It’s easy to overlook things or over-think things during a local move. Even when you’re only moving across town, there are lots of potential mistakes waiting in the wings that can complicate the process significantly. These are ten of the most common mistakes that people make when they’re faced with even a local move, and ways you can avoid them.
- Winging It – One of the most common mistakes people make during the moving process is flying by the seat of their pants. Not having a plan for a major event in your life is rarely a good idea, especially when it involves everything you own. Sit down with your partner and each member of the household to make a list of everything that needs to be done before you move. Include things like disconnecting electricity and other utilities, packing and cleaning your empty house. With a solid game plan, you’ll reduce the number of potential surprises that can derail your move.
- Moving During the Winter – While it may not seem like that big of a deal, in theory, moving during the winter can be a major pain when you face the situation in practice. The moving truck could get stuck in a drift, it could be icy at the new home, making it difficult to move in, there could be two feet of snow in the way, and schlepping boxes in wintry weather is sure to leave everyone in poor spirits. If at all possible, try to schedule your move when the weather is relatively warm.
- Using the Moving Company That Submitted the Lowest Bid – The fact that you’re only making a local move doesn’t mean that you should get skimpy when it comes to choosing a moving company. You still want all of your stuff to get to the new house, and you want it to get there in one piece. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your move in the hands of someone who doesn’t care about your property and who will not take care of it as if it were their own. Take the time to research movers, rather than blindly accepting the lowest offer in a bid to save some money.
- Paying for Movers – Sometimes with local moves, it’s not even worth the money to secure professional movers to get the job done. Save your money by just treating your friends to pizza for helping you out. The more friends or family you have helping you move, the faster it will move along. You could have your whole house moved into by the end of the day, including having most of it unpacked and put away.
- Avoiding “Spring Cleaning” Before the Move – One of the worst things you can do during any move is to transfer everything from one location to the other without culling things that are better donated or thrown away. There’s a good chance that there are several things that should probably be discarded or donated rather than packed up and moved. Take the time to weed out the junk you’ve collected over the years. If you haven’t used it in three years, chances are you won’t use it again. Throw it out.
- Underestimate How Much You’re Moving – If you are hiring a mover, they will need to know how much you are moving so they know what size truck to bring. If you don’t know what you’ve got, you won’t know what to tell the mover. This especially holds true if the moving company won’t be coming out to evaluate the situation before moving day. They will want to know how many pieces of furniture you have, and which large appliances you will be moving. They will also need to know a rough estimate regarding the number of boxes and cartons that will need to fit into the truck. If you have a good idea of what you have, you’ll get a closer estimate of how much the move will cost you.
- Procrastinating – Time is elusive. Don’t let it get away from you. You don’t want to leave most of the packing for the night before your big move just because it’s a local one. Instead, in the weeks leading up to the move, start packing up everything that isn’t essential and necessary for daily life until you get moved.
- Poor Labeling – Having unclear labels or no labels at all will make the move more difficult than it has to be, so take the time to label your boxes. You will want clear, legible labels to make sure your things get to the correct room in your house. You don’t want to have to take the time to move things around to different rooms once you’ve got everything inside.
- Having the Movers Pack Your Belongings – While packing can be a pain, don’t let the movers charge you per box for getting your valuables packed up for you. It’s not worth the money. You can get boxes for free from local liquor stores and grocery stores. These boxes will be smaller, making it harder to over-pack to the point that it’s too heavy to lift. Keep things simple and affordable by packing your own things. Plus, packing it all yourself ensures you know where everything is, and that it’s all securely stowed away.
- Not Having the Right Tools for the Job – If you don’t hire movers, trying to move everything yourself without the proper tools is a big but common mistake. Rent or borrow a dolly and straps for moving. Don’t strain your back or pull muscles by lifting everything yourself.
Keep some of the stresses of moving to a minimum by avoiding the biggest mistakes most people make. Keep it simple and keep it affordable, but remember affordable doesn’t mean cheap.