Making a move is a task that many of us undertake in our lives. The thought of moving may seem like a difficult and emotional process, but it’s something that you will always remember as a transition from one part of your life to the next. You can make this time of you life a lot less stressful when you know the mistakes you should avoid. With everything that goes into getting ready for a move, it’s easy to have a misstep or two. But, we’re going to give you a heads-up of the mistakes to sidestep on your move.
Taking EVERYTHING with You: Before you move, you need to have a thorough look at what you’re actually going to take with you. This means going through all of your belongings and figuring out what you don’t use anymore. You’re going to need as much room in the movers’ truck as possible, so having any space taken up by stuff you don’t need is going to be a waste. Moving all of those unneeded possessions, only to toss them away when you get to your new house, is not going to be a good use of your time. Get rid of your unwanted items through a yard sale, donations, or simply discarding them if you know nobody will get any use out of them, and then focus on bringing only the stuff you know will be used in your new home.
“One of the best things you can do is purge all of your unwanted junk that’s collected in your house over the years,” said Yvonne Regan, Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “I would recommend you do this a few months in advance of the pack and load date. Most experts will say if something hasn’t been used in about a year and it’s not sentimental, get rid of it. This clean-out can be very liberating and cost effective. Your household-goods weight load will be less, saving you money with the movers, and of course, less items will mean less boxes and packing supplies. And, if you were to hold a yard sale and possibly sell these items, you can even make some money to help defray some of the cost of moving.”
Using Old Boxes: As you’re packing your stuff away, it’s understandable you’ll want to use some boxes you have around the house, instead of spending money on new ones. However, it would be in your best interest to forgo boxes you’ve stored around the house and purchase unused ones. Any boxes you have around the house are probably dusty and not as strong after having other possessions stored in them. You don’t want to be carrying a box packed with your belongings, only to have them fall through the bottom and possibly break the items or hurt yourself. For any items that are very breakable, make sure to have enough bubble wrap in which to encase them before you place them in a box. With multiple items in any box, you don’t want them hitting against each other and causing damage. After the bubble wrap serves its purpose, you can embrace your inner child and pop the bubbles!
Choosing a Moving Company at the Last Minute: When preparing yourself for a move, you have to take into consideration that the late spring and summer are typically the busy season for moving, especially because you have families with children who want to move to their new home before the start of the next school year. A lot of the best moving companies get filled up with appointments early, so as soon as you know the date, call the moving company to book your move. If you wait until the last minute, you run the risk of not getting an appointment when you need it, and then you’ll probably have to resort to a lesser company.
“Moving companies get extremely busy at certain points of the year,” said Regan. “The moving season really heats up in the summer from May through Labor Day, and the moving companies can be booked solid. You have corporate transferees and families moving to settle in before the school year starts, as well as government and military personnel moves. I recommend you book with the moving company way in advance. Or, if you’re moving on your own, reserve your rental truck as soon as possible. Targeting mid-week or in the middle of the month may be best in terms of availability. If there are any delays or changes in your moving date, contact the company right away.”
Forgetting to Ask for an Estimate: Before you choose the moving company you would like to work with, it’s important you first receive an estimate, especially because there are two kinds that are offered: binding and non-binding. A non-binding estimate provides you with an idea of how much the move is going to cost, based on how far you’re moving and the mover’s estimates of your contents and the size of your house. The estimate is given in writing, and you can only be charged 10 percent more than the original estimate. With a binding estimate, you have a legal document that explains all of the charges, which can’t be changed unless you ask for add-on services, such as the movers having to climb multiple flights of stairs they didn’t have previous knowledge about. Prior to making your final decision, it’s recommended you receive at least three estimates, and also ask about any hidden fees. If you’re already spending money on the move, you certainly don’t want to be hit with any unexpected expenses. But, don’t be afraid to spend extra money on a reputable mover because if you find a moving company that charges significantly less than others, it’s probably safe to say they don’t offer top service.
Not Asking Your Moving Company If They Have Insurance: You also can’t forget to check that your moving company has insurance. Once you get to your new house, you don’t want to have any problems arise when you’re so close to finally settling in, so if a mover accidentally damages any valuable items upon the move, you want to make sure the company will be able to pay for them. If your moving company has insurance, I guarantee it will allow you to relax more. After you look into the insurance details of your movers, review your home insurance to make sure it covers your possessions as they move from one residence to another. If you need it, moving companies provide customers with deals on any extra insurance you may want. Lastly, you should inquire if your mover has insurance for workers’ compensation. If you have a small moving company helping you out, which typically has less than five employees, there’s a chance they won’t offer this, which means you’ll have to pay for an injury if a mover gets hurt. In the end, find out as much as you can about the moving company’s insurance, and use that as one of the deciding factors as to which company you choose.
Not Checking Out the School District: If you have children, you’ll want to see if the area to which you’re moving has a school district you approve of. Then, if you like it, you have to make sure it has openings, as you don’t want to move to a new neighborhood and have your children be without a school. Once you pick a district you prefer, keep in contact with them to make sure everything is in order for your child to attend come September. A school may be one of the last things on your child’s mind (I should know, as I was young once), but it should be one of the first things on yours. You want your child to have a bright future, and that begins with finding the right school.
Thinking Your Belongings Will Arrive When You Do: This is a mistake to avoid if you’re moving to a whole other part of the country. Don’t assume the movers will be at your doorstep waiting for you when you get there. If you’re relocating a long distance away from your old home and you arrive at your new home well before the movers, it’s best to have an emergency kit on hand that has enough essentials to get you through a few days. You should include toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, extra clothes, and anything else you think you may need to tide you over until the rest of your belongings arrive. It’s an inconvenience to have to wear the same outfit two days in a row, so imagine what it will be like having to do so for longer than that.
Packing Your Tools and Work Gloves Where You Can’t Get to Them: During your move, make sure you have your work gloves and tools easily accessible, instead of having them buried in a box. You won’t only need them for opening boxes, but you may have to remove a door from it’s hinges if you need to get a sizable piece of furniture through. When you arrive to your new home, you want to get all of your belongings inside as quickly as possible, so you don’t want to waste time searching for your tools if they are buried beneath everything else. Having them at the ready will allow you to quickly and efficiently unhinge any doors if necessary.
Not Hiring a Real-Estate Agent: One last mistake to avoid is not using an agent. Having the help of an agent will make the moving process a lot simpler. They have been through hundreds of these cases before, so they will be able to provide you with the information you will need in order to make sure everything goes according to plan during your move. With everything you have to think about when planning a move, it wouldn’t hurt to have some professional help at your side to give you advice. It will help you relax and will give you more assurance that everything will work out.
There’s a lot that goes into planning and making a move, and we know there’s much to remember. But, if you keep a clear head and an optimistic attitude, this task will be easier than anticipated. It’s all about time management, and the more time you allow yourself to prepare, the more focused and less worried you will be about not getting everything done. This is a part of your life that will lead to an exciting change in your life, so despite all of the work that goes into this endeavor, enjoy it!