You’ve probably heard numerous clever quotes about making mistakes in life, and until you’re the one making a mistake, these words of wisdom actually sound fine. Depending on your current state of mind, such quotes can even be somewhat inspirational /”Mistakes are stepping stones to success.”/. But make no mistake, once you find yourself on the other side, the grass doesn’t even seem remotely green. Make a costly blunder and you may not be able to see any grass at all.
Now, it’s never fun to err, especially during a period where there’s a bad combination of elevated stress, money at stake, and too little time – like a house move, for example. Without a doubt, moving from one home to another is a unique period in one’s life where the extremely transitional nature of the life-changing event tends to put a lot of pressure on people. And as you can imagine, increased levels of stress lead to a higher number of errors from the people who are often already too stressed out enough as it is.
If you yourself are facing a house move anytime soon and you’re thinking of moving on your own, then it’s extremely important that you stay away from serious trouble by avoiding the most common mistakes when moving on your own. Some move related mistakes are too insignificant and you can simply ignore them (like forgetting to clean your refrigerator prior to moving day), other errors will greatly slow down your progress (running out of essential packing materials), while yet other blunders could really cost you (hiring the services of a bad moving company).
Stay safe. Stay protected. Learn the top 5 mistakes when moving by yourself.
DIY mistakes #1: “Professional movers are too expensive!”
It’s a common misconception to assume that professional relocation services are always much costlier than organizing and executing a Do-It-Yourself house move. The truth is that it’s very hard, and even unfair, to make general comparisons due to the fact that the moving price is formed on a case-by-case basis. In other words, because of the great number of additional factors that affect the final moving price, no two house moves will cost the same even if they seem extremely similar.
Generally speaking, DIY moving can be cost effective only if:
- you’re moving within the same town and city,
- you’re moving locally within a radius of 100 miles and won’t cross another state,
- you have previous experience in organizing a house move,
- you’re moving out of a relatively small home with not too many, too heavy or too expensive household items in it, and
- you know you can rely on a few good friends to give you a hand when you need it the most.
Don’t make the moving mistake of assuming that hiring a professional moving company will cost you more, especially if you don’t meet all, or almost all of the conditions above. Once you leave the realm of a local move, a top rated cross country mover becomes vital for the successful end of your relocation adventure. After all, not for a moment should you forget the staggering number of hidden costs when moving on your own – obtaining quality packing materials, renting a moving vehicle and moving equipment, purchasing adequate relocation insurance, paying for road tolls and taxes, paying for additional loading/unloading labor, food and lodging along the road, etc.
Learn how much your house relocation will cost you and use that valuable info to set up your moving budget accordingly.
VERY IMPORTANT: What to know when hiring a mover
DIY mistakes #2: “Packing is just another pre-move task.”
Let’s get straight to the point: packing up a house for a move is not just another task you need to mark as checked before Moving day comes around. No matter how you look at it, packing is the most important job during your pre-move preparations and failure to approach it with the urgency and dedication it requires could easily become one of the most serious mistakes when moving yourself.
To avoid costly mistakes when packing your home by yourself, you must be familiar with and follow these 5 fundamental Do-It-Yourself packing rules:
Start thinking about packing up your home as soon as you know for sure that you’re moving to a new home. Or on the next day at the latest. It’s easy to underestimate the staggering amount of time that packing up for a move requires, and it’s even easier to switch into a procrastination mode. Trust us – just don’t it.
- Unless you really wish to lose extra valuable time and waste even more valuable money, don’t even think about packing all of your earthy possessions without sorting them out first. Make a detailed home inventory to help you slim down the number of your belongings prior to the move.
- Create a packing calendar to introduce discipline and order into your packing process. Start the process from the premises that are the hardest ones to sort and pack – storage rooms and the kitchen.
- Safety is a real concern when moving home yourself, and especially when you’re packing on your own. Safety both for you and for your prized possessions. So, the first step to ensuring nothing bad happens is to get hold of quality packing supplies.
- Packing up an entire home is a challenge that cannot be usually dealt with by only one person. To avoid falling behind schedule, ask your good friends to lend you a hand, or even better – if you can afford it, hire professional packers to finish the job several times faster and several times safer.
DIY mistakes #3: “I’m immune to move related injuries.”
