Let's face it, the stress of selling a home and moving can weigh anyone down. But with a bit of planning and a few helpful tips, you can minimize the hassle. Or, best-case scenario, avoid it entirely.
In this post, we'll list some of the most common moving mistakes people make and arm you with tried-and-true moving advice. With these moving hacks, you can spend less time worrying about the logistics of getting from point A to point B and more time enjoying the new digs. Keep reading to become an expert at moving.
Mistake #1: Diving In Without a Plan
Like any large project, making a moving itinerary and checklist will make the process more manageable in the short term and the long run. If you take the time to make a list of the tasks you need to complete and then create a timeline around those, you'll minimize obstacles along the way.
Also, if you're a procrastinator, breaking up your tasks into smaller bits makes it much less painful to take care of business.
This rule goes for admin stuff, too! Things like changing addresses, turning on the electricity, and making arrangements for your pets to move comfortably with you if needed — plan out all those little things before loading up the truck. Also, make sure you research the area to which you are moving. If you are setting up your new home in a Calgary apartment, make sure you read about the neighbourhood and go onto Google maps to find the nearest important locations like pharmacies, grocery stores, vets, etc.
Mistake #2: Failing to Organize and Take Inventory
Whether you're an established neat-freak or a notorious packrat, getting your belongings in order before you pack is a must.
Be sure to clean out closets, drawers, and cabinets with a couple of boxes and a trash bag. Bring one box for things you'd like to donate, one for items you'd like to keep, and the trash bag for anything that isn't suitable for donating or keeping.
While you're packing, take along a pen, paper, and your phone or a camera. As you sift through your stuff, write an inventory of all the things you're going to pack, and take pictures for your records. That way, you'll be able to easily match the items with the box in which it's packed.
Tip: Inventorying your belongings for a move is doubly beneficial, as insurance companies usually require a list of valuables included under your policy, too. A quick google search for "free home inventory apps" will provide you with plenty of choices for apps designed to record a list of your belongings, complete with photos and value.
Mistake #3: Not Keeping Essentials On-Hand
Set aside a box or bag for essentials and keep it with you. Things like toiletries, pet food, laptops or iPads, and medications are all examples of things you don't want to have to dig for when you get to your new place. Include smaller valuables, like jewelry, irreplaceable keepsakes, small electronics, etc., in this category, too.
Mistake #4: Ignoring the Lay of the Land (And Overestimating Your Lifting Limits!)
This is such a simple step, yet so many people often fail to think about it until they're unloading the first box! For your safety, think realistically about how much strength and stamina you'll have during this whole process and plan accordingly.
For instance, trying to get a convertible sofa up three flights of stairs on your own may result in a back injury. Hire (or borrow) extra help for items like these, even if it's just for a few pieces of heavy furniture or appliances.
Also, be mindful of how heavy you're packing your boxes. A good rule of thumb is to keep each box at 30 pounds or less to reduce fatigue and muscle strain.
Be prepared with tools like hand trucks and moving blankets to make hauling heavy items up the stairs or navigating narrow doorways with bulky furniture much more manageable.
Mistake #5: Packing and Loading Without a System
There's a good reason why professional movers have a system. Learning to pack and load up your belongings efficiently can save you so many headaches.
In addition to using sturdy boxes and packing materials:
- Pack heavier items like books in smaller containers.
- Pack lighter items like pillows and comforters in large boxes.
- Pack open spaces inside your boxes with paper, clothing, peanuts, bubble wrap, etc., to reduce shifting during transport.
- Pack by room and place similar items together from each room. For instance, pack the contents of your kitchen drawers in one box and the cabinets in another.
- Label everything clearly!
How you load your belongings is just as important as how you pack them. Knowing how to load your moving truck most efficiently will set you up for success. The video also explains how loading your truck correctly will help avoid chaos when unloading at your new home.
Unless you're a fortune-teller, it's reasonable to assume you won't be able to predict everything that could happen during your move.
But with some planning and awareness of common moving mistakes people make, if (or when) you find yourself caught unprepared, you can manage those road bumps.
Hopefully, the tips we've provided here will help you make your next moving experience a pleasant one!