Moving Day

Whether it’s cross-country or across town, moving to a new home can be both emotionally and financially draining. Being aware of the most common mistakes will help ensure a smooth move.

Here are five fumbles you should avoid:

Mistake #1: Doing it all yourself
Even if you’re moving out of a small home, relocating is a big job best left to the professionals. A lot can go wrong when you don’t hire movers including injuries, damaged belongings, rental truck troubles, and other nightmare scenarios. Save yourself the headache (and backache) by hiring professionals.

But that doesn’t mean hiring your cousin’s girlfriend's brother-in-law. Respectable movers are licensed, insured, have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau, and will provide an in-home estimate.

Mistake #2: Poor planning
Don’t cross your fingers and wing it on your moving day. Moving is an endeavor that should be planned months ahead of time – yes, months. Your moving company should be booked well in advance, especially if you’re moving on a weekend, holiday, or during peak moving season.

Start packing as early as you can so you’re not scrambling to throw odds and ends into boxes the morning of your move. And as you pack - pack well. Relocating is hard enough on furniture and possessions without boxing them up haphazardly.

Mistake #3: Failing to Purge
Tossing all your belongings in boxes and hitting the road might sound like the easiest way to get the job done, but it guarantees unnecessary expenses. Extra stuff means extra boxes, extra weight, and extra stress.

As you pack, donate, sell, or toss out items that just aren’t worth it to move with you. You’ll save on packing supplies, labor, and time.

Mistake #4: Neglecting to label boxes
Not labeling boxes is a rookie mistake resulting in chaos. Not only should you label your boxes, you should label them right.

Don’t merely write on the tops of boxes. When your boxes are stacked you won’t be able to read the tops. Write on at least two sides which room the box is destined for, a brief description of the contents, and whether the contents are fragile.

Mistake #5: Packing moving day necessities
Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is actually packing the things you’re going to need as you move. Put together a moving day kit of essentials. For example, the screwdriver you’ll suddenly need when you realize those IKEA shelves aren’t going to fit through the door without taking them apart.

Other handy items you’ll likely need include markers, box cutters, tape, toilet paper, paper towels, pain relievers, snacks, water, etc. Moving hack: Keep plastic baggies in your kit so you don’t lose loose screws, brackets, etc. Don’t forget to write on the baggie to which item the screws belong.