No matter how careful and meticulous you might be, everyone misses a step now and then. This can be a major hassle when you’re already stressing over your move. Fortunately, you can try to reduce the number of mistakes you make by learning from what other people have messed up in the past. Here are some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them:

Packing Too Much

Maybe you’re just a pack rat, or the task of going through your things seems daunting. Even if you’ve got professional help, you’re going to want to sort through and reduce how much stuff you’re moving. If you’re doing all the packing yourself, you’re going to want to cut down on the amount of work ahead. Plus, you’ll find that inevitably you own things you didn’t remember or don’t really need. Even if you’ve hired help packing or moving, remember that the pros often charge by the hour and by the pound, and so you’re going to want to reduce both the size of the loads and the time necessary to pack, load, and haul everything you own.

Packing Poorly

It might seem easier to grab odd-shaped boxes from stores, get a bunch of too-large or too-small boxes, or have older packing materials that have been recycled a few too many times. Even worse is just planning to throw all your clothes into a big plastic bag, not adequately padding your dishes or glasses, or boxes full of heavy items on top of lighter ones. Before you even start packing, you should estimate how many of what kind of boxes you’ll use, how many you’ll need, and what will be used to pad and protect your items. You should also talk to the pros (see below) for advice about what to use when packing things.

Another thing to consider when packing is to remember to pack the most tricky, troublesome, and mentally-demanding areas first. If the knick-knacks require sorting and special handling, or the attic and garage need to be sorted thoroughly, handle those tasks first while you’re still relatively fresh, and leave the easiest packing for the last few days.

Impractical Budget

Be careful when you make a budget for the move. Get your best estimate for moving, packing materials, costs to start new utilities, and all the other sundry expenses, and add to it. Double-check estimates, expect the unexpected, give yourself a cushion for disasters. And add in costs that might not be obvious, such as making sure your vehicles are in good shape. Also, look into your insurance policies in case your items, vehicles, or either old or new home gets damaged in the move.

Not Talking to Professionals

Even if you’re pretty sure you want to go it alone, you should always ask for an estimate from professional movers. Most reputable companies will do free in-home estimates for you, and if you have the time, you should ask a few different companies to do so. At worst, they can give you an idea how much work will go into packing and hauling it all yourself. They might even be willing to offer advice about all kinds of things, like you should use cardboard or plastic bins, and what kind of truck they’d recommend. At best, you might find out that the cost of using the pros is more reasonable than you thought. It can also help settle your mind about using professional movers if the estimates are all similar to each other.

Putting Things Off

Since most people aren’t fond of moving, they can sometimes procrastinate on every step of the moving process. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. If you’re not good at self-motivation, find a friend who is great at organizing things and ask for help. Have a timeline and do whatever’s necessary to stick close to it. Don’t put off packing until the last minute, clean as you go so you don’t have to try to do it all on the last day, and definitely make sure you’re getting the utilities transferred and all your help, from friends and family to the movers, know when you expect them to be there. A good rule of thumb is that, starting the day you’re certain the move will happen, you try to accomplish at least one thing on your moving list every day. Making that list can be the first task to mark off.

And as always, remember that Gerber Moving & Storage is here for all your moving needs.