As the foremost authority in commercial and residential moving in Charleston, South Carolina, we know that to err is human. That adage will be of little consolation if you lose money, time, or both due to a costly mistake during your move. These costly mistakes are avoidable and, in this article, we will help you avoid them as we discuss the most common moving mistakes and how to avoid them.

What are Common Mistakes Made During a Residential Move?

Failing to Research the Moving Company.  Failing to research the movers before you agree to use their services is a common mistake. Read online moving reviews and ratings left by customers, check their membership status with the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), as well as checking their legal status with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Trying to Schedule Last-Minute. If this is your first residential move or if it has been a while since your last move, you may not realize just how long it takes to get things organized. When planning a move, it is best to work backward to determine your move-out date, whether it is determined by a home sale, end of rent period or end of school term. Once you have your move-out date, count back to at least eight weeks.

Favorable weather means the summer months are often the most hectic time of year for moving companies; spring and autumn can get very busy, too. It is also important to remember that moving companies may not be available if you are moving closer to a holiday. The last thing you need is to be stuck with an unknown moving company, high rates or, even worse, no moving company at all.

If you are planning to rent or drive a moving truck, make sure you schedule the rental well ahead of the day you actually need it. Find out the exact dimensions of the truck’s cargo space and maybe even stop by the rental company to get an idea of the space you will need and whether the desired truck may be enough.

Even the day of the week you pick can affect your move. Higher demand means moving companies may charge top dollar for weekend truck rentals and moves. You might also want to consider the time of day you are moving. Depending on the time, you may encounter traffic, which could mean more time that your belongings will be in transit and potentially a higher rental bill if paying by the hour.

Accepting the First Moving Estimate. Compare at least 3, preferably 5, written moving estimates that you received after the in-home visits. Pay special attention to any additional services included in quotes and respective rates. The comparison analysis will help you pick a reasonably priced mover.

Failure to Get Adequate Insurance. Moving companies are required by law to offer you Basic Limited Liability coverage but that type of insurance is rarely enough to match the actual value of your possessions. If you own valuable items, then consider purchasing additional moving insurance either through your mover or from a third-party insurance company.

Losing the Bill of Lading. The bill of lading is the contract between you and your movers. It is essential to reference it if any problems arise along the way, so treat it with care.

Forgetting to Transfer Utilities. Another common moving mistake is forgetting to transfer the utilities at least a few days before the move. Contact the utility companies such as electricity, water, gas, phone, Internet, cable TV and arrange their transfer.

Not Purchasing Packing Supplies in Advance. Having to interrupt packing to get more materials will slow down the packing process. Purchase enough cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper, packing tape, and even a set of color markers.

Forgetting to Pack and “Essentials” Box. Do not forget to take the essential items such as prescription medication, important documents, kitchen utensils, hand tools, a change of clothes for each family member.

Failing to Follow the “Small-Box vs. Big-Box” Packing Rule. Packing for a move can be rather tricky so common packing mistakes will happen, such as failing to follow a simple yet critical rule. Heavy items go into small to medium boxes, while lightweight things go into large cardboard containers and keep a weight limit of 40-45 lbs. per box.

Packing Items that are Forbidden from Transportation. Do not make the mistake of packing items that your moving company will not transport such as hazardous items including flammable, explosive, or corrosive materials, perishable goods, and irreplaceable items. Dispose of any dangerous items prior to moving day.

Not Filling the Space Inside your Boxes. The problem with making blunders when moving house is that there will not be a second chance to learn from your mistakes. In other words, there is little you can do when you find your fine china sets or crystal glasses broken after the move. Nothing inside your packed boxes should move or shift and it is important to fill any vacant spaces with newspaper, old pieces of clothing, or sheets of bubble wrap. Tape the bottoms and sides of each cardboard box before you begin packing. Also, place pieces of crumpled paper or bubble wrap on the bottom to create a shock-absorbing protective layer.

Forgetting to Label your Packed Boxes. Even though you may be blessed with a good memory, make sure you write the contents, destination room, and special handling instructions on each box you pack.

Wrong Clothing Choice for Moving Day. Big moving mistakes can sometimes lead to personal injury or property damage, or both. Make sure you dress appropriately for moving day. Wear comfortable, non-baggy clothes made of flexible and breathable fabric. It is also important to wear close-toed shoes with good traction and overall protection.

Not Using the Proper Lifting Techniques. If you intend to do most or all of the heavy lifting on your own, then you must be familiar with the right lifting techniques. Know your limitations, otherwise, you can damage your back, muscle groups, or could cause injury to your hands, fingers, or toes. Some heavy lifting jobs are better left to professional movers.

Forgetting to Take Measurements. Make sure to measure the clearance space in your new residence prior to moving day. You do not want to arrive at your new home only to find that your furniture will not fit through the front door.

Not Asking Questions & Not Reading the Contract. Before you hire, make sure you ask questions to ensure that you are getting what you need out of the moving company. Find out about their estimates, if the insurance will cover your belongings, and if there are any extra costs for services rendered.

Failing to Recheck the Inventory Sheet. This is particularly important if your household items are sharing space on a moving truck; it is easy for items to be left behind. If something is missing, do not sign the inventory sheet until the item is found.

Moving mistakes cost time and money. Lowcountry Moving Specialists can take away the worry and the mistakes from your move. With over a decade of moving experience and excellence, we take great care of your possessions and deliver them safely. Don’t leave your move to chance. Contact Low country Moving Specia­lists for a free estimate and learn the ways in which our team can help yours.