Moving into a new house can come with its own set of challenges, obstacles, and downright mistakes.
And no matter how many times you’ve moved, there’s a good chance you can improve on at least one thing.
We started this blog to educate people on how to move, but it’s just as important to talk about how not to move. Don’t make one of these 13 common mistakes when moving into a new house.
Mistake #1: Not Hiring Professionals
Asking friends or family to help with your move is definitely the budget option, but it can be more trouble than it’s worth.
Hiring professional movers, on the other hand, is a cost-effective way to help you avoid the exhaustion that hits halfway through moving day. Moving companies have the right equipment, materials, and training to guarantee a safe, seamless move. Plus, they get the job done much faster.
Whether you want someone to pack up your belongings, or you just need a moving company to load and transport your boxes and furniture to your new home, hiring qualified movers will save you a lot of time and stress, not to mention strain on your body.
Mistake #2: Not Researching Your Movers
If you’re moving in a hurry or just want to get the whole thing over with, it can be tempting to just hire the first big-name company in the Google search results. If this is your tactic, you’re gonna have a hard time.
Just like any industry, the moving company universe is filled with scammers, con men, and just plain terrible movers. When you pick one at random, how can you know what to expect?
One word: research.
Don’t believe all the company’s hype about themselves without taking the time to check up on them. Read reviews, look them up on the Better Business Bureau, and ask friends and family for recommendations.
Once you have a good selection—say, three or four—get estimates and details from each of them. What’s their availability? Do they have insurance? What services do they provide?
When you know how each of the companies differs from the others, you’ll have a better idea of which one is the best deal. Which brings us to our next point…
Mistake #3: Valuing Price Over Quality
While affordability is an important factor to consider when hiring a moving company, what’s more important is that they do their job well.
The cheapest price might get your stuff from one place to another (unless they’re a scammer using rock-bottom prices to lure you in), but it doesn’t necessarily ensure great service.
Hiring a moving company is like buying tacos: a if you only care about price, your choice will come back to haunt you.
Mistake #4: Moving During Rush Hour
I-4 is bad enough on off hours. Why make your move worse by throwing in a bunch of traffic?
Moving during rush hour is not only stressful, it’s expensive. Traffic congestion eats up time and gas, which will ultimately raise your price.
Instead, take a day or two off work to supervise the move. Have the movers arrive at your home first thing in the morning so you’ll have plenty of time to finish before the 5 o’clock rush.
Besides, extra traffic means more accidents, and the last thing you need is an insurance claim on moving day.
Every year has a “rush hour” as well: summer. If you can, move during the off-peak times. Movers will have more availability and the prices may be lower as well.
Mistake #5: Forgetting To Declutter
Once you know you’re going to move, you may want to get a head start on packing your house. This is a great idea, unless you end up packing stuff you no longer need or want. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying your moving company to move a dresser that you could have just hauled out to the curb for free.
Take your time to go through your house and weed out unwanted items. Donate, sell, or throw away anything you don’t want to bring into the new house. It’ll be that much easier to start fresh in your new place and become the organized person you’ve always wanted to be.
Mistake #6: Procrastinating Your Packing
An average three-bedroom house takes about five days to pack, provided that you are packing for the entirety of those five days. No breaks. No work days. Just packing for five days straight.
You probably aren’t planning on taking a week off of work to pack (in addition to the day or two it’ll take you to move). If you’re like most people, with a job and responsibilities to tend to, packing your house will take you a bit longer.
A good rule of thumb is to start packing as soon as possible. Start with stuff you won’t need before moving day and pack a few boxes each day. By the time the Big Day rolls around, you’ll only be left with a few essentials that you can easily throw into a duffel bag and then into your car.
Mistake #7: Not Knowing How to Pack
Of course, getting a jump on all that packing is useless if you don’t know what you’re doing. Take some time to do the job right in order to avoid damaging your items during the move.
If you learn nothing else, learn this: heavy items go in small boxes and light items go in large boxes. This will save your boxes, your belongings, and your back.
Use appropriately sized boxes for your fragile items—not too big and not too small—to avoid breakage. A too-large box will leave too much wiggle room; a too-small box can put your items under a lot of stress.
