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Moving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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September 11, 2019

Moving is a big job! You don’t realize how much stuff you own until you have to pack it up and move it to a new place. When done well, moving can practically go off without a hitch. While there are bound to be bumps along the road (both figuratively and literally), you can avoid some obvious mistakes to ensure things go a bit smoother.

The size and scale of the job often intimidates homeowners, which can lead to corner cutting and seriously short sights. Let’s dive into some common moving mistakes so that you can learn from them and vow to avoid them.

  1. Not labelling boxes – While packing you might not think about it, but what happens when dozens and dozens of unlabelled boxes arrive at your new house? It’s chaos. Movers (whether it’s friends and family or a moving company) won’t know what room to place them in, so they’ll end up stacked up in one place and you’ll end up spending hours opening mystery boxes. Write on each box what room it belongs to, whether the contents are breakable and, if you want, a general list of the types of items in the box. For example: Bedroom. Breakable. Table Lamps and vases.
  2. Not purging before packing – How often do you pack everything you own only to unpack it and realize you don’t want it? Don’t move stuff you don’t want to keep. Do your purging before packing, or even while you’re packing. Make several piles: garbage, recycle, donate/sell and pack. This is especially important if you’re downsizing!
  3. Forgetting items – Sometimes people focus so hard on the rooms they frequent the most that stuff gets left behind. Be sure to do a full sweep of your home, including your basement and backyard. Check the outdoor sheds, the garage and every little closet, nook and cranny in your house. If you have an attic or crawlspace, make sure everything is out.
  4. Renting a truck that’s too small – Underestimating how much stuff you have and how many trips you will need to take can be costly. When pricing out truck rentals or moving companies, ask what they recommend for the size of your home.
  5. Not booking movers or a truck soon enough – Moving requires a lot of advance planning. This includes booking a moving truck and/or movers well in advance. You could end up stuck if you wait until the last minute.
  6. Not planning ahead for pets and/or kids – Moving day is a busy day, so if you don’t make accommodations for your children and pets you could end up making it much more chaotic than it needs to be. Arrange for child/pet care during the move, then plan on moving them last in the car.
  7. Forgetting an essentials bag – If you literally pack up your life, what do you plan on doing once you get to the new house? It’s important that everyone in the household has an essentials bag packed for the first night in the new home. This means a set of clothes, pyjamas, toiletries and basic bedding (such as a sleeping bag). This way, everyone has what they need until some of the boxes are unpacked the next day.
  8. Not getting packing supplies – Leading up to the move, you should be getting moving boxes, bubble wrap, paper, packing tape and moving blankets. The boxes you get should be sturdy and have a proper top that can be taped shut. If you aren’t prepared, your furniture and personal items could be damaged in transit.
  9. Not arranging mail forwarding – When moving, you should contact Canada Post to have your mail forwarded to your new address. You should also change your address on your bills and on your government-issued identification cards, such as your driver’s licence. This will ensure you have a smooth transition.

Moving to a new home is exciting, and the actual move doesn’t have to take away from that if you plan ahead properly.

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