Moving can be extremely stressful. I just recently moved myself … so this article hits close to home. For the most part, everything went smooth. There was one (kinda small) mishap- which ended up working itself out (phew). But if you’re looking for a smooth move, here are a few of the top moving mistakes and how to avoid them!
1) Waiting Till Last Minute to Pack
Oh procrastination… we all do it every now and then. Packing is such a dreadful task. If you are fortunate to have someone do it for you, I envy you. If not, don’t shoot yourself in the foot having to run around 30 minutes before your moving help is set to arrive.
How to avoid it: If you’re like me and plan on doing it yourself, make sure to give yourself plenty of time. This way you’re not struggling last minute to get everything done. Start a couple of weeks ahead of time starting with the items you know you won’t need during the upcoming weeks. You’ll thank yourself later when you aren’t running around the house last minute.
2) Not Planning Ahead
Did you know there are moving “peak seasons”? In fact, July 1st is the busiest moving day of the year. Summer months (esp. July and August) result in higher moving fees. You may find yourself in a pickle if you don’t plan and find out the day you need to move out is way costlier than you had imagined / budgeted.
How to avoid it: If you’re planning on moving during the summer months, book ahead of time. It’s also a great idea to book during the week rather than on a weekend. If possible, try to move in September-May. This is the off-season and can save you some money.
3) Thinking You Can Do It All by Yourself
Plan on getting a group of friends, some pizza and drinks to move your entire apartment/townhouse? This can certainly be done (I’ve done it countless times in college) and can be friendly on your wallet (depending on the distance). However, not being a mastermind in Tetris can mean you don’t utilize your moving truck and time efficiently. This can cause multiple trips, breaking an expensive item, hurting yourself among other issues.
How to avoid it: Get some quotes to see if it’s worth it. Most movers include insurance and liability coverage. They are the experts. If something breaks- it will be covered. If something is damaged during the move- it’s covered. There are so many benefits to hiring help. Your body will also thank you. It was life changing when I decided to hire a moving company- I don’t think I can ever go back to doing it myself again!
4) Poorly Labeled Boxes
I learned this one the hard way. My significant other wasn’t labeling the boxes he packed and I realized when it was too late. It’s funny because one of the movers actually stated “I can tell who packed certain boxes”- true story. I cracked up… and shot a “told you so” look to my wonderful husband.
This caused confusion when the movers where unloading the truck. Trust me- you want to label the boxes so you aren’t moving boxes up and down stairs after you’ve already paid someone (or had friends help) to take care of this for you!
How to avoid it: Make sure you clearly label what room the box is going into as well as the main contents. For example: Have the main label be “Kitchen” with a sub label of “Coffee Cups, utensils, small dishes”. This will allow you to unpack what you need first, as well as making sure your boxes are unloaded in the correct spots.
5) Not checking Online Reviews While Hiring a Moving Company
Moving is stressful as it is- you want to make sure your valuables are in good hands. Nothing is worse than being all packed up ready to go then waiting hours for your moving company to get there. Or an extremely slow moving company that is costing you a fortune every minute that passes. Then there’s also the chance that they break something expensive. Like have your dyer tumble down the stairs because they didn’t use a dolly (unfortunately, also a true story).
How to avoid it: Check online reviews. It’s best to choose a company that has a large amount of reviews and has a high rating.
6) Bring Stuff You Haven’t Used in Ages
There was one point where I decided to move after living at the same residence for several years. I realized there were several boxes I packed before moving into the place that I still never unpacked. And for some reason, I still wanted to hold onto it.
How to avoid it: Moving is a great time to clean house and donate (or sell) items you no longer use. Although it’s tempting- ask yourself if you truly need it, or is it just taking up unnecessary space. A good rule of thumb- if it’s still packed from your previous move or hasn’t been used in years- it’s time to let it go.
7) You Didn’t Pack Your Necessities in An Easy Access Bag
Depending on how far you’re moving, it can be several days (or even weeks) before you have access to everything that is on the moving truck. Don’t find yourself stuck without essentials.
How do avoid it: Pack a separate bag that contains items you use every day. If you’re moving across the country, pack a large bag of clothes as well. This way you won’t be stuck wearing the same dirty clothes every day and have to purchase items you already have.
8) You Forget to Forward Your Mail
With everything else that is going on, it can be easy to forget to forward your mail. That bill or sweet card your sister sent you might get tossed if you forget this step.
How to avoid it: Put a calendar reminder on your phone so you don’t forget. Go to the post office’s website and fill out a change of address form. You’re able to choose which date you want them to start forwarding your mail. It costs a little over a dollar, but you get the option to choose a bunch of coupons that can save you money with other expenses!