You spend months researching for the right place to shift and call it home. In fact, you spend years saving up for the new place. And when you finally find the perfect place and crack the deal, you cannot wait to move into it. You might think that the tough part is over and now all you have to do is shift your household. But the last thing you want to do is take moving to a new home lightly. It needs month-long planning and strategy, we know you want to get it over with as soon as possible, but haste is going to land you into more mess.
So settle down, with a pen and paper or an excel sheet, and start listing down. You need to plan everything from the right movers to the smallest thing like which stationery you require. We want you to remember your move only for the happy moments, and not for the mistakes you made that got you a sprain or burnt a hole in your pocket. So that’s exactly why we’ve compiled a list of 20 moving mistakes to avoid.
1. Failing To Do A Research Prior To The Move
Just like every big plan starts with good research, moving your home too needs a lot of research too. You might prefer the cheapest mover in your locality to be a convenient option but that is the last thing we suggest. List down your options, say 10 moving and packing companies, and sit down to run thorough checks on the names you listed.
If you are moving to another state, run a check if the companies you shortlisted are licensed by the Department of Transportation of the US. Go to the bbb.org website, it will tell you if the companies you are considering for your move have good ratings.
Lastly, look up the companies one by one and check the Google reviews left by customers who have used their services before. Once you are sure about the authenticity and quality of the moving companies you shortlisted, start comparing the prices of their services.
2. Packing Haphazardly
You must set an entire week aside before your moving day arrives, even if you are a pro at the last minute packing for a vacation. This is entirely different than packing for a trip, you will be shifting everything in your household right from kitchen utilities to your pet’s litter tray and you don’t want anything to be mixed up. Imagine finding your toothbrush packed in the same box as your cat’s poop scooper. And you cannot avoid situations like this if you pack in haste.
Keep one day aside for each room, pack the bedroom furniture and equipment on one day, start packing your living room appliances on the day allotted for it, then come to packing up your kitchen utilities and supplies, this will make your packing more organized and less chaotic. Remember to keep no work for the last day, the day before moving should be kept only for restoring your energy for the main moving process.
See Also: How To Make Packing Easier
3. Not Making A Checklist In Advance
Never skip this step, make a moving checklist that tells you what your action plan will be right from 8 weeks before the move to one day before the move. Remember that your checklist does not end after you have moved, you need a checklist ready for what you need to do till 1 month after the move. Making an excel sheet or an entire Google Drive for this purpose is a good idea because you don’t want to misplace your physical checklist notes in the chaos of packing and moving.
Your moving checklist involves major things like changing postal addresses, booking truck rentals, and calling the movers to small things like defrosting the fridge and ordering moving supplies. Note the tiniest of things like what stationery you will need, allocate a day to go shop for moving supplies. You should also remember to notify your banks, internet, and cable services provider and apply for a leave from your workplace for the moving day. Including all this in your moving checklist will make your moving smooth and organized.
4. Planning A Fully DIY Move
You might look at several videos and check out numerous Pinterest posts on moving, but this is a one-time event you don’t want to mess up. If you are planning to move within the same town or over shorter distances, you can rent a truck and take the help of family or friends, but there are few aspects of moving which you cannot execute without professional movers. Like moving your pool table, piano, bathtubs or appliances can be possible only with the help of professionals, as they have the exact tools and equipment to load these into your moving truck. Their experience makes your move faster and efficient, so it is any day better to hire movers for your moving day.
5. Not Taking Measurements
Shifting to a new home is a thrilling experience, you want it to be the coziest space when your friends or relatives come over. Many new homeowners prefer to leave old appliances behind and buy new ones while moving to their new abode. What is often ignored is taking measurements, be it buying a new refrigerator or a new dining table, always match it with the measurements of your new home, like the doorways and the place where you plan to set up the new purchase.
If your new home is in another town or state, have a broker or the real estate agent take the measurements you require, and buy the furniture/appliance only if after the measurements match. This will ensure your moving day is smoother with no last-minute hiccups.
