Moving is such a common occurrence nowadays that is has become a “hot” topic in the society. Everyone seems to have a moving experience to share and some moving advice to give. Everyone has heard a few moving horror stories and a number of popular moving superstitions. Many of these tales have some elements in common; similar events are recounted several times; certain opinions get repeated over and over again; the same tips and warnings are found all over the internet – so, people believe them to be true. Accidental acts are seen as standard practices, rumors turn into facts, and personal views become general truths – this is how moving myths appear.
And while there is a grain of truth to some common moving myths, others are severe misconceptions that may lead to major moving mistakes if taken at face value. So, when planning your own move, make sure you don’t make your decisions based on urban myths – dig a bit deeper and find the actual facts.
Here are some of the worst myths about moving house debunked and the truth – revealed:
Moving Myth # 1: It’s cheaper to move yourself
How so? Well, the truck rental cost won’t be your only expense when moving on your own – you’ll also need to pay for:
- fuel, vehicle insurance, parking permits, and road tolls;
- meals and lodgings on the way;
- auxiliary moving equipment (a dolly, furniture pads, moving straps, etc.);
- packing materials;
- moving insurance for your items, etc.
Besides, you’ll have to provide some snacks and beverages, as well as small gifts, to your good friends who come to help you move (as you won’t be able to carry your heavy furniture and other bulky household items by yourself).
All these small expenses add up quickly and when you do the math it may turn out that your DIY move is not much cheaper than moving with professional movers. And that is if you manage to keep all your possessions safe and sound during the relocation – otherwise you’ll spend much more money on replacement and repair costs than you would have paid for a full-service move (needless to say, the moving experts would have ensured the safety of your items and performed your move in the fastest, smoothest, and most efficient way possible).
Moving Myth # 2: All movers are the same, so it doesn’t matter which ones you choose
Fact: Different moving companies have different rates and conditions and offer different additional services and special features. Not all movers are equally experienced or equally well equipped. Some are properly licensed and insured, others are not. Some have a history of excellent customer service and 5-star reviews, while others try to rip off heedless customers.
So, don’t just hire the first movers you come across or the ones that offer the lowest price for your move – do some research and make sure you’re entrusting your possessions to honest, experienced, and trustworthy moving specialists:
- ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations;
- get free moving quotes to see what different companies have to offer;
- check the movers’ USDOT numbers;
- read online reviews left by previous customers of the companies;
- check the movers’ complaint histories and ratings with the BBB;
- select three or four reputable companies that seem to best suit your needs and ask them for on-site estimates;
- interview the representatives who come to your home and gather as much information about the companies and the details of your move as you can;
- compare the offers and choose the best movers for you.
Moving Myth # 3: Any boxes will do
Fact: Boxes that are not especially designed for moving can’t hold much weight or withstand much impact. They fall apart easily and cannot be efficiently and securely arranged in the moving truck, thus increasing the risk of damage to your belongings.
The boxes you use when packing for a move should be sturdy (so that they provide good protection to your items) and uniform in size (so that they can be easily stacked upon one another).
You can get empty cardboard boxes from grocery stores or other local business, but they won’t be strong enough to ensure the safety of your items. You can get used moving boxes from friends, neighbors, or colleagues who have recently moved, but they may be compromised from the previous uses.
So, while you can indeed find moving boxes for free and use them to pack your belongings, you’re not advised to do so – get brand new moving boxes to ensure the best possible protection for your belongings and consider specialty boxes (dish boxes, picture boxes, etc.) for your more delicate and valuable possessions.
Good to know: According to the urban moving myths, purchasing specialized packing supplies is a waste of money as well. You can always use old sheets, blankets, and towels instead of moving blankets and bubble wrap, crumpled paper and old clothes instead of packing peanuts and foam sheets, or newspaper instead of packing paper, right? Wrong! Newspaper will leave ugly ink stains on your items, old clothes cannot compare to anti-static peanuts or foam cushioning, moving blankets are thicker than sheets and towels and provide much better protection, and bubble wrap is your best friend when it comes to protecting delicate items.
