“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!