Top Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Any move, large or small, takes time and effort.

It also takes planning and organizing. Moving is stressful. And for one reason or another, many people fail to do these things and end up making mistakes.

Many things are “learn the hard way,” but moving correctly is not one of those. Studying, asking questions, and preparing for a major change in your life is better. The more you can learn, the better your move will be.

The following are common mistakes that people make while moving.

  • Failure to plan and budget for your move. Far too many people avoid creating a plan and budget for their move. This is a huge mistake! Moving without a clear plan or strategy is dangerous from the cost and time involvement perspective. Arrange the tasks in terms of priority. You should have a very good moving checklist to make sure you stay on track before and after your move.

Solution: Create a moving checklist. Prioritize what is most important. Also, get estimates for your move—not over the phone but in person, if possible. Without the right details, you won’t get a correct estimate, and it could end up being too high or too low.

  • Failure to organize your move If you don’t have a moving checklist, you are heading for trouble. The reason: Moving is a time-consuming task. Pack without a schedule, and you will probably always be behind. Pack alone, and you must be super disciplined to get it all done.

The worst mistake you will make is to underestimate the time it takes to declutter, pack, and label your boxes. On top of this, you will need to contact all the necessary utilities to have things like electricity and cable turned off and on at your new home.

Once you have a detailed calendar, use it like a map for your move! Customize it to your specific packing needs and, of course, to guide you.

Solution: Organize your move by using a calendar and a schedule. List out all that needs to be done. Don’t let this overwhelm you to the point where you stop or quit. You will revise your list several times before you get it right. When you begin to pack, consider starting with complex areas like basement storage, garage areas, and the attic. Toss out or give to charity the items you are not using. Then, move to more functional areas of your home, like your closets.

  • Failure to research and hire a moving team. It’s tempting to think you can handle a move on your own, but moves are time-consuming. Plus, the mindset of “I can do it cheaper” often leads to disaster. When you add up all the costs, hiring a moving team makes a lot of sense.

If you do go with a relocation team, one of the greatest mistakes you can make is to fail to ask for in-home moving cost estimates. You want to hire a team that fits your needs. You also want to shop rates, talk with company representatives, and ask about their ability to handle your move. Can they do the job?

Solution: Get multiple cost estimates from different moving companies to make the wisest decision. Ask a moving team representative to come to your home for a visual on-site survey. Be sure to get quotes from at least three reputable moving companies and be firm about needing accurate quotes.

A moving company representative should visit your home and measure the size of your items and give you a good estimate of their weight. They should also allow for extra packing and care and talk with you about moving insurance.

  • Failure to purchase insurance Another huge mistake people make is to believe nothing will go wrong. While you want to trust your moving team, things can happen, so play it safe by adding insurance to your list.

Solution: Ask your relocation team what types of coverage they offer. Once you get the facts, you can make a solid decision. Federal regulations require that interstate movers offer their clients both released-value protection and full-value protection.

“Released Value” is free liability coverage, but it will only compensate you a certain amount per pound per item while in your movers’ care.

Full-value protection doesn’t mean a moving company will write a check for damaged contents. Instead, you’ll get a replacement item of equal value, or the company will pay for the repair. You can also check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers items in transit.”

Solution: Don’t push your move if there is ice, sleet, snow, or even a chance of a flood. If the weather is terrible, huddle with your moving team and reschedule, especially if that is part of their policy. It’s better to be safe than to have an accident.

  • Failure to have enough time to pack One of the worse mistakes is not allowing enough time to pack correctly so that you end up tossing things into boxes on the last day. The areas you think will take ten minutes to pack will inevitably take closer to an hour. Plan, and plan smart.

Solution: When planning a move, be realistic and allow enough time to pack. Standard rule of thought is this: a studio or one-bedroom apartment will take about two days, a two-bedroom home about three days, and a three-bedroom home about five days. Add on another day if you have a lot of furniture and clothing or delicate items that need to be carefully wrapped and packed.

Solution: Before you even pack the first box, decide to downsize, and get rid of things you no longer need or use. The less you move, the better life is on the other end. Plus, there’s no use wasting time packing and unpacking the things that you no longer want or need. Resist the temptation! Let go of things that no longer serve a purpose—you won’t miss them!

  • Failure to pack a personal moving bag Remember, the most needed and used items are the hardest things to find after a move!

Solution: Pack a designated bag and fill it with the necessities: wallet, keys, important documents, basic toiletries, chargers, items for your pets. Children also should each have their own essentials bags, medications, and a change of clothes. You’ll be glad you did it.

Photo by Charles Parker on

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