Blog November 24, 2020

7 Common Moving Mistakes You Should Avoid

Posted in Moving 101
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Almost every major event in life has the potential for some slip-ups, and the relocation process is no exception. If you consider that around 15 million American households move each year, then it’s completely understandable that some moving mistakes can occur, especially when it’s your first time doing this. So knowing relocation tips that will help you achieve a stress-free move is an essential step in this whole process.

Since an average American moves 11 times in a lifetime, it can be quite frustrating repeating some errors unconsciously on and on, right? An efficient move is everyone’s goal, but if you don’t know how to organize the move, there’s a slim chance that you won’t feel anxious about relocating and, as a result, depressed after the move. So roll up your sleeves and check out the problems you should stay away from and have a relocation you would gladly do again.

What Should You Not Do When Moving Interstate?

The relocation process is stressful enough, from leaving the home you’ve been living in for a decade and finding a new one to saying bye to friends and family. To make it easier, there are some errors you should be aware of that maybe no one told you about. While learning from your own mistakes is good in some cases, when choosing reliable movers and figuring out which services will meet your budget, there’s not much room to wing it. That’s why you shouldn’t forget about all those hidden expenses like tipping movers, taking measurements, preparing properly for the relocation day, and getting your car ready for shipping.

A man holding his hand behind his ear
Be open for all the little things you didn't know and avoid each mistake that can ruin your relocation

Moving Mistakes You Should Stay Away From and How to Do It

One of the most common reasons why Americans move is because they found the perfect home to buy. But no matter why you decided to move, whether you’re relocating for love or got a fantastic work opportunity and are relocating for a job, without a guide that will assist you, staying away from mishaps will be a challenging process.

That’s why, once you realize all the benefits of a move, start planning the whole process, because a last-minute relocation can make you wonder if this move is worth all that effort and nerves. The essential thing to remember is that there’s one thing in common with every relocation – good organization. Without it, your experience will probably be something you would rather forget. So let’s look at what steps you should keep in mind when planning a relocation to a new state.

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#1 Mistake: Not Getting Help From a Professional Moving Company

We all want a stress-free move, and achieving it isn’t that hard if you follow proper relocation hacks, of course. The first step when you decide it’s the right moment to move is to begin planning and organize right away. And the first thing you should do is find reputable state-to-state relocation services because, if you’re relocating to a new city alone, a professional relocation company’s help is more than needed. Get comfy in your chair and look for the movers that will offer you the right service (anything you need, from auto transport to a helping hand with the loading and unloading service).

Check if the Movers Are Legitimate and Have a Safe Move

Before you contact the relocation company and ask for free quotes, ensure the crew is legitimate. Consider that there are over 6000 relocation companies in the US, and you shouldn’t be surprised if you run into a relocation scam. Here are steps you should take and protect yourself from fraud:

  • Ensure all information about companies are on their websites,
  • Verify the company by looking up their USDOT number on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety (FMCS),
  • Check the customer’s reviews,
  • Make sure the professionalism is on a high level once you contact the relocation crew.
A man using a laptop to find reliable state to state movers
Ensure you're hiring a relocation crew you can trust with your belongings

#2 Mistake: Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Organize the Relocation Process

One of the reasons why people can’t have a successful move is because they don’t realize how much time they actually need to have everything organized. Just hiring a relocation crew will take at least one day, but what about all other things you have to do before the move. So as soon as you find one of the best beach towns to live in, you should begin planning the relocation process.

Set Your Budget and Cut Some Expenses Where Possible

How your relocation will look depends mostly on your organization. As mentioned before, the sooner you start planning, the fewer possibilities there will be for tasks you’d otherwise forget. So one of the most important and probably most stressful tasks you should deal with is knowing your finances and setting your budget. Figuring out how much money you’ll need for each service is essential when you plan to move out of state on a budget. It will take some time, but it will spare you those unpleasant surprises where you realize there’s another thing you have to pay extra for.

Setting the budget isn’t the easiest task you have to do since the average move costs at least $2000. Luckily, there are actions you can take to cut some expenses. For example, you can move in winter when it’s the off-season; get rid of things you don’t use anymore, and find free boxes.

