It can be fun and exciting to move to a new home. Unfortunately, there are common mistakes that can turn it into a bad experience. Whether your destination is across town or on the other side of the country, you can enjoy relocating when you avoid the 10 biggest moving mistakes.

1. Moving As A Do-It-Yourself Project

DIY Moving

Moving without assistance is a mistake nearly everyone regrets. Regardless of how far you are traveling, how many people are in your family, the possessions you own, or your method of travel, you need an experienced moving company.

Moving on your own is hard work, difficult, and frustrating. It is too easy to break or damage possessions or have an accident while moving heavy items. If you do not want to become disappointed and exhausted, do not try to do it yourself. It is more sensible and will be a better experience, if you hire a professional moving company to do the job for you. Pack your possessions, and trust them to the care of your movers.

2. Poor Timing For Packing


There are two different approaches to this mistake. Some people wait until the last minute, while others pack too far in advance. Both of these approaches can backfire.

If you wait until moving day is near, you will be hurried and frazzled. It increases the risk of forgetting important items, and possessions you need can be left behind. You will be too tired and stressed out to enjoy your trip.

Packing too soon can also be a problem. You may think you are organized, but later need items that you have packed. If this occurs, you will need to search through boxes to find the items. It is time-consuming and frustrating.

Allow yourself plenty of time for packing. The day before the moving company is scheduled to arrive, check throughout your home to make sure everything is ready. This will save time for you, and for the movers, too.

3. Not Making Lists

Moving List

A simple way to approach moving is to start with three lists. The lists should include items you want in your new home, items to dispose of, and items that can be given away. It will reduce clutter in your current home, and ensure everything arrives at its proper place.

The list for your new home should include everything you want and need that is in good condition. When you are emptying your closets, garage, and basement, do not be tempted by items that you cannot afford to repair, or items you no longer use. You will find many items that should be disposed of or recycled. Items you no longer want can be given to friends or donated to charity. You could also hold a yard sale, and make a little extra money for your trip.

You can encourage older kids to participate in list-making, too. They can prepare items to be packed, and choose items to donate. It is one way to include your kids in the moving process.

4. Forgetting To Have Mail Forwarded

Mail Forwarded

It is recommended that you notify the post office of your upcoming address change at least two weeks before your moving date. You can choose a change-of-address option online, or you can request change-of-address postcards from your local post office. When you complete the information, your mail will arrive at your new address.

There is a point to keep in mind. If you ask for all mail to be forwarded, you will be responsible for “postage due” on magazines and packages. You can avoid this extra expense by notifying the senders of your new address.

5. Not Preparing The First-Day Kit

First-Day Kit

When you arrive at your new residence, you do not want to immediately unpack all the boxes. You want to take some time to relax and enjoy your new surroundings. When you are in your new home for a few hours, you will think of something you need.

If you pack a first-day kit, you can avoid the hassle of unpacking and searching. Consider all the items you will need on the first day, and pack them separately. Personal grooming supplies, pet food, and pajamas are a few examples. When everything is handy, unpacking can wait until the next day.

Clearly label the box so you can easily find it and know what it contains. If you are driving, the box can be stored in the trunk of your car. If this is not an option, you will still be able to locate the box when the movers arrive. You will not have to search through everything to find toothpaste, dog food, or your child’s favorite storybook.

6. Making A Quick Decision For A Moving Company

Moving Company

Similar to other businesses, moving companies are not all alike. When you want good results, do not simply hire the first company you find, and sign an agreement. Take time to ensure it is the right company for you.

First, check at least three different movers in your area. It is especially useful if they have websites. You can compare the companies from the privacy of your home when you have free time. You can have basic information before you directly contact a company. If you know someone who has moved recently, you can also ask for recommendations.

Second, do not be afraid to ask questions. The movers should be easy to communicate with, easy to work with, and not pressure you to sign an agreement. You should know whether they offer a binding estimate, a non-binding estimate, and insurance. Take all the time you need to thoroughly read the contract before you sign it. You should know what your move will cost and what to expect before you make a commitment. You will be confident knowing you have hired a trustworthy moving company.

7. Not Preparing Your Children and Pets

Moving Kid and Pet

Relocating is stressful for adults, but it can be harder for children and pets. Make a point of taking their feelings and needs into consideration. It can be helpful to explain relocating to children, but it is more helpful for kids to be involved. You can find something for even the youngest child to do, so he does not feel left out. He can be excited about moving, rather than fearful.

