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Moving Fail: How to Avoid 4 Embarrassing Moving Mistakes

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Last summer, between the months of June and August, nearly 50 million people went online in search of a new home. Summer is a prime moving season for many reasons – the weather is nice, kids are out of school and house hunters tend to have more free time to visit homes and attend open houses. I just made the move from Houston to Fort Worth with my husband two small children, and encountered some moving-related failures along the way that I’d like to help you avoid! (Hint: Expecting a toddler to help is not realistic.) Read on for some common moving fails and tips for avoiding them during your move:

1. Fail: You’re still taping up boxes and mapping out your route on moving day.

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How to avoid it: I found out the hard way that procrastination is not your friend. Even though I had movers help me pack and load, it was chaotic and a few items got left behind. Packing always takes more time that you anticipate. Plan your move well ahead of time – poor planning can be inconvenient and frustrating. For a successful relocation, thorough preparation and organization are key.

Create a room-by-room checklist. Note items that need to be packed in each room and don’t forget little things like small appliances and plants. Purchase boxes ahead of time (you can also get them from grocery stores, liquor stores or friends who have recently moved) to ensure that you have plenty to pack up your entire house. While you’re at it, purchase bubble wrap for fragile items, tape, scissors, labels and any other special packaging materials, like mattress and TV covers or rug storage bags. Research and schedule movers in advance, or if you are going the DIY route, be sure to rent a truck with plenty of time before the big day. Summer is especially busy for moving and you don’t want to get stuck paying premium prices because you waited until the last minute.

2. Fail: Dragging your old, heavy mattress down flights of stairs, through the street and into a dirty moving truck, or worse, on top of your car.

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How to avoid it: Moving is already enough of a workout. Why add another back-breaking, sweat-inducing activity? Your mattress accumulates sweat, dust mites and dead skin cells over the years. If you’ve been sleeping on your mattress for more than eight years, moving to a new house is an optimal time to invest in a good night’s sleep. Before the move, check your mattress tags and replace any mattresses that are more than eight years old (Mattress Delivery Bonus: you can have your new mattress delivered to your new place and avoid paying movers or transporting it yourself). If your bed hasn’t quite reached the eight-year mark, be sure to use a mattress cover during your move to protect it from damage during transport. You can get plastic bags that are mattress-sized from local mattress retailers and home improvement stores. You can add extra protection by using a mattress encasement that you keep on your mattress day and night. This allows you to zip off and wash it if things get a little messy during the move. (If you don’t already have a mattress protector, now is a great time to get one as you can use it after your move as well.)

3. Fail: Jamming as much as you can into one box only to result in the bottom breaking open and your valuable belongings scattering down the street.

How to avoid it: Moving can be expensive, but skimping on supplies can result in damage to your property and a headache for you. Look for boxes that are made of sturdy materials and packing tape that will keep your belongings tightly enclosed.

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Avoid over-packing boxes and look for special packing materials that will make moving your larger items easier. I can definitely tell the difference between boxes that I packed and the movers packed. Knowledge is power. Now go be smart about your packing.

4. Fail: Being the person on the highway with a mattress strapped to the top of your car and boxes piled high in the back seat.

How to avoid it: I used a moving company but still had to transport some of the final items. If you are not using a moving company, be sure to safely transport your items to avoid putting others in danger. Make sure your boxes are stacked appropriately, enabling you to see through your rear window, and securely fasten all items using bungee cords and ropes to keep everything in place throughout the drive.

Even with plenty of planning, moving inevitably produces a few moving fail moments. Share your moving fail moment with us in the comments!

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out the next two posts in this three-part series on moving essentials and moving preparation.

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