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Before You Move In

There are a few things you're going to want to do before you start moving to Houston:

  • Get the utilities turned on. Your rental property owner or apartment manager should give you a list of the utilities you're responsible for in your furnished apartment in Houston, plus contact information when you sign the lease or agree to take the apartment. Very often you may have to pay a deposit for some or all of the utilities, especially if you haven't had utilities in your name before or have credit problems.
  • Get renters insurance. Check out our section called Renter's Insurance to help you understand the advantages of insurance when moving to Houston.
    This will allow the post office to forward your mail. Pick up some change of address postcards for friends, notify creditors of your new address and contact your bank.
  • Do some simple decorating planning. Things will be easier on move-in day if you have a pretty good idea where things are going. Plan your packing accordingly with a moving checklist.

One Month Before Moving to Your Apartment in Houston
Fill out change of address order form for post office online at

  • Fill out an IRS change of address form.
  • Make arrangements with moving company or reserve a rental truck to move things to your new Houston apartment.
  • Make travel arrangements, if necessary, with airlines, buses, car rental agencies and hotels.
  • Transfer memberships in churches, clubs and civic organizations.
  • Obtain medical and dental records, x-rays and prescription histories. Ask doctor and dentist for referrals and transfer prescriptions.
  • Set up a checking account in Houston.
  • Check into the laws and requirements of your Houston regarding home-based businesses, professional tests, business licenses and any special laws that might be applicable to you.
  • Take inventory of your belongings before they're packed, in the event you need to file an insurance claim later. If possible, take pictures or video tape your belongings. Record serial numbers of electronic equipment.
  • Start using up food items, so that there is less left to pack and possibly spoil.
  • Make arrangements for transporting pets. See more info on Relocating your pet.

One To Two Weeks Before Moving
Switch utility services to new address. Inform electric, disposal, water, newspaper, magazine subscription, telephone and cable companies of your move. Arrange for help on moving into your new apartment.

  • Confirm travel reservations.
  • Reserve elevator if moving from an apartment.
  • Have appliances serviced for moving.
  • Clean rugs and clothing and have them wrapped for moving.
  • Plan ahead for special needs of infants.
  • Close bank accounts and have your funds wired to your new bank. Before closing, be sure there are no outstanding checks or automatic payments that haven't been processed.
  • Collect valuables from safe-deposit box. Make copies of any important documents before mailing or hand carry them to your new apartment.
  • Check with your insurance agent to ensure you'll be covered through your homeowner's or renter's policy during the move.
  • Defrost freezer and refrigerator. Place deodorizer inside to control odors. Give a close friend or relative your travel route and schedule so you may be reached if needed.

On Moving Day

  • Double check closets, drawers, shelves, attic and garage to be sure they are empty.
  • Carry important documents, currency and jewelry yourself, or use registered mail.
  • Carry travelers checks for quick, available funds.

After Arriving At New Apartment

  • Renew your driver's license, auto registration and tags.
  • Shop around for new insurance policies, especially auto coverage.
  • Revise your will and other legal papers to avoid longer probate and higher legal fees.
  • Locate the hospitals, police stations, veterinarian and fire stations near your apartment.
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