Moving Day mistakes are so easy to make, what with hectic schedules, organising everything and the heavy lifting. Even thinking about moving is mentally and physically exhausting. So, it’s absolutely no wonder so many people hate moving. The endless drill of de-cluttering, sorting, packing and labelling boxes takes a toll on you. Then, there is the whole process of getting to the new place, unpacking, and then repeating the same drill in reverse. And while you can’t completely eliminate stress (or back pain, or the odd swear word) on moving day, you can make sure you don’t turn a stressful event into a disaster.
Behold some important things to remember before you move, and I hope they will help you.
- Hiring a shady mover
Most people hire a professional moving company, in the hope to make their move easier. Unfortunately though, some end up with horror stories instead. Perhaps the mover arrived late, or took a three-hour lunch, bumping up the cost of their hourly move. Or maybe they broke your favourite wine glasses by carelessly throwing them on to the truck. Even worse, maybe they held those wine glasses (and everything else) hostage until you paid double the estimated price.
- Forgetting to Check Your Insurance Policy
Heaven forbid, but what happens if the mover breaks your TV. Who pays for that? Well, if you didn’t do your homework, I’m sorry to say, but YOU will. Therefore, ask the moving company to explain its insurance policy ahead of time.
Insurance policies use weight to value your stuff. For example, the policy might reimburse you for 50 cents per dollar of damaged goods, meaning your expensive but lightweight TV won’t be fully covered. If the mover’s liability policy won’t cover your stuff, check your rental / home owners insurance policy. Many insurance policies cover moves, too, so you’ll be protected for that as well. If not, don’t wait until moving day and hope for the best. You can purchase higher coverage insurance through your mover or choose another moving company.
- Leaving services behind
One of the biggest moving day mistakes, is forgetting the services. Is there anything worse than moving on a Friday night, only to get to your new home and realise the lights won’t go on because you forgot to transfer the power, or the internet? Oopsie..
Setting up your services (including internet) at least a week before you move, will help prevent these situations from happening. At the same time; don’t forget to switch off all concerned services at your current house before you move. In addition, see if your agent (or a friend) can point you in the right direction of an electrician, plumber or even heat pump specialists. Coming across heating / cooling, electric or plumbing issues right after you move in, is a big nuisance.
- Waiting till the last minute
If it’s possible, start preparing early for the move. If you’re still scrambling to pack your kitchen when the movers arrive, your moving day can be headed for disaster. Save yourself the headache (and the potential for leaving something behind) and start packing as early as possible. Even several weeks in advance if you can swing it.
Maybe to make the job more manageable, aim to tackle at least one project a day – such as the tools in your garage or winter clothes in the spare room – and work up to bigger projects such as the bathroom or the kitchen.
- Organising boxes / materials
To efficiently manage your time, and avoid any moving day mistakes, begin early if possible. You can order packing materials such as boxes and bubble wrap well in advance. Professional packers will wrap and box everything. However, if you’re moving things yourself, invest in plenty of bubble wrap, heavy boxes and packing tape to keep your belongings from being broken. Placing heavy things at the bottom of the box and the fragile items on top will help the more fragile items. Movers’ blankets are great to wrap around furniture, to protect them from scratching while in transit, or from getting wet.
When you’re pressed for time, it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll just sort out the boxes later. But the stress won’t disappear when you arrive at your new home on your first night, with a truckload of unorganised boxes. Instead, make sure each box is well-packed, fragile items are wrapped carefully, and the outside is clearly labelled with the room the box should go in.
To make things really easy on yourself and prevent this moving day mistake, pack everything you need right away in one box. Things like toilet paper, scissors, flashlights and medications – and keep the box with you while you move. Once you’re in the new place, you only have to open that box to find everything you need for your first night. It really does pay to have enough time at the other end of the journey, so you’re not in a rush to unpack on a Sunday night before work the next day.
- First things first
Here’s a thought; when you arrive at your new home and start unpacking, why not start with your bed first. There’s nothing worse than being tired and grumpy from unpacking at the end of the day only to find an unmade bed covered in stuff.
If you have kids; make moving an adventure. Try giving them some fun things to do and be involved in the move. They will enjoy packing their own moving boxes, and drawing pictures on the top to show what’s inside. Keep them well fed and hydrated so they don’t overtire, and have a few toys and bedding on hand when they need a break. If they have plenty of energy, take a short walk to help them check out their new surroundings, although if they’re very small then perhaps have them spend the day with friends or family.
Moving can also be a stressful and confusing time for animals. If possible leave them with a friend or in care. Or, keep them to their normal routine as much as possible. Definitely keep them out of the way of the main action though. When introducing them to your new home, it often pays to have the familiarity of bedding, water bowl and toys where they’re normally kept. Keep them confined until they are used to their surroundings.
- Beware of thieves
Be careful loading and unloading your vehicle and try not to leave it unattended with the doors open while making a quick trip indoors. Opportunistic thieves may decide to move some of your gear for you. Into their own home. Also, dispose of your moving boxes carefully when you arrive. Especially if you have labelled all your items on the outside. You don’t want to advertise to thieves. Same goes for any new equipment or household goods you’re buying. Leaving boxes in / by the recycling let’s people know what you’ve just bought, brand new.
- Extra tips
- It’s always great to have some spare cash on hand for any last-minute emergencies or basic supplies.
- Having a phone battery (fully) charged is always helpful, because a phone battery dying is the last thing that you want. You never know who you might need to phone, or how much you end up using your phone. Perhaps even keep a remote charger on hand.
- If you take any regular medicines, maybe organise some extra meds from your doctor until you find a new doctor.
- Gather up all your house keys from neighbours, relatives, and friends, in order to give them to your estate agent / rental company or solicitor.
- Write down all important numbers you might need; moving company, insurance, agents, service companies etc. Oh and perhaps even account numbers.
- If you’re going to list with new doctor, dentist and optician, just let your current ones know and to pass your files on.
- Inform your family and friends about the move. A notification for change of address should also be sent to your bank, insurance company, credit card providers etc.
I know there’s a lot that can be covered to prevent moving day mistakes. If you have any other tips or advice to keep a move as hassle-free as possible, please share your thoughts.
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Happy Moving! Bye for now…