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5 Moving Nightmares and How to Avoid Them

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5 Moving Nightmares and How to Avoid Them
5 min. read

Image: Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com

Moving homes is widely considered an ordeal of epic proportions, but does it need to be that way? While there’s a lot that can go wrong during this stressful time, there’s also a lot you can do to prevent any major mishaps and mitigate potential problems.

Without taking the time to fully prepare for a move, you run the risk of entering your own moving nightmare. Take a look below at 5 of the most common problems and how you can avoid them.

Bad Moving Companies

Moving companies aren’t really regulated so it’s not difficult for someone with a van and a website to set up their own company. Unfortunately, this has led to numerous bad moving companies. You may experience inept and unprofessional movers or become the victim of a scam. Typical scenarios include the moving van never arriving, or it’s extremely late, the movers are clumsy, or don’t pack your things in the van properly, which can cause damage to your home and your things. Many scammers will demand you pay more than agreed once they have your possessions held hostage, claiming that the weight was higher than expected, or adding extra fees often costing many hundreds of dollars.

The only way to avoid hiring a bad moving company is to do your research and to do it extremely thoroughly. It’s not enough to simply browse a few reviews, as it’s all too easy for companies to leave fake reviews. Start searching for a moving company months before you move, especially if you’d like to find a green moving company, to make sure that they are respectable and reliable. It’s also worth taking out insurance and drawing up a contract with the moving company, detailing the pricing structure, and how disputes/issues will be dealt with.

Rental Truck Woes

If you plan to do the move yourself and rent a truck, again there’s a danger of hiring from a suspicious company. You might get a truck that’s not fit to drive long distance or you may be subject to hidden fees found in the small print of your agreement.

Again, most issues with rental trucks can be avoided by doing your research thoroughly when looking up rental companies. Make sure to read the contract fully and only sign when you’re happy with the terms and conditions. The contract should also detail what happens in the event of an accident. Also, be sure you take out the correct insurance. If you’re not comfortable driving a larger vehicle, perhaps hire a moving company even if it does cost a little more.

Trouble on the Road

When you’re moving across the country, there’s only so much you can do while they’re on the road. Anything from traffic jams and accidents to severe weather can cause delays, potentially leaving you in your empty new home for days. Even worse, your moving truck could be involved in an accident and the contents could get damaged or even destroyed.

You really are at the mercy of the elements and road conditions, but to avoid losing everything, it’s essential that you take out insurance on your goods as they’re being moved. Interruptions can be softened by planning for the worst-case scenario in advance. If you plan to move over winter, delays should be expected. It’s worth ensuring you have a few days to spare and a plan B in case things take a turn for the worst, so scope out local restaurants and even hotels, and put aside some cash to cover the costs just in case.

Losing Your Friends Over a Move

Many people try to save a bit of cash on moving day by asking their friends to help out. This can be a bad move and there’s no shortage of things that can go wrong. It’s unlikely that your friends are professional movers, so there’s a higher chance they’ll break some of your stuff, or damage the walls, doors, etc., and that’s if they even turn up in the first place! It’s a daunting favor to take on and many friends might be tempted to bail out at the last minute or leave before the job is done, so be prepared for that possibility.

The easiest way to avoid this is to hire professionals. But if you insist on asking your friends, let them know exactly what you need them to do. It’s more daunting to help with a task when you don’t know the details, as you’ll always imagine the worst. If you tell them exactly how many boxes and big pieces of furniture you need help with, and they agree, they’re less likely to bail. Also, offer them a really decent incentive like pizza or a beer!

You’re Not Prepared

A lack of preparation is guaranteed to lead to problems. Come moving day, you might not have packed everything by the time the movers arrive.  This can cause delays, confusion, and probably lead to some items being poorly packaged and damaged, or simply misplaced. You might have forgotten to arrange a parking space, costing more in extra fees, and taking a lot more time than should be necessary. Alternatively, maybe you didn’t account for your larger pieces of furniture not fitting through the door, or you miscalculated how much you could fit in the truck. Poor planning will nearly always mean you pay more and lose time.

Avoid this by preparing for your move at least a month in advance. Take time to find a reputable moving company, and book them in advance to enjoy lower fees. Spend a week packing carefully, ensuring everything is protected and fully labeled, making it easy to unpack when it arrives at your new home.

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