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The Ultimate List of Moving Mistakes: 21 Things You Should Avoid

posted: 30/11/2020

Many checklists with different mistakes have been made. However, our professionals in Top Removals combined the existing information and their excessive knowledge and created a unique one. It consists not only of the basic errors a person can make but also contains specific mistakes depending on the type of relocation you are about to have.

1. Basic Moving Mistakes

general moving mistakes

Let’s start with the most frequently made moving mistakes. They are the same regardless of the type of removal you minted to organise.

1.1 Not Securing a Moving Storage

To be fair, small relocations within city limits usually don’t require renting storage. If you plan your time wisely and arrange your lease accordingly, you don’t need extra space to safe-keep your items. However, for larger relocations and bigger distances, especially if you are changing the country, you will need storage. But why, you may ask. Well, the further you have to relocate the more difficult it is to arrange it. Having a safe space to place your items while you are preparing the new one will be helpful.
Most reputable moving companies own or have a contract with such a facility. Therefore, the cost of the rent should be included in your quote. If it’s not, and you are organising everything by yourself, take a look at our storage guide. It will give you useful information about the different types of storage and how to best utilise their space.

1.2 Not Packing Your Items Properly

Every list that has ever been created contains this mistake. The reason is simple – if you don’t wrap your inventory properly it will get damaged, and you will lose money and time. Not to mention the additional stress factor. Having the right packing materials is crucial for overcoming this error. Many bloggers and “moving gurus” suggest using only DIY methods, however, our experts find that to be insufficient. It is true you can wrap your items in old blankets and towels, but keep in mind, they won’t offer the same level of protection as the professional packing materials.

1.3 Choosing the First Moving Company You Spot

Do not take fast decisions and don’t rush the process of choosing a moving service provider. Once you are set on your budget, seek a company that can:

  • Offer you what you are looking for
  • Provide you with a quote without any hidden expenses.
  • Support and guide you through every aspect of the relocation. It is especially important for all commercial removals.
  • Present you with its credentials ( reviews, certificates, memberships, etc.).

Remember to ask for a quote from a couple of different places. Don’t settle for the first offer you receive. The cheapest option is not always the best solution.

1.4 Lacking Proper Insurance

Why is everybody so fixated on insurance, and why the lack of one is always cited as a major mistake? Accidents happen, and the more valuable the item, the more expensive the consequences will be. Your moving insurance will provide you with a safety net if things go south. You need to include this topic in the list of questions you will discuss with your moving company. Depending on what you are relocating to, there are many options. Choose the one that is most suited for your needs.

1.5 Forgot about Your “Survival Kit”

You can find this term in every moving guide, however, let’s clear its meaning. A moving “survival kit” stands for your hand luggage packed with all of your essentials and valuables. During the relocation, you have to fix a bag with the things you will need while travelling. It can consist of a pair of clean underwear and a toothbrush or a small suitcase filled with clothes, documents and toiletries. The more thought you put into preparing it, the comfortable the move will be.

1.6 Didn’t Make an Inventory List

This one is a common yet quite harmful mistake. If you don’t know what you are moving to, how would you be aware of if something is missing? With business relocations, it’s easier, as most companies keep a proper inventory list containing the type and number of furniture, electronics, etc. It gets tricky when packing a home because nobody writes down the CDs they have or how many socks they own. When dealing with house removals, the smartest and least time-consuming thing to do is to make an inventory list with all of your valuables – designer clothes, antiques, jewellery. Create a spreadsheet and add pictures to it. Most importantly, do not pack everything in one box. Even if you use professional services, make sure everything of value is spread out in different crates. This way if something is damaged or disappears, you won’t lose all of your assets.

1.7 Bad Time Management

Time is essential when it comes to moving a home or a business. Delays and reschedules can be quite costly, and you can end up losing money if you are not adequately prepared. Do some research and carefully examine your inventory list, organise everything diligently and remember to always leave some room for force major events. Start with your preparations early on, so you will have enough time to do all that is needed correctly.

house moving mistakes

2. House Moving Mistakes

The following list of mistakes covers both international and domestic house removals, as they are more specific and depend on the type of household you are a part of. If you want to learn more about what is the best course of action in each situation surrounding your home relocation, you can check our detailed guide. Now, let’s explore the 5 most frequent house moving mistakes.

