Expert Moving Tips: 15 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving

May 24, 2021

15 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving

Moving doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming when done correctly. Giving yourself enough time to pack and buying the right supplies can help you pack efficiently and effectively. You can also avoid packing disasters when you are aware of the 15 most common mistakes homeowners make when moving:

1. Not Planning

The first step to successful packing is planning ahead of time. Some people make the mistake of packing their stuff without proper planning. To avoid wasted time and money, make a mental note or write down what your game plan is for packing all of your belongings. Should you start packing in the living room or the kitchen? Which things do you plan to discard? How do you want to pack your stuff?

The best time to start planning is at least a month before your move. That should give you enough time to decide which packing materials to buy.

2. Not Enough Supplies

Another mistake a homeowner makes is not having enough materials for packing. You take time off from work to start packing when you realize that you already ran out of packing tape or boxes. This usually happens when you do not plan ahead. You’ll need to figure out how many boxes are needed for all of your belongings. When you figure out what packing supplies to buy, make sure that you buy enough or extra, just in case.

3. You Pack Everything

Start packing at least a month before your move especially when you have a bigger home. This will give you time to declutter and get rid of the stuff that you no longer need.

Before packing, get rid of the things you haven’t used in a year. You could give them out to friends, donate them, send them to an organization for recycling or simply put them in the trash. Decluttering can set you up for packing success and help you become organized in your new home.

4. You Don’t Secure Your Stuff

It’s not enough to organize and put your stuff in boxes, you do need to secure them so they do not break. You can avoid this mistake by taking the time to carefully wrapping valuable items and then buying the right supplies for securing the boxes. Consider buying bubble wrap for very fragile items and place them in sturdy boxes instead of paper bags or plastic bags. Utilize dish towels or unused paper for filling in gaps. This way your things do not move around. Do not forget to also get boxes for securing larger items.

5. You Don’t Label the Boxes

Labeling boxes make unpacking less stressful. There is no need to list all of the items in a box, simply writing the type of items inside the box and where they should go in your new home is enough.

As much as possible, provide more information in the boxes. For example: labeling seasonal things such as winter clothes. Labeling them will make it a lot easier to organize in your new home. Make sure that you use permanent markers in labeling the box to ensure that the movers can read them.

6. Not Wrapping Some Items Before Packing

When you fail to wrap fragile and sharp items before packing them, some of your belongings may be broken or damaged. Also, it will pose a risk to the movers when the box is dangerous to carry.

Maximize your resources to pack effectively and efficiently. For example, using towels for providing a cushion so you do not need to buy other materials for it. You do need to purchase bubble wrap or packing paper to secure some of your belongings before putting them in the box.

7. Overstuffing the Boxes

Another packing mistake — and a costly one — is overstuffing your boxes. Before placing your things in a box, find out the capacity of each box first. Depending on size, boxes can hold at least 30 pounds to 150 pounds, max. Do not go beyond the limit of each box. Otherwise, they may break.

To prevent boxes from breaking, make sure that you buy enough boxes of the right sizes. Get the sturdy ones too to ensure that all of your belonging are secure. Do not put all of the heavy items in boxes; they have to be in separate boxes. Spread them out and the rest should be lighter items.

8. Not Packing the Essentials

There are items that you may need immediately or items you can’t afford to lose such as documents, medications and things you need every day. It would be best practice to pack all of these important items in one box. See to it that everyone in the family has their own box. You may take these boxes with you in the car.

Packing a box with your essentials avoids having to check all of the boxes to look for these items. Only include those items that you most likely will use immediately.

9. Using Bags and Plastic Instead of Boxes

One of the packing mistakes includes using bags or plastic for packing. Some homeowners usually resort to this especially when they do not have enough time to properly pack all of their stuff. They just fill up bags with items they could find not thinking that they may break. Plastic is more susceptible to breakage even when the items are not too heavy. When it comes to packing items, always use sturdy boxes at all times.

10. You Pack at the Last Minute

Do you know what happens when you pack at the last minute? You are likely to forget to label the boxes or fail to pack properly. This could result in damaged items or boxes breaking. One of the most common packing mistakes (and the worst one you can make) is packing on the day of the move. When you do not give yourself adequate time to pack all of your belongings, chances are you will be overwhelmed with stuff. You may start to panic when you realize that you do not have enough packing tape or that there are no boxes for larger items.

It’s best practice to pack weeks or even a month before the move. This will give you enough time to plan and get rid of stuff you don’t need.

11. You Want Things to be Perfect

Some homeowners do plan but they want everything to be perfect. There is no need to spend a lot of time and effort on packing things perfectly. What you need is just to pack them properly so they do not break inside the box.

12. Disorganized Packing

You do not need to pack things perfectly but it’s important that everything is organized. Allot space in your home for properly wrapping dangerous and fragile items before placing them in a box. Start with the items in the living room and do not move on to the next room unless you’re done packing. Make sure that everything is packed and you did not miss anything. Do the same with the other rooms. Be as neat as possible so you do not feel stressed out when you finally unpack.

You can also maximize your resources when packing to avoid buying extra boxes. For example:

13. You Do Not Set Up the Boxes Properly

If you do not properly set up the boxes, they may fall apart. Take the time to carefully build the boxes and use at least two layers of packing tape to secure all the sides. Do this for all of your boxes.

14. You Pack Hazardous Materials

Most moving companies do not allow hazardous materials in the moving van. These include aerosols, cleaners with bleach, nail polish remover, paint, pesticides, etc. Try not to pack these along with your belongings as the federal law also forbids you to ship hazardous items without informing the mover. Violating the law could result in some penalties. Always consult your mover about the things that are allowed and not allowed in the moving van to avoid problems.

Perishable items are also not allowed. You can take them with you in the car or consume all of them before your move.

15. Using Old Boxes

When you are packing heavy items, do make sure to use new and high-quality boxes as older boxes are likely to break. Items such as lampshades and books should be in sturdy boxes.

Contact Moving Proz

Whether you are moving locally or long-distance, we can help. We pride ourselves on being one of the leading residential movers in Lawrence, Kansas City and Overland Park. Our team is committed to assisting homeowners with both their moving and packing needs. Contact us to get a moving estimate request!