Of all the details you are tasked with when moving to a new home, few are more important than hooking up your utilities. Setting up your electrical, natural gas, water, and sewer, cable, and internet, as well as trash pick-up, sounds daunting at first since you have to know where to go for each one.
First, determine who your providers are. Your Realtor or landlord should be able to provide a list, or you can go online to see who services your area. Often you'll have one provider option for utilities like electricity, natural gas, water and sewer, and trash pick-up, and multiple options for internet and cable. Once you know who your providers will be, you can get in touch (do this around two weeks out). Suppose you already have utilities set up in your current home. In that case, you're going to need to either transfer your existing utilities or cancel your existing utilities and set up new ones. If you're starting from scratch, you'll need to set up new ones.
Once you've got all this going on, you're not yet out of the utility woods since there is always the possibility of errors when you're transferring, canceling, or setting up utilities. For that reason, it's a good idea to verify that everything went through as it was supposed to, especially since you don't want to end up with a bill for utilities that you thought were shut off.
As for those automatic payments, it's wise not to set it and forget it. It's always a smart move to double-check that everything is correct from time to time. It's best to start doing your utility shuffle at least two weeks before your move date.