Moving is complicated and stressful. There’s more to it than buying several boxes, packing your stuff and relocating to your new home because, in reality, there are a lot of things that could go wrong. Here are some of the most common moving mistakes, and tips on how to avoid them through proper planning and allocating enough time towards the process.
1. Miscalculating how many boxes you’ll need.
Before packing your things, try to come up with a good estimate of the number of boxes you need. If you fall short, take note of what you already have — such as suitcases and dresser drawers — and use them as makeshift moving containers to cut down on the costs of boxes.
2. Not getting enough padding for your items.
Having enough padding materials is necessary if you don’t want to end up with broken items when you arrive in your new home. You will need a good stock of bubble wrap or thick packing paper to cushion fragile items and protect your furniture edges from scratches. Likewise, you can also use personal items such as linens, blankets, bedding, and even clothes and dish towels to wrap up any fragile and sharp objects and fill in the gaps in their moving boxes.
3. Forgetting to label your boxes.
“Labeling boxes is Moving 101,” according to Moving.com. When you pack your things, don’t forget to have markers and tape with you to organize your stuff. Knowing what things are included in each box will also lessen the time it will take you to unpack.
4. Packing your things at the last minute.
Even if you’re the least organized person and you plan to just throw things into moving boxes, remember that packing takes time. You thought it’ll only take you an hour to pack the things in your bedroom when in reality, it could take you a whole day to sort through your stuff. The kitchen might even take you 2-3 days, especially if you have any delicate items that need to be carefully wrapped and stored. Remember to give yourself enough time and be realistic about how much it will take you to tackle each area in your home. You can avoid the stress of trying to pack on a tight timeline when you plan these things ahead.
5. Not preparing a moving essentials bag.
A moving essentials bag is a duffel bag, backpack, or a suitcase where you can easily access the things you’ll need on the day of your move and the few days after it. It’ll be convenient for you since you won’t have to rummage through all your moving boxes just to find a basic item you’re looking for. Fill it with your personal items and necessities such as your wallet, keys, medications, basic toiletries, important documents, electronics and chargers, a few clothes, etc. If you have kids, remember to have them pack their own essentials bag, as well.
6. Not getting rid of things you no longer need.
Sort through your items and simply throw out the things you no longer need. Remember that the fewer things you have to move, the better and less stressful it can be for you. You can save time, money, and effort, and won’t have to waste resources like boxes, padding, and fuel. So don’t waste time packing stuff you don’t really need, only to unpack them again in your new home without knowing where those things will fit. You can donate your stuff or give them to family members once they no longer serve a purpose in your life.
7. You choose to DIY your move instead of getting professional help.
Think twice before deciding to DIY your move instead of hiring the expertise of a professional moving company to save money. Remember that a DIY move may not be as cheap if you will count these major pitfalls, such as wear and tear on your body, damage to household goods, and unexpected fuel costs. Even if you have friends who are willing to help, it’s still labor-intensive and risky.
Hiring moving experts will help you in assessing the size of your move. They are also a great help for moving belongings and furniture, lifting heavy items, and handling the move in a safe and organized manner. You will do yourself a favor if you hire the pros, especially if you have a truck’s worth of heavy belongings.
8. Not anticipating the cost of your move.
Most movers offer estimates, not quotes, so you can have a general idea of what your move will cost you. This will be helpful especially if you’re trying to keep costs in a certain range. Figure out how much you need to budget so you won’t be surprised in case there’s a fuel surcharge or you will need significant add-on services from the movers. Experts recommend that you get at least three estimates from different moving companies. Also, don’t forget to ask questions about possible hidden fees, especially if you’re considering the cheapest bid.
9. You didn’t check your insurance.
With moving insurance, there are many policies and coverage levels to choose from. Before choosing a moving company, ask about what types of coverage options are available to you and whether you need to get more than what’s being offered. This is also the time to review your homeowner’s insurance policy if it offers additional moving insurance to know which works best for your move.
10. You forget that plants and animals have special needs when moving.
With all the other things you’re worried about, it’s unavoidable to forget the special needs of our pets and even plants when moving. You can’t just throw them in the box or load them in your car. Make sure that before moving day, your pet has current shots, tags, papers, and certificates, especially if you are moving from one state to another.
Keep in mind that lots of movers won’t handle plants especially if you’re crossing state lines. If you’re planning to bring them by car, remember to first check with the USDA for specific rules and regulations in the state where you’re relocating. If you find out you can’t move your plants, you may opt to donate them to friends, the community garden, or the local retirement home.