While getting settled into a new home and meeting new people can be exciting, the actual act of moving is rarely described as such. Moving itself is sweaty, stressful and seemingly unrewarding work, especially if you’re doing your own packing. Whether you have opted to go the DIY route to save money or you’re just not wild about the idea of someone packing your belongings for you, getting everything you own boxed and crated is no mean feat. Before you begin this particularly arduous task, consider the most common mistakes most people make and the ways that you can avoid falling victim to them.
Using Overly Large Boxes – On the surface, packing larger boxes is a wise, time-saving move. After all, if you can fit more of your stuff into fewer boxes, you’re forced to pack fewer boxes. This reasoning quickly falls apart the first time you attempt to lift one of those over-stuffed, over-sized boxes, though. From disintegrating bottoms to being impossible to move, too-large boxes are a recipe for moving trouble. Instead, opt for smaller and sturdier boxes that are manageable in size, even when they’re packed to the brim.
Procrastinating – No one wants to dismantle their home in order to place everything they own in boxes and crates. Putting the unpleasant task off until the last minute, however, makes it a downright unbearable task. Instead of procrastinating, try to get a head start on your packing by beginning the process early and continuing to make an effort until you’re all packed. Doing so will ensure that when moving day arrives you’ll have less pressure and more time on your hands.
Skimping on Packing Materials – Shoving old towels and dirty laundry into your boxes in an attempt to keep fragile items from breaking just isn’t a practical solution if you plan to get everything to your new home in one piece. Instead of skimping on packing materials, make sure that you have all the bubble wrap, insulation, foam bits and tape you think you’ll need. You’ll keep your things from breaking and you won’t have to make a trip to the store in the middle of packing.
Inaccurate Labeling – It’s tempting to just chuck everything into boxes haphazardly for sorting when you arrive at your new home. This tactic may shave a minuscule amount of time off of the first part of your packing routine, but it will also make unpacking twice as unpleasant. Take the time to label your boxes and crates properly, so you’ll know which room to plant each box in as they come off of the moving truck.
Disorganized Packing – Putting the silverware in the same box as your bathroom decorations is not only random, it also presents a problem when it’s time to start putting boxes in the appropriate rooms in your new home. Try to keep your packing as organized as possible, as it will make the process of unpacking exponentially less difficult.
Improperly Packing Electronics – Most people don’t save the boxes their electronics came in; after all, who wants a mound of cardboard in the garage? You don’t have to save the box your television was packed in before leaving the factory, but taking the time to pack electronic components properly will keep them safer in transit and make them easier to manage when you’re ready to reassemble them after arrival in your new home.
Skipping the Inventory Step– After you’ve packed the last box, the last thing you want to do is number them all for an inventory list. Unless you complete this last step, however, you’ll have a hard time determining whether or not everything from your old house made it to the new one. Number your labeled boxes, and be ready for inventory checklists on the day of moving.
Using the “Wing It” Approach – All too often, people decide to handle the process of moving as it comes, with no real plan and minimal assistance. Winging it is a perfectly valid approach to many things in life, but moving just isn’t one of them. Make a plan before moving day arrives, and make a strong effort to stick with it as it approaches.
Unpacking Everything You Own – When you’re moving in March it’s safe to say you won’t need your winter holiday decorations for a while. If you’re planning to secure off-site storage units for things you don’t use regularly, now is the time to do just that. You’ll also find you’re better able to navigate while you’re packing up your house in anticipation of moving once those items are moved into storage and out of your way.
Not Separating Important Documents – Your important financial and personal documents shouldn’t be left in the filing cabinet that’s riding on the back of an open truck. Make sure that you remove all of your important documents and store them somewhere safe while you’re moving, even if that means securing a safety deposit box. The last things you want to lose are birth certificates and social security cards, both because they’re a pain to replace and because they can provide identity thieves with the information they need to begin their fraudulent schemes.