Moving Myth # 4: There is no point in inventorying your items and labeling your boxes
Fact: A moving inventory will help you organize your items in a practical and systematic manner and keep track of your belongings throughout the entire relocation process. Labeling the boxes will be fast and easy when you have a detailed inventory sheet to refer to and will save you plenty of time and hassle upon delivery – the movers will know where to take the boxes when unloading them at your new home and it will be easy to find what you need when unpacking.
When you can see all the items you intend to take to your new home listed on your moving inventory sheet, you’ll be able to tell how long it will take you to pack them for shipment, determine the type and amount of packing supplies you’re going to need, estimate the weight of your shipment and get an accurate idea of the final cost of your move. Besides, you will immediately know if anything goes missing during the move and will have evidence of the pre-move condition of your items in case any of them get damaged while in the movers’ custody.
Moving Myth # 5: Movers will move everything
Fact: There are certain things movers won’t move due to legal, ethical, or safety reasons.
Some household goods are considered too dangerous to be transported because of their hazardous nature (explosive materials, chemicals, etc.) and others are illegal to move (guns, liquor, etc.), so the movers won’t move them for you. They won’t agree to take perishable food (it may go bad during the move and cause damage to the rest of your items), plants and pets (they may not survive the relocation in the moving truck) and items of very high sentimental value (they cannot be replaced if something happens on the road) either. You need to find a way to transport these things yourself or get rid of them before the move.
Bonus tip: Make sure you request a list of the non-allowable items your chosen moving company won’t move for you, so that you don’t waste time packing them and have enough time to decide what to do with them.
Moving Myth # 6: The moving insurance included in your contract will cover damaged or lost items
Fact: The basic liability coverage you get for free when signing a moving contract covers only $ 0.60 per pound per item. Besides, it doesn’t allow punitive damage claims.
If you want to ensure your peace of mind, you need to get full value protection for your items. It comes at an extra cost, but your movers will be liable for the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of any damaged or missing items. You can also purchase additional moving insurance for your most valuable possessions from a third party, if you wish to.
Moving Myth # 7: Friday is the best day to perform a move
Fact: It may be convenient to move on the last workday of the week, so that you have the entire weekend to unpack your belongings and get settled, but the drawbacks of a Friday-move far outweigh any possible advantages:
- The moving costs will be higher – many people choose to move on Fridays, so the moving companies are very busy on that day of the week and charge higher for their services;
- The moving crews are stretched thin because of the many moving jobs on Fridays and you may have to settle for movers without much experience;
- The road traffic is heavier on Fridays with many people heading home or away for the weekend;
- It may be difficult to get the things you need for your new home as many businesses close over the weekend.
Your move will be cheaper, safer, and more efficient if you schedule it for a less busy day.
SEE ALSO: When is the best time to move house
Moving Myth # 8: You will only need as much money as your estimate says
Fact: The moving estimate you get may be quite accurate, but you’ll have to provide for a number of other expenses as well:
- Moving-related expenses (besides the movers cost) – packing materials, travel expenses, tips for the movers, etc.;
- New home rent or mortgage – a security deposit and first month’s rent or mortgage payment for the first month;
- Utilities – disconnection fees and start-up fees, utility deposits, and first-month bills;
- Renovation works and furnishings for your new home;
- Living expenses for the first couple of months – groceries, medications, transportation, clothes, and various essentials you’re going to need around the house;
- Emergency expenses.
Good to remember:
- If you were not careful enough when researching your movers and signed up with a less-than-reputable moving company, you may be surprised by various hidden moving costs and extra charges at the last moment;
- If you didn’t provide your movers with all the necessary information when they were preparing your estimate, you may have to pay some unplanned moving costs – for necessitated extra services, unforeseen difficulties, delays, etc.
Do not allow common moving house myths to mislead you when planning your relocation – do some research and get the facts, so that you can make informed (and correct) decisions about your move.