Moving Can Be Stressful! Here are the Biggest Moving Mistakes to Avoid

Moving is both an exciting and daunting time for you and your family. You’re on the precipice of a huge change, but first you need to physically get your stuff from the old house to the new one.

It goes without saying that failing to pack your stuff ahead of time will slow things down, but there are many other common moving mistakes that can make packing and moving more of a chore than it has to be.

Top 7 Moving Mistakes to Avoid


Learning how to move in an efficient way can really make things go more smoothly, so take a look at these common moving mistakes and some advice on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1 - Packing without a Plan

The best moving advice we can give you is to plan ahead. Leaving your de-cluttering, packing and organizing to the last minute is a recipe for unnecessary stress.

Moving is always a bigger job than you think, so some prep is needed to streamline the process. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead:

  • Create a To-Do List - There’s also nothing like the feeling of checking off items on a to-do list! You’ll find having a list of things to do at various stages of your move will make a world of difference. Download this free moving checklist to help you get organized. Things that aren’t on a list tend to fall through the cracks, so get the most out of your move with this handy checklist.
  • Keep Everything in One Place - Make a moving folder that holds everything related to your move. That can be a physical folder or a digital folder, as long as you’re keeping all of your receipts, brochures, business cards, and lists in one place.
  • De-Clutter and Pack As Much as You Can Ahead of Time - Renting a mobile storage container, like a BigSteelBox, before your move (even while your house is for sale!) can be a great help farther down the moving process. Use it while you sort through your things to decide what to keep and what to toss. De-cluttering your house by moving some of you belongings into a BigSteelBox can also help you stage your home while it is for sale. A portable storage unit can be stored in your driveway or street in front of your house throughout the selling, packing and moving process. (Note: if you need your container to be placed on the street, make sure you check with your City before you have it delivered, because you may need a permit).

Mistake #2 - Not Having a Master List


A common mistake people make when moving stems from a lack of organization. Making a master list of all the things you need to pack and where you packed everything will pay off later.

You may think that as long as your stuff gets in the moving truck or mobile storage container you’re set to go, but having a list of what is in each box is vital in the moving process: the unpacking. It will even help if you can’t remember where you put winter boots months after your move! Here are some really helpful moving tips:

  • Place a number on every box you pack, and record its contents in your master list. This can start early as you pack and can continue right up until your moving day. When you arrive at your new home, you’ll know exactly what’s in each box and which boxes you should unload first. You will be so thankful when it comes time to find that bottle opener at the end of a long move.
  • Colour coordinate your boxes. Assign a colour to each room of your new home and make some corresponding stickers. Sticker your boxes and also place a matching sticker on the door of each room so that your movers know exactly where to place each box.
  • Pack Strategically! If you’re moving with a portable storage unit (like a BigSteelBox), remember to pack the things you won’t need right away FIRST, such as patio furniture or seasonal items you aren’t using at the time. The LAST boxes you pack into your storage container should be the things you’ll need immediately when you arrive at your new home, such as clothing, bedding and kitchen ware.

Mistake #3 - Forgetting to Factor in Packing Your Outdoor Items

You may have thought about the space needed to pack everything inside your home, but don’t forget to account for outdoor furniture, storage shed items, any planters or pots, or anything that lives in your yard. These things need to come along with you, too!

If you don’t need to use these things before your move, it’s a good idea to start your packing from the outside in. Renting a portable storage unit and packing up your garden shed and outdoor items well ahead of time will save you a ton of time on moving day.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to pack anything that contains flammables in your portable storage unit. Gas powered items like lawn mowers, chain saws or motocross bikes should have the tanks emptied prior to loading day, and you’ll want to make sure there are no potential oil leaks.

If you’re using a moving company, make sure you know their policy on excluded items before they show up on moving day!

Mistake #4 - Trying to Move Everything Yourself in the Same Day


Having to pack everything into a moving truck the day of your move will be enough to make you say "never again!" Loading all of your contents, transporting it to your new home, unpacking everything and returning the rental vehicle is too much for one day!

You’ll either need some help from friends or family, or you’ll want to hire some labour to help you with the task.

When you rent a BigSteelBox you’ll have more time to pack the container in advance, so there will not be as much to do on moving day. It’s still a good idea to have more help, because it’s always good to get the job done faster!

With BigSteelBox, we deliver the storage container to your home as far in advance as you’d like for packing. You can take days, weeks, or months packing your BigSteelBox, really cutting down on the stress on moving day. Then we pick up the storage container and deliver it to your new home. There’s no need to drive the moving truck yourself.

Mistake #5 - Not Hiring An Experienced Moving Company

Most people want to save some money on their moving costs, but cost should not be the only factor when you’re looking at moving companies.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a moving company:

  • Are they insured? Check out their policy and insurance company.
  • Does the company own their own vehicles?
  • If you are leaving your belongings in a vehicle overnight, where will that vehicle be kept? Is it a secure facility?
  • Will they offer you a comprehensive quote ahead of time?
  • Are there seasonal rates?
  • Is there a deposit required?
  • Do they have positive reviews online?

For more information of moving company options, check out this post: How Much Do Movers Cost?

Mistake #6 - Forgetting to Factor in the Busy Season

Even the best laid plans can be thwarted by booking a mover too late during a busy season. Most areas of Canada have a short warm-weather window, and chances are you want to move when the weather is nice.

A good moving company gets booked far in advance during the late spring and summer, so make sure you book your movers early. Give yourself 3 - 4 months before your move to choose your moving company. That also has the added bonus of reminding you to start thinking about the move so that you can start de-cluttering, purging and packing early, too.

Moving companies also book up more around the end of each month, because so many properties turnover on the 1st of each month. If you don’t have to move near the end of the month, you can sometimes negotiate a better price for a mid-month move.

Mistake #7 - Forgetting to Factor in Your Pets


Remember - your pets are moving too! People often focus so much on the move that they forget that they need to prepare for their pets to come with them. Depending on how far you’re moving, you may need to switch vets, and if you're moving to a new province or city, you may need new tags for your furry friends.

Make a plan about how you’ll be transporting your pet and make sure there are treats handy to welcome them into your new home. Here are some tips for moving with pets.

It may not be possible to have a completely stress-free move, but there are plenty of ways to make it a little more enjoyable. Like most things in life, being prepared and having a plan can go a long way to making your move a cinch. There are some things that you just shouldn’t DIY and doing a large move is one of them. Take your time finding a plan that works for you, and soon you’ll be home sweet home.

If you think moving with BigSteelBox might work for you, request a free quote online today, or give us a call at 1-800-373-1187. We’re here to help make sure your move goes smoothly!

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