Top 4 Moving Mistakes That Cost You Money

Full article 7 min read

When you were younger, moving was a pretty straightforward operation. Call a few friends, find one with a truck, throw everything in the back, move into your new place, and buy the pizza at the end.

Now that you’re a grown up, you might have an expensive stereo setup that needs more careful handling. All in all, though, you probably got the whole thing done in one day. And still had time to go out with those same friends for beers afterward.

But with age comes responsibility. If you are moving a household with kids, pets, and a house full of grown-up toys like the wedding china, flatscreens, and garden equipment, there’s just no way to wing it.

How to Make Your Relocation Right

And if that relocation is also a state to state move or a long distance move across the country, there’s, even more, to think about. There are also rules that go along with a hired move versus a do-it-yourself transportation to consider.

Below are 4 moving mistakes people make and how to avoid them in your next move.


1. Not getting an in-person estimate.

This is not only a mistake homeowners make but one that moving companies make as well.

You may even find that your moving company says they don’t need an in-person estimate. But this is one area where you shouldn’t take no for an answer. If your company is resistant, let us recommend a new mover.

An in-person estimate is essential for estimating time, weight, and vehicle size for your relocation.

All furniture is not created equal. “One sofa” on a phone estimate can encompass many different sizes. The same with “one king size bed.” Is that an antique mahogany sleigh bed? It will weigh far more and take up more room than a king size bed frame with a sleek upholstered headboard. See the difference?

Many checklists don’t take into account the volume required for additional boxed items.

A homeowner with an extensive book collection will take far more room to move than a homeowner whose aesthetic is more minimalist. The last thing you want to deal with on moving day is a full truck and a pile of furniture and boxes that won’t fit.

The havoc this can create with schedules, not to mention stress levels, cannot be overestimated.

2. Forgetting irreplaceables.

If your relocation includes packing and unpacking services, you may feel so relieved. Sometimes you forget about those things you wouldn’t trust with anyone. Not even an experienced mover.

Family heirlooms, art pieces, and delicate antiques are some of the things that will cause you grief if it were nicked or dinged in even the smallest way. These are the kind of items you may want to pack and carry yourself.

This is not only a good idea in preserving the piece itself, but also in preserving its value. It may be difficult to have a claim paid on an art piece whose value is subjective or theoretical and based on a small, specialized market. Or if the value of the piece is not based on market value at all, but on emotional ties. Any insurance or reimbursement claim will never compensate for the feeling of losing or damaging that item.

Much better to take control of those items for yourself.


3. Not cleaning first.

When movers pack and unpack your home, they are not allowed to make any types of value judgments about what they are packing.

You may find yourself moving a half-empty bottle of shampoo you never liked anyway. Or, as happened to someone we know, a wastebasket with trash in it.

Shifting unnecessary items are a waste of packing materials, time, and weight. All of which factor into the cost of the move.

Also, plowing through boxes of extra items you didn’t have a use for in the first place will make your unpacking process in your new home far more difficult.

Some people even end up transporting boxes of items many times, because they are reluctant to let go of them in the first place.

Before you start packing, get realistic and ruthless about cleaning your home. Get rid of items that are out of date or that you don’t use.

Have a yard sale or donate to a charitable group that accepts such items. You may end up with some extra money or a nice tax deduction as well as save money on your move.

4. Buying for the new home first.

When you found your new home, we know you can’t help but daydream about how you would decorate each room.

It is tempting to start shopping for new furniture, electronics, and decors especially if you’re moving to a larger home. One big mistake homeowners make is sending the newly bought items to the current home.

After all, they are already boxed up or wrapped up, right? The movers can just throw them on the truck, right?

Well, yes and no. More items mean more weight consumed and time spent, which adds to the money you’re paying for the relocation. It is not practical if you paid for shipping and handling, then paid again to have them transported.

When the in-person estimate is done, more items could throw off those calculations. This will force you to leave something else behind when you can’t fit everything on the truck.

Of course, the most important part of your move is choosing the right company.

That’s where comes in. Let us find the right mover for your long distance relocation so that you can rest easy and look forward to your new home.

Fill out our Quote Finder to get started! (at the top of the page).


Written by

Alex Sherr is the founder of Long Distance Moving, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.