Written by: Benjamin Smith | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Do you enjoy the process of moving?
I didn’t think so.
Moving is a tedious, and at times disheartening, process. Have you ever broken a family heirloom while moving? Have you ever hurt your back lugging a couch up a flight of stairs? Have you ever paid for moving services, and then discovered you could have saved hundreds, or even thousands, if you had just researched a bit more?
Everybody makes mistakes, but hopefully the following advice will help you avoid the most common moving mistakes in the future.
Many people are scared to move. It can mean changing schools, finding new doctors, starting over in a new neighborhood, and identifying the best route for your new commute. It is often helpful to hire a moving service to help your move go a bit smoother. Sharone Ben-Harosh, founder and CEO of FlatRate Moving, suggests three red flags to look out for when looking for a moving service to help with your relocation:
- A company responds very quickly with low rates and few other details
Often this means that there are complications like low-quality services or hidden details that will end up jacking up the price.
- A moving service that doesn’t ask questions
If the moving service that you talk to doesn’t ask questions about possible expensive items, you may have reason to be concerned. It is important for the company to know how many large pieces of fragile furniture you have in order to give you an accurate quote.
- A company that doesn’t send someone to your home
In order to give an accurate quote, it is important that a representative visits the home to gauge the volume of items needing to be moved, the number of fragile items present, etc. If the company that you reach out to does not provide this complimentary service, you should be sure to itemize every item that you will be moving and provide that before an official quote is made to ensure accurate pricing.
Kate Hart of Fantastic Removals agrees that low initial prices can be misleading. When asked what to avoid while moving, she said, “Cheap moving quotes. Most often they come from companies that offer services of very poor quality which are also uninsured in some cases. In addition to this, such businesses do not invest in quality customer support so the whole experience of working with them turns into a nightmare quite often.”
Regardless of what moving service that you may decide to hire, it is important that you are present during the moving process. It is not uncommon for moving services to help with the packing process and if you are not there, the chance of damage to your belongings and household goods is much higher. There is also a chance that your things will get lost and that some items that you have decided not to take will be packed anyway.
The moving process inevitably will take longer than you would like it to. That's just the nature of the beast. That being said, there are some things that you can do to make sure that you are able to get through your move in a timely fashion.
Harosh recommends that you start the packing process early. Give yourself about a week before the move is scheduled to take place to start packing up the house. The sooner you start, the better prepared you will be.
Jennifer Doran of Liberty Moving suggests that you break the packing process up into tasks. Start one room at a time. This will not only help you get everything packed, but it will also help you keep everything organized so that the unpacking process will be easier.
Hart suggests that long before boxes are packed into the truck, you plan for traffic. If you live in the city, think about the traffic you might encounter on the roads as you start the trek to your new place of residence. If you are moving to another state, it is also possible that there will be accidents or other delays on the interstate. If you plan for this, you will be much less frustrated when you do encounter these hold-ups.
Putting your entire material life into boxes and into a truck is not only time-consuming, but it is also a very tiring process. Doran offers the following tip for successful packing:
- Pay for supplies, don’t skimp — Good-quality packing materials are important to the success of your move. If you use old boxes, it is possible that they will bend and/or break under the pressure of other boxes and the contents of the box can be damaged.
- Don’t overfill boxes — The more you put into a box, the heavier it gets. Are you asking for your back to go out on you? As you start stacking boxes in the moving truck, the weight could also cause other boxes to collapse and therefore cause damage.
- Label correctly — As you are packing your things, label each box clearly with the content that it holds. If you do this, you will be able to quickly figure out where things go when you unpack, and you will save a significant amount of time.
- Don’t over-stack — Tall stacks of boxes not only are at risk of crushing the boxes on the bottom, but they are also at risk of falling over and damaging fragile items.
- Don’t rush — The faster that you pack, the less organized the boxes will be. Packing is like playing a game of blokus. The more organized and well-packed the box, the better chance it has of receiving no damage during the relocation.
You now have the tools to ensure that your next move is a positive experience. If you need help finding a local moving service, see this list of moving services with customer reviews to help you.