2.1 Not Preparing Your Pet

Your animal companion needs to be properly prepared for the upcoming changes. The home environment is very important, and the slightest alterations can cause great distress to your pet. Be sure to research what are the specific requirements your animal has and consult with your vet on the matter. Keep in mind the adjustment period when you are planning your relocation. The major points you need to consider are:

  • Initial preparation – things you have to do and supplies you have to purchase before the move.
  • House adjustments – both for your future and current home as your animal might require a safe space during the loading of the moving truck and while getting used to its new residence.
  • Transportation – depending on the pet that might include the packing of its cage or tank.
  • Basic needs – food, medicine, toilet breaks throughout the trip.
  • Safety – both during the actual trip and the adjustment period at your new place.

Things are a little different if you are moving with a vivarium or an aquarium. Relocating with amphibians, reptiles and fish can be tricky as you need to safely transport the tank with all of its accessories. Fear not, we can offer you extensive guides not only on how to relocate with your aquarium but also on the easiest way to move with your vivarium.
Pets are a part of your family and treat them well and if you are unable to take them with you search for other alternatives. Do not abandon your animal, seek help from your local shelter, friends or support groups on the internet.

2.2 Didn’t Prep Your Plants

Altho not as demanding as animals, houseplants also need to be taken care of properly. This is especially important for long-distance house relocations. If you just put your leafy friend in the stuffed truck and leave it there for 8 or 10 hours, it will likely perish. There are three major factors you need to remember when relocating with your plants:

  • Water – depending on the species the travel requirements are different, research them carefully.
  • Temperature – if you are transporting your plants with a moving truck make sure that the conditions are suitable for them.
  • Safety – packing and wrapping your leafy friends is extremely important if you want them to arrive at your new home undamaged.

Consult with a florist and search for initial information. Our moving experts urge you to not abandon your plants in a vacant house. If you are unable to take them with you, gift them to a friend or neighbour.

2.3 Haven’t Spent Enough Time with Your Kids

The build-up stress during a house move can affect your offspring quite negatively. So spending time with your kids throughout this hard period is crucial. Try to arrange your affairs in a way that will allow you to have family events like film nights, picnics or even a walk to the nearest playground. Your children will be far more cooperative and understanding of the upcoming change if you take the time to explain why it is needed and what important role they will be playing. We have a detailed article regarding kids’ behaviour during a house relocation which you might find helpful.

2.4 Skipped the Cleaning

Most people clean their new homes after they have moved there and unpacked and arranged everything. However, if you think about it, aren’t they just placing furniture on top of dusty floors and carpets? The correct way to do it is to thoroughly tidy the place before you even put one box inside. Once all surfaces are properly wiped out and there is no sign of dirt and dust, start unpacking. Clean your new home afterwards as well. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it all by yourself, you can always hire a trustworthy contractor to do it for you.

2.5 Forgetting about Utilities

Remember to not only cancel all of your utilities when leaving your old place but to also arrange those at your future home. Depending on where the house is located and which providers you are dealing with both can take some time. If you are relocating abroad, ask your realtor or moving coordinator to assist you. During international removals, communication is a key factor, so make sure you’ve sorted out the issues with your mobile provider. A good option is to prepare a second, local card, you can use once you arrive in the new country. Researching and organising everything in advance will save you both money and time.

commercial moving mistakes

3. Office Removal Mistakes

Relocating your business is not an easy task, and mistakes made during this process tend to be quite expensive. In general, in comparison to the house removals, office moves involve more people and funds, and you need to be thoughtful when arranging them. In our ultimate office moving guide, our London professionals have explained the how-s, what-s and whens-s you should familiarise yourself with to have a successful business relocation.

3.1 Not Paying Enough Attention to Your IT Department

The majority of companies have their archive digitised and use some sort of specific software. The bigger businesses have a complicated internal network involving additional instalments like servers, VoIP central, CCTV system, etc. All is controlled and monitored by your IT department. Therefore, the primary concern you should have when relocating should be its safe and fast relocation. For this task, you would need the help of skilled technicians and sysadmins. If you fail to plan and execute the transportation and reinstallation of your internal network, your business may be at risk.

3.2 Not Appointing a Moving Manager

Since office removals are more complicated and a lot of things have to be done, you will need a qualified responsible employee to take charge of this operation. Your moving coordinator, altho knowledgeable when it comes to packing and transportation, can’t help you with the internal affairs of your company. You need someone from the inside to control and supervise your staff, the customer service and the organisation of the documentation. We can’t stress enough what a crucial mistake it would be if you don’t appoint a moving manager from the start.

