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Moving House Mistakes

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

18th Jan 2017 (Last updated on 28th Nov 2023) 7 minute read

Moving house can be a very stressful process, increasing your chances of making simple mistakes. It can be difficult navigating through the chaos and things often get lost or forgotten. But even the smallest issues can cause a delay or add to the frustration. With a little preparation and a clear plan, you can easily avoid the all too common moving house mistakes made by many homeowners.

Here at Compare My Move, we have years of experience in the removals industry and know all too well the common mistakes that can occur on moving day. To help ensure a more efficient and positive process, we've created a helpful list of common moving mistakes and how you can avoid them during your next house move.

From leaving everything to the last minute to doing everything yourself, these are the common mistakes that should be avoided when moving house.

  1. 1. Hiring the Wrong Removal Company
  2. 2. Not Labelling Boxes
  3. 3. Not Decluttering Before the Moving Date
  4. 4. Not Taking Measurements in Advance
  5. 5. Packing Books Incorrectly
  6. 6. Packing Items in the Loft
  7. 7. Leaving Tasks Until the Last Minute
  8. 8. Not Booking a Pre-Move Survey
  9. 9. Forgetting to Notify People of Your New Address
  10. 10. Trying to Do Everything Yourself

1. Hiring the Wrong Removal Company

The removal company you choose will be in possession of all your belongings and will be an essential factor that'll contribute to the success of your house move. For that reason, it is vital to ensure the people you hire are trustworthy, reliable and above all else, professional. Items can often be broken or lost during a move, and while that’s not always the removal company’s fault, hiring a reputable team of movers will seriously decrease the risk. Comparing removal quotes and careful researching is a great way to avoid this moving mistake.

You should check if the company is actually registered as a company and what insurance they have that will protect your belongings. Most companies will publish their company registration number, which you can then check with Companies House. Although it is not required, membership in the British Association of Removers (BAR) is a good indication of a company’s reputation.

All our removal partners here at Compare My Move undergo a rigorous verification process before being approved by us. Due to our high standards, we ensure that our removal companies have positive third-party reviews and are sufficiently insured. All of our partners must adhere to our strict code of practice and provide legal paperwork to prove they are a legitimate company.

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2. Not Labelling Boxes

Many movers forget to use labels or do not see the importance of distinguishing their moving boxes. However, it will not only help ensure a simpler unpacking process, but it will also inform the removal company of what boxes go where and which contain fragile items that require extra care. A mountain of anonymous boxes in your new home is a lot more stressful than clearly labelled boxes organised into their respective rooms.

It is recommended that you label boxes by room, followed by listing its primary contents and whether it is fragile or should be handled a certain way. Consider organising your boxes with colour coded stickers to save more time.

3. Not Decluttering Before the Moving Date

Another very common moving mistake is not cleaning or decluttering the old property before moving to the new one. Declutter your home by taking unused belongings to a charity shop or by selling them yourself for a little extra cash. You will need as much space as you can get so removing old or forgotten items can be a great way to free up some space in the removal van.

Decluttering the property will not only ensure you have more room to pack, but it will also mean you won't have to use as many boxes, cutting your removal costs down slightly. It will also make the process a lot easier for you and the removal team as there is less risk of overflowing heavy boxes.

4. Not Taking Measurements in Advance

Before your moving date, you will need to know the measurements of all the doors leading into your new house, as well as the measurements of any large furniture. Take a measuring tape with you during a house viewing and make a note of the results. Having this information will make your moving day a lot less stressful and will give you or your removal company plenty of time to disassemble any furniture that might be too large to get indoors.

Avoiding this moving mistake can also help you when making the new house a home. By measuring the lengths of the curtains and furniture sizes, you can start to plan out your new design before you're even fully moved in. Settling into the new home can take time, but this is a great way to keep the excitement of moving house.

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5. Packing Books Incorrectly

It may seem like a good idea to pack all your books together in one box. However, books can be extremely heavy and cause injuries if not handled correctly. It will be a much easier process for you and the removals team if you separate your book piles into different boxes, ensuring the hardback books aren't all in one box.

Packing books this way will distribute weight and put less pressure on your back when loading and unloading. You could even consider packing them into one big suitcase, that way, you will be able to easily roll them into the removals van.

6. Packing Items in the Loft

Don’t pack away your belongings in the loft and then attempt to bring them down. Doing this can be dangerous as manoeuvring boxes through your loft hatch and carrying everything down on a ladder can be incredibly difficult, even for experienced movers. Ideally, you should take the items down first before packing them to minimise the risk of injury.

7. Leaving Tasks Until the Last Minute

Moving house means you will have a million and one things to do. This can sometimes lead to a last-minute removal, where you have to book a removal company on short notice. As soon as you have a moving date, start planning and packing. There are many moving house apps that can make planning and organising easier for you.

Ideally, you should find a removal company with Compare My Move as soon as possible to fit in with their busy schedule. Having an action plan set in motion will ensure a less stressful move and help to make sure nothing gets left behind.

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8. Not Booking a Pre-Move Survey

The purpose of a pre-move survey is for the moving team to inspect your property and the items that require moving so they can provide you with an accurate quote and create a bespoke removals plan. Pre-move surveys are also known as 'home surveys' or 'home removal surveys'.

The removals team will assess the property and surrounding area, highlighting any factors that could lead to delays such as low bridges, heavy traffic flow or narrow lanes. This will ensure a more organised moving day. This is why it's often advised that you do not avoid booking a home removals survey as it will help both you and the movers create a careful and detailed plan for your moving day, minimising the risk of damage or delays.

9. Forgetting to Notify People of Your New Address

Whether it's a few days before or a few days after the move, don't forget to notify the relevant companies and people of your new address. From friends and family to healthcare providers, there are a number of important people you will need to contact.

Don't forget to redirect your mail and contact your service providers to ensure they update your details, otherwise, a number of important documents could be delivered to the wrong home. You will also have to update your address on the electoral role, with your GP and your bank.

To make the process easier, we've created a useful Change of Address Checklist that you can slowly work through in between unpacking and settling into your new home.

10. Trying to Do Everything Yourself

It is very easy to underestimate the time, stress and effort that comes with moving house. Depending on the size of your move, you may think that you can do most of the work yourself. However, it is highly recommended that you use a removal company to help you with the moving process, especially if it is a long-distance or large move.

Not only will hiring a removal company allow you extra time to focus on other aspects of the move, but it will also mean you will have the correct equipment present to protect your items. Reputable removal teams will have a range of knowledge and experience that will ensure a smooth, organised and safe relocation. They will be there to complete all the heavy lifting and answer any questions you may have on the day.

Removal companies can also offer packing services if you require additional assistance. There are many fantastic movers and packers in London and across the UK.

For those considering professional help, get free quotes from trusted removal companies with Compare My Move and save up to 70% on your moving day costs. Our verified partners can help you with any and all aspects of the move if needed – whether it be transit only, dismantling and reassembly furniture or even comprehensive packing services.

To get more information, read our moving into a new home checklist and our ultimate moving apartment checklist.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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