For most people, moving isn’t something they experience very often. However, as a moving company – it’s our living. We move people every day, throughout New York City and beyond. People often think of moving as stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. We often see customers making the same mistakes over and over. Avoid the following 16 mistakes people make when moving, and moving day will be fun and stress-free.
1) Thinking there’s such a thing as a small move
Say it with us, now. There’s no such thing as a small move. You might just be moving across the street, you might even be moving between apartments in the same building. How hard could that be? Why even bother to pack? Treat even the simplest of moves with the same care as you would treat any move. Don’t just plan to throw your things into garbage bags the morning of…pack correctly and leave yourself a good amount of time.
2) Not hiring professional movers
Speaking of “there’s no such thing as a small move”, here’s another critical mistake that people often make. The urge to DIY is strong. Or maybe you want to bribe your friends into helping you. The older you get, the harder it is to find friends who are willing and available to help. And once you go through the trouble of renting a truck, transporting all your things and doing the heavy lifting? It’s usually not worth it. Save your back and your furniture and leave this to the pros. Even though many people think moving is easy, it’s a skilled profession like any other. Knowing how to wrap, lift and pack up items in the truck so nothing – or no one – gets damaged is a difficult job. Luckily, there are a lot of strong, well-trained people out there who are ready to do the job.
3) Not asking questions before hiring movers
So you’re ready to hire movers. Great! Especially if you live in New York City or another urban area, you’ll have plenty of companies to pick from. However, don’t just pick the first one you find on Google. Always read moving company reviews! Always get quotes, and call or email around to make sure all your questions are answered. Make sure there are no hidden fees, ask about insurance, or what happens if the move goes overtime. Ask if the movers will wrap your furniture in blankets. Get a feel for a company’s customer service before their employees are in your house touching your belongings.
4) Forgetting to take inventory
Once you decide to move, you want to go through your home and make a list of everything you have. This will be useful when you call moving companies, as they will likely want to know what you’re moving! Keep this list as you pack and update it so that when you’re ready to go you have an exact list of what you’re moving. You can use it later to make sure everything reached it’s proper destination.
5) Skipping an in-home estimate
In addition to furniture, most moving companies will want to know how many boxes you have. If you have a lot of stuff, it might be hard to estimate your inventory. Some moving companies offer in-home estimates for free. They can come to your house and determine how much you have and be able to supply you with a more accurate moving quote. This can help you avoid last minute costs or misunderstandings between you and the moving company.
6) Taking everything to the new place
Speaking of inventory…this is a big one non our list of mistakes people make when moving. Moving is the perfect time to go through all your belongings and get a fresh start. You can finally clean out your closet and donate whatever you don’t want. You can finally let go of those old textbooks you’re never going to read. Anything that’s taking up unnecessary space – let it go! For larger donations, you can often arrange a pick up time with a local nonprofit with no charge to you. If furniture really needs to go in the garbage, there are ways to dispose of it safely.
7) Underestimating packing time / Not scheduling it out
Okay, so you’ve set a moving date! Congratulations. Now let us share something with you. More than 75% of our clients are still packing on moving day when we arrive. Don’t let this be you! When your movers show up – you want to be ready for them. Especially if you’re paying by the hour! Make a schedule for yourself. Some things can be packed way in advance, like off-season clothing, and things you don’t use often. Other things like toiletries and electronics will be left out until the day of the move. Schedule and spread out the packing tasks so you’re not pulling an all night session the night before.
8) Spending too much on packing materials
This is an easy-to-avoid mistake that a lot of people will make. You are only going to use these boxes once, so do they really have to be new? Can you get some from a neighbor? Most liquor stores and supermarkets go through hundreds of boxes each day and will be more than happy to give them to you for free if you ask. You can find boxes in local Facebook groups, local shops and some moving companies even provide them for you. Here at Stride Movers, we are currently running a promotion where if you book a move with us, we provide all your packing supplies for free.
9) Packing boxes too heavily
Here is one we see often in terms of mistakes people make when moving. Packing is an art, and you want to do it evenly and methodically. Don’t fill entire boxes with heavy books, you or your movers can get hurt trying to lift them. If you put books in a box, fill the top half with a pillow or a blanket. Also, DON’T USE GARBAGE BAGS. Garbage bags may be cheap and seem like a good last minute receptacle for your clothes or smaller items. However, bags break easily and are impossible to stack. This means they are bulky to carry and don’t pack well in the truck.
10) Forgetting to label your boxes
Packing is a big accomplishment, but it’s only half the battle. Once you reach your destination, you will be unpacking in a new place. Labeling your boxes is essential for staying organized on the other side. Label with the contents and the room, so that during the move, you can direct the movers to put boxes in the correct place.
11) Forgetting how electronics were set up
Cords, plugs and screws are easy to lose in a move. Before you pull all of the cords out of that tv, take a photo of how everything looks when it’s all set up. Use a few small plastic bags or tupperware containers to keep the screws and small pieces of your furniture together and safe.
12) Forget to pack an “essentials bag”
Some things you need until the last minute, and they will be the first thing you’ll need in your new place. Make sure to put some essentials in a separate bag that you carry with you during the move. Phones, chargers, wallets, toothbrushes, toiletries and even a change of clothes will make the transition more smooth.
13) Not saving your receipts
Always a good idea for any large purchase, but make sure to save your receipts for all moving expenses so you can track your spending. Moving expenses used to be tax deductible, but after 2018, this only applies to military members in certain circumstances.
14) Not prepping your pets or kids
If you have kids, it’s a good idea to prepare them for your move well in advance. Even if you think they’re too young to understand, it will be a big adjustment for them. Of course, it’s more difficult to prepare your pets, but they will also be likely scared by the changes. On moving day, make sure your kids and pets are safely away from all the action so they don’t get hurt. Taking them to a playground or park for a few hours is a great way to make sure the moving can go on smoothly without distraction.
15) Not checking your inventory list after the move
Remember that inventory list you made when packing? Before the movers leave, double check it to make sure that everything you have made it to the final location. If you’re missing anything, it’s better to know now and maybe you can retrace your steps or double check the truck for your lost items.
16) Waiting too long to transfer utilities and transfer mail
You don’t want to be billed for utilities that you’re not using anymore, and you don’t want to be stuck in a new place without internet and electricity. Call your utilities companies and make an appointment well in advance, at least 2-3 weeks. They can often be very busy. Forwarding your mail is a simple process on usps.com.
And that’s our list of 16 mistakes people make when moving. If you’re looking to move to or from the New York area, look no further than NYC’s top-rated moving company – Stride Movers. We are committed to excellence and customer satisfaction. It would be our pleasure to be the movers on your next relocation. Get a free quote now.