It’s that day, the day you’ve taken weeks to prepare for- it’s moving day! Equal parts hard work and excitement, moving day means both endings and beginnings. And one thing about new beginnings is you always want to start off right. A sloppy move is like waking up on the wrong side of the bed— it sets a bad precedent. So, what makes for a perfect move? And, more importantly, where do you start?
Research, Research, Research
You don’t have to write a full-blown thesis, but a little research goes a long way. When it comes to moving, you should be looking into not only what you should do, but also what you shouldn’t. And that’s the first place where many people go wrong. They focus solely on the to-do aspect of moving but fail to also consider what not to do- the essential moving day mistakes.
You should not hire a moving company without doing your research. There are plenty of movers out there, and indeed, not all of them are created equal. Whereas one local mover may charge you a fair price, take great care of your valuables, and generally make the whole experience as pain-free as possible, another moving company may overcharge you, damage your possessions, and cause you major stress. Which would you rather go with? Assuming the former, you better do your research!
Move Day Essentials
While you are not likely to forget your dog or your sofa, there are several essential items that people often end up forgetting when they move. Keep a list of these items and briefly run through it before you walk out for the final time.
- Toiletries and Medications: Toiletries and medications are obviously some of the final things that you will want to pack. Why? Because you may need to use them the day of your move, and you don’t want to have to undo already packed boxes.
- Essential Documents: Not everything is digital. There are many important documents that remain in physical form, and these are the ones you are not going to want to forget.
- Necessary Cleaning Supplies: Moving day can be sweaty and difficult. When you get to your new home, there will likely be some things that need to be cleaned or, at least, brushed off when you arrive. Remember to pack some basic cleaning supplies and save yourself some trouble.
- Electronic Device Chargers: This, perhaps, is the number one thing people forget. Remember to double-check that you have brought your phone, laptop, and tablet chargers.
- Paper Plates and Disposable Cutlery: If you are making a big move, even if you have a lot of moving help, it may take all day to get the job done. When you arrive at your destination, you may be ready to eat before you unpack. Remember to pack some accessible plates and utensils in your multi-day bag.
- A Corkscrew: You may want a well-deserved glass of wine once the movers have left. Great! But what if you don’t have a corkscrew? Avoid this potential nightmare by double-checking that you do.
Moving Day Bag
People often forget to separate out the clothes and other essential items they are going to need when they arrive at their new home. In order to give yourself enough time to unload and unpack your clothes and other items in an organized way, one of the first things you should do is pack a multi-day suitcase like you would if you were going on vacation. In the suitcase, you should have everything you will need over the course of the next few days.
Failing to get the right moving insurance is a major move planning blunder. All movers, including those that only provide moving labor to load and unload, are required to provide a minimum of $0.60/lb per item in complimentary basic damage coverage. Because some valuables can cost far more than $0.60/lb, there are typically additional coverage options available from third-party insurers and your homeowners or renters insurance. Most insurers will require you to inventory your items and document their value before your move date, so be sure to plan far in advance if you want to buy additional moving insurance.
Too Much DIY
Doing some, or all, of the heavy lifting and packing yourself will save money but that does not mean it’s free. There are both time and physical costs associated with packing, loading, unloading, and unboxing your own stuff. You may think that since the items are yours, you will take better care of them. This is rarely the case as, if you do your research and choose the right movers, you will be working with professionals- and a safe, professional move is easier said than done.
Trust us, regardless of how smart you are, an experienced professional mover will almost certainly be able to do a better job than you, the layman. You can still take a DIY approach and pack all of your items into boxes yourself, then rent a truck or moving container and hire moving help to do the heavy lifting by having the movers to load and/or unload your items.
If the issue is strictly financial, explore the inexpensive (yet still highly rated) moving companies in your area using a search tool like MovingLabor.com, which can help you find high-quality moving labor helpers in your price range. The moving labor approach is almost always a substantially cheaper alternative to full-service moving companies.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Underestimating how much time it will take you to pack is one of the most common move planning mistakes. If you are moving a whole house, you should not expect to get it all done in one day. In theory, you could, but you are much better off starting as early as possible and then making it so that you need to do as little actual packing as possible on moving day. Ideally, you will only need to tell your move help what needs to be done and let them handle it.
Whether you are moving between apartments or an entire house, every move is an opportunity to declutter your life. While you shouldn’t throw things away you might need, it is smart to take advantage of the perspective you get from packing up everything you own. Create three categories of items:
- Things you are keeping
- Things you are donating
- Things you are throwing away
And don’t keep just any old junk. If it doesn’t serve a purpose or help you in some way, get rid of it!
There you have it, some of the biggest moving day no no’s. Just remember that moving does not have to be miserable or stressful. As long as you do your research, remember the essentials, get the right insurance, hire moving help so you don't have to do it all yourself, avoid packing junk, and bring a multi-day bag with you- everything will be okay. Good luck!