This story originally appeared on ImproveNet.
Moving can be messy and complicated; lack of adequate preparation can cause problems and unnecessary grief. But don’t stress! You’re not the first person to move and you won’t be the last, but you can learn from others! Read over this list of the most common and expensive moving mistakes and the tips on how to avoid them!
Some people underestimate everything including the amount of packing materials they need, and the amount of time it will take to pack their belongings. Remember, it’s more important to overestimate than underestimate. Most retailers will allow you to return unused packing supplies (even boxes), so purchase more than you think you’ll need. To help you estimate how many boxes you’ll need for your move, use Unpakt’s handy box guide. Trust us, no one wants to run to the store the day before trying to find boxes.
2. Moving Everything
Yes, moving everything you own is a common problem that can add unnecessary costs to your move. We recommend you get rid of the stuff you don’t need or use – sell it, donate it or give it to friends, but don’t spend money to move it! These belongings include: clothes that don’t fit, toys that your children have outgrown and furniture that will not fit in your new home.
3. Hiring a Shady Mover
A lot of people who are moving are swayed by price. But do not under any circumstance choose a moving company on price alone–because it could really cost you! Fixing moving disasters can be a time-consuming and expensive experience. At bare minimum, check the movers’ reviews, license and insurance to make sure real professionals are handling your belongings.
4. Not Insuring Adequately
A move can quickly become expensive if it results in a broken television, or a box of antique dishes is dropped. When hiring a moving company, be sure to ask a lot of questions and make sure to get the coverage you need for your belongings. Most full-service moves come with “Valuation Protection” but it’s not the same thing as insurance. When you have Valuation Protection, the mover will only pay a certain amount per pound (most commonly $0.60/Ib) of any item that is damaged or lost in the move regardless of the actual value of your goods. So if that expensive 55" flat screen TV, that only weighs 25 Ibs, breaks during your move, you’ll probably only get $15 for it!
5. Not Carrying Your Valuables
Small and light items like jewelry and tablets can become easily damaged and misplaced. The safest place to keep them is with you or somewhere safe in your vehicle. Make sure to pack each item in an appropriately sized container or protective case. In fact, this is one of our 10 moving tips to make your life simpler.
6. Not Packing a Survival Bag
If you packed everything into the moving truck, you made a huge mistake! If it arrives late, or you get in late, you won’t want to climb over your refrigerator to get your toothbrush and your baby’s blankie. Pack things you’ll need immediately– toiletries, basic tools, a flashlight, soap, toilet paper, medicine and dog food.
7. Not Prepping Your Pets
Moving is stressful and doubly so for pets! They may be uneasy about what is happening, so keep their routine as normal as possible. Also, arrange a pre-move vet visit for booster shots and any needed medications.
8. Not Backing Up Your Computer
Moving is not ideal for electronics, so making a backup beforehand is good insurance, as is making copies of paper documents or scanning them to the cloud for safekeeping. Keep crucial documents, like insurance forms, medical cards, tax returns, birth and marriage certificates in a safe place during your move.
Moving can be stressful enough, there’s no reason to add to it! Avoiding these common moving mistakes will help you prevent costly expenses and unnecessary stress.