Mistakes to Avoid when Moving Out for the First Time

Moving out of your old home and into a new one can be in equal parts stressful and exciting. The major problem people who move out for the first time face is the number of items they have to relocate. After a couple of years, belongings tend to pile up in amounts that can straight out shock you. The problem is compounded if you plan to move to another state. The logistical difficulties of such a relocation are certainly not to be taken lightly. That is why we will talk about major mistakes to avoid when moving out for the first time.

Unfortunately, most people moving out of their home for the first time tend to think that a relocation boils down to buying old boxes and packing up stuff into them. However, there is much more to it than that. For instance, some people like to invest in designer accent furniture they cannot afford to damage during relocation. This concern can be a significant source of stress before first-time relocations. So, make sure you do your part and avoid the following bad practices.

It’s a mistake to underestimate the amount of time needed

It is essential to give yourself enough time, mainly because this is your first relocation. That is why you should carefully plan out each phase of the relocation. Remember: make sure you always have a day or two more than you realistically need. You can either rest or finish the tasks that may take longer to wrap up than what you anticipated.

Also, we recommend you take at least a month or two to avoid having to postpone the relocation day. Keep in mind that most moving companies will charge a rescheduling fee.

The more time you give yourself, the more organized your packing will be. A time-tested packing strategy you can apply when moving out for the first time is to pack one room at a time. This will allow you to pace the preparations according to your daily routine. Not to mention it will make the unpacking easier later on.

Not having or following a packing timeline

Next, having a clear timeline according to which you will pack up your items also allows you to maximize your and your family member’s safety during moving. Again, rushing the packing might make you nervous and inattentive. Just imagine – having to pack up your entire life in 2-3 days is no easy feat, even if you live in a bachelor’s pad. You will probably get exhausted to the point where you could get injured by tripping over something or due to heavy lifting.

Not being fully concentrated on the task at hand

Also, do not underestimate seemingly safe tasks such as disassembling the furniture, cutting, gluing, etc. These are all seemingly innocuous but potentially dangerous activities you should always only do if you are fully rested and focused. Of course, the last few days will get quite hectic as you do your last-minute packing. However, it is crucial not to do this in a hurry – make sure you get a good night’s rest in the last couple of days. That way, you won’t make any packing mistakes because you will be sharp, present, and strong throughout the day.

Skipping the decluttering stage

As mentioned, most people miscalculate the number of belongings they own. It is a common mistake to avoid the decluttering phase. So, make sure you first go through each room and eliminate unnecessary things that have piled up over the years. It helps to divide the items into three groups:

  • things you want to keep
  • items you can sell, donate or give to someone
  • things you want to throw away

A good rule of thumb that can help you make rational decisions when you start decluttering is eliminating anything you haven’t used in the last two years. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should throw away your skiing equipment or something that you use only occasionally. However, if you haven’t worn a sweater in two years, it is doubtful that you ever will.

Considering that most moving companies charge based on weight and miles, it makes sense to reduce the load beforehand. Even if they charge an hourly rate, lifting and arranging the moving boxes in the moving truck takes time.

You can also sell your things online or organize a yard sale if you think someone can make use of them. You can use the money you earn to finance the packing supplies and other relocation costs.

Not buying enough packing supplies

Another novice mistake people make when moving out is underestimating which and how many packing supplies they will need. It is always better to have a surplus of boxes and tote bags.

Be sure to buy boxes in different sizes, labeling supplies, and plenty of wrapping material. To save money, go to the nearest supermarket and ask if they want to sell sturdy boxes they no longer need. However, it is better to have solid boxes made of corrugated cardboard for fragile items such as tableware, mirrors, paintings, glasses, and the like.

If you have no clue how many boxes you may need, there is an equation that can help you out. In most cases, 40 boxes should be enough for two-bedroom apartments. For every additional room, add another 10-20 boxes.

Forgetting to check the weather forecast

Finally, make sure you are prepared for the weather conditions that await you on the day of the move. Sometimes, people get so absorbed by the preparations that they forget to check if there will be rain or snow. Make sure you are prepared by buying plastic covers that will protect the boxes from the elements. You can take moving blankets with a bigger surface area for more oversized items such as furniture or appliances.

Other mistakes to avoid when moving out for the first time include bringing mud and moisture into your old or new home. So, if you are planning your first DIY relocation, make sure you cover the floors with newspapers or plastic for protection.


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