We’ve all heard the moving horror stories. The moving van that headed to Lincoln, Nebraska while the new house was in Lincoln, Illinois. The rented apartment that suddenly isn’t available, despite deposits and signed lease agreements. Movers who took off with the valuables and left someone else’s boxes in their place. Not everyone will have a perfect moving experience, but fortunately the true horror stories are few and far between. And most of the more serious problems can be avoided with a little bit of research and planning. Here are five mistakes you want to avoid when moving:
Mistake #1: Not Choosing Your Moving Company Carefully
When you are looking to hire a moving company, you need to do “due diligence”.
- Research and talk to as many companies as possible to find the best rates. Have a list of questions written out before talking to the company reps.
- Make sure you know exactly what everything will cost. If they have extra charges for stairs or taking things out of the attic, make sure you know that so you can properly budget.
- Never call to hire a moving company at the last minute. The best companies need to book a month in advance so you need to call as soon as you know when and where you are going.
- Once you have an agreement in place, make sure you call a day or two before the move is scheduled as well just to make sure everything is as planned and nothing has gone wrong.
- Make sure you know the details of the company’s insurance policy and how to file a claim. Even careful movers make mistakes and damage walls, valuables, or furniture. It happens; know how to take care of it when it does.
Mistake #2: Not Having the Right Moving Equipment
If you are moving yourself, one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need on moving day is a dolly! You can rent one from any truck rental place for only a few extra dollars a day. If you are moving yourself, you might want to make sure you have work gloves with a good grip and even a back brace for support if you have quite a few heavy pieces of furniture to move long distances or up and down stairs.
If you’re moving heavy furniture or a piano, particularly from an upper floor, you may need other specialty equipment. Do some research online and determine if it’s worth trying to do it yourself, or if you should hire a professional to handle the tough stuff.
Mistake #3: Not Backing Up Your Computer
As anyone who has ever moved knows, when you are moving, anything can happen. If you have important files on your computer, it is best to back these up by using a flash drive, removable storage device or cds. Even if you choose to carry the computer in the car with you, it is still a good idea to back things up. You could be rear-ended; the computer could get dropped in transit, or it could simply stop working (it’s been known to happen!). Backing up is a strategic move to safeguard your information at all times, but particularly during a move.
Mistake #4: Forgetting to Pack an Overnight Bag
Even if your move should not last more than a day, you will want to make sure you have an overnight bag with an extra set of clothes and some toiletries on hand for when you get to your new place. Chances are you will be tired and just want to rest when you arrive, instead of unpacking 32 boxes in search of your contact lens solution and pajamas. Having something ready to use will mean you will not have to scramble around the boxes and try to dig out what you need when you can barely stand up anymore.
Mistake #5: Not Remembering to Think of Your Helpers
Whether you have hired professional movers or are having friends and family help you out, you need to show your appreciation in any way you can. This could mean having drinks and food on hand throughout the day so no one runs out of steam, offering to pick up lunch for the crew, or just giving a friendly smile. At the end of the day, if everything has gone smoothly, it’s customary to tip your workers; the amount depends on the complexity of your move, the number of workers, and how hard they worked. This not only shows your appreciation but also shows them that you value their time and they will be more willing to help you out the next time you need something.