilities Checklist

It may seem to go without saying, but getting your utilities sorted is an oft-forgotten chore amidst all the fuss of packing and furniture removal. Imagine having finally moved the last box or piece of furniture into the house, seeing off the removalists and then trying to settle down for a well-deserved cup of tea only to find that you’ve not sorted out the power. The phone, too, is useless because nobody has bothered to connect it so you can’t order those takeaways you promised everyone to say thank you for helping. And there’s no cooking any food either. After the stress of it all you need a hot shower to wash away the day, but there’s no gas to heat the non-existent water because neither of them have been organised. You can’t even flush the toilet! The only way to avoid this nightmare is by having your utilities organised well before you step into the new house will save a lot of time and possibly anger. Here’s a rundown of the minimum you should have sorted out to ensure you are able to walk into your home:

  • Phone. This should be the first thing you organise. Number one on the list for a reason: if all else fails, at least you’ll be able to call for help. Remember: you will need a phone line connected before you can connect to the Internet.
  • Gas. Is your new home powered by gas for cooking and heating the hot water. For many people this is a huge deciding factor when looking for a new place, so make sure you know what powers what before creating unwanted confusion.
  • Power. With candles, torches and other sources of battery-powered light you can survive without this one for few days at least. But as with everything else try and have it done before moving day.
  • Water. This should be high on your list of priorities. Clean water is a simple necessity in life. You probably use it more than you even realise, and that reality will come crashing down if you haven’t sorted this out. Not to mention the horrors of being unable to flush your toilet.
  • Internet. This may not seem as necessary as the others, but can you really live comfortably without it? You’ll need to do a bit of research with this one. Different providers will offer different ways of getting the Internet to your house. Often you are able to check the signal strength or availability of an area online (another reason to have it sorted whilst you still have your old connection). Find the best solution for your area. Sometimes you’ll have little choice or your Internet provider may even allow you to keep the same account when you move, but make sure you check how good the service will be.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. Delayed connections, mistakes and leaving it until too late to organise could spoil your perfectly laid-out move. Utilities providers are not famous for their promptness, and your distressed phone call about your complete lack of any utilities on the day you move in is unlikely to register as an emergency with them.

Most of us have experienced a blackout at some point – the candles and lanterns, the huddling around each other to keep warm, the complete lack of anything to do. It shunts us back to the dark ages reasonably quickly. It can only be made worse by lack of running water. Unfortunately, those who hold such keys to this modern life are the utilities providers, and if you’re about to move and haven’t talked to them yet, it’s time to get a move on. It may seem obvious to some, but utilities are so often simply taken for granted that they’re often just not considered important until it’s far too late