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MOVING!! As fun as this photo makes it look no matter how prepared you are moving can be an overwhelming and often times a difficult process.

Any time you’re juggling a lot of things at once you’re apt to make a few missteps. Now I don't profess to be an expert mover, just understand that a side effect of being a realtor has moved me 6 times in a pretty short period of time. My husband will no longer allow me to bring clients over to our home. They would come over, see the house and ask if I would consider selling it.

He would say, "Everything in life is for sale except my wife and kids and on certain days those are negotiable!"

First, let me recommend you go to my Website, then under Concierge, menu I have a Moving Checklist Packet. You can download and print this packet to help keep your sanity. If nothing else marking things off the list feels like a great accomplishment! It will be a lifesaver and can help keep your move organized.

The least number moving mistakes you can make, the more pleasant (and cost effective) the entire process will be.

There are plenty of things in life that are better to learn the hard way, for example: cooking and calculus, but HOW to move is NOT one of those things. The more you can learn about what you should and shouldn’t do before your next move, the better your move will go. So, read on to learn eight common moving mistakes you should be careful not to make, and how to keep them from happening.

Avoid These Common Mistakes?

1. You Don't do Enough Research on a Moving Company

Moving companies are plentiful, but not all of them are created equally. To find the right professional movers for the job, you need to get referrals, read reviews, and actually call up a few different companies for information and estimates. If you just pick the first name that comes up on the search engine results page, you’re taking a major risk with both your belongings and your peace of mind. You’re also not doing your wallet any favors, since the only way to know you’re getting a good deal is to do some price comparisons.

Let me just get this out there now:

All movers will damage things!!! I have referred some of the best, most reputable companies to clients and damage still happens!!

Even the best is sure to have mishaps. We are talking about someone lifting heavy items over and over and over again. Think about when your muscles see fatigue at the gym. I can do a couple sets of bicep curls and my arms are like noodles and get the shakes. These guys are going for hours and lifting bulky heavy furniture. THIS is why you need #2.

2. You Don’t Get the Right Insurance

Federal regulations require that interstate movers offer both released-value protection and full-value protection to their clients. The former sets the value of your belongings at 60 cents a pound. So let's just do a little math. That big 500 lb. piano gets dropped you are getting $300.00. Most consumers know their things are worth more than that, the full value protection provides coverage based on your own valuation of the items being moved. Full-value protection however doesn’t mean the moving company will write you a check for that amount if your contents are damaged (instead you’ll get a replacement item of equal value, or the company will pay for the item’s repair). Another option is separate liability insurance, which is offered by some movers and is governed by state law, or additional moving insurance from a third-party company. You can also check your homeowner's insurance policy if you have one and see if it covers items in transit.

When you’re choosing a moving company, ask about what types of coverage options are available to you. Once you get the facts, you can make an informed decision about what level of coverage makes the most sense for you and whether you need to get more than what’s being offered.

3. You DIY Your Move When You Actually Need More Help

Using professional movers isn’t cheap, but it’s almost always worth it. Doing a move yourself even if you have friends helping, is going to be more time and labor intensive than hiring pros. If you have items of major value, it’s also going to be way more riskier. While there are plenty of situations where moving yourself is just fine, it’s a mistake to immediately squash the idea of using a moving company just because you want to save some dough or because you think it will be an easy job (it rarely is).

Do this instead: Be honest with yourself about what your move is going to entail and how much work you’re willing and able to put into it. If you don’t have a ton of items that need to come with you, a DIY move may be a perfectly good option. But if you’ve got a whole truck worth of heavy belongings, do yourself—and your friends—a favor and opt for the pros.

4. You Don’t Give Yourself Enough Time to Pack

Even if you’re just planning on throwing things haphazardly into moving boxes, packing takes time. It’s almost inevitable that areas you thought would take ten minutes to pack take closer to an hour, and then there are those areas that you know from the get-go won’t be a walk in the park (UGH! The Kitchen). Giving yourself an insufficient amount of time will always lead to stress, and that’s stress that could have been avoided with better planning.

Figure that a studio or one-bedroom apartment will take about two days, a two-bedroom home about three days, and a three-bedroom home about five days. Add on another day if you have a lot of delicate items that will need to be carefully wrapped and stored.