Don’t skimp on the padding! It’s not worth the damage. Go to your local moving supply store and buy bubble wrap, unprinted newspaper, or packing peanuts to pad your boxes. Of course, you probably already have packing material. Use clothes, pillows, and linens to kill two birds with one stone.
Don’t forget to label every box (on all sides!) with where it’s going in the new place, not where it was in the old house. That way, there’ll be no confusion when the truck finally pulls up to your new address.
Mistake #8: Packing Non-Movables
As much as movers do, there’s a few things they can’t move for you. (Like nail polish. Yeah.)
Legal restrictions prevent moving companies from handling hazardous chemicals, weapons, and flammable items (among others), so you will need to transport these yourself.
It’s also a good idea to avoid packing very expensive and/or irreplaceable items in the moving van. Instead, take them in your vehicle so you know they’re safe. If you’re willing to take the risk, ask your moving company first. Many companies may not be willing to accept the liability for items over a certain value.
Mistake #9: Forgetting to Make a “Moving Essentials” Kit
Picture the scene: it’s the first night in your new house. The movers have left. There are boxes stacked in every room. And you’re exhausted. You decide to call it a night when you suddenly realize you can’t find your toothbrush. Which box is it in? Where are your pajamas? A set of sheets for your mattress? What about the dog’s water dish?
You can avoid this problem by packing a “moving essentials” box (or suitcase) filled with all the things you’ll need for that first night in your new place.
This kit should include a change of clothes, towels, non-perishable snacks, toiletries, important documents, a first-aid kit, and anything else that you might need in the event of emergency. You can also include some recreational items to keep you and your family occupied until the boxes are unpacked.
Leave this bag in your car so you’ll always have it on-hand.
Mistake #10: Not Taking Inventory
In the unfortunate event that something is damaged during transport, how do you prove it was caused by the movers? If you didn’t make a note of the item’s condition when you packed it, you’re out of luck.
Having an organized list with the location (i.e. box number), condition, and number of each item will not only enable you to check the before and after on your couch’s condition, you’ll be able to easily identify any boxes that might go missing.
Most moving companies worth their salt have inventory lists of their own. If that’s the case, don’t take their word for it. Read it over (or check it against your own) to make sure you agree with their assessment of your stuff. Less-than-honest movers might take advantage of you and mark new stuff as “damaged” or leave things off the list entirely.
Mistake #11: Not Backing Up Your Computer
Placing valuable or fragile items on a moving truck is always risky and your computer is both of those things.
Before you do anything else the morning of moving day, back up your drives so you don’t lose any data (or the kids’ baby photos) if your machine is lost or damaged.
A trustworthy cloud-based server will hold onto all of those documents, images, and video clips for you. You can replace a machine, but you can’t replicate data.
Mistake: #12: Forgetting About Your Pets
You’d never forget to take care of your kids during your move, so don’t neglect your pets, either.
Moving with pets not only means taking them from Point A to Point B, it means taking care of them along the way.
If you’re moving long-distance, contact the vet for your pet’s medical records. Research the laws in your new county to see if your dog’s breed prohibited. (Miami-Dade County has a ban on pit bulls.) On moving day, make sure your furry friends are kept out of harm’s way in an empty room, friend’s house, or kennel until the move is over.
Mistake #13: Forgetting to Change Your Address
As much as you’d love to ignore all pesky bills, your mail needs to end up at the right house.
Don’t forget to swing by the post office or visit the United States Postal Service website to fill out a change of address form 5-10 days before you move. You don’t need to pay a third party to take care of this for you. The process to change your address online is quick, simple, and only $1. If a company offers to take over for you for a “low price” of $40, it’s a scam.
Moving into a new house should be a time for excitement, not stress. With a little preparation, you can avoid all 13 of these common moving mistakes and have the most uneventful move of your life.
By hiring and vetting moving companies, organizing your packing, and taking care of a few details here and there, you’ll be moving like a pro in record time.
If you’re looking to move within or away from Orlando, your first call should be to Cento Family Moving & Storage. Our experienced and knowledgeable movers are equipped to handle any move, whether you’re moving into a studio or moving your entire office.
Contact us today for a free quote.