In our areas utilities can only be turned on/off Monday through Friday. Our last moving day was a Wednesday, so we scheduled to turn on the new on Tuesday and off the old on Thursday. When moving on a weekend we always turned on new on Friday and old off on Monday. If you have a cell phone you could indeed turn off the regular phone the day before, but since I don’t, I left ours on till after we turned in the keys. (I was sure we wouldn’t need it but decided to err on the side of caution.) As it turns out, if I had turned it off, we would have been in deep trouble on moving day, as many phone calls were needed to handle last-minute problems and to coordinate moving activies. Regardless, phone all utilities as soon as possible, as you cannot possibly give them too much notice, and you don’t want them to tell you that you’ll be moved in for a week before they can get someone out to turn on your electric.
A specific phone tip - if your phone company offers optional line maintenance service (called “Linebacker” in our area), sign up for it until you are settled in and then cancel it. It is only a few dollars a month and covers and wiring/outlet/etc problems, basically everything except your phone. Sure enough, right after we moved in last time we found that one of the phone jacks wasn’t working. Since we had signed up for this optional service, it was repaired at no cost (and I don’t need to tell you that anytime they send someone out and bill you for it, it ain’t cheap). Once we knew for sure that all was well with our jacks and lines, we just cancelled the service (since the odds of something “breaking” after we had it all in good working order were satisfyingly small). The $3.25 or whatever we paid for the first month was more than worth it.
Definitely reserve your truck in advance (we saw many people being turned away when we went to pick ours up, can’t imagine what they did with all the stuff sitting on their lawn at home waiting to be moved), and consider the timing. We picked ours up at the end of one day right before closing (6PM), took it home and started loading that night, finished loading and moved on the big day, and returned the truck prior to their opening time the following day. That way we actually had two unlimited evenings in which to move in/out, in addition to real “moving day” time, and that extra time was invaluable; it really took a lot of pressure off. And all this was at the price of a single day’s rental. I have done this more than once and the rental companies were always easily agreeable to this schedule manipulation. Also, how far you’re going and how much you’ve moving should affect your decision. If you have only a few personal belongings and can do it in one or two car trips of short distance, go ahead and save the money. If you have furniture or enough things to make more than two car trips, go with a truck; the savings in time & mileage and not having to struggle to try to cram stuff into the trunk/backseat and tie it down is more than worth the price of truck rental (small size rents here for $20 per day + mileage, the big ones for only $40). And by the way, there is significant difference in truck prices, so call around.
The day before moving, make sure you have one box in a prominent place into which you can put the stuff you pack last and will need first - the telephone, the phone book (you’ll need to look up the number for a pizza place in the new neighborhood), at least one clock (with alarm if needed), personal effects like medication and contact lens stuff, a flashlight, ashtray if you’re a smoker, pet’s food, the bottle of champagne you’re going to toast your new home with, etc. Make this the very last thing you take out of the house (you can also toss in those last minute things that show up after the other boxes are packed, like the cat toys that appear from under the furniture and the hook from the back of the bathroom door), and take it with you in the cab of the truck. That way, as soon as you arrive, you can set up the essentials of your camp without having to check boxes as you unload to say, “Did I put the phone in this one? Damn…”
And if you’re like us, you’re liable to find yourself running out of packing time as the final hours approach. If so, you will have to settle for throwing things in boxes in a less than perfectly ordered fashion (far more important to have it boxed and ready to go than to have it thoroughly organized). That is okay, since you have an indefinite time to unpack in the new spot, but help yourself out by at least trying to put general identifiers on the box (“kitchen” is helpful even if you can’t list “two casseroles, gravy boat, green vases, salad bowls, wine glasses”). And as long as you have that “critical” box out by itself (see above), you won’t have any panic to find things even if your labeling is limited.
As mentioned previously, definitely have a small cooler full of drinks, and I recommend at least one picnic jug sort of container full of water with a sleeve of styrofoam/paper cups. Also a couple of grab-in-passing-type snacks for energy during the day - no one is going to want to sit down to eat lunch, but it’s hard to go from dawn to dusk, espcially doing this kind of work, just on a typical light breakfast. Think fruit, granola-type bars, peanut butter crackers or sandwiches, graham crackers, etc. Enough to revive flagging energy and keep everyone going till you can order pizza at the new place that evening!
Congrats on the new home; that is always exhilerating. Moving is a major pain, but it’s a great feeling when that rental truck is returned and you walk into the new place knowing you and your stuff are there to stay (at least for now!).
But I don’t want to pay the penalty.
I just want to go home.