It’s important to keep in mind that some DIY moving mistakes can be rather painful – literally! One of the major differences between having professionals handle a house move and having non-professionals do it is the level of overall safety. In fact, professional movers are vigorously taught how to reach and maintain the highest degree of safety when working on a move – both personal safety and protection of property.
Therefore, if you have decided to undertake the DIY approach to moving to another home, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you are immune to any type of accidents. Instead, follow this self-moving advice to stay on the safe side of things from Day 1.
- Avoid personal injuries by using your common sense at all times. Before having to lift and move heavy furniture pieces with your pals, make sure 1) the walking path is clear of any obstacles, 2) you use proper moving equipment /an appliance dolly, moving straps, etc./, 3) you know the proper lifting techniques to avoid nasty (back) injuries, 4) you wear durable work gloves to protect your hands and fingers, and 5) you have your most comfortable pair of shoes with excellent traction and ankle protection.
- Remember to 1) double tape your cardboard boxes even if they seem sturdy enough, 2) place clean sheets of paper on the bottom of each box to protect, 3) use plenty of crumpled packing paper, bubble wrap or pieces of clothing to create cushioning layers inside the moving boxes and fill up any empty spaces, and 4) keep all your moving containers less than 40-45 pounds each.
- Don’t make the self-move mistake of letting small children and/or pets be around the action on Moving day! Too many pairs of playful feet could endanger the safety of the entire DIY moving operation. Keep your loved ones away from the moving epicenter for both your sakes.
GOOD TO KNOW: How to ensure your safety when moving house
DIY mistakes #4: “Renting and driving a moving truck is child’s play.”
As far as DIY moving tips go, an important stage in most self-moving adventures is to secure a vehicle with which to transport your household items. And when it comes to self-move rental trucks, there are some not-so-funny mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Truck rental mistake #1: If you select a rental truck with smaller storage capacity than you need for your stuff, then you might be forced to make more than one trip to your destination. Or worse – you may need to return the vehicle and rent a larger one, which would mean loads of wasted time and nerves.
- Truck rental mistake #2: If you choose a truck with larger space than you actually need, not only will you be paying for extra storage which you have no way of utilizing, but you will also run the risk of damaging some of your belongings if you fail to secure them well for safe transportation. Still, it’s the “preferred” mistake out of the two scenarios.
Above all, it’s useful to have a basic understanding about the approximate capacities of self-move rental vehicles. Here are some approximate truck capacity calculations to help you make a good choice. However, discuss this important issue with a knowledgeable representative of a truck rental moving company before your final decision.
- Pickup truck. Good for small loads and partial moves.
- Cargo van. Suitable for college moves, partial moves or moving out of a studio apartment when moving locally.
- 10-12 foot truck. Ideal for college moves and small apartments.
- 14-17 foot truck. Good for moving out of a 1-2 bedroom homes or smaller offices. These are the most common rental moving trucks on the market.
- 20-26 foot truck. Ideal for moving the household items found in large 3, 4 bedroom homes.
IMPORTANT: Learn the best ways to protect your move
DIY mistakes #5: “My friends will gladly help me move out.”
One thing you should do at all costs when moving on your own is to explore your self-moving options as far as they can go. Of all the self-move mistakes to avoid, the costliest error you can ultimately make is to underestimate the complexity of the upcoming relocation, and therefore only think you’ve got all the bases covered.
As mentioned above, a self-move is not the right time to attempt to prove to yourself that you can manage all the tasks without assistance of any kind. If you can’t afford to let professional packers and movers take care of the toughest relocation stages for you, then you will most definitely need to reach out to your friends and ask them for help.
However, don’t make self-moving mistake of assuming that your pals are obligated in any way to give you a hand. On the contrary, they will probably be dealing with complicated work schedules, previous commitments and other responsibilities, so
- contact them as early as you possibly can to maximize your chances of positive answers;
- it’s best to ask them for help face in face, if possible;
- don’t try to underplay the amount of work they are expected to help out with, but be a straight shooter from the start;
- show understanding to the ones who cannot lend you helping hand for one reason or another;
- prepare and organize in advance whatever you can yourself to save your friends much valued time and efforts; and
- remember to show your enormous gratitude and reward their sacrifice in a way that you seem to be the most appropriate and memorable.
SEE ALSO: How to ask your friends to help you move