No one in the history of storage facilities and moving trucks has ever uttered the phrase, “Hooray! It’s moving day! I love packing and hauling boxes.” That being said, there is a difference between an average moving day, which is traditionally tedious and tiring, and an absolute disaster of a moving day, which is defined by broken items and—at the risk of sounding melodramatic—broken hearts.
To make sure that your next move is as smooth as possible, take a look at our top 10 moving mistakes. Whether you’re moving your stuff into a storage unit or a new home, learning from these common moving errors will help you have a better experience next time. Your belongings—and your sanity—will thank you.
1. Packing Boxes Too Heavy
You might think that you’re saving trips back and forth by packing several large boxes full of stuff instead of a bunch of smaller boxes. But that convenience comes at a price. If you fill a large box with an entire cabinet of plates and bowls, it will end up being too heavy. You’ll run the risk of dropping the box and breaking the contents as well as straining your back under the excess weight and hurting yourself.
2. Not Checking Your Storage Facility’s Hours
Whether you’re dropping items off or picking them up from your storage unit, you’ve got to know the hours of operation. Not all storage facilities are 24 hours a day, so don’t assume that yours is. Plan your move around business hours and avoid showing up right before the storage facility closes. This is also important to remember if you’re renting a moving truck from your storage facility and will need to drop it off when you’re done.
3. Not Thanking Your Friends Who Help You Move
No one dreams of giving up their weekend to help someone move, so take the time to thank the friends who help you haul your belongings across town. A simple thank you will be appreciated, but it’s common courtesy to follow that up by covering dinner or at least picking up a celebratory six pack.
4. Not Tipping the Movers
If you’re opting for professional movers, factor in the tip when budgeting for your move. Be sure to drop by an ATM before moving day to take out cash for this. People generally tip movers between 5-20% or $10 per mover, but if you’re unsure, ask the moving company what they consider to be standard.
5. Moving During Summer
Scheduling a move for a summer day is far from ideal. It’s hot, it’s sunny and it’s the most expensive moving season. Avoid moving during the summer at all costs, unless you absolutely have to.
6. Not Making an Inventory or Labelling
It’s happened to all of us; you move all of your belongings into your new place and then have no idea what’s in each box. Avoid this common mistake by labelling boxes and creating an inventory, especially if you’re moving some items into a storage unit.
7. You Forget to Move the Bills Too
Moving isn’t just about transporting tangible stuff to your new apartment or house. It’s about moving all of the bills and other essentials as well. Contact your cable and internet provider, your electric and gas company and move those bills and services. The same goes for miscellaneous items like your newspaper delivery service and any monthly subscription boxes. As an added protection against missed bills and deliveries, drop by the post office and set up mail forwarding.
8. You Don’t Read Reviews of Movers and Storage Facilities
If your move requires the assistance of a storage facility or moving service, take a moment to read online reviews so you don’t get stuck with unqualified movers or a dirty storage unit. Read as many reviews as you can to get an accurate picture of what you can expect when you book.
9. You Don’t Understand Moving and Storage Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance may not cover your items while they’re in transit or in storage. If that’s news to you, you’ll want to take a closer look at moving insurance and storage insurance. Moving insurance options range from basic liability, which will cover some damage to items, to full value protection, which will cover full repairs or replacements for damaged items. Self storage insurance is sometimes required by the facility, but even if it isn’t, it’s a low cost way to protect the contents of your storage unit.
10. You Don’t Take Care of Yourself
It’s natural to want to complete a move as quickly as possible, but doing so can lead to those achy muscles and general feelings of exhaustion that are so common the day after a move. Pace yourself. Take breaks, stretch, drink water and eat regular meals. The move may take a little longer, but it will be a better experience for everyone involved.