For kids and pets alike, keep their daily routines as normal as possible. Eating, sleeping, and playtime should not change. Routines will keep your children and pets calm, and make the transition to your new home easier.

For both kids and pets, personal possessions are important. Resist the temptation to throw away toys, security blankets, and pet toys. Even if you are thinking of buying new items after you relocate, your toddlers, teens, cats, and dogs will want their own familiar possessions. Unless items are in such poor condition that they must be disposed of and replaced, allow them to keep familiar items.

This approach can be useful during the trip to your new home, too. Whether you are traveling by plane or car, favorite items should be present. They will feel comfortable and safe when you are all en route to your destination.

Traveling can be especially tiring for kids and pets. If relocating involves a road trip, allow plenty of time for breaks. Everyone needs time to rest and relax. Plan time to stop for meals and snacks, and to visit local attractions along the way. If you are flying, take advantage of layovers. It is much more enjoyable than flying cross-country without a break. Instead of thinking only of your destination, consider it an adventure for your entire family.

Focus on the positive aspects of relocating.

Kids of all ages, and even pets, can notice your emotions. This can be especially difficult if you do not really want to move. Instead of complaining or expressing concerns and worries, keep a positive attitude when they are present. Give older kids time to say goodbye to their friends, and obtain email addresses so they can stay in contact.

8. Not Exercising Care With Valuable Items

Moving Valuable Jewelry

You may have chosen conscientious movers, but it is still not impossible for items to become damaged. There are some items you should carry with you if it is possible.

Valuable jewelry, important documents, and small portable electronic devices are some examples. You can use a special carrying case for electronics, and a tote bag or briefcase for other important items. Keep these cases with you, whether you are in your car or on a plane. Items that are irreplaceable or could be easily broken should not be packed and sent with the movers. You do not want a cherished heirloom to be crushed, or birth certificates to be soaked from an unexpected storm.

9. Forgetting About Timing


When relocating is ideal, everyone and everything arrives at the new location at the same time. In reality, this can be difficult or even impossible. For the easiest transition, though, organize your timing.

Have all of your boxes packed and ready to go when the movers arrive. You also want to be at your new home to meet them. You do not want to worry about giving your keys to strangers, or boxes ending up in the wrong place. If you are present when they arrive, you can let them in, and let them know where you want the boxes.

Timing for movers means timing your own trip. You may not have time for an extended visit with a relative who lives on your route, or to see every tourist attraction along the way. Time your trip with allowances for activities and fun, yet reach your destination on schedule.

An itinerary or travel diary will help you stay organized. When you are planning your move, check to find the best route. You can find plenty of information on the web for towns and cities along the way. You will see what each location has to offer, including restaurants, attractions, and events that will interest you and members of your family. When you use a travel diary to mark what you want to see and do, you will have a fun trip without wasting time. You can arrive at your new home, ready to greet the movers.

10. Not Learning About Your New Location

New Location

Perhaps you saw a beautiful house or the perfect apartment, and decided it was where you want to live. Complications can arise if you are only focused on your new home. There is much you should know about the area before you make that decision.

As each individual and family has their own needs and priorities, take time to consider yours. Depending on your particular circumstances, this may include looking for a new job, a new school for your children, activities for family members of various ages, transportation, and the safety of the new neighborhood.

You want to know about grocery stores, pharmacies, and health clinics or hospitals. You will want to know about the availability of emergency personnel, such as law enforcement and the fire department.

When you are planning to relocate, you should also learn about the utility companies in your new area. You may be able to transfer your utility services to your new home, or you may need to choose new utility companies. This may include gas, electric, phone, internet, tv services, water, and trash removal. When you have all of the information in advance, you will not have to live in your new home for days without electricity or other essential services.

If possible, spend some time in the neighborhood. Meet your new neighbors, and ask for phone numbers. Walk around the neighborhood, and see if you feel comfortable. You may start to feel at home, even before you move in.

Final Verdict

Relocating can be enjoyable, or it can be an awful experience. If you have ever moved and made any of these mistakes, it is an experience you do not want to repeat. If you start planning well in advance of moving day, you will increase the chance of a smooth transition. You can start by keeping these moving mistakes in mind, and decide to take a different approach. You can be prepared, rested, and excited when moving day comes, and look forward to moving to your new home. When you arrive, you will be glad you took a little time to avoid the 10 biggest moving mistakes.

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