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10 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving

Moving from one rental to another is a stressful situation for anyone embarking on this journey, especially so if you are planning on taking the leap to live internationally! There will undoubtedly be a lot on your mind at this point in your life; therefore, it’s normal – and almost expected – to forget something.  

To lessen the stress of moving, here are 10 moving mistakes you want to avoid: 

1) Forgetting to Pack an Essentials Bag 

Whenever you take a flight on holiday, you should always ensure all the things you need will be in your carry-on luggage (not forgotten in your suitcase somewhere). Keep this mentality, whether you’re flying or not. Think of the essential items you need and place these in the bag you plan to keep on you. 

These are items you’re going to need access to on a regular basis like your wallet, purse, medication, toilet paper or phone. Make a list of the essential things that you’ll want close to you over the next 24-48 hours. If you’re moving with family, make a list for each member.  

packing essential bag

2) Not Sorting Valuables Properly 

Our most possessed items are called valuables for a reason. They’re important to us and we can’t bear the thought of something happening to them. Most moving companies aren’t going to be held responsible for anything that gets damaged or lost. However, especially if moving internationally, these questions are worth asking your mover.  

Anything physically or personally valuable will need to be labeled as such. Things like documents, jewellery and laptops might be best kept in a few select boxes. You can always transport these yourself, too, if you feel more comfortable this way.  

3) Choosing the Wrong Moving Company  

It’s unlikely you’ll have any trouble finding a moving company. However, finding one that will do a successful job might be another story. From door to door, you want to feel at ease and know that your stuff is in good hands. 

Do your research and don’t just pick the first one you see or a number you found on Craigslist. If you are moving internationally, there’s a lot more involved. So, it’s crucial you team up with the right company.  

moving company

4) Not Getting a Moving Company at All  

Hiring a team of long-distance movers will greatly help since they take the hassle of moving away from you. You may be headstrong and believe you can do it alone; however, explore your options before deciding on doing it all yourself.  

Don’t let pride or the worry of additional costs come between you and a smoother transition. Moving is very labor-intensive, and you will most definitely have more stuff than you realize. There are many flaws with going DIY, like breakages, losses, hefty fuel costs, along with health and safety issues.  

5) Not Getting Insurance 

Insurance is one of those things you wish you had when an accident happens. You want to be certain that your belongings are covered, so make sure you don’t fall victim to this moving mistake! 

You can get full-value protection and released-value protection from movers who offer interstate services. You can also take out separate liability insurance from a third-party company, which is often governed by state law.  

Make sure you research your options and choose the one that will suit you and your requirements. Always read the small print, too.  

6) Not Checking the Inventory Properly  

Inventory is important for both you and your landlord. You’ll want to ensure you’ve got all your belongings while leaving the ones that were there in the first place. Double-check everything on the inventory with the state of the house or flat now.  

Any changes and anything that was damaged or in an average condition when you moved in must be noted. You don’t want to be falsely charged by a landlord for something that wasn’t yours, or any other tenant’s fault. Keep a copy of the inventory for reference, should you need it.  


7) Not Purging 

Spring cleaning is one of the best ways to make sure you’re not packing something you don’t need. Prior to moving, having a purge session is encouraged. This is one of the best things you can do for everyone involved. Packing things you don’t want is a waste of time. Instead, save time, effort and money by de-cluttering your home before packing.  

Also, it’s beneficial to get the freshest start possible in your new place. There’s no point dragging along old, unused items to then sit unused and dusty for however long. Make recycle, sell, donate or throw piles for all the things you no longer want.  

8) Not Considering Traffic 

Imagine you’re in the middle of a stressful, sweaty and tiring move. The last thing you want is for you and the movers to get stuck in traffic. It’s not just about the time of day either, but the time of year.  

Holiday traffic is slow, so plan strategically the time you’ll be moving. Allow plenty of time in advance to get your quotes and a reliable mover booked in.  

9) Not Thinking about Pets 

pets moving

While you were worrying about all the humans you have to get to your new home safely, you forgot about your beloved pets! Make a box for their things and plan how they’re going to get there. You must also be entirely sure your new landlord allows pets.  

Internationally, you will want to check in with the vet to see if there are any shots they need. If they are enduring a long journey, get some travel recommendations, and make sure you have their travel papers.  

10) Not Dedicating Enough Time to Packing 

Leaving packing until the last minute when you’re going on holiday isn’t ideal, but it works. You absolutely can’t do the same when packing for a move. Plan accordingly to the size of your current home and the people in it.  

Prepping and packing in advance will allow you to sort through your things properly, organize and box them in the right places. It ensures that you will be better accommodated for any unforeseen problems.  


Moving homes should be an exciting process, which you don’t want ruined by failing to plan. Avoiding these mistakes should help make the move for you and your fellow movers easier. After all, if you could make life simpler, why wouldn’t you? 

Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac
Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news and multifamily construction to homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance and business. With a 9-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email. Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider and She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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