Packing for Moves: 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

Are you moving home soon?

Moving day is stressful enough as it is, without the hassle of packing for moves as well. You should be all packed and ready to go when the big day comes around.

But if you’ve never done it before it can be daunting. You might not know where to start when it comes to packing.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for these eight packing mistakes you should avoid, to make sure you move goes without a hitch.

1. Not Having a Plan

Don’t underestimate packing, it’s a huge task. If you want to do it on time and do it well, you’ll need a plan.

Before you start packing, make sure you know what items are going and how you want to organize yourself. Write down the order you’ll go through things, room by room works best.

Know what items you’ll pack together, and make a list of supplies you need to grab from the store. Also, remember that you can’t guarantee the boxes will go where you want them at the other end.

Label each box with what room it belongs in, and what items are in it. And label the boxes immediately after you seal them to make sure it’s accurate. This will help your movers, or yourself put the boxes in the right rooms at the other end.

2. Not Having a Moving Inventory

Creating an inventory list will take time and effort, but it’s a huge mistake not to have one. If you don’t have a detailed moving inventory, you’ll struggle to:

  • organize your stuff in a logical way
  • work out how much packing supplies you’ll need
  • estimate the cost of your move
  • work out what size truck or lorry you’ll need
  • keep track of your belongings
  • provide proof of condition if there is damage during the move

So, make sure you’ve got your inventory and that it’s meticulous. It’s going to be your best friend when you’re planning the moving logistics. The key to a successful move is staying on top of things, and keeping organized.

3. Not Having Help Packing

Unless you’re a real minimalist, you’re going to need some help to pack. Don’t underestimate the volume of stuff you collect over time. It’s going to be a lot of work, so don’t leave yourself handling it all alone.

Where it’s for a commercial or residential move, call in professional packers. Or get your friends and family to pitch in. The most efficient and safest way though would be to call in people who pack for a living.

4. Leaving It to the Last Moment

If you leave all your packing until the last few days, you’re going to panic and overwhelm yourself. You won’t pack as well as you’d like to, and things might get forgotten or lost.

So, work out a realistic timeline for your move, then add on extra time. Everything always ends up taking longer, so prepare for that. Better to be safe than rushing around, especially as that’s what you’re trying to avoid.

The general average is that it’ll take around:

  • 2-3 days for a studio apartment or 1-bed
  • 3-4 days for a 2-bed
  • 5-6 days for a 3-bed

You should expect to add a day or two for each extra bedroom your home has. This assumes though, that you’re packing all day for those figures to work. Unless you’re using vacation time, with work and other commitments this isn’t possible.

Use this average to work out how long it would take, then factor in your actual time to do it. You can then work out how many “evenings” or “weekends” it’ll take you.

5. You Run Out of Supplies

There is nothing worse than getting on a packing roll and running out of supplies. Especially as the end of your packing draws near.
If you run out, this means you need to stop and go get some more. It will eat into the time you’ve set aside for actually packing. Then, when that stress is over, it’ll be hard to get back in the zone.

As with timing, assume that you’ll need more supplies than you need. Especially if you’re new to this. But you can also use online a moving box calculator to work out exactly what you might need and how much it will cost.

6. You Haven’t Thrown Anything Out

Moving is a chance to declutter and throw out things you don’t need anymore. This will also help save you time and money as you don’t need to pack things you don’t want.

Separate your items into 3 piles:

  1. Keep
  2. Trash
  3. Donate

Don’t allow yourself a “maybe” pile, as this only delays the decision. Make decisions on the spot. Try not to be sentimental; and if you are, only keep the things that mean a huge deal to you.

A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn it or used it in the last year, likely, you don’t need it. So get rid! It’ll be a weight off you and your moving boxes, but your wallet will be fuller.

7. You Haven’t Secured Everything Well

There is no point packing up your items, only to get to the new place and they’re broken and spilling out everywhere. Rushing and stressing make people sloppy, and mistakes can happen. You might not secure your boxes very well.

Think about the packing needs of each item. Does it need wrapping? Is it heavy and needs to go on the bottom? Is it fragile and must stay a certain way up?

Use bubble wrap and packing paper to protect your delicate items, but you can also use your fabrics. If they won’t get stained or damaged themselves, use anything from bedsheets to socks to pad.

Don’t overstack your items or make boxes too heavy. You don’t want the bottoms to fall out. Make sure you seal all openings with packing tape, and it’s a good idea to use the tape to reinforce the corners.

8. Not Making an Essentials Box

Don’t pack essential items in with everything else, otherwise, it’ll be hard to find them at the new home. Keep your important documents, medications, and essential cooking equipment to one side.

You should also have a spare set of clothes for each household member and something to eat with each. Keep some bedding sets as well to make beds fast.

That first day and night will be a rush with no time to unpack. So, make it easy for yourself.

Packing for Moves Made Easy

So, there you have it! Now, when you’re packing for moves, you know these eight mistakes to avoid. Your next move is sure to go off without a hitch.

Organization is the key. You want to make sure you leave yourself with enough time and supplies to get the packing done. Organize your items too. The more time and effort you put into packing, the easier unpacking will be at the other end.

If you found this article helpful, check out our other blog posts today!