By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman
Planning for a residential move is a hectic experience of packing, logistics, budgeting, and preparing to transport your entire life from one location to another. In this time, it's all too easy to make a critical mistake. As professional movers
, we've seen more than a few moves go less well than they could have and would like to offer a little expert advice. Here are nine of the top mistakes people make when moving and how to avoid them:
1) Packing Heavy Items in Large Boxes
By far the easiest mistake to make is getting overzealous while packing. It's satisfying in a way to see your items efficiently packed into large boxes. However, box size matters and there is a reason why standard moving boxes come in several sizes. Large boxes can be awkward to move and are best packed with lightweight items like bedding and towels. Small, often more sturdily built boxes are better for heavy objects to ensure not too many heavy things need to be lifted in the same box.
2) Forgetting Box Labels
Packing fast may be efficient, but forgetting your labels will mean sacrificing that efficiency in your new home. For residential moving especially, make sure to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in. This will make it much easier to find what you need on arrival.
3) Not Getting Measurements for Your New Doorways
Almost everyone forgets that not all doorways are equal. If you have large furniture to move, from dining tables to exercise machines, you will want to make absolutely certain that they can fit through the front door, and any intermediate interior doors, of your new home. Take measurements yourself or ask a contact in the new location to send you measurements. This will help you determine what will need to be disassembled.
4) Asking Movers to Handle Dangerous Materials
Professional movers cannot and should not handle certain items due to their high-risk level. This includes flammable and corrosive materials like isopropyl, cleaning solutions, and old car batteries among many other possible examples. They also don't transport anything organic including houseplants and pets so be sure to make alternate plans for these items. Otherwise, you and your movers might wind up in violation of the law.
5) Booking Movers at the Last Minute
Don't assume just because you only need a moving service every few years that they are not in high demand. People are moving all the time and to get the exact service you want when you need to be moving, it's important to book your move well ahead of time. Especially if you want to move during the peak months of early Summer, when families can safely move children between school districts.
6) Choosing Movers Without Research
The movers you choose will make a big difference in your moving experience. Some specialize in local residential moves while some can provide a full-service move across the country or even across the globe. Do your research and choose movers that offer you the services you care about most.
7) Losing Your Moving Paperwork
Keeping track of paperwork during a move is among the largest challenges, even if you pack very carefully. The most important document during this time is your contract with the movers. Fortunately, modern trends almost assure that your movers' contract will be sent to you and saved digitally so you don't have to track a single piece of paper.
8) Not Managing Your Utilities in Both Homes
If you don't want unnecessary bills in your name associated with the old home or to find yourself without electricity or water in the new home, make sure to manage your utilities. It can be easy to forget in all the hubbub of moving but it is one of the most important final tasks you should take.
9) Forgetting to Change Your Address Officially
Finally, don't forget to change your official address. This should be done both through the post office and with any services you are registered with that require your current residential address. Remembering this update significantly reduce the chance of misdirected mail, especially if you also take the time to set up temporary mail forwarding from your old address to the new one.