Don’t Make These 7 Moving Mistakes

Moving to a new home can be a difficult experience. Here are some classic moving mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.

1. Moving Items You Don’t Need

There’s always the temptation to move everything, even stuff you don’t need or want anymore or sometimes just trash. Instead, hold a garage sale or sell valuable items on eBay. Not only will you get some extra money to help with your move, you’ll have stuff you don’t need out of your way. As a Russian friend of mine says, “After you’ve moved three times, burn everything and start over.”

2. Not Leaving Time to Pack

Having worked summers while I was in college for a moving company I saw this plenty of times. We would arrive at a customer’s house and they wouldn’t have anything packed. This delayed their move and cost them money. Give yourself at least two weeks to pack the average home, a little more for a big house, a little less for an apartment or bungalow.

3. Not Labeling Boxes

Labeling the boxes with legible large print makes the unloading go so much quicker. The movers can quickly move stuff to the right rooms. Plus, when you’re unpacking, you can find stuff a lot easier. If you find out from the moving company that they’ll be hiring workers who may not speak or read English, take the time to label also in Spanish or other language the movers may be using.

4. Don’t Pack Everything

Make sure you keep out any personal items you need as well as any valuables, heirlooms, or other important items. They will usually be safer being carried by you. While most movers are honest and won’t steal your stuff, it is best for your own piece of mind to take care of these items yourself. Besides, accidents do happen when a lot of stuff is packed in a truck. And, make sure you’ve left out enough clothing for all family members. It’s pretty bad to have to run to WalMart to buy some underwear because you packed up everything and it’s on the truck.

5. Don’t Kill the Utilities

Don’t make the mistake of having power, water, or other services cut off too quickly. If there are any delays you may find yourself trying to get them switched back on and having to pay extra fees to do it. Leave enough time so that your move should be complete. Or, if your utility company allows it, have them disconnected by phone after your move.

6. Not Taking Your Time

Driving is rather exhausting. I’ve seen many people wear themselves out by driving all night subsisting on coffee and truck stop food only to be frazzled when the movers arrived in the morning. Don’t burn yourself out doing this. If you have a spouse, family member or friend have them supervise the load out while you’re waiting rested for the movers to arrive at your new home. Or do the opposite.

7. Not Keeping Track of Expenses

Many moves are tax deductible or can be expensed. Make sure that you track all of your expenses so that you can be properly credited. My suggestion is to use an inexpensive binder to keep all of your moving documents and receipts. That way you’ll have the comfort of knowing where to find things if you need them.

That’s it. Avoid doing these things and you’ll have a much better moving experience when you follow these relocation tips. Oh, and don’t forget to tip your movers well. It’s hard work.

Do you have any tips or experiences to add? Leave a comment if you do.

 


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3 Comments »

Comment by local movers
2008-07-07 15:37:23

I think we’ve all made these mistakes more than once — But definitely an awesome post!

I’ve moved junk from one apartment to another and THEN decided to throw it away. Makes a whole lot of sense doesnt it?

 
Comment by Beryl Cook Prints
2008-08-02 23:12:57

I loathe moving, and swore that I would never do it again. But then I had the opportunity to move overseas with my family, and we were forced to do a pretty radical version of downsizing. We condensed everything that we owned into a 20 foot container and set off for a new life.

Amazingly, a year later we moved once again (we knew that our first stop would be a rental apartment that we had for only one year), and we spent a week or so throwing out things that we hadn’t used during that year. The urge to hang on to “stuff” can be just overwhelming, and one of the few good things about moving house is that it forces you to examine what you own and whether you still want to hold on to it.

 
2008-08-12 22:00:25

A friend of mine had a potlatch before relocating to a new city far away. He gave away everything he owned except his vehicle and one suitcase of clothes. Now that is keeping things light! Few of us can do that, but I love the idea. I attended the potlatch and did not take anything home with me, but others took lots of things.

 
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