Moving Disasters: 7 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make!

Whether it’s a box bursting open, the exhaustion that seems inevitable, or an injury, you may have already experienced some of the downfalls of moving with previous relocations. However, just because you’ve had a less-than-ideal experience in the past, read on to learn how to avoid any moving disasters in your future! 

Photo of a happy couple with moving boxes

Avoid these seven moving disasters to get your next move off on the right foot. 

1. Poor Planning

Planning a move takes a small amount of time and can save you a lot of grief down the road. Yet, so many people skip this simple step.

Generally, planning entails writing down a list of everything that needs to be done. Include big tasks like finding a Realtor and changing utilities over, as well as smaller things like buying tape for boxes and remembering to leave behind your keys. It also helps to organize these tasks with a calendar or at least assign each one a rough date they should be completed. Remember, behind every good move is the plan that helped propel it to success. 

2. Relying Solely on Used Boxes

If you are moving locally on a budget or are opting for an eco-friendly move, used boxes can seem like a great solution. And while scooping up a bundle of free moving boxes on an online marketplace or grabbing a few from a local retailer isn’t a bad idea, but keep in mind their capacity. Simply put, used boxes lose some of their strength and are more prone to breaking. Therefore, you want to load them with lighter items, ideally those that are less fragile.

On top of used boxes, you should also buy some new ones to ensure that heavy and fragile items stay safe—and your movers stay safe. No one wants an injury from a box-busting open mid-move.

3. Overlooking Your Move’s Environmental Impact

Moving requires a lot of packing material and even though some of it is recyclable, it isn’t the most eco-friendly. Luckily, merely rethinking your boxes can make a significant impact. Used boxes are an excellent place to start, but have you considered reusable boxes? 

There are now companies in almost every state that will rent you plastic totes for your move. These totes not only get used hundreds of times by people relocating before they enter the recycling stream again, but they are also stronger than cardboard, don’t lose their integrity when they get wet, and are easier to stack in the moving truck. You may also want to consider using packing paper over plastic bubble wrap or trying biodegradable packing material.

4. Not Seeking Help

It is no secret that professional movers like International Van Lines make moving a lot easier. However, if you know that your move won’t entail professional help, you should at least reach out to friends and family. Even a few more hands on deck can make the process a lot faster and less stressful—especially if you already have a lot on your plate. Just be sure to sincerely thank them and also let them know that if the opportunity ever arises, you would be more than happy to return the favor.

It is also never a bad idea to offer beer and takeout for their services. Or, you could even offer a homecooked meal once you are moved in.

Additionally, you may also want to look into partial services, such as places that will park a trailer in your yard. All you have to do is fill it with your belongings and the company will tow it to your new home. This is a good option for those who are uncomfortable driving a moving truck but want a quicker way to transport their belongings without using a full moving service. 

5. Rushing Through Safety Precautions

One of the most common moving disasters comes from rushing. It’s common to be eager to dive right into a move, but it is never worth risking injury. Before you start moving anything, even smaller boxes, take five minutes to stretch. You’ll want to warm up your neck, your arms, and especially your legs.

Next, you should consider simultaneous lifting. This lifting simply requires a countdown from three when more than one person is lifting or putting down an item. This communication ensures both parties know what is happening, so no one remains stagnant when they aren’t supposed to—a top reason for moving-related injuries. 

On top of all this, you may also want to consider renting or purchasing equipment like moving gloves, furniture straps, and a dolly. Prepare a few pairs of puncture-resistant nitrile gloves to wear when cleaning and disinfecting stuff in your new place. These will not only make your move safer but also quicker and more efficient. 

6. Skipping the Babysitter 

If you have kids or pets, it can be easiest to get them out of the house for the day of the move.  For kids, consider sending them to a family member or their friend’s house for the day. Just be sure to talk to the parents first if you are opting for the latter option.

For pets, you have a few options. You can also send them to a friend’s or family member’s home, but a doggy daycare, pet spa, or kennel is also an option. If none of the above works for you, at least confine them to a closed-off room with all their necessities. This will make sure they aren’t in the way, don’t get hurt, and aren’t a flight risk. 

Having a hurt child or pet is one of the moving disasters we all want to avoid.

7. Avoiding Feelings

It is natural to feel a range of emotions during your move. Excitement, anxiety, and sadness are all part of the experience. So, let yourself process your feelings as they come up, instead of trying to avoid them. It’s okay to feel sad as you pick up the last box out of your home and look at the house that holds so many memories. But remember, your new home is the place where new memories await. 

Moving is sure to have downfalls, but by avoiding the major ones, you can ensure your move is a positive experience. And if you need help at any point along the way, realtors and movers are always there to assist you over any hurdles to ensure your move is a success!

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.