Common Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Moving

Common Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Moving

By Gabrielle D.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This is sound advice for the small things, like managing your Facebook page or transcribing what you’re certain are your pet’s inner-most thoughts, but the stakes are significantly higher on moving day.

Successfully completing a move is a triumphant feeling, but only because moving is such a huge task. There’s a lot of planning, coordination, routing, packing, and hauling that goes into ensuring your possessions make it safely to their destination. Some opt to put all of that responsibility on the shoulders of professional residential movers, but many decide against it because of the added expense.

It’s understandable, but if you’re looking to change moving day to moving D.I.Y., here are some common mistakes you, your friends, and family should avoid to make your move as seamless and stress-free as possible:

  • Overpacking Boxes: This is important to remember if either you or someone helping you move treats every heavy item like an obstacle in a Strongman competition. You may be able to lift it, but can the box hold everything in it? Before you start packing, reinforce the bottom of each box with several strips of packing tape, then, once you begin adding items, cap the box’s weight around 20-30 pounds.
  • No Breaks: Most moves happen on the weekend, so there’s an immediate shared interest to finish the job as quickly as possible. The problem is savvy movers will load the largest, heaviest, and most awkwardly-shaped items first so they can be unloaded last. If you don’t pace yourself with breaks to rest and hydrate, you’ll be tackling that daunting final stretch and fatigue simultaneously.
  • Unlabeled Items: Your lifting strategy will differ based on what you’re carrying, unless you have no idea what you’re carrying. This goes beyond scribbling FRAGILE on dishware boxes; you should also be labeling boxes that are heavy or contain electronics to ensure they aren’t staged under direct sunlight or in the trapped heat of your moving vehicle’s cargo hold.
  • Bad routing: This comes into play sooner than you think; as soon as you close on your new place, in fact. Most people check the water pressure, the outlets, and assess the square footage, but it’s also important to map out how you’ll actually bring your things in. If you’re moving into an apartment, ask the property manager if you have freight elevator access; if not, assess the parking situation and, if it’s a nightmare, determine if there are side alleys you can park your moving vehicle in for an hour or two. If you’re moving into a home, avoid thin walkways and unevenly paved surfaces to avoid tripping and dolly wheel snagging.

Organizing and executing the perfect move without professional movers is certainly more difficult, but not impossible if you, your friends, and family keep these tips in mind on moving day.


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