The Top 5 Move Don’ts
“I just saw a RAT!!!”
“Where?” Asked my ever-calm husband mildly, not displaying anywhere near the appropriate level of hysteria. I mean, a rat! A RAT!
OK, so upon inspection, it was not a rat cowering in the corner of our new home behind piles of moving boxes. It was a scared baby possum. The morning after a 23-hour move, I can be excused for mistaking the snaky-tailed varmint for a rat.
Especially when the move should have taken about 9 hours. Instead, it dragged on into the wee hours of the night, allowing a confused little possum to wander in through an open door.
Other things that went wrong with that move included:
Thankfully, I learned from that disaster and, when we moved locally six months later, I hired an awesome professional moving company who moved the EXACT SAME STUFF in one truck in 6 hours.
In addition to my own moves, I’ve also assisted clients with a fair number of moves. After polling my fellow Certified Professional Organizers® and Professional Organizers who specialize in move management, I’ve combined their advice with my own to help you avoid the worst move mistakes.
Professional Organizers’ Top 5 Move Don’ts
#1: DON'T hire cheap movers!
It’s worth paying more to hire professionals (Did you not read the opening story of this blog?!).
When comparing mover quotes, Barry Izsak of PackingMovingUnpacking.com, says to be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. One mover might offer you the least expensive transportation cost, but then surprise you with extras (boxes, insurance, additional movers, time to/from their warehouse, etc.) whereas another mover might put everything into the estimate, making their quote look higher than others when it’s really not.
#2: DON'T wait until the last minute to sell stuff.
Selling—and sometimes donating—can take time. The more time you have, the more options you have for letting go of furniture, home décor, or art, says Bari Goldstein of Let’s Get It Done!.
#3: DON'T expect perfection in your pre-move pare down.
Give yourself grace for things you can’t decide about, advises Geri Chark Frankel of GCF Organizing. Pack them in a box marked “Decide Later." Date the box, and put it in a storage area of your new home, leaving yourself a note in your phone or on your planner to remind you 6-12 months after the move to check on the box. At that time, having lived without the stuff for a while, you’ll have a better perspective on whether you want to keep it or let it go.
This is also a great way to avoid getting bogged down by difficult decisions when packing. Now is not the time to go through all the family photos, file drawers, mementos, and other little things. Just keep packing!
#4: DON'T move trash!
When Sharon Lowenheim, the Organizing Goddess, moved 20 years ago, the movers packed her kitchen. When unpacking the next day, she opened a box to find the kitchen trash can with a full bag of garbage in it! Moral of the story: Empty all trash bins before the movers arrive. As Lisa Mark of The Time Butler, puts it, "Move your trash, so you don't trash your move."
#5: DON'T forget to plan for your pets.
Pets can get underfoot, run out the door, and even get freaked out by the commotion of a move. Geri Chark Frankel reminds clients to make sure pets are somewhere safe (boarded, with a friend, or crated) during the move AND during the unpacking/move-in.
Have you ever had a disastrous move? Do you have a unique move “don’t” to share? Please comment here and be sure to check back next month when I share the top things you can do to make your next move a success!
It’s so depressing to unpack a move and have to put dingy, threadbare towels and bed sheets into a fresh new space. Give yourself permission to ditch the old ones (To donate, search for “fiber recycling” in your area.) and set yourself up with lovely linens in your
5/18/2022 06:20:12 pm
You make a n interesting point about when to sell stuff. I have a lot of stuff I need to move, but maybe I don't need all of it. I'll have to figure out what I will donate.
5/24/2022 02:01:38 pm
Tex, it's definitely a great idea to try to shed some excess stuff before a move, donating anything that's still in usable condition. Way to go!
5/19/2022 02:51:38 pm
It really helped when you described why we must hire experienced professionals when it comes to moving services. I heard that one of my cousins is moving to another house next month, so she's looking for a professional agency to help her, and I think your tips will do the trick. Thanks for the information on how to avoid a major disaster when moving into another home.
5/24/2022 02:03:32 pm
Eli, I'm so glad you found this blog helpful. I've seen so many disastrous moves when people tried to skimp on movers, either by hiring the cheapest, not-very-professional movers or by just trying to do it themselves. If you want something done right, hire a pro! And check their references!
6/1/2022 10:06:32 am
I want to make sure that I get all of my stuff moved to my new home. It makes sense that I would want to get a residential mover to help me out. I'll be sure to look for one that has a lot of experience with this kind of thing.
6/1/2022 12:46:35 pm
Branden, you're smart to look for a mover with lots of experience. You can also ask for references and ask people you know for referrals.
6/6/2022 06:53:57 am
If I were to move into my apartment, I would make sure to hire a mover that may help transport my things safely. I also agree with you that it will be best to label the boxes. Thank you for sharing the importance of asking about the costs too.
7/19/2022 12:52:24 am
My favorite part of this article is that you should help with the packing to organize your things. The other day, my coworker informed me that he needed to move his other furniture to his mother's house because of furniture adjustment, and he asked if I could help him move things with him. I'm glad for your advice about how a moving service can help us transfer the furniture hassle-free, I'll tell him that it will be much better to hire one.
It really helped when you said that we need to make sure that we are comparing apples to apples when looking for residential movers and getting their quotations. I will follow your advice now that I already need their help after being able to buy my own place here in Tulsa, Oklahoma this year. I have been renting for the past five years which is why I am excited for everything to be going to plan now that I have my own place.
3/10/2023 11:59:56 am
I'm so glad to hear that my advice helped you. Best of luck with your move!
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