10 Biggest Moving Mistakes You Can Make and How to Avoid Them 

10 Biggest Moving Mistakes You Can Make and How to Avoid Them 


With a little planning, a DIY move can be a successful and affordable experience.

There are times when moving can also feel like a nightmare. Moving is a complex task and there are several pitfalls that are lurking along the road ahead. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to research the process and begin packing well in advance.

One of the biggest moving mistakes you can make is to hire a truck that isn’t big enough for your things. What can you do if your truck is fully packed and half of your items are still sitting in your garage? By realizing how much space your items will require in advance, you’ll know how much truck will be needed.

Here are some of the other biggest moving mistakes you could make and how to rectify the situation.

What Are the Biggest Moving Mistakes?

#1. You’re moving during rush hour.

Rush hour happens in multiple ways when you’re moving to a new home. You have the daily rush hour from everyone’s commute to work and back. You also have the weekend rush hour when most people try to complete their move. You have another rush hour at the end of the month when leases typically expire.

Avoid these times whenever possible. If you must move during a rush hour time, book your moving truck at least 90 days in advance.

#2. You’re only using one company.

Being loyal to a specific brand, such as U-Haul, when moving can make the moving experience be fast and efficient. It might also cost you more to move than it might if you shopped around. You need more than a moving truck. You’ll need moving supplies and other essentials as well. Ask for estimates and price out supplies at 3 different stores, at minimum, to make sure you’re getting the best value possible.

#3. You did not purchase moving insurance.

If you hire professional movers, then you need to purchase moving insurance. You should also make sure the movers are licensed, bonded, and insured on their end too.

For those doing a DIY move, it is a good idea to purchase the extra insurance for the moving truck. It’s usually under $50 and will save you from very expense costs should something unexpected occur.

#4. You packed your valuables in with everything else.

When moving, your most expensive items should be packed separately from the rest of your stuff. Professional movers may not accept the job if you pack jewelry, expensive electronics, or similar items because of the liability they would face. Keep very fragile and very valuable items with you to protect them.

#5. You forgot to make room for your pets.

Pets find the moving experience to be extremely stressful. They know something is going on and think that maybe they’ll get left behind. You’ll want to make sure your pet has all their tags, shots, and any other certificates updated before traveling. If your pet is traveling independently of you, then proper identification is absolutely necessary. Keep plenty of treats available and make bathroom stops along the way.

#6. You forgot to check the agricultural rules.

Did you know that some states in the U.S. have rules about bringing plants across their borders? You cannot bring a citrus plant into California, for example. Several states have quarantine rules or agricultural inspections that must occur as well. Some rules apply to certain counties as well. Before moving, you can check all the current agricultural rules for the U.S. with the list of summaries published by the National Plant Board.

#7. You didn’t clean the house before packing.

There’s a good chance that there are items you no longer need in your home. If you’re not using them now, why go through the hassle of moving them? You can host a garage sale or a moving sale. You could donate the items to a local thrift store. Many charities will also take your unwanted items off your hands, assuming the items are in a good condition.

#8. You don’t have a survival bag ready.

There are essential items you’ll want to have once you arrive at your destination. For many, the top item on the list is a hot shower. You’ll want toiletries packed into a survival bag to make that happen.

You’ll also want some tools and basic essentials available at your new place right away too. Think about packing a screwdriver, a flashlight, some coffee, your medicine, and a pair of scissors in your survival bag. Make sure everyone has a fresh set of clothes they can wear packed in there as well. It could be helpful to have some cash packed in there, a first-aid kit, and some food for your pets.

#9. You’re not keeping an inventory of your items.

Whether you are doing a DIY move or you’re hiring professional movers, it is absolutely necessary to keep an inventory of your items. That way, you’ll know what arrives at your new home. Not only does this prevent you from leaving important items behind, it allows you to hold those who are helping you (friends or professionals) to a certain standard of accountability.

#10. You didn’t label your boxes.

When you’re in a rush to pack, it is the little things that get missed. If you don’t label your boxes, then you must open each one to know where it should be delivered. That can extend the time it takes to unpack once you arrive at your new home. A permanent marker is all you need to write the room where the box should go.

If you don’t want to mark your boxes, then try using colored tape for room assignments instead. Red tape could go to the kitchen, blue tape could go to the bathroom, and so forth.

Are You Getting Ready to Move?

Moving can be a stressful experience. With a little planning and tips like these, however, it can also be a lot of fun.

By avoiding big mistakes like these, you’ll also come away from the move with a lower risk of experiencing unexpected expenses.

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