Preparing to Move

How much will moving cost?  Moving can be expensive!  But if you don’t have too many belongings, it can be done without much cost.  You may have family of friends who can help you move things.  If you have furniture, you may need to rent a truck to move it, or hire a moving company.  Moving companies will also pack your belongings for an extra cost.  Below are website links to some moving services.  This is not a complete list.  It’s best to talk with family and friends to see if they have used a mover in the past that they can recommend.  It’s also best to talk with 2-3 moving companies and get a free estimate of the cost to move you.  

Moving Help for People With Disabilities

  1. Bekins Advice for People with Disabilities:
    Moving with Disabilities | Bekins 
  2. Uhaul: A widely-used moving and truck rental company, Uhaul offers packing and unpacking services, loading and unloading services, home cleaning and specialty item moving along with regular truck or van rental. 
    UHaul | Moving Help
  1. Budget Truck: This moving truck company also offers loading and unloading assistance. 
    Budget Truck | Resources
  1. Penske Truck Rental: This moving and truck rental company offers towing equipment for transporting vehicles, ordering moving boxes and supplies, offering self-storage rentals from the Penske website, and has packing and loading services as well.
    Penske | Service and Supplies

Other expenses to consider when moving include

  1. Security deposit – Usually equal to one month rent.
  2. Utility deposit – The gas and electric company may charge you a security deposit if you have never had utilities in your name before.  If you already have utilities in your name, the utility company may charge you a transfer fee or installation fee.  Check with the utility company before moving to set up your account at your new home and to learn about any extra fees.
  3. First month rent – You will need to pay your first month rent when you sign your lease.  If you are renting with a subsidy, you will be responsible for your portion of the full rent, which is usually 30% of the income for your household.
  4. Installation fees for cable/telephone – Cable outlets, also known as coaxial outlets, are a common fixture in most modern homes.  If you live in an apartment building, it may already be wired for cable and Internet, and you just have to call your Internet provider and have service turned on. Older homes may be short on coaxial cable outlets. When this is the case, you will need to have one installed. On average, the costs are between $130 and $290 for the parts and the installation.

Resources for Obtaining Basic Household Items


New vs second hand: When thinking about furnishing your home, you could either choose new furniture or second-hand furniture. While many furniture stores will ship large items such as couches and beds to your home, there is a significant cost to new furniture. You may consider second hand furniture – furniture in good condition retailed at shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat ReStore, or other thrift and second-hand boutique stores.  

Resources for Donated Furniture:

  1. The Furniture Bank Network is a directory of registered charities, nonprofits and social enterprises designed to provide gently used household furnishings to individuals and families in need, at little or no cost. 
    The Furniture Bank Network – Your resource for Furniture Banks in North America
  2. Charlotte’s Web – Hyattsville
    Charlotte’s Web Enrichment Center, Inc (
  3. A Wider Circle – Silver Spring
    A Wider Circle
  4. Montgomery County Furniture Resources:

Other preparations

Keys – We’ve all done it.  We’ve either locked our keys in our home when we leave or we’ve lost our keys.  It’s important to think about this possibility ahead of time.  What will you do?  You may want to give a second set of keys to a trusted family member or friend.  In apartment communities that use a key fob to enter the building, you may want to ask for an additional fob for your trusted person who has your extra key.  The landlord may perform a criminal background check on the trusted person.  This makes sense in communities where everyone must pass a criminal background screening to live in the community.

Changing your address: There are probably a lot of organizations and people who need to know your new address. The first place to start is the U.S. Post Office.  When you move, let USPS know about your temporary or permanent move on their website by filling out a Change of Address form. This allows for your mail to be forwarded to your new place from your previous address. For a permanent move, USPS can forward first-class mail and for 12 months and periodicals for 60 days, but does not forward packages.
Official USPS® Change-of-Address Form
Mail Forwarding Options – USPS 
Change of Address Checklist: Who to Notify When You Move |

Setting Up Utilities

You may need to arrange for electric, gas, water/sewer and internet/cable services at your new home.  This link has contact information for these services throughout Maryland:
How to Set Up Utilities in Your Maryland Home — Smart Settlements.

Electric Providers in Maryland

Maryland residents are now able to choose who supplies their electricity. Customers of municipal electric systems and some rural cooperative systems are the exceptions – see “Areas not participating.” Your local utility, now called your electric company, will still deliver the electricity to your home, but you can choose another company to generate the electricity, if other companies are making an offer in your area. To evaluate the price being offered by an electricity supplier, you will want to compare the supplier’s rate to the rate charged by your electric company and any other competitive suppliers that are offering electricity to your area. Electric companies in Maryland post their rates for residential customers on their web sites. See list of electric company web sites in the column at left. To find out about the rates offered by electricity suppliers in your area you will need to contact those suppliers directly.

