Common Moving Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

By  //  April 18, 2023

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Moving can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, whether you’re transferring across the country or just a few blocks away. Unfortunately, many people make common moving mistakes that can add to the stress and cost of the process.

From not planning ahead to choosing the wrong moving company, these missteps can result in damaged belongings, delays, and unexpected expenses.

This article will explore some of the most common mistakes made during a move and provide practical tips and advice for avoiding them. Read on!

  • Not Planning Ahead

With proper planning, you may avoid last-minute hassles, such as running out of packing supplies, being unable to find a moving company or truck, or needing more time to pack your belongings properly. It can also lead to unexpected expenses, as you may be forced to pay higher prices for moving services or supplies due to the lack of time or availability. 

Moreover, failing to plan your move well in advance can result in a confusing packing process, increasing the risk of damage or loss of your belongings. In addition, you may forget important details such as transferring utilities.

How To Avoid It:

  • Start planning your move as early as possible, ideally several months ahead.
  • Create a checklist of everything you need to do, including booking a moving company, transferring utilities, and updating your address.
  • Research moving companies and book one well in advance to ensure availability and better rates.
  • Stock up on packing supplies, such as boxes, tape, and bubble wrap, and make sure you have enough for all your belongings.
  • Set aside enough time for packing.
  • Pack your belongings in an organized manner to minimize the risk of damage or loss.

Following these tips can ensure a smoother and more successful move while avoiding the stress and unexpected expenses of not planning ahead.

  • Choosing The Wrong Moving Company

Choosing the wrong moving company is a common mistake people make during the moving process. Hiring an unlicensed, uninsured, or inexperienced mover can lead to various problems.

For example, an inexperienced moving company may not know how to pack fragile items properly, leading to damage during transport. Additionally, an unlicensed or uninsured mover may not be held accountable for any damages or losses during the move.

How To Avoid It:

  • Research local moving companies, such as, and read reviews from previous customers.
  • Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who’ve recently moved.
  • Verify licensing and insurance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or your state’s transportation department.
  • Request multiple quotes from different companies to compare prices and services.
  • Inquire about the company’s experience, especially with moves similar to yours.
  • Review the company’s policies for handling fragile or valuable items, and consider purchasing additional insurance if necessary.
  • Ask about the mover’s process for addressing disputes or complaints.

These tips will help you avoid hiring the services of the wrong mover.

  • Overlooking Hidden Costs

Moving can be costly, and it’s essential to budget accordingly. However, many people fail to account for hidden expenses, such as packing materials and storage. These costs can quickly add up and put a strain on your budget.

For instance, some moving companies may charge extra for stairs, long carry, or bulky items, while others may require additional insurance coverage. These costs can lead to financial stress and even delay or disrupt your moving plans.

How To Avoid It:

  • Request an in-home estimate from the moving company to get a detailed breakdown of costs.
  • Ask the moving company about any additional fees or charges that may apply to your specific move.
  • Create a moving budget and include a buffer for unexpected expenses.
  • Research and compare prices for packing materials, storage, and other necessary services.
  • Read the moving contract carefully and ensure that all charges are clearly stated.

The above are the ways to avoid hidden costs.

  • Not Decluttering Before The Move

Moving offers an excellent opportunity to go through your belongings and remove things you no longer need or use. But, failing to declutter before the big day can result in paying to move items you may dispose of later, or even worse, packing and moving things you need more space for in your new home. Also, moving unnecessary items can prolong the packing and unpacking process, leading to additional expenses and stress.

How To Avoid It:

  • Begin decluttering as soon as possible to avoid last-minute rushing.
  • Create a plan and set achievable goals for each room in your house.
  • Sort your belongings into categories, like keep, donate, sell, or throw away.
  • Consider donating or selling items that are still in good condition.
  • Dispose of things that are no longer usable or in poor condition.
  • Use online marketplaces to sell items, or consider hiring a junk removal service to dispose of unwanted items.

These tips make it easy to declutter items that may hamper the move.

  • Packing Incorrectly

Incorrect packing is a common mistake people make during a move. It involves using wrong packing techniques or materials, leading to damaged or broken items during transit. Insufficient padding or over-packing boxes can also result in items shifting during the move, causing them to break.

In addition, packing items without proper labeling or organization can lead to confusion when unpacking in your new home. For instance, if you pack items from different rooms into the same box without labeling them, knowing where to place them in your new home can be challenging.

All this can lead to unnecessary frustration and time wasted as you sort through boxes and try to remember where each item belongs.

How To Avoid It:

  • Use appropriate packing materials and techniques to protect your items during the move.
  • Refrain from overpacking boxes; provide sufficient padding to prevent things from shifting.
  • Label boxes clearly and organize items by room to make unpacking more effortless and less confusing.

These tips offer organized ways to pack your belongings.

  • Not Properly Preparing Large Items

Failure to disassemble or secure large items, such as furniture, beds, dressers, or desks, can result in damage during transport. These items are often too bulky or awkwardly shaped to move as one piece, making it crucial to deconstruct them beforehand to prevent damage. Failing to secure these items properly can cause them to shift during transit, resulting in scratches, dents, or even breakage.

