If you’re getting ready to move into your first apartment or home and find yourself in a near panic over where to begin or what to do, here’s a comforting thought: No one likes to move.
Moving is hard, especially if it’s your first time moving. People who have moved six or seven times might be relative experts on how to go about the process, but that’s because they’ve made plenty of mistakes and have learned from them.
Hopefully you won’t have to make those same blunders. After all, what’s better than learning from mistakes? Answer: Not making those mistakes in the first place.
Here are five of the biggest snafus, oversights and errors most first-time movers make.
- Procrastinating. The secret to a successful move is to plan and plan early. At the minimum, you should start eight weeks in advance. This means you need to schedule a truck rental and hire movers eight weeks before you move. Reputable movers have tight schedules, especially during the busy months. Also make sure to give at least a few days’ notice of your move to your electricity, cable and other service providers. The last thing you want to do is have no electricity or wifi when you get there.
- Not checking references. Don’t go with the first moving company to come up on a Google search! Remember, these people will be handling your valuables, furniture and boxes containing things you don’t want to lose. You want the best in the business without breaking the bank. We recommend calling at least five moving companies, then asking for references from at least three. Be diligent!
- Forgetting to tell people about your move. Along with lifting a lot of heavy boxes and furniture, there’s a lot of paperwork involved with moving. It’s not just your parents and friends who need to know where you’re moving; you also need to make sure your post office, employer, cable provider, doctor’s office, utilities provider and so forth know. Notify them early to ensure a smooth transition.
- Packing EVERYTHING. Moving is a time to cleanse. Not just because this will make it physically easier to move, but because periodically, we need to sort through all the things we have and get rid of the stuff we don’t need anymore. It’s a big task and moving is a perfect excuse to do it. If you do this, you’ll find it to be one of the most therapeutic parts of moving.
- Throw it all together, and sort it out later. Sure, at the time it might seem easy to quickly put a bunch of things in one box, a bunch in another, tape them up and wait till the dust settles in your new place to sort it all out. But if you do this, you’re in for a move-in nightmare. Take the time to put bedroom things in a box dedicated for the bedroom, kitchen things in the kitchen box and so on. Write the name of the room on the side of the box, and list the major items on the outside as well.
Moving is quite the endeavor, but if you avoid these common mistakes, you’ll also avoid most of the headaches. Maybe you’ll even be able to enjoy the adventure!