Between the hectic schedules and heavy lifting, it’s no wonder so many people hate moving. And while you can’t completely eliminate stress (or back pain) on moving day, you can make sure you don’t turn a stressful event into a disaster.
Watch out for these common moving day mistakes:
1. Hiring a Shady Mover
Some people hire a professional moving company hoping to make their move easier but end up with horror stories. Maybe the mover arrived late and took a three-hour lunch, bumping up the cost of their hourly move. Maybe he broke their favorite wine glasses throwing them on to the truck, or maybe he held those wine glasses (and everything else) hostage until they paid double the estimated price. To keep it from happening to you, look for a licensed and reputable moving company.
2. Leaving Utilities Behind
There might be nothing worse than moving on a Friday night only to get to your new home and realize the lights won’t turn on because you forgot to transfer the utilities, and you won’t be able to reach the utility company until Monday morning.
Set up your utilities at least a week before you move. If you’re moving in-town, most companies will let you transfer your account from one address to another online. If you’re moving out of state, you can compare prices and plans through Moving.com’s Utility Providers tool.
3. Forgetting to Check Your Insurance Policy
If the mover breaks your TV, who pays for it? Well if you didn’t do your homework, you will. Ask the moving company to explain its insurance policy ahead of time. Many movers’ insurance policies use weight to value your stuff. For example, the policy might reimburse you for 50 cents per pound of damaged goods, meaning your expensive but lightweight TV won’t be fully covered. If the mover’s liability policy won’t cover your stuff, check your rental or homeowners insurance policy; many cover moves, too, so you’ll be protected. If not, don’t wait until moving day and hope for the best. Purchase higher coverage insurance through your mover or choose another moving company.
4. Waiting to the Last Minute
If you’re still scrambling to pack your kitchen when the movers arrive, your moving day is headed for disaster. Save yourself the headache (and the potential for leaving something behind) and start packing as early as possible, even several weeks in advance if you can swing it.
To make the job more manageable, aim to tackle at least one project a day — such as the tools in your garage or winter clothes in the spare room — and work up to bigger projects such as the bathroom or the kitchen.
5. Not Organizing Boxes
When you’re pressed for time, it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll just sort out the boxes later, but arriving at your new home with a truckload of unorganized boxes will add a lot of stress to your first night in your new place. Instead, make sure each box is well-packed, fragile items are wrapped carefully, and the outside is clearly labeled with the room the box should go in.
To make things really easy on yourself, pack everything you’ll need right away in one box — such as toilet paper, scissors, flashlights and medications — and keep the box with you while you move. Once you’re in the new place, you only have to open that box to find everything you need on your first night in your new home.