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Blog August 25, 2021

6 Common Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Posted in Moving 101
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

Let’s face it. Making moving mistakes comes naturally because the process is messy and involves a lot of hard work at the best of times. It’s no wonder it’s routinely compared to some of the most stressful life events when not even a proper plan can guarantee to reduce anxiety. However, with some of the usual pitfalls listed and learning how to anticipate them, there’s no need to worry about your upcoming adventure.

#1 Not Having a Proper Plan

The majority of moving problems arise when there’s no plan to follow. It’s like you’re in the middle of the wilderness without a good map or a compass, and no matter how passionate or excited you are about things to come, you’re hurting your chances to follow through. And that’s precisely what a good plan is to a relocation process – a compass.

When it comes to long-distance moves, especially if you’re relocating to another state alone, believing that you can deal with any sort of inconvenience while on the go is not that smart. Just think about it. You’ll have so many responsibilities and tasks at hand that there will be hardly any time left to think about the strategy needed for each of them. That’s why doing that well in advance, while your head is still not loaded with questions and worries, is a wise move.

You Didn’t Get Rid of Unnecessary Things

Decluttering is one of the vital preparatory steps when replanting your roots because people accumulate a lot of unnecessary things over the years. Getting organized to move is particularly important when relocating to a smaller home, like, for example, relocating from a house to an apartment.

No matter your reasons to move, there will be no better moment than this one to figure out the items that still have a purpose. Even though there are many tips for relocating furniture and other bulky stuff like the refrigerator, sometimes learning how to leave items behind is the best way to move efficiently.

By selling and donating belongings you do not want anymore, you’ll quickly downsize your place and ensure that the upcoming adventure is easier. So contact charities around you. We’re sure that organizations like Goodwill will be happy to have your donation.

You Didn’t Create an Inventory List

When you take a look at your current place, you’ll quickly realize there’s a considerable amount of stuff, from storage spaces to your family room, and you can’t even think about all the tiny kitchen trinkets waiting to be packed. Unless you have a computer instead of a brain, try to avoid one of the biggest mistakes and create a thorough household inventory list.

Even in case of a last-minute relocation, do not think it would be better to skip it because – trust our word – it wouldn’t. It’s one of the best pieces of advice you can get, which allows you to have a stress-free relocation. No matter how you do it, the old-fashioned way with paper and a pen or with an excel sheet, taking inventory helps you to keep track of your belongings, so nothing goes missing along the way.

A good relocation plan is job half-done

#2 Not Setting Your Budget Properly

Entirely avoiding relocation stress is not possible, but if you forget to establish the amount of money needed to move, you’ll lose all the chances to experience a smooth transition.

When relocating to a new state, first you have to understand the expected expenses, from long-distance moving services to the living costs once you settle down. And you certainly don’t want to be one of those people left with nothing when reaching their new home. So plan your budget in detail and stick to it.

What About Cutting Down on Relocation Costs?

Although uprooting your life is an investment, it doesn’t mean you have to rob a bank to pay for it. In fact, learning to cut down on relocation expenses is one of the smartest relocation hacks you can apply long before the big day comes. You’re already aware of how quickly the costs add up. Whether it’s the necessary supplies or the price of a car shipping service, you have to find ways to reduce the overall price of the move.

piggy bank Learning how to set your budget properly is the very first step when relocating long-distance

#3 Starting Packing Too Late Is One of the Common Moving Mistakes

If you’re wondering what the worst part of moving is, well, you have only one guess – it’s the neverending packing process. Relocating your entire life into cardboard boxes from one place to another can’t be simple, and without the time and a packing list, do not even try to face the task.

Starting at least several weeks in advance will allow you to tackle the most challenging part of the move with your head calm. And admit it, the last thing you need is to panic and lose your cool at times when you need there’s a need for your inner manager to step forward and deal with the situation.

It Lowers Your Chances to Conquer the Task Successfully

If you let the process turn into just one more procrastination session, you may have to hire a packing service, although your budget won’t agree to it. Remember the plan from the beginning? That’s where you clearly stated what you’re capable of doing on your own and what services you’re going to pay for because you don’t want to put any of your belongings at risk. So stick to the plan and start packing. And do not forget to set aside your relocation essentials.

