Moving can be a stressful and complicated process that tests the endurance, patience, and problem solving skills of your entire household. With so many things to think about, it is easy to forget important things that will cause headaches and frustration later on. To help you avoid the common pitfalls of moving, we've put together this list of the top 9 mistakes people make when they move.
1. Forgetting to Forward Your Mail
Going through the postal service to have them forward your mail to the new address can seem like an unnecessary extra step: you're going to change your address properly with all the important people anyway, right? While they may be true and you may be the one person out there who remembers every subscription and bill and friend and family member that needs to know about your change of address, this won't help any items sent just before your move that haven't arrived yet. Take the few minutes necessary to register your move with the postal service and be sure not to miss out on all your birthday cards or Mastercard bills.
2. Thinking you Can Wing It
Unless you are moving a very short distance or you have a lot of time to slowly transport your stuff from your old home to the new one, chances are you will regret trying to undertake the process on your own without proper planning. Don't leave it to the last minute and run the risk of realizing you do not have a large enough van or enough boxes to pack all of your stuff.
3. Not Packing Properly
Inexperienced movers may try to cut corners by transporting storage pieces without emptying them first but this is usually a big mistake. Not only will this add extra weight to the already heavy furniture making it more difficult to move them and more likely that they will be damaged in transport, this also means that all your little knickknacks and treasured items are bumping around inside an unpadded drawer. If the drawers are removable and the contents relatively unbreakable, you can simply remove the drawers and wrap them with cling wrap to keep their contents in place. If not, empty the drawers and use cling wrap to seal them shut. Drawers sliding in and out of a heavy piece of furniture can shift the weight and cause the movers to lose their balance or their grip. Cling wrap is good for this as it will stick to itself but not to sensitive wood finishes. Before your even begin packing, take the opportunity to go through your possessions and get rid of unwanted items to avoid bringing unnecessary clutter into your new home.
4. Choosing Popular Moving Days
There are a few times of year that are extra popular for moving. These times include the beginning and end of university terms, the first of the month in areas with lots of apartments, and late spring-mid summer weekends. Avoid these times when possible to prevent getting caught in traffic and having to compete with other moving vans for limited parking space or elevator usage. If you absolutely must move during one of these times be sure to book early and plan your route ahead of time to avoid the worst traffic jams.
5. Not Getting an Estimate (or Two)
A good moving company can make the process much easier on everybody while a bad moving company can turn an already stressful experience into a complete nightmare. Get estimates from several respectable companies and be sure to do research before signing anything. Look for reviews online as well as testimonials about how they handle any problems which may arise.
6. Not Checking Insurance Policies
Another good thing to check before agreeing to hire a specific company is their insurance coverage. Chances are a good moving company will have reasonable insurance that protects your from loss in the case of breakage or damage to your possessions but it is never wise to assume: they may have some coverage but you need to make sure it is enough to cover your belongings if something happens to them. Check your own insurance as well to see what items may be covered during the move: some small electronics such as laptops are often covered outside the home as well as inside.
7. Forgetting to Plan for Fragile/Valuable Items
Extremely fragile or valuable items often will not be accepted by moving companies and you will need to find another way of getting them to your new home. Depending on their size it may be easiest to simply bring them in the car with you but be sure to have a plan in place before the day of your move to make sure you aren't left scrambling at the last minute.
8. Not Packing a Survival Kit
The worst moment in any move is realizing that you need something and you don't know which box it is in. Make a list of essential items that your family will require to survive for a couple of days just in case and put those items aside to keep with you. Items to include in this survival kit are:
- Necessary medications;
- Childcare items;
- Favourite toys;
- Flashlight; and
9. Not Checking the Inventory List
One of the most important things to do during the move itself is to pay attention to the items and boxes going on to and coming back off of the moving truck. Check the inventory to make sure that all items are accounted for right as the moving company is unloading and you will avoid the unpleasant surprise of realizing a week into unpacking that your Grandmother's china set is nowhere to be found.