Read Also: Affordable Apartment Moving Companies
6. Taking The Moving Contract Lightly
Make sure you read the Bill of Lading carefully, don’t sign the contract in a haste without going through all terms and conditions. You must pay attention to details like the date and destination of the shipment, the license of the company, and the costs of each service. Read the terms, clarify if they charge extra for stretched hours on moving day, increased cargo weight, or extra miles traveled. This way you will be aware of the tentative budget you must set aside for moving and it will flag you for hidden costs that the company may not otherwise convey. Remember to keep a copy of the Bill of Lading with yourself and not lose it during the move.
Also Read: How To Tell If A Moving Company is a Scam
7. Skipping A Moving Insurance
It is always saner to get moving insurance, you can rely on the insurance and not stress out on moving day. Your appliances or artworks can be at risk even if they are handled by professionals, there can be minor accidents while loading and unloading them from the truck. There are different insurances available for goods in transit too.
It is best you ask your moving company if they have insurance coverage options and understand how much coverage they offer. If you are planning to move long distance, then even if your truck rental needs an insurance cover, choose a company that has insurance options on their truck rentals. Getting insurance not only protects you from mishaps or theft but also relieves you from unnecessary anxiety.
You can Check our Article Do I Need A Moving Insurance? to get more information on this.
8. Not Asking For Help
Though hiring movers and packers can lessen your load, you still have a lot of work to shift the entire household. Ask friends who have recently moved about their experience, there is a lot you can learn from the errors they made during their moving. The week prior to the moving is stressful, and you will find most of your household items packed away into boxes and bubble wrap, even your kitchen utilities will be packed by the end of the week. In such cases, ask for basic help from your neighbors or friends, even if it is something as silly as asking for an iron.
9. Unnecessary Expense On New Boxes
When you start packing up, you will realize that you end up using loads of boxes just to pack belongings of a single room in your house. It is better to stock up a number of boxes before you start packing so you don’t end up wasting time.
Also Read: Where To Buy Moving Boxes?
For this, go to a local departmental store or grocery store and ask if they have used boxes to be thrown away. Or you can simply visit a commercial complex and locate its storeroom, ask the manager if they have extra boxes to be discarded, you will find plenty here since businesses dispose of shipment boxes all the time. If you have tried both the options and still fall short of boxes, just put up a message on community Facebook groups.
10. Forgetting To Take A Count Of Inventory
Though professional movers do take note of your inventory and run checks before and after reaching the destination of your new house, it is better that you too keep a count of the inventory. And this should start before you pack your first box, keep a note of the number of belongings in each room, of the total furniture items or electrical appliances. And check them again after reaching your new home when you unpack all the boxes. This will ensure all the belongings from your old house have safely arrived and you won’t find anything amiss when you need them.
11. Not Labelling Your Boxes
This just makes your life easier, since when you label the boxes, you know exactly where they are going and what is inside them. Not labeling your boxes can create great chaos when you start unpacking them in your new home. You will end up opening all boxes to find one appliance. Imagine craving for a quick packet of noodles right after moving and not knowing in which box your pots and pans lie, good luck spending the rest of the night opening all boxes to look for them. It is best to label your boxes according to the content from each room, it is also easier when you color code them or number them. Using a waterproof marker to label your boxes is safer as it will keep the item names from smudging.
12. Packing Belongings You Won’t Need
The biggest mistake people make while moving to a new place is packing each and everything they own. If you have not decluttered your house in many years, this is the perfect occasion to dispose of things you won’t need in your new home. It can be any belonging you haven’t used in a long time or is lying broken for some time. The main reason to leave such belongings behind is so you save money spent on their shipment and the time you spend on packing and unpacking them. It is best to separate such items and give them off to charities in your town. You can even sell them off in yard sales and make a quick buck. This way, you won’t end up carrying a heap of things you won’t even use to your new home, thus saving up on space.
Read on our Article on How to Declutter your Home for Move for more detailed information.
13. Not Packing a Bag of Essentials
The last thing you want to do is hunt frantically through several boxes for one item. There are some essentials you need on the moving day or even two to three days after you move to your new home. Packing a bag of essentials will relieve you of all the trouble, things like documents, toiletries, quick snacks, wallets, keys and device chargers can all go in this bag. It is better if each family member packs his/her own bag of essentials. This way there will be less chaos on the day of moving and after the move is finished.