Check how much your move would cost FREE QUOTE

No Time to Check for Affordable Supplies

Of course, you will hardly handle this pile of items without proper packing materials. So make sure you get them. Although there are a few ways to do this, from purchasing brand new ones to finding them for free, it’s vital to gather enough materials of sufficient quality and sizes.

Instead of pricey padding materials, you can always figure out cheap relocation supplies like paper or alternatives like towels, sheets, cushions, etc. When it comes to boxes, your neighborhood should be a good place to start looking for them. Just go to the nearest bookstores and local grocery stores, and you’ll certainly find something useful. However, make sure you check these before using them since the cardboard might be weakened or damaged.

It Will Cause You to Handle Your Most Delicate Items Poorly

You’ve probably heard of a domino effect. Well, that’s what will happen here if you start tackling this task too late – it will cause a succession of similar, unfortunate events. You’ll rush things, and it will only cause more problems. There’s no chance it can go any different with boxing up fragile items such as your paintings or maybe dishes for moving. And we all know you need a ton of paper, bubbles, and other protective materials to move them safely to your future home.

If you just wrap them in bundles and load them in the truck, we’re pretty sure you’ll end up having to go shopping a bit more often than you planned to in the first few days of settling in. If you want your belongings delivered in the same condition they’re in, it’s time to get up and pack.

You’ll Forget to Label Your Boxes

There’s one more thing before you’re good to go. And by this, we mean move on to other tasks – a couple of last ones, we promise. But we want to be absolutely sure you made no mistake during the process.

So to finish the boxing-up process successfully, every single package needs to be adequately labeled. This is something you do for yourself, but it will make things a lot easier in case you opt for long-distance movers, too. Using quality permanent markers and stickers, write down the content of every box so you know where it goes once you reach the new home. However, try to be more detailed than “kitchen” or “family room” because there should also be “open first” packages or “under the sink” stuff.

If you’re relocating with kids, this part of the process could be quite fun to them, too, so don’t forget to turn them into your little assistants. They’ll get creative, and you’ll buy more time to tackle other tasks.

Before you head off and buy new supplies, check out the video below to get more tips on the types of containers you can reuse when making this transition.

YouTube video

#4 Transferring Utilities a Bit Too Late

Can you imagine going through the relocation process to find out you forgot to transfer utilities, and now you have no electricity and running water? Yup, that’s what usually happens when you are juggling too many responsibilities simultaneously, and you fail to remember the essential one, like contacting your utility providers to cancel their services and setting up new ones. Keep in mind that it takes 4-6 weeks for all the utilities to be canceled, but all of your due balances have to be paid off.

Switching utilities is simple, but it requires planning prior to the move

#5 Not Purchasing Proper Insurance

Embarking on a cross-country journey without discussing your moving insurance options is never a good idea. Obtaining adequate coverage will guarantee protection that works best for you and your household goods. Reputable movers will provide you with mandatory coverage of 60 cents per potentially damaged pound. However, if you’d like to get an actual value replacement, we recommend purchasing a full-value replacement policy. Anything but leaving your possessions to pure chance will do.

If you want potential damages covered properly, don't forget to insure your household items

#6 Not Hiring a Professional Long-Distance Moving Company

Now that you know how big a challenge relocation is, you’re probably well aware that choosing a cross-country moving company will help you move safely. It’s something you should consider seriously since taking precautionary measures comes naturally to professionals, and errors rarely happen. However, beware of the relocation scams, and ensure that you have an honest company by your side. With BBB and sites like FMCSA, you’ll always be able to check if the movers you’re interested in are authorized to operate.

Hiring experienced professionals will make the entire relocation process a much safer endeavor

How Do I Move on From Mistakes?

Sure, making a mistake sucks. You’ll waste your energy, and you’ll probably have to spend some more money on recovering from them. But the truth is, they are sometimes inevitable. When you set a big goal, achieving it almost always means making a mistake here and there, but do not let it scare you off. If you forget to downsize your apartment, there is always a storage service to keep you on the safe side. If there’s an obstacle in front of you, the good news is it probably means an adventure is ahead of you. So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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