A piggy bank with coins on a white surface
Check where you can cut some expenses when relocating

#3 Mistake: Doing Tasks Without a Relocation Checklist and Poor Time Management

People tend to forget things, especially when it comes to stressful situations like relocating to a new home and surroundings. This is a big change in your life, and having everything under control will assist you in feeling more relaxed. To make that happen, you can create a checklist for relocating to another state. Not only will it keep you on track with all tasks, but it will also give you a timeframe for each task. It’s a great way not to postpone them and, as a consequence, forget them.

A to-do list on the white surface for moving state to state
Create a checklist of things to do and don't worry about the tasks you might forget

#4 Mistake: Boxing up Without the Right (and Enough) Packing Materials

Imagine you begin with the wrapping up process, and you suddenly realize that there are not enough boxes for all the items from your household. Quite a frustrating situation, right? To avoid it, ensure you get all the materials and supplies you’ll use and begin boxing up room-by-room without any worry on your mind. Put on your checklist the following things and get as much as you can:

  • Boxes,
  • Paper,
  • Bubble or plastic wrap,
  • Tape,
  • Scissors,
  • Markers.

Insure You Valuable Items During the Transportation Process and Label Each Box Correctly

Don’t let all of your effort of protecting and wrapping up your belongings be in vain. As you already know, unexpected things can happen, and that’s why you should get your precious items insured. So, if extra packing services are needed for a vintage mirror you’ve had for years now, don’t hesitate to ask for extra relocation insurance.

Vintage mirror hanging on the wall before moving interstate
Get your precious belongings insured - better safe than sorry

#5 Mistake: Pack Everything From Your Home

If you’re wondering: what’s the worst part of moving, the answer would be the packing process. Two crucial things when you come to the packing part are to give yourself enough time and to downsize for the move. The biggest mistake you can make is to bring all that clutter that you would just put in the storage facility. However, the line is thin between the most commonly forgotten things to pack and deciding which items are unnecessary. So once you create a checklist, get down to packing because it’s probably one of the most tedious things you’ll have to deal with.

Didn’t Think You Can Conquer This Task – After Decluttering, It Will Be a Breeze

Having to pack all the belongings you wish to bring with you can be terrifying, but if you first get rid of items you don’t use or want anymore, the whole process will go much more smoothly. However, know that this can’t be done in just a few hours (depending, of course, on the size of your house). Decluttering is very helpful, especially if you’re relocating from a house to an apartment.

Pack One Box With Essentials to Survive the First Day After Moving Into the New Home

Surviving the relocation day is quite a venture, but with some tips, you’ll handle it like you’ve done it many times before. The thing that will save you the day you move in is a bag of essentials. Make sure you pack a change of clothes, towels, pajamas, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. If you’re relocating with kids or have furry friends and are relocating with pets, ensure you bring their favorite snacks and toys. It’s well known that relocating with animals is a challenging task, so if you want some additional tips on going through this process as painlessly as possible, check the video below.

#6 Mistake: Forgetting to Switch Utilities and Change the Address Before the Relocation Day

Getting this task done before the move will do you only good. Imagine you’re relocating in the summer, and you didn’t switch the utilities. This means you won’t have running water and no electricity (no air conditioning). Besides turning the utilities off and on, also think about who to notify when relocating, such as the USPS, and move into your future apartment fully prepared.

A light bulb from up close
Notify everyone about your move and ensure you'll have all the utilities turned on before you arrive

#7 Mistake: Postponing the Unpacking After the Move

You’re probably thinking that once the professional crew leaves, you’re done with the relocation process. But you’re forgetting that there’s still one more task to do – unpacking. It’s crucial to start with it as soon as possible because the longer you wait, the more obligations you’ll have.

Knowing how to efficiently unpack after the move is something you should consider checking because you already know how long the packing process took. Not only will you adjust more quickly to your future house, but you’ll have more free moments for other things, like meeting your neighbors.

Three unpacked boxes on the table after moving state to state
Deal with the unpacking after the move and don't postpone it for too long

How Do I Move on From Mistakes – Don’t Let Moving Problems Get to You

Since relocation is the third-most stressful event in people’s lives, it shouldn’t surprise you that there are some relocation errors you should stay away from. But the essential thing in this whole process is to remember that it’s completely normal to forget something. It’s up to you not to let those errors get to you – on the contrary, they should only encourage you because, for the next move, you’ll be fully prepared. So once you contact professionals to take care of the needed services, like storage facilities or even custom crating, ensure you keep in mind all the things that could keep this relocation from ending successfully.

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