Family moving

Everyone seems to think they are an expert on moving. Or at least they have opinions about the best way to move even if they haven't done it in many years.

What worked for one person may not work for you. It may not work for most people. Just feel free to take their opinions with a grain of salt and try to avoid these moving mistakes instead.

#1: Trying To Find and Use Free Boxes

The myth that you can just drive to the back of any store and grab a bundle of boxes is one of the most common ones. It is also one of the most frustrating.

For one thing, all the big box stores have balers that flatten the boxes. You could park in back of Walmart for a week and never see a box.

For another thing, shipping boxes made for produce or bottles have limited use for your personal belongings. Even if you score a bundle of boxes from a grocery store or liquor store, how useful will they be?

A third reason to avoid chasing the free box myth is that it can end up becoming a wild goose chase. Moving is a marathon on its own. You don't need to add more to your to-do list by driving all over town trying to find free boxes.

Instead, buy a package of boxes made for moving. They come in standard sizes that allow you to calculate how big of a moving van you're going to need once everything is packed up. They are made to be carried easily or stacked onto a dolly. Many of them even have handles!

#2: Not Packing Absolutely Everything Before Moving Day

You might think you need to keep the linens on all the beds for one last night in your old house, or that your toiletries can stay in their places to be used the morning of the move.

But every little thing you still haven't packed when the movers come can make your moving day more expensive than you anticipated if they have to wait around for you to pack boxes.

Or, if you're going the DIY route, don't waste your friends' time by having unpacked things lying around.

The best way to maximize your time and ease your stress both before and after your move is to have everything you might need for a vacation packed in easy-to-access luggage.

Make sure you have plenty of clothes, toiletries, kitchen essentials, medicines, pet food, and school items for the kids. That way, you won't be scrambling to find what you need. Also, keep important documents with you at all times.

You never know what you will need to access at any time. Treat the last night in your old house like camping and only use what you can pack in the car the next morning.

#3: Moving on the Weekend

Friday is the best day to move from the perspective of the people moving because it gives you the rest of the weekend to unpack before real life sets in again.

The problem with that is that everyone else thinks this too and moving companies raise their prices accordingly. You can expect a rate that's 20-30% higher than a weekday rate on the weekend.

Moving companies also hire extra help for weekend moves, which may leave you with movers who have a lot less experience.


Whether you are hiring a moving company or doing it yourself with a few friends, avoiding these mistakes could save you time and money.