5. You Give Yourself Too Much Time

If you start packing to early however, you inevitably will pack something you need and have to go digging through boxes to retrieve it. It is also no fun to live with moving boxes around longer than you have to.

There is a time however you may need to pack some things early. When your realtor says we need to declutter before we put this home on the market. Don't take offense!! They want to help you get the most out of your home and they only recommend things to help. Packing up those 42 hummels your Great Grandmother gave you isn't a bad thing and I don't think you will need one out until you move to your new place . . . So Pack Up!

While writing the word Hummel I had to look it up for spelling purposes and there is one on E-bay for $7000 wow, who knew! Thank You Granny!!

6. You Don’t Get Rid of Things

Within the holy grail of moving tips is the notion that there’s no better time than during a move to edit down your personal belongings. The less you have to move, the better, plus there’s no use wasting time packing and unpacking the things that you no longer want or need. Yet too often we get caught up in wanting to minimize tasks and simply throw everything into a box instead of doing some organization and getting rid of things. In addition to being a waste of time, bringing along unnecessary items can make your move cost more in labor and fuel.

While you’re packing, sort items you don’t want or need into donate, recycle, and toss piles. Resist the urge to hold onto things that no longer serve a purpose in your life—you won’t miss them.

A couple years ago my sister gave me this book, ​The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Maybe she was hinting at something here, but I actually really liked the book. This author made some great points. Hold it in your hand and if you feel joy, keep it. If you haven't used it in forever and you don't feel joy, ditch it. Let it give joy elsewhere. Funniest part of the book was don't give it to your family, LOL . . . that's what I do. I never really get rid of things because I see them at my mom's all the time. . . So, get ready to purge!

7. You Forget to Pack a Moving Essentials Bag

How is it that it’s always the most important items that are the hardest to find after a move? A moving essentials bag is a small duffel bag or suitcase where you store the items you can’t afford to lose and/or the items that you know you’ll need on moving day and within the first couple of days at your new place. If you don’t pack one, you’re probably going to be frantically looking through boxes trying to find a single item or have to go out and buy something you already have.

Choose a designated bag and fill it with the necessities: wallet, keys, important documents, basic toiletries, chargers, items for your pets (kids should each have their own essentials bags), medications, and a change of clothes. You’ll be glad you did it.

For my new homeowners I give them a move in basket. It has some of those essentials that new homes don't have and when the moving truck gets held up you will thank me. It includes paper towel, toilet paper, Clorox wipes, first aid packet, Tylenol, water, snacks, trash bags, paper plates, plastic wear, light bulb, 9-Volt battery, star bucks, and/or pizza gift card. It could even include your favorite wine or beverage of choice. Now, if I am not your agent, have fun with that steak knife set or cutting board with your agents name engraved on it. BIG MISTAKE!!

8. You Don’t Budget Correctly

It’s impossible to anticipate the cost of your move down to the penny, which is why moving companies give you estimates — not quotes. It’s still smart to get a general idea of what your move is going to cost you, especially if you’re trying to keep costs in a certain range. Sticker shock after a move is totally common, but it can be mitigated by doing the legwork ahead of time to figure out what you’re comfortable spending and how much you’re going to need to budget. Some things you don't always think about is: moving supplies, paper, tape, mattress plastic bags, boxes, tv boxes, wardrobe boxes (pricey) and even how much time off work you need can sometimes surprise you in the end.

BTW . . . your moving guys expect a tip and depending on how many are there it can really add to the cost. Make sure to have cash and 10's or 20's. I hate to give large bills to the head guy and trust he is splitting it fairly. Also plenty of water or Gatorade and maybe even some snacks and treats. You want to keep their energy up so they can haul that huge armoire up the stairs. The nicer you are to them the nicer they will be with your stuff!

Your Move Doesn’t Have to be a Drag

Prepare ahead of time by taking steps to avoid common moving mistakes and you’ll be setting yourself up for a significantly easier process. While surprises can still happen, at least you’ll know you’ve got your basics covered.


Stacey Willis

Lifestyle Realtor

Sweet Home ~ Sweet Life

Stacey Willis | Westfield Indiana Realtor

Hi, I'm Stacey! Welcome the Sweet Home Sweet Life Blog. This is a place for me to share real estate and interior design advice, plus a little behind the scenes. Come say hi >

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