Large appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines can also be dangerous without proper preparation. They may contain hazardous materials like refrigerant or cleaning chemicals that must be adequately drained and secured before moving.

How To Avoid It:

  • Disassemble large items before moving to prevent damage.
  • Secure all parts of the disassembled items properly.
  • Use appropriate packing materials to protect the items during transport.
  • Drain and secure hazardous materials from appliances before moving them.

Adhering to these tips ensures you’re prepared to move your large items.

  • Forgetting To Change Your Address

When you move, updating your address with the post office, banks, credit card companies, and other vital organizations or individuals who regularly send you mail sr packages is crucial. Failing to do so can result in essential documents or packages being sent to your old address, causing delays and potential identity theft risks. Additionally, it can lead to missed bills, late fees, and negative impacts on your credit score.

How To Avoid It:

  • List all the organizations that need to be notified of your address change.
  • Update your address with the post office as soon as possible, online or in person.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your new address to avoid potential fraud or identity theft risks.
  • Contact other important organizations or individuals regularly sending you mail or packages, such as your employer or insurance company.
  • Double-check that all your bills and subscriptions have been updated with your new address to avoid missed payments and late fees.
  • Consider temporarily setting up mail forwarding with the post office to ensure that any mail sent to your old address is redirected to your new one.

These tips can help ensure a hassle-free move.

  • Failing To Pack Valuables Differently

Valuable items such as jewelry, antiques, or family heirlooms require extra care and attention during packing to remain intact. Packing them with other household items or in regular boxes can result in breakage, scratches, or loss.

For instance, packing glassware with heavier items can cause them to break or crack. Similarly, packing jewelry or other small valuables in regular boxes can increase the risk of misplacing or losing them during transportation.

How To Avoid It:

  • Pack valuable items separately from other household items.
  • Use sturdy and appropriately-sized boxes for each item.
  • Use packing materials such as bubble wraps, peanuts, or foam inserts to protect fragile objects.
  • Label each box clearly as ‘fragile’ or ‘valuable’ to alert movers to exercise extra caution.
  • Consider keeping precious items with you during transportation instead of putting them in the moving truck.

With these tips, you can ensure that your valuable items are safe.

  • Neglecting To Measure Furniture

Without proper measurements, furniture may not fit through narrow hallways, doorways, or staircases. This can result in damage and increased moving costs. Additionally, failing to measure furniture can lead to confusion and miscommunication with professional movers, causing delays and frustration.

For example, if an oversized couch or bed can’t fit through a narrow doorway, movers may need to disassemble the furniture, which can take additional time and effort. This may result in extra fees or even the need to hire a handyperson to reassemble the furniture. In more extreme cases, the furniture may need to be left behind, causing financial loss and emotional distress.

How To Avoid It:

  • Measure all furniture before moving.
  • Measure all the new home’s doorways, hallways, and staircases to ensure the furniture fits.
  • Communicate with professional movers about the furniture’s dimensions and the space it needs to be moved through.
  • Consider disassembling large furniture before moving to save time and effort.
  • If in doubt, consult a professional handyperson.

These are easy steps to ensure a smooth furniture transfer from your old house to the new one.

  • Not Checking Insurance Package

Failing to understand the extent of your insurance coverage can leave you vulnerable to losses or damages during the move. 

You should check if your insurance policy covers precious items like antiques, artwork, or jewelry. Not doing so can result in unexpected financial losses and unnecessary stress during an already stressful time.

How To Avoid It:

  • Review your insurance policy carefully to understand the extent of your coverage.
  • Make sure you understand any limitations or exclusions in the policy.
  • Purchase additional coverage if necessary to protect your belongings.
  • Refrain from assuming that your existing coverage is sufficient for the move.
  • Double-check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the right type and amount of coverage.

These tips ensure that your valuables are safe even in the event of property damage or loss.

  • Forgetting To Manage Utilities

Utilities are often overlooked during the moving process, causing major headaches for homeowners. Forgetting to manage utilities can lead to many problems, such as being without electricity, gas, or water upon arrival at the new home. This can be particularly problematic when moving long distances or when the move is planned on a weekend or holiday when service providers are unavailable.

How To Avoid It:

  • Create a checklist of all the utilities that must be transferred or canceled.
  • Notify the service providers at least two weeks before the move date.
  • Schedule the disconnection of utilities the day after the move-out date.
  • Schedule the connection of utilities the day before the move-in date.
  • Set up automatic payments or direct debits to avoid late fees or missed charges.
  • Keep all utility-related documents in a safe and easily accessible place.

These are easy ways to enjoy your new place’s utility services and prevent you from paying unexpected bills.


Moving can be a daunting and stressful experience, and people make many common mistakes during the process that can lead to unnecessary stress and expense. However, proper planning and preparation can easily counter these shortcomings. By following the practical tips discussed above, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free move to your new home.