The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Moving House – And How You Can Avoid Them

As we’ve said many times, moving house can be one of the most stressful times of your life! There’s nothing more frustrating than searching for a new property, going through the survey and sales process, packing up your belongings and finally arriving at your new home only to find you’ve forgotten your keys! While we’re here to help you make everything go smoothly and these tips should be taken as a guide only, here are some common mistakes people make when moving house, and how you can avoid them.

1. Taking your clutter with you

Even if you’re moving into a bigger property, try to downsize your belongings. Nothing ruins the excitement and ambience of a fresh start like the ugly old bookcase you’ve secretly hated for years taking up valuable space in your new office! See your new property as a blank canvas, and fill the space with belongings that you really love, to start the next chapter of your life.

Don’t go too far though – before you start throwing things away with reckless abandon, write a checklist of essentials for your new home. As tempting as it might be to throw away those half-empty bottles of shampoo in your bathroom or the tea-stained mug in your kitchen cupboard, these may be the items you reach for first when you move in!

2. Scrimping on the essentials 

Although we all love getting a great deal, the property buying process might not be the right time to scrimp and save. Think about key elements of the sales process – instructing a survey if necessary; making any immediate repairs or carrying out essential maintenance; and even hiring a reputable removals company on moving day. By instructing professionals (and RICS Accredited Surveyors for your property survey) you’re ensuring quality service and peace of mind if you don’t cut corners.

3. Not labelling your boxes on moving day 

Picture the scene – you arrive at your new home, relax on your new sofa and are ready for a nice cup of tea… There’s only one problem. You didn’t label your boxes and now your kettle is lost somewhere under piles of clothes, laundry detergent and cutlery! This is maybe one of the most common mistakes people make when moving house, but luckily it’s an easy fix. Try to write a few key words on your boxes so you know what’s in them, as well as the room they need to be unpacked in, for example – “kitchen, bowls and plates”. 

4. Not leaving enough time to pack

When it comes to packing up your belongings, try to dedicate a few days to organising, decluttering and donating unwanted belongings like we recommended at the start of the article, before you try to tackle the house as a whole. Although this seems like you’ll be spending more time on throwing things away rather than packing them away, it’ll save you time in the long run as you’ll know where everything is, and know it has earned its place in your new home. 

Make a list of all the jobs you might forget prior to moving day. You don’t want to be frantically trying to defrost your freezer last-minute when you should be relaxing in your new living room – and remember to pack up everything from the loft, garage and shed too!

5. Handling moving day with children and pets

Though it’s sometimes unavoidable, trying to juggle moving day with your children and/or your pets running around can send stress levels soaring. If you can, have someone take care of your little ones (the two-legged and four-legged varieties!) on moving day. This way you won’t need to worry about looking out for any packing-based disasters, forgetting to walk the dog or breaking up arguments over that toy they haven’t played with for years but don’t want to throw away..!

6. Forgetting to change your details

We’ve recommended this before, but we can’t say it enough: when you know your move-in date and your new address, contact your service providers to let them know. This can prevent too much down-time without broadband or TV packages, but can also ensure that you’re not billed for the essential services you’re no longer using at your old house. If you’re moving into a rented property, check to see whether bills are included in your rent, and who the service providers are, so you’re not paying twice. Remember to change your online shopping details too: you don’t want your new buys finding their way to your old house!

7. Mixing up your cables

There’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing which cable is for which appliance, though this is a mistake people often make when moving house! Before you pack away your TV, games consoles, laptops and gadgets, label the wires or take a photo of them with the appliance so you have a ‘cheat sheet’ when it comes to setting up your electronics at your new house. Prevent your cables getting tangled by wrapping them securely with an elastic band.

Above all, remember that moving house is a learning curve and you’ll find the best way that works for you, your family and your situation. Even if it feels like everything is going wrong, try to focus on the positive – you’re moving into a brand new chapter of your life and it’s time for a fresh start. Even if you forget to follow all of these tips, we hope you enjoy moving day as much as possible and finally get to relax in your new home! If you’d like some advice about a specific property or survey, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and professional team at Joe Fraser Chartered Surveyors.