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7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Move

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7 Common Mistakes People Make When Relocate


There’s a lot that goes into a move, especially if you’re relocating over a long distance. It’s easy to make some mistakes as you try to get things ready on top of all your other responsibilities. Knowing the most common pitfalls to avoid, however, can up the odds everything goes smoothly.

Here are the top 7 mistakes to look out for.

1. You don’t pay close enough attention to your budget.

A typical move can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars when you factor in expenses like security deposits, storage, truck rental, professional movers, packing supplies, gas and eating out during the trip. Tally these costs well in advance and then get moving quotes to figure out where the best deals are.

If you don’t have enough savings to cover the cost, you might need to take out a loan, and it can take time for that to be approved. If you borrow, even through a credit card, take into account that the move will continue to affect you financially, and adjust your budget to allot for repayment in the months to come.

2. You don’t trim down belongings before you pack.

This is a mistake for two reasons. First, you end up paying to move items you won’t even hold onto. Secondly, the unwanted items take up valuable space in your new home as you try to settle in.

The clutter can make it harder to get organized and, subsequently, create stress. If you need to put things in storage, make sure they are in stackable, sealed containers to keep dust and animals out.

3. You don’t book your move in advance.

Certain times of the year are busier than others for moving companies and hotels. Call ahead and book your helpers, movers and room so you don’t end up scrambling to make alternate—and potentially pricier—accommodations if your first picks don’t pan out.

Prescheduling is also important because you can make arrangements with babysitters, take time off work and think about pacing yourself on using groceries.

4. You don’t give your homeowner’s insurance a look.

Many moving companies will offer accident protection when you book your truck or professionals. But if your homeowner’s insurance already covers damage or loss from a move, you don’t want to pay for coverage you don’t need. At the same time, you should be clear on what is covered so that you can take extra precautions with particular belongings in the way that you pack and load if needed.

5. You don’t take any measurements.

The last thing you need is to haul your brand new Frigidaire from Tallahassee to Walla Walla only to find it won’t even get through the kitchen doorway. Have a concept of how your belongings can be positioned in the new space, too. This makes it easy to know what to bring off the truck and into your apartment or house in a practical order.

6. You don’t get good directions ahead of time.

Yes, of course you can use Google Maps. But oversized rental trucks aren’t a walk in the park to drive. It can be even more stressful if you find yourself trying to buzz down narrow streets or navigate bad neighborhoods.

If you do use Google Maps or other GPS instead of a regular atlas, download the map data for your route before you leave so you can continue to navigate even if you lose service.

7. You label your boxes generically by room.

Writing down where each box belongs or using a color code system ensures that you or your movers quickly can differentiate where to place everything. But if that’s all you put on the boxes, you’ll end up fishing through half a dozen of them to find what you really need right away. As you label, tally how many boxes you have so that you can do a quick count when you arrive and ensure nothing was left behind or lost.

As you can see from this list, most of the big mistakes you might make during a move can be solved with just a little more forethought. If it helps, feel free to use digital calendar reminders or other apps to plot a realistic timeline and keep you on track.

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