Northern Virginia Moving Blog

Top 8 Moving Mistakes to Avoid When Self-Moving

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 12, 2016 7:43:25 AM / by Michael Rhodes


If you’re contemplating a self-move, there is definitely a laundry list of moving mistakes you want to avoid to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible. The following are eight of these mistakes that could be costly—in terms of hassle, time, and money.


The Biggest Moving Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


  1. Underestimating how long the move will take.


One of the hardest things about self-moving is accurately estimating how many days (or weeks) it’s going to take to do all that work yourself. The packing and moving process always takes longer than expected, and every closet, shed, or bedroom is going to mean hours of sorting and packing. Especially if you live in a large home, you are going to need to make a huge time commitment to get the move done, which could even entail taking time off work. Trying to fit everything in last minute inevitably leads to extra expense and stress, so leave yourself ample time.


  1. Forgetting the furniture pads.


A furniture pad seems an inconsequential part of moving, but they can end up playing a crucial role. Not only do they protect your furniture and minimize the chance of damage there, but they also protect the floors, walls, and doorjambs of your previous home and new home. Remember, you will be liable to fix any damage your old house sustains during your self-move, and as a home renter, damage could mean losing all or some of your security deposit. So, make sure you bring enough pads to go around. As a general guide, a professional moving company will often bring upwards of forty furniture pads.


  1. Forgetting the moving day survival kit.


Filled with coffee, toothbrushes, keys, and all other important items you’ll need right away, a survival kit for you and your family can get you through those first awkward days where everything is packed and nobody knows where anything is.


  1. Continuing to move when overtired.


Moving yourself is exhausting work, and if you haven’t given yourself enough time to complete a move, you might have to push through when you’re simply overtired. That’s when costly mistakes start to happen. If you don’t take time and care with expensive, delicate, or fragile items, you could quickly find yourself with damaged or broken lampshades, televisions, dishes, and more.


  1. Picking up the moving truck too early.


Once you rent a moving truck and pick it up, the clock tracking billable hours starts ticking. Therefore, make sure you don’t actually pick up your truck until all your packing has already been done. When you pull the truck into your driveway, you should be extremely organized and ready to start loading and moving. Being disorganized or jumping the gun on picking up the truck can end up needlessly costing you extra days of costly truck rental.


  1. Leaving the truck rental to the last minute.


Just as you don’t want to pick up the truck too early, you also don’t want to leave booking the truck to the last minute. Just like experienced movers book up early, you can find yourself without a rental truck option if you leave this important step to the last minute. Be especially careful of this if you’re moving on a Saturday, at the end of the month, or other popular times to move.


  1. Skimping on moving truck insurance.


Because moving trucks are already costly items, people tend to just decline any extras out of hand. Comprehensive truck insurance, however, is something you should always spring for. This becomes especially important if you’re new to driving large vehicles or have to maneuver it into tight or small spaces for your loading or unloading.


  1. Physically taking on more than you should.


Moving appliances and other heavy, bulky, cumbersome items can be downright dangerous if you’re not physically fit enough for the task. If you overestimate what you can move on your own, you could throw out your back or otherwise injure yourself, and that means potential doctor bills, missed work, and lost wages.


A Big Misconception about Local Moving Companies


By and large, the biggest driver that compels people to move themselves is the cost. They are afraid that working with a local moving company is simply going to be too expensive. However, in some cases, this is actually a misconception. Self-moving can potentially cost you in the following ways:


  • If it’s just you and some friends moving all your possessions, it’s much more likely those items will sustain damage—especially when you’re trying to relocate heavy items, such as a refrigerator, bulky furniture, or a piano. Working with experienced, reputable moving companies can minimize the chance of these costly kinds of damage.
  • No matter how you approach it, moving is never free. The cost to move yourself is still going to include the rental truck, packing supplies, specialty moving equipment (for large items), and more. These costs must be weighed against the moving company pricing to ascertain the actual difference.
  • If you don’t have the professional experience to efficiently pack a moving truck, you could end up with lots of wasted space in that truck. This often leads to multiple runs in the truck or even a second truck rental, which really starts to add up in terms of gas, mileage, and days of truck rental. Working with professionals who know how to load those truck from top to bottom and back to front can eliminate some of those extra needless trips.
  • If you don’t have any experience driving a moving truck, it can be a difficult task. One too-wide turn, and you could cause damage to the truck, other cars, or surrounding items (lampposts, poles, and so on). This quickly becomes very expensive in terms of repairs and insurance ramifications. Also, when you fill up at gas stations, you’ll have to maneuver into tight spaces, and that increases the likelihood of an accident. However, failing to fill up means you’re subject to the truck rental’s often exorbitant fuel surcharge. Hiring a moving company can save you this stress and possible cost.


Moving is an involved process with lots of potential costly mistakes. If you aren’t sure you’re up for the task, feel free to discuss your moving options with a representative of All Star Movers, Northern Virginia movers since 1977.

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Topics: Moving Tips, Moving Costs, Local Moving, Residential Moving, Moving Mistakes

Michael Rhodes

Written by Michael Rhodes

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