No matter how far you travel to get to your new home, moving is a major endeavor. And if you’ve never relocated before, it’s exceedingly easy to make mistakes that can complicate your move, cause unnecessary stress, or put your belongings at risk.

Fortunately, avoiding mistakes during your move isn’t that tough, especially if you know which common errors you should plan to dodge. And our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing in Rochester is ready to help you do just that.

Read on to learn about seven of the most common moving mistakes and what you can do to make sure you don’t inadvertently make them.

1. Inaccurately Assessing Your Supply Needs

Before you pack a single item, you must accurately assess your moving supply needs to ensure you have the appropriate number of boxes, rolls of tape, and other necessary packing supplies. Many DIY movers neglect this all-important step and end up cramming too much stuff into each box, which can heighten the risk of item damage during transport.

Determining how many boxes your move requires is relatively easy — just take an inventory of everything you plan to pack. Of course, you should only consider items that will actually fit inside a box; you may need crates for large or awkward-shaped items.

Keep in mind you can also reduce the number of boxes you’ll need for your move by using household items to pack and transport your things. Not sure what you can use? Here are some helpful ideas:

  • Keep clothing inside dresser drawers. Remove and load full drawers separately from the dresser.
  • Pack items in laundry baskets or trash cans. Make sure you only pack non-breakable belongings this way.
  • Use duffel bags and suitcases to pack and transport items.

Not sure you’re ready to tackle the packing process yourself? Hire full packing services from a professional moving company. The pros can pack your entire home efficiently and safely while minimizing the amount of moving supplies you need.

2. Not Using the Right Size Boxes

As you fill a cardboard box with items, it can get heavy in a hurry. And if you use the wrong size box for heavy items, it can fall apart during transport, leaving your belongings vulnerable. Not sure which size box is appropriate for the items you need to pack? Here’s what professional moving companies recommend:

Small Box

This size box is best suited for packing small, dense, heavy items such as books, toiletries, kitchen items, dishware, glassware, tools, and compact electronics. Small boxes are ideal for packing breakable items safely.

Medium Box

This size box is appropriate for packing just about anything. They’re almost as sturdy as a small box, which makes them well-suited for electronics, small appliances, clothing, household odds and ends, and pots and pans.

Large Box

This size box is most appropriate for packing large, bulky items that are not too weight. The bottom of a large box can fall apart under the weight of heavy items, so it’s best to pack things like blankets, pillows, bedding, linens, and clothing in large boxes.

In addition to using the appropriate size boxes for everything you pack, it’s also critical that you prepare each box appropriately. Line up the sides and edges of the box carefully and double-tape each edge for the most secure hold. 

3. Failing to Wrap Sensitive Items

Always wrap breakable items before you pack them! Not wrapping sensitive items prior to packing is a surefire way to end up with damaged belongings at the conclusion of your move. You can use designated packing materials to wrap your breakables — packing paper, bubble wrap, saran wrap — or, you can use household items like blankets, towels, and other linens.

4. Neglecting Decluttering

Moving a bunch of items you rarely use will only make your move more complicated and time-consuming than it needs to be. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to declutter your home before you pack a single box.

To effectively declutter your home, sort through your belongings room by room. Create piles for the items you want to pack, donate, sell, and throw away and then start going through your things.

Be honest with yourself about what you really need and use. If you haven’t used or thought about an item in six months or longer, chances are you won’t use it in your new home. Seasonal decor is always an exception.

Check out our blog, Things You Should Seriously Consider Getting Rid of Before You Move for helpful ideas.

5. Overpacking Items

Depending on its size, a standard packing box can hold anywhere from 30 to 150 pounds. When packing, always stick to the recommended weight limit on the box! Packing too many items in a single box can be a recipe for disaster: either the box will break, or your items may suffer damage from being packed too closely together.

If you’re not confident in your protective packing skills and you own a lot of breakable items, it’s never a bad idea to hire professional movers and packers. The pros are highly trained in the most efficient method of packing all household goods — even large, heavy, and awkwardly shaped items.

Plus, hiring a professional moving company to take care of the entire process is the best way to help ensure your belongings are secure and well-protected throughout your move.

For more helpful packing tips, check out Packing Your Stuff: 6 Tips for Success and Organizing the Packing Process: 7 Tips for an Orderly Move.

6. Foregoing Insurance

Whether you’re renting a moving truck for a do-it-yourself move or hiring a Rochester moving company to handle your relocation, skipping out on insurance is a poor idea.

Yes, insurance might seem like an unnecessary expense when you’re planning your move, and it’s easy to assume nothing major will or could go wrong. But would you feel that insurance was an unnecessary expense if you were to discover that some of your valuables broke or got lost during the trip? Probably not.

What kind of insurance should you get? If you’re renting a truck and making a long-distance move, definitely opt for the vehicle insurance the rental company offers. You don’t want to be financially responsible for accidental damage to the truck, as that can be very pricey to repair.

If you’re hiring movers and packers, you’ll automatically get a type of insurance called released value protection, which comes standard with your move. But that level of coverage doesn’t offer much in the way of reimbursement, so it’s usually a good idea to upgrade to full value protection, which will reimburse you for the full, current market value of any lost or damaged items.

Of course, reputable movers always do their best to ensure none of your things get lost or suffer damage during the relocation, but mistakes can and do happen, and it’s best to be prepared for them.

For a more in-depth breakdown of how moving insurance works and why you need it, check out our blog, Should You Buy Moving Insurance?

7. DIYing a Move When You Need More Help

If you’re trying to move as economically as possible, chances are you’re looking to handle the job entirely yourself. And while that’s certainly an option, sometimes, you need to be honest with yourself about whether or not you need professional help.

When might you need the pros? Generally, it’s a good idea to seriously consider hiring a reputable moving company when you:

  • Are moving lots of breakable items that must be packed very carefully
  • Need to move lots of large, heavy, bulky items that may require custom crates
  • Are short on time and may not be able to find room in your schedule to pack up your whole house
  • Plan to move a piano (especially if you’re moving a grand piano)
  • Need help with senior moving for a relative or are a senior who wants to minimize your risk of suffering injuries during your relocation

Yes, hiring five-star movers does involve a decent-sized investment, but it’s one you’ll be glad you made. Having the pros handle the majority of your move takes a ton of work off your plate and is the best way to help ensure your belongings arrive at their destination safely.

Looking for the Best Movers in Rochester? Contact Ace Moving & Services

Planning an upcoming move? Not sure you want to tackle the packing process on your own? Then it’s time to get in touch with our team at Ace Moving & Warehousing. Since 1958, we’ve offered a comprehensive collection of moving services, including full packing services, storage solutions, custom move plans, and much more. We’re proud to help Twin Cities residents relocate successfully, and when you need help moving, we’re here for you too.

To learn more about our services or get a fast moving quote, give us a call today at 763-755-2045 or contact us online.