The Official Electric Shopping Website of the Maryland Public Service Commission
Choosing Your Residential Electricity Supplier

How to start service: Fill out the form online or call (202) 833-7500.
Deposit: In most cases, there is no deposit. However, if you have an outstanding PEPCo bill, previously disconnected service, delinquent payment history, or caused interference with electric service, you will pay a deposit of $100 or twice the “normal” monthly bill amount, whichever amount is less. The deposit is returned when service is properly disconnected or after 12 months of successful payments, whichever happens first.

PotomacEdison provides electricity to parts of Montgomery, Howard, Frederick, and Carroll counties. View the map to see if your new home falls in its service area.
How to start service: Request new service online or call (888) 544-4877. 
Deposit: PotomacEdison checks your credit score to determine whether or not a security deposit is required. Interest from the deposit is credited back to you on each month’s bill, and the deposit amount is returned after 12 consecutive months of payments (if ten or more payments were paid on-time).

BGE serves Baltimore City, along with parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. Contact BGE to see if your new address is included in this territory. To have power on when you arrive, contact BGE at least three business days before the move-in date.
How to start service: Fill out the form online or call (800) 685-0123.
Deposit: New customers will likely pay a security deposit that equals 16.67% of the estimated annual charges for service, which is paid back to the customer after a full year of successful payments.

Water and Sewer

Renting – Many landlords include water and sewer in the rent.   If your landlord does not include this, you should ask them which company to contact to have service turned on in your name.  

When you purchase a home in the state of Maryland, the title company facilitates the transfer of service for water service in most cases. If your new residence has an inside meter, note the seven-digit water meter reading and have it available at the closing.

Cable and Internet

The cable and internet service in your community may be limited to one or two providers.  It is also sometimes limited due to agreements the landlord has made for emergency alarm systems which are operated through the internet provider.  It’s best to ask the landlord which options are available to you in your new home. 

VERIZON FIOS: As with many media companies, you save money if you purchase both cable and internet services from Verizon although many bundled packages require long-term contracts. However, ordering either standalone cable or internet is possible. If your home does not currently have FiOS, check the availability in your area.
How to start service: Order packages online or call (877) 225-9137.
Deposit: Many current promotions eliminate the deposit and set-up fees. There may be equipment rental fees added to your bill, though.
Ultra-Fast & Reliable Home Internet | Fios Internet | Verizon 5G

COMCAST XFINITY: Like Verizon, Xfinity offers the best rates for long-term contracts that include both cable and internet. However, you can order either cable or internet as a separate service. 
How to start service: Order your package(s) online, chat with a representative on their website, visit an Xfinity store, or call (800) 934-6489.
Deposit: There are typically activation and/or installation fees that range from $50 to $90, depending on what work needs to be completed. There may also be equipment rental fees added to your bill.
Internet, TV, Phone, Smart Home and Security – Xfinity

RCN: RCN is a media company that serves the American Northeast, including the DC metro area. Many plans have 12-month pricing, although you do not always need to sign a contract to use RCN as a provider. You can save money by bundling cable and internet services. 
How to start service: Order online or call (800) 746-4726.
Home Internet Services, TV, & Phone Plans | RCN DC Metro

CHARTER SPECTRUM: If you are moving to Somerset County, Spectrum Internet and Cable is an option for you. 
How to start service: Shop the offers online or call (866) 892-4249.
Deposit: A soft credit check is completed for each new customer, which will determine the amount paid in the first month’s bill and installation fees.
Maryland – Phone, Cable TV, & Internet Packages | Spectrum

Satellite Television

Landlords often prohibit installation of satellite TV equipment for your apartment.  If your landlord allows satellite TV, the following information can be helpful. The best satellite packages typically involve 12- or 24-month contracts and often have promotional elements that expire after a certain amount of time. But many people still choose to use satellite for live and streaming television.

How to start service: Call (877) 660-0107.
Deposit: Deposits may be required for equipment.

How to start service: Order online or call (855) 587-0782.
Deposit: One-time fees may be required for the equipment you use.

Renter’s Insurance

If you rent, your personal belongings will not be protected against loss or damage unless you have a renters insurance policy. Your landlord has insurance for structural damage to the building, and might even be protected against damage caused by tenants. However, this coverage does not extend to your personal property, nor does it protect you from being liable for damage you might cause to the building inadvertently (e.g., a kitchen fire or a plumbing mishap) or to others who are injured at your property (e.g., a trip and fall over toys or furniture).  Since we never know what will happen, it’s always highly recommended that you get renter’s insurance.  The cost of renter’s insurance is low – typically between $15 and $30 each month.  

Renter’s insurance provides you with four kinds of benefits:

  1. loss or damage to household contents or personal possessions; 
  2. additional living expenses in the event of a covered loss that makes your home, apartment or condominium uninhabitable; 
  3. liability coverage for injuries to others and/or their property while they are on your property; and 
  4. medical payments to others. 

For more information on renter’s insurance and how to compare policies, go to: