Six common moving mistakes and how to avoid them

Wheaton agents see a lot. We have more than 250 agents, nationwide, many who have been in the moving and storage business for decades. We talked to some of them and asked about the most common and costly mistakes they see customers make as well as what advice they could give to future customers about how to overcome and avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Choosing a moving company based on price alone. There is no doubt that moving is a stressful process to experience and you want to be sure you don’t spend money unnecessarily. But choosing a moving company based solely on price and no other factors can come back to bite you. Some customers who hire discount movers report being told on moving day that the cost has gone up dramatically from what they were originally quoted, diminishing the savings entirely. Other moving customers end up with damaged or stolen items and no means to get reimbursed. The risk you take by choosing the cheapest moving company may not pay off. So what are the other factors, aside from price, that you should consider when choosing a moving company? Read more about the decision making process of selecting a moving and storage company.
  2. Relying on the Internet to find a moving company. The Internet is a very good place to turn once you have a short list of moving companies that you’d like to research or contact. But to rely solely on the Internet as a way to find a moving company can be risky. It’s easy for any mover to post a website or an ad on a classifieds website, but there is no way to know whether they are backed up with a real office location and storage facility, the proper insurance or licensing, the right moving equipment and trucks, or even reliable full-time employees. Instead of going directly to a search engine or a classifieds website, rely on word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews. Ask friends, family members, and even your realtor. Read customer reviews from reliable, objective sources. Then go online and research the moving companies who have established reputations, positive reviews, a wide network of locations, have credible associations with industry groups like the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Of course, we hope you choose Wheaton World Wide Moving!
  3. Accidentally misrepresenting the amount of stuff that will be moved. Sometimes the plans to hold a yard sale or sell off furniture fall apart; it’s common, especially during the very stressful period prior to moving. However, if you request that some items are excluded when a mover comes to produce an estimate, expect that the mover will have to charge to move the items if they’re still amongst your belongings on moving day.
  4. Packing is still “underway” on moving day. This is more common than you think, and a problem for professional movers who need every hour in the day to get the truck fully loaded and on its way. On the morning of moving day, all of your loose items should be boxed and ready to go. Otherwise, valuable time is lost.
  5. Unaware that some items cannot be moved by movers or should not be moved by movers, inappropriate items get included in the shipment. For a list of items that cannot be packed, read these safe moving tips. For an idea of the kinds of items you should not pack, think about items you will need over the course of the next week or two, such as your cell phone charger, address books, or even a can opener. Your Wheaton agent will happily provide you with a complete preparatory list to avoid these kinds of mistakes.
  6. Not relying on a moving company throughout the entire moving process. Many people, especially first-time movers, don’t realize the amount of assistance that a good, experienced moving company can provide throughout the entire moving process, not just on moving day. Many Wheaton agents have created literature and materials they provide to customers, free of charge, that offers incredibly helpful advice about preparing for a move. Not to mention, because our agents have so much experience they are very good at identifying a customer’s needs and customizing the moving process to make it as stress-free as possible. Some of our Wheaton agents joke that one of the skill sets they’ve developed over the years is that of a counselor because they know how to listen to customers and reduce his or her stress and anxiety so well. So be sure to contact moving companies a few weeks in advance so you get the full set of benefits from the money you’re spending.

Remember, a good portion of the costs associated with your move is in your hands. Hiring the right moving company who is there for you throughout the entire moving process, has many years of experience, has great customer reviews and recommendations, has reliable people and equipment, maintains proper licenses and insurance, and who cares about you, your family and your belongings can save you money—and stress—in the long run.

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