3.3 Miscalculated your Business Moving Budget

The bigger the company, the more funds will be needed for its relocation. Every breach in your budget will gravely affect your business. If you want to avoid this undesirable outcome, you need to sit down with the heads of the different departments and thoroughly discuss the moving plan. Do not attempt to start packing before you have created a detailed budget. Remember – there will be unexpected expenses, leave enough funds to cover them. Relying on a bank loan is not a good option as you will be in debt before you have even started your business at the new location.

3.4 Haven’t Prep Your Employees

A common practice is to make a blunt announcement about the upcoming move in front of your staff and leave things as there are. This is a bad business practice as it shows you are not interested in your employees’ opinions and concerns and may lead to you losing valuable manpower. Take your time to communicate properly with your subordinates with the help of your HR team or an external mediator. Remember you are not only relocating your company but your employees as well.

3.5 Not Updating Your Business Information

Nowadays the fastest way to find a company is by searching for it on the internet. Thus one of the primary channels used by potential clients, partners and investors is your business site. When relocating, remember to update the information to keep everybody well aware of what is happening. Contact your marketing and SEO team. Moving your company to a different city or country means significant changes must be made to your site to keep it profitable. If you fail to understand the importance of your digital presence, you will likely lose a lot of good opportunities and deals.

international removals mistakes

4. Mistakes Related to International Removals

In comparison to domestic moves, international relocations are more time-consuming and risky. Generally, you travel separately from your belongings and inventory, meaning you have to plan everything precisely if you want the operation to succeed without any additional damage.

4.1 Not Getting All of Your Documents Ready

Preparing your documentation for international removal is a tedious and long process. Each country has different sets of regulations. If you are moving within the EU is relatively simple, as the entire zone has similar rules and light border control. However, if you are changing the continent, relocating to the US or China, for example, get ready for a ton of paperwork. There are so many things you have to consider:

  • Do you need a visa? If so, what kind?
  • If you are moving your business, which government agencies you have to inform?
  • Moving with a pet – is it permitted in this country? What types of records do you need to present?
  • Do you own special items that require additional certificates and proof of ownership (antiques, valuables, art pieces, etc.)?

The list just keeps getting longer and longer. Thankfully, with the help of your moving coordinator, you will be able to sort most of the things. However, to avoid any errors, you have to consult with a lawyer or another professional with extensive knowledge about the shipping regulations and border laws in the country. This mistake may cost you a serious delay in shipping time or even the loss of your items.

4.2 You Мiscalculated How Long Would the Shipping Take

A lot of the factors that influence international removals are external, thus you have no control over them. Sudden changes in the weather condition, new regulations regarding shipping containers, political instabilities are just a few. Thus, when planning your relocation, you need to create a “time cushion” when calculating the shipping time. Meaning, organise your affairs in a way that will allow you to function properly if your shipping container gets delayed. For example, pack your clothes and valuables in 2 or 3 boxes and take them with you, leave your furniture in the container. You can live a week or two without your couch. However, if you don’t have anything to wear, things will get significantly difficult.

4.3 Haven’t Prepared for the Cultural Shock

Nobody thinks about that until they are settled in the new country and find themselves in a pickle. Each country has its cultural differences, and if you are not mentally prepared, the reality might hit you hard. Children adapt quicker than grown-ups, as they learn faster and are not concerned as much for public opinion. Even the short move from the UK to Norway may turn your world upside-down. Therefore start preparing yourself for what is about to come. Search for communities from your homeland, read about the culture and regulations in your new country and educate yourself about the way things work there. If needed, seek professional guidance, as changing your environment so abruptly may have a negative effect on you. First and foremost take care of your mental health.

4.4 Haven’t Used Proper Packing Materials

International relocations are not like other types of moves. Due to the time they take and the means of transportation used, they are the most complex kind of removal. Your belongings will be exposed to different climate conditions for long periods. The travel won’t be smooth, especially if you are shipping them in a container. You have to put a lot of thought and effort when wrapping your moving boxes. In situations like these, we suggest using the help of professional packers. There are different ways of arranging the contents of each carton while applying specialised methods and materials. Simply relying on bubble wrap won’t do the job.

What do you think? Did we miss something? Tell us your opinion in the comment section below about what mistakes you made during your relocation. We would love to form a discussion and hopefully help others to avoid them.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Removals for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with moving companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Removals with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.

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