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15 Moving Mistakes to Avoid on Your Next Move

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Moving has a lot of moving parts -- no pun intended. Moving without having a solid plan means there will be room for plenty of mistakes that will make your relocation a nightmare!

common moving mistakes

Moving could feel like an uphill battle. But if you follow these tips on avoiding common moving mistakes, you'll find your move will go a lot smoother.

1. You don't research your moving company

Booking the first moving company that pops up in a Google search is one of the worst ways to start your move. While the company you choose may seem like a reliable company with a very affordable price, you'll most likely end up with a move you are very disappointed in. Maybe things don't make it in one piece -- or don't make it at all. Research is key in making your move go as smooth as possible.

The Fix: Thoroughly review the company or companies you are speaking with. Do they have a lot of experience with moving? Will they do an in-home estimate? Are they licensed, insured and registered with the Better Business Bureau? Sit down and compare the moving companies before you decide to book.

2. You forget to measure your new home

Measuring the entrance way to your new residence prior to moving day is so important. If your items aren't going to fit, then why bother bringing it with you?

The Fix: If the incoming residents want any of the extra large items, leave them at your old address. If they don't, try to sell the items for some extra cash or ask if the movers can put it on the curb. You can also call a charitable organization to see if they'll pick up the items at your home.

3. You spend too much on packing supplies

It's very easy to spend money when it comes to moving. Cardboard boxes cost approximately a dollar each, and depending on what size home you're moving from, you could end up needing a lot of boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, blankets and tape.

The Fix: Many of these items you can get for free. For example, you can get an endless supply of free boxes from your local grocer or liquor store. You might also be able to pick up some from your office or from friends who recently moved.

4. You don't label your boxes correctly -- or at all

Nothing is worse than having a pile of boxes and not know where anything goes. Labeling the boxes by room as you pack is a great way to sort through your belongings and make sure they all make it to their designated rooms.

Write "Fragile" on anything breakable and draw arrows to indicate the position you wish the box to be carried and set down.

The Fix: You can either color code your boxes... or just write the room right on the box. Don't include exactly what items are in each box, otherwise you'll invite unwanted attention from thieves passing by.

5. You forget to change your address

Always remember to change your address in advance, so your mail isn't continuously being sent to your previous address. It's a good idea to inform the post office of your move approximately two weeks prior to your move date to ensure that all future mail gets sent to the correct address.

Other companies you should inform include:

  • Loan providers
  • Credit cards
  • Banks
  • Payroll department at work
  • Newspaper or magazine subscriptions
  • DMV
  • Auto insurers
  • Utility companies (water, gas, electricity, etc.)
  • Doctor's office

6. You don't give yourself enough time to pack

Packing each room is going to take a lot of time whether you're taking your time or throwing things in boxes haphazardly. Packing can sometimes take up to an hour or more per room, and you can't save the whole house for the last few days before you move.

The Fix: Plan out a schedule for packing. Whether you schedule one or two rooms a day, give yourself a few weeks to start packing up your entire home.

7. You start packing too early

On the other hand, giving yourself too much time is just as bad as starting too late. This can prolong the moving process, and you could end up needing something you've already packed away. Packing early is definitely tempting, but resist the urge!

The Fix: You can definitely start packing seasonal clothing and shoes in advance. If you don't plan on having any important dinner guests over, you can put away your wedding china. We recommend you save your kitchen utensils and everyday clothing for the last week of packing.

8. You packing heavy items in large boxes

If you're filling a large moving box with heavy items, the box will eventually weigh too much for you to comfortably pick up. Carrying this much weight could potentially break through the box, damaging your item.

The Fix: The best way to pack heavy items is to pack them in a smaller box (one that is just big enough to fit the item) and reinforce the bottom with heavy duty packing tape to reduce the chances of it breaking.

9. You lose the bill of lading

The bill of lading is the contract between you and the moving company. The carrier provides a list of all the items you are moving in the form of a receipt. This receipt is key in knowing which possessions are:

  • On the truck
  • On it's way to your new home
  • On the agreed upon date and time

The bill of lading is the document you would reference in case of any problems that occur along the way. Whatever you have to do, don't lose this document.

The Fix: An easy way to keep track of your documents is maintaining an accordion folder with other agreements, receipts and checklists you want to keep safe. When it comes to moving day, keep this folder in your car, so you have it on hand.

10. You are caught without cash

You're going to hear a lot of horror stories about how moving companies say they will accept credit cards until the day of the move. Well, now you're in quite a bit of a pickle, because you can't leave the crew unattended to go get cash.

The Fix: Withdraw money in advance. It's better to be safe than sorry. Keep an envelope of the full amount as well as the money for tips in the same folder you are keeping your important moving documents.

11. You forget to pack a survival kit

You don't want to have to start unpacking the second you arrive, so having everything you'll need handy will help you to settle in and relax.

The Fix: Pack a bag with a change of clothes, toiletries, snacks, medication, coffee, pet food, a couple toys for the kids -- essentials that will make the first night in your new home much easier.

12. You don't downsize before the move

The amount of out-dated clothes, forgotten playthings, unused gadgets and other unnecessary possessions that we accumulate through the years will only add stress and extra cost to your move. You don't want to pay to pack up a bunch of junk and drag it to your new place where it will only take up space and collect dust. Before you even begin packing, it is a good idea to sift through your belongings and figure out what you can part with to make your load lighter. When moving day comes, you'll be glad you cleaned house.

The Fix: Donate old clothes to charity, have a garage sale and throw broken appliances in the trash.

13. You use only the Released Value protection

For no additional charge, the default compensation movers provide for lost or damaged goods is just 60 cents per pound per article -- which means if your flat screen television is dropped and broken, you will receive about $30. This is known as Released Value protection. To protect your belongings' value, you may want to purchase additional insurance. Some moving companies will also arrange for you to purchase third-party insurance.

The Fix: Full Value Protection holds the movers liable for either replacing the broken or lost item with something similar, repairing the item, or compensating you with its full cash value.

14. You never ask if the estimate was binding

For no additional charge, the default compensation movers provide for lost or damaged goods is just 60 cents per pound per article - which means if your flat screen television is dropped and broken, you will receive about $30. This is known as Released Value protection. To protect your belongings' value, you may want to purchase additional insurance. Some moving companies will also arrange for you to purchase third-party insurance.

The Fix: Full Value Protection holds the movers liable for either replacing the broken or lost item with something similar, repairing the item, or compensating you with its full cash value.

15. You don't hire professional movers

Moving on your own may seem appealing, especially if you are on a budget or especially fussy about others handling your belongings. However, moving is a strenuous task that takes careful planning and considerable brawn to effectively execute. If you don't have the muscle or the know-how to move a refrigerator or a sofa, you may wind up with an injury or damage to your goods or home. You are transporting your life to a whole new place-professional movers can help lighten the load during a time when you are already frazzled.

The Fix: Hire a professional and reliable moving company that is trained to move your belongings efficiently and carefully.

Nicole Schurott  Posted by Nicole Schurott on December 20, 2018

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