9 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving Yourself

Charleston is a popular area in South Carolina. Between the beautiful beaches, amazing architecture, and historical sights — and who doesn’t love the open-air market — it’s no wonder people flock to the Low Country. Don’t get us wrong; all of us here at Swamp Rabbit Moving love the Holy City. But we see a lot of folks who try to move themselves, which means we also see many of the mistakes people make. We understand that, sometimes, hiring a moving company for a local move may seem like a lot. Moving can be done on a budget, but here are the top mistakes we see people make!

  1. Procrastination
    This is the biggest mistake we see. Don’t wait until the very last minute. If you do, you’ll end up scrambling to get everything done, which results in poorly packed boxes, forgotten items, and a struggle to find enough packing boxes.How to Avoid This Mistake
    -Plan at least 2-4 weeks in advance of your moving date.
    – Make a list of tasks you need to complete for a smooth move.
    – Set a deadline for those tasks.Tip from the pros: Professional packers and movers can help you get through everything that needs to be packed and moved. At Swamp Rabbit Moving, we offer packing and unpacking services and take responsibility for materials, transport, and loading and unloading.

     

  2. Failing to Declutter
    Decluttering and purging unwanted items are important for a smooth move. You may want to throw everything haphazardly into boxes, but this will only lead to more stress when trying to sort and organize everything at your new home. If you don’t declutter and purge, you’ll end up paying more for more boxes and supplies to pack and store everything.How to Avoid This Mistake
    Before you begin packing, we recommend sorting through your entire house for unwanted items and unused things. This may seem like a daunting task, but try to break it up into smaller chunks: Declutter the living room one day, sort through the playroom the next day.Tip from the pros: If you’re unsure of what items you want to purge, make a list of things you haven’t used for a year or more (or don’t wish to use anymore). Throw away damaged goods and sell or donate unwanted items that are in good condition.
  3. Forgetting to Pack a “Survival Kit”
    There’s no denying that moving into a new home is exhausting. After a long, tiring move, you won’t want to dive right into unpacking boxes just to find your basic necessities. The first few days in your new home will be chaotic, but by packing a survival kit, you can make the transition a little bit easier.How to Avoid This:
    Save your “essentials” for last when packing. You’ll most likely need them on moving day and shortly after arriving at your new home.
    – Pack necessities: change of clothes, toiletries, medications, water, snacks, etc.
    – Important items: wallets, keys, laptop or other electronics, chargers, etc.
    – Additional supplies: basic kitchen needs, basic cleaning supplies.
    – If you have kids: milk, food, and any necessary toys.
    – Valuables: important documents, jewelry, etc.
  4. Not Getting Enough Packing Supplies
    Sure, it may be hard to estimate exactly how many boxes you need or how many tape dispensers you’ll go through. Don’t forget you’ll need different-sized boxes to fit various items to ensure a safe trip to your new home. Plus, we recommend you don’t overstuff boxes, which can lead to broken or damaged items (not to mention it makes the boxes that much heavier).How to Avoid This:
    Get plenty of everything you’ll need to ensure no damage to your belongings: bubble wrap, cushioning wraps, or even packing peanuts. A good idea is to research how to pack fragile belongings or simply for various household items.Tip from the pros: Professional packers and movers can be a great option to move your household items with quality packing procedures and safety measures. Our pros here at Swamp Rabbit Moving are well-trained and experienced in packing delicate items.
  5. Not Labeling Boxes
    This is a huge mistake we see people make. This can make your unloading and unpacking processes that much more difficult and complicated.How to Avoid This:
    Invest in Sharpie markers and label 
    everything. Label it by room or by category.
  6. Not Preparing Your Refrigerator
    This is a common mistake. People forget about their fridges, and a dirty fridge may ruin other goods in the truck. Don’t forget to take out the shelves — these can break if not removed.How to Avoid This:
    – Clean the refrigerator and remove all the shelves.
    – Unplug and defrost for at least 24 hours before moving.
    – Clear the water tray and leave the door open (to clear any odors).
    – Remove all of the racks and pack them separately to avoid damage.
  7. Failing to Book the Right-Sized Truck
    Some folks aren’t aware that there are different-sized trucks, and if you book the wrong size, this can lead to delays in your move. A truck that’s too small means you’ll have to make multiple trips. By booking a truck that’s too large, you’ll pay for unused space (which is a waste of money).How to Avoid This:
    – Really consider the amount of stuff you have and how much space it takes up. Try to rent a truck that is at least 10% to 15% bigger than your estimate.
    – Look for a good transport company who can accurately suggest the best fit.Tip from the pros: Hiring professional movers can make the day of your move stress-free. We can determine the correct size truck you’ll need for a smooth transition.

     

  8. Lifting Heavy Items
    Some people overestimate the weight of the box they’re trying to move. And if you don’t know how to properly pick up and handle heavy items, you can end up injuring yourself.How to Avoid This:
    – Equip yourself with lifting aids such as hand carts, dollies, carpet glides, etc. If this isn’t possible, we strongly recommend hiring a moving company like Swamp Rabbit Moving. We have the skills and tools to handle all of your items safely.Tip from the pros: Put your health and safety first. If you don’t think you can safely move your items, hire a moving company.

     

  9. Forgetting About Utilities
    Sure, maybe it’s not directly related to packing and moving, but if you forget to transfer your utilities, you may end up paying a ton more for unused electricity and water at your old home. And if you forget to have the utilities connected at the new place, you’ll likely be sitting in the dark.How to Avoid This:
    – Contact your utility companies to schedule a date for disconnection/reconnection or transfer.
    – Pay all unpaid bills and make sure you have no dues before moving out.
    – Note the meter reading before leaving your old place and at your new place as you move in.


Do-it-yourself moving may seem daunting, but it’s not completely impossible to do. If you’re still overwhelmed by the idea of moving yourself, give the Rabbits a call! We’re trained to ensure no damage happens to your items — we know how to pack, carry, and load your belongings so they remain safe. Whether you’re planning for a local move or transition long-distance, we’re here to help. For a free quote, 
contact us today!

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