14. Not Making Use Of Tax Deductions
The moving expense deductions were suspended in the year 2018 and will continue till the 2025 tax year. But you can claim deductions if you are an active-duty military member. In such a case, remember to save all your receipts and try executing all transactions online so you can easily ask for deductions. Even something basic as tipping your moving labor should be through an online mode. Apart from the ones in military duty, you can check out the IRS website to see if you qualify for the tax deductions. If yes, then you can save a lot through tax breaks.
15. Ignoring Safety On Moving Day
You will be carrying around heavy boxes and shifting large furniture. Moving safety is extremely important, especially if you have not hired professional help. A small slip can cause minor accidents that can result in a sprained ankle or muscle. Lifting and pulling heavy items can cause a muscle to pull or can result in small fractures. Using a trolley for moving boxes lessens the chances of such incidents. It is also recommended to keep a first aid kit at hand in case you get cuts while moving your kitchen utilities or any other sharp items in the house. Wearing boots and comfortable clothing also goes a long way in keeping you out of harm’s way.
16. Allocating Only A Day To Longer Moves
Moving to a new home is possible within a day only if you are moving within the town. But for long-distance or interstate moves, moving within a day is a tiring task, not to mention the risks involved in it. Driving over long distances without a night’s break can mess with your level of alertness and can put you at risk of accidents. If you are not taking the help of a moving company and are driving your truck rental to the new state, your level of risk increases. So it is better to bear extra costs and split your move over two days in such cases.
Also Read: Top-rated Long Distance Moving Companies
17. Showing Zero Concern for Your Moving Team
Though your moving helpers are just hired for a day, you must build relations with them, because they are the ones handling your precious belongings and you want them to treat them with extra care. Also because to make your move a happy event you want to look back on, working with a satisfied team is anytime a better option. And to satisfy them, the last thing you want to do is treat them as only paid labor hired to help you move.
Rather, make them feel cared for by offering them food and drinks, tell them where the first aid kit is in case they get hurt while lifting anything. And encourage them to take breaks so they can work better without getting exhausted. Lastly, tip them handsomely so your gratitude speaks through your actions because remember, these are the people who made your move possible.
18. Failing To Make A Moving Budget
Moving houses can be a costly affair, and you want to be covered from all angles. Plus you don’t want to be caught off guard or exhaust your savings. Thus, making a moving budget is important, for which you must compare your options. Choose a moving company that is both high on ratings and cost-effective, plan your moving supplies and avoid spending on unnecessary things. You must also consider options to cut moving costs, like packing your own boxes, taking the help of friends in setting up, or getting used boxes. Read our Article on How to Plan your Moving Budget to avoid this mistake.
19. Forgetting Needs Of Your Pet
Moving can be as stressful on your pets. Remember that they have special requirements which cannot be ignored, so get them checked at the vet at least a week prior to the move. Make sure all certificates and identification of your pet are in place and carry them with you if you are moving interstate. Plan your mode of travel in advance and check if it is convenient for your pet, also consult your vet and carry motion sickness medicines.
Once at the new house, allow them to explore the place and find their own corner, if they look stressed, contact your vet. One more thing that most people forget is researching vet clinics in the town they are moving to. Just Google vets and check reviews, so you already have a vet when you move into your new home.
Read on our Article about Moving with Pets
20. Procrastinating To Update Your Address
Often, people sit back and relax once their move is done, but there is a lot that is pending. Like notifying banks, schools, post offices, cable providers of your new address, though this is something that needs to be done much prior to the move, it is better that you call them up all over again and remind them to change your address and landline number in their databases. Also, make sure you transfer the medical records of your family. Lastly, remember to make the updates in your voter registration so it is ready for the next election.
Now that you are aware of the mistakes you must look out for while moving, just make a mental note of it and start making your checklist. Prep up well for the big moving day!
Do I need a professional moving company?
Hiring professional movers is always worth the money, they ensure your belongings reach your new home without damages, and also give options for insurance coverage. It is a good way to cut down on stress as the company takes full responsibility for the move right from packing to loading and transporting.
How much time does it take to move a house?
It is not a one-day period, there is a lot of planning involved, which makes the process longer. It takes an average-sized home roughly 5-6 weeks to move, this includes your planning, moving day, and post-move set up too.