Moving can be a very stressful process. There are dozens of tasks to accomplish in a short period of time, as well as many important decisions to make. This leads to a high potential for making mistakes.

Most moving mistakes turn out to be minor, but there are a few that can have long-term implications. This article can help guide you past the 7 worst moving mistakes.

The 7 Worst Moving Mistakes

1. Moving without a plan or a moving checklist.
2. Allowing too little time for packing.
3. Hiring the wrong movers.
4. Not recruiting the right kind of help.
5. Not labeling and itemizing boxes and their contents.
6. Not packing items safely.
7. Insuring incorrectly.

The Details

Major Moving Mistake 1: Moving without a plan or a moving checklist.

Mistake Description: Many people facing a move simply jump right into the process without fully planning ahead. Similarly, they try to manage through tasks without having a detailed moving checklist.

Why It’s A Mistake: There have been endless productivity studies demonstrating that having a written plan boosts productivity, and similar logic implies that a moving checklist helps you manage the details of a move.

Mistake Impacts: The biggest impacts are loss of time, added stress, and the chance of forgetting critical tasks.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Use one of the many free, excellent download able checklists as your preliminary moving plan

Major Moving Mistake 2: Allowing too little time for packing.

Mistake Description: People tend to drastically underestimate the amount of time required to pack a home, meaning they have too little time to complete their packing.

Why It’s A Mistake: This causes a mad rush just before moving day to get everything accomplished in time for the truck.

Mistake Impacts: This is a recipe for stress and for sloppy packing, potentially resulting in damaged goods at your final destination.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Allow at least 5 hours per room, and pack the 3 most cluttered rooms first. If they are completed faster than that, you can scale back your schedule. If not, you’ll have enough time to complete all your packing.

Major Moving Mistake 3: Hiring the wrong movers.

Mistake Description: Many first-time movers hire the wrong moving company, usually looking for the cheapest quote they can find.

Why It’s A Mistake: Moving scams are all too frequent, and many times the movers offering an abnormally low quote will hold your goods hostage on their moving truck until you come up with much more money than your original quote indicated.

Mistake Impacts: You can be in for quite a mess of fees and legal issues in these circumstances, and often the moving company will dissolve before you get to court, leaving you with no recourse.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Check out the federal government’s website titled “Protect Your Move” along with websites by MovingScam, the Better Business Bureau and Epinions. Only ask for quotes from movers who come out positively reviewed on each resource. That way you’ll eliminate disreputable moving companies from the very beginning.

Major Moving Mistake 4: Not recruiting the right kind of help.

Mistake Description: You decide to move yourself along with friends and relatives, but either recruit the wrong type of help or assign them to the wrong types of tasks.

Why It’s A Mistake: The wrong type of help can actually make moving go slower instead of making things easier.

Mistake Impacts: You can end up enormously frustrated and wind up doing a great deal of the work yourself.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Only recruit people who meet the profile of a good volunteer. That profile has three characteristics:

· They have a talent or ability (packing, watching kids or pets, lifting heavy furniture) · Their talent or ability matches a need you have for your move · They are willing to apply that talent or ability to your need in a way that helps you.

Major Moving Mistake 5: Not labeling and itemizing boxes and their contents.

Mistake Description: In an effort to save time or work, people tend to skip the process of properly labeling and cataloging their boxes and contents.

Why It’s A Mistake: The time saved by not labeling boxes and cataloging their contents is almost always erased by the amount of time lost looking for things at their new place.

Mistake Impacts: There are few things that waste more time or cause more frustration than the inability to find a needed item in a sea of moving boxes. That causes you enormous upset when trying to settle in.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Mark at least 2 sides and the top of every box with an abbreviation for the room, a box number (start a new set of numbers for every room you pack), and the general contents (e.g., “Juan’s shoes”). It doesn’t have to be incredibly detailed, but it should be sufficient to narrow any search down to, at most, two boxes.

Major Moving Mistake 6. Not packing items safely.

Mistake Description: In a hurry to get everything done, some people end up in a mad dash to get everything packed, and don’t sufficiently protect fragile items.

Why It’s A Mistake: Moving involves a lot of stacking and jumbling, even when done by caring professionals. Packing correctly takes more time but drastically reduces the number of items that will get ruined.

Mistake Impacts: Not packing things carefully can result in damaged or destroyed items.

How to Avoid the Mistake: Here are a few guidelines on safe packing:

· Use heavy duty moving boxes for fragile items.
· Limit boxes to no more than 50 pounds each.
· Try to get each box to be exactly filled to the top to avoid either box crushing or damage.
· Fragile items should be wrapped in at least 1″ of bubble wrap.
· Double box (meaning box the item and then put that first box in a second box, both with cushioning materials) sensitive equipment like computers and other electronics.
· Use biodegradable packing peanuts, towels, rags or other old cloths to fill in gaps around items in boxes.
· Mark “FRAGILE” on boxes with delicate contents.

Major Moving Mistake 7. Insuring incorrectly.

Mistake Description: Many people facing a move either over-insure or under-insure their furniture and other items.

Why It’s A Mistake: Standard moving coverage provides only $0.60 per pound of declared value, and more expensive insurance may not provide replacement value. Further, most moving insurance EXCLUDES items in boxes you packed yourself.

Mistake Impacts: Insuring incorrectly can result in serious disappoint and financial woes.

How to Avoid the Mistake:

· Check with your current insurance company to see if your homeowner’s policy will cover your move or if they have another full replacement value coverage policy or rider. This is often your least expensive coverage option. · Verify in detail exactly what is covered and what is not.
· Look for “full replacement value” for any items you would need replaced if damaged or destroyed.
· Document the contents of each box while you’re packing, including specifics such as manufacturer names and serial items where they apply.

And there you have the 5 biggest moving myths and realities. For more free moving tips and advice, please visit

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