Top mistakes to avoid when moving house

Moving house should be a time in your life when you are celebrating a fresh start, looking forwards in life and generally just enjoying that feeling of progression that can come with moving into a new property.

But for many of us (in fact, most of us), moving house is ranked up there with ‘going to the dentist’, ‘shopping in the final week before Christmas’ and ‘doing the yearly tax return’.

That’s right, we hate it. So to make life a little easier for you before you move, and to take a bit of the stress out of things, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when moving. And hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid these mishaps and move into your new home with a bounce in your step and a smile on your face – instead of with a few extra grey hairs and a splitting headache.

1) Trying to cut costs by moving everything yourself
It feels great to save a few extra dollars and hire a truck to move everything yourself. And perhaps you’ve even managed to cajole a few of your enthusiastic mates or long-suffering family into helping you out.

But after hours of heavy lifting and hard-graft, your nearest and dearest will be wishing you had decided to stay put. Sure, a cold, crisp beer might ease the strain a little, but paying someone to do the job will ensure you get the most effective and efficient removal service. So do yourself a favour and hire a professional.

2) Holding onto junk that you don’t need anymore
When you’re packing your life into boxes, it can be hard to throw stuff out – everything just means so much, or has so many memories attached to it. But here’s our tip: if you’ve come across something that you haven’t laid eyes on for five years, but all of a sudden you can’t bear to let it go – take a photo of it and chuck it in a photo file or album labeled ‘Nostalgia’.

And then throw away/sell/give away said item. If you haven’t looked at it for the past five years, you really won’t miss it. And if you do miss it, you can look at it in your photo album. Seriously, this tip works and will make your new life at the unpacking end of the spectrum a billion times easier.

3) Packing like an amateur
Now is the time to think like a professional: get the right equipment – marker pens, sturdy boxes, strong packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper etc and get yourself a notepad to keep good lists of what’s gone into which box. Hook your packing tape, marker pen and scissors onto a length of rope and tie it together. Then you can hang this on the door handle of whichever room you’re working on and you won’t keep hunting around for each separate item.

Be strategic about packing for your move and think about the finished box: books are the packing equivalent of bricks – do you really want to be moving around a big box full of bricks? Exactly. Spread the weight around, or pack heavy items in smaller boxes. Think about what can you do to make life as simple as possible during, and after, the move. Think like a packing pro. And under no circumstances is it a good idea to empty an entire drawer into one box. Take the time. You’re a packing boss.

4) Winging it without a plan
Moving house requires logistics. And just because you can pack everything up yourself, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow a plan. So sit down about 12 weeks before your move and start planning everything that needs to happen in order to execute the perfect move. You will need to book removalists well in advance of your move date, as you don’t want to be stuck in the trap of making mistake number 1. You’ll need to think about all of your energy suppliers, things that will need to be cut off, redirected or notified about your move. Maybe you’ll have to hire cleaners to look after both your old and new properties. Make a list and your life will be so much easier when it comes to the big day.

5) Not opting to get insurance for your move
Let’s be honest, mistakes happen. And you have to prepare for that by getting adequate insurance for your contents during the move. Ask your removalist what their liability insurance covers, and then make sure you speak to your home contents insurer to get cover for everything else.