Tips for Moving Your Things

Moving is hard enough without making more needless problems for yourself. However, most people manage to find a way to commit small, easily avoidable errors that turn a moving day from a moderately challenging venture into a bit of a nightmare. Most of these mistakes are generally due to lack of preparation, procrastination, or just plain oversight. The point is, most of these can be avoided with a little planning and foresight. 

When you hire a professional moving company, you ease the burden of moving on yourself significantly, but they do arrive at your home with some expectations. For instance, you need to have actually packed things for them to move. You need to be somewhat organized in your plan and give them something to work with. 

So what are these silly little mistakes people make and how can they avoid them in order to optimize their moving experience, downgrading it from a miserable session of exhaustion to a day where one feels tired, yet accomplished and content? Let’s take a look at the 12 mistakes you want to avoid on your moving day.

Waiting To Hire Movers

If you are hiring professional movers, you are taking the burden of carrying heavy loads and dozens of full boxes off yourself. But if you wait until the last minute, or even the final week before the move to try to secure a moving company’s services, you are likely to find that you are out of luck. 

Moving companies typically get booked up well in advance, and if you wait too long, you could be calling around to multiple moving companies only to be told that they are booked for weeks out. This will cause you to scramble and either find a less than reputable moving company, not get one at all and be stuck securing your own moving means, or find one that gives you the slot you need for a stunningly high price. 

Failing To Unhook Your Appliances

While it is understandable that some appliances need to be plugged in until the day of the move, this should be limited to at most a couple of them. Some people decide that they will just unplug every major appliance when the movers get there. Surely unhooking everything won’t take too long? 

The problem with this logic is that some appliances (like the dishwasher, laundry, and entertainment appliances may be quick to unplug, but they are certainly not quick to disconnect. Also, consider that the larger appliances are typically some of the first things that movers will want to get in the truck, and by not unhooking them before their arrival, you delay this from happening, thereby drawing out the rest of the day.

Neglecting Outdoor Items

Some people focus so much on things indoors that they forget that some of their possessions are outdoors. This includes swingsets, slides, patio sets, etc. All of these items need to fit in the moving trucks as well, and if you neglect to take them apart, don’t count on the movers doing so. While moving companies will disassemble indoor furniture to make it easier to walk fit it through doorways and onto the trucks, they will not be doing that to anything you still have sitting assembled outside. 

Not Planning For Child Or Pet Care On Moving Day

Anyone who has young children or pets knows that these are not simple distractions one can work around, certainly not on moving day. Kids and pets can be unpredictable. They could get in the way because they are excitedly chasing after something or get injured by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

For children, it helps to have a plan for them to be occupied by some other means, like a playdate, a day with family members, or close friends who can care for them while you perform the move. Pets should be cratered for the day to keep them out of the way. Many pets do not respond well to long crating periods especially if they are not used to it, but the presence of many strangers in their home and a lot of commotion could be even more stressful for them. It is also possible to send them to a temporary pet care facility or hire a person who will watch the animal for the day.

Making Sure Utilities Are Shut Off On Moving Day

You will need most of your utilities until you are ready to make your final departure, but you should preemptively plan for them to be shut off on the day you leave. If you make the plans ahead of time, then you don’t need to worry about it on the day of the move, the utilities will just be turned off at a time of the day you had worked out with the respective utility companies. 

If you fail to do so, you will be on the hook for any days that utilities are on even if you are not there actively taking advantage of them. The same applies to arranging where your mail will be forwarded and what memberships you no longer need to your old address or in the area.

Still Packing When Movers Arrive

To be blunt, when the movers arrive, you should be fully packed and ready for your things to be taken to the moving truck. There should be nothing but your essentials that are left unpacked, and even those will have a separate container which most people prefer to take with them. The movers are slotted for some number of hours to pack up your place into their moving trucks, so if you are still packing, they might be waiting on you, extending that time. This is unlikely to not incur a financial penalty from the moving company when you get your final bill.

Leaving Movers To Pack Up Your Essentials

While 99% of your things will travel in moving trucks, it’s best if you pack a separate box or bag with your most essential needs and transport it on your own. Moving companies typically offer some type of insurance for potential damages to your things, but if your must-haves, necessities, or precious and irreplaceable heirlooms are lost or packed up by movers, you will stress about their whereabouts and have a hard time locating them when unpacking. Additionally, if there are damages to priceless possessions, no amount of insurance coverage can bring those back to their original form.

Not Labeling Moving Boxes

Even if you have to pack up quickly, labeling moving boxes is highly recommended. In fact, it is the number one regret of most movers who do not take this action. When you label the boxes, you can operate on your own system of organization. If boxes are not labeled, if you were to need something in one of the boxes, it is far easier to locate it if you can narrow down your search to just a few boxes. If you label boxes by the room they came from or even sections of the room, you will be able to locate what you need quickly.

Not Insuring Your Belongings

Moving companies typically offer some level of insurance for your possessions in case of any unintended damages during the move, but you still want to make sure that you insure the costlier items. If something expensive gets damaged, the insurance offered by the moving company may simply not be enough to cover the damages.

Neglect Plans To Move Your Pet(s)

If you have pets, you will need a plan, put into place significantly ahead of the move, to transport your pet(s) to your new destination. They certainly cannot travel in moving trucks and you may simply be lacking room in your vehicle. If you are moving locally, perhaps a friend or a relative can help you out. For long-distance moves, you may need to research portable kennels and potential anti-anxiety medication for your pets. This is especially true if you are traveling by air while your things travel via moving trucks. Pets tend to get very stressed out during travel so it’s important to figure out a plan for their relocation with your vet.

Mistiming Rental Key And Access Card Returns

If you are moving out of an apartment, you will need to return your keys and access cards for any on-site gyms, pools, or game rooms to your apartment association. However, they are not open at all hours of the day and some need the keys to be returned in person, as well as the signing of some final forms. As most people move on weekends, it is important to find just when the offices are open in order to turn in everything on time.

Getting Cleaners In At The Same Time As The Movers

Those who have worked out a plan to get their homes deep-cleaned after they move out for the next tenant may have hired cleaners to come in for the job. But many don’t think about the trouble of double booking the cleaners and movers at the same time. These two entities will not be able to functionally operate at the same time, and will only get in each others’ way. 

Even if they could work at the same time, the movers will not be able to pack everything up in a logical order, and there will be a lot of senseless scrambling from room to room. While bringing in the cleaners a few hours into the move may seem efficient on its face, it is only going to slow everything down. If cleaners need to be involved, they should come after or at the very tail end of the move.


These common moving day mistakes can usually be avoided by simply acting early, scheduling logically, and making the necessary arrangements before moving day comes along. If you must leave something for the last minute, make sure there is a good reason for doing so. The more organized and packed you are when the movers arrive, the greater the chances that your moving day goes by smoothly.