Moving Nightmares & How You Can Avoid Them

Moving is tough. It doesn’t matter how many belongings you have, whether you hire professional movers, and whether you’re moving down the street or to another state. With so many things to coordinate and so much to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Instead of ending up in a moving nightmare, you can take a few steps to protect your budget, your peace of mind, and your belongings.

In this blog, we’ve outlined a few of the top moving nightmares and what you can do to avoid them.

The Timing Doesn’t Work Out

Timing is one of the trickiest aspects of a move. This is particularly true if you are selling one home and purchasing another. The same applies if you are renovating your new place, if there are any delays with financing, or if anything else holds up your move. The best way to avoid a situation where you are literally without a place to live is by planning ahead.

Talk to your agent and broker and make sure they give you realistic estimates for your move-out and move-in dates. Instead of being overly optimistic or hoping that things will work out, plan what you’ll do if your new place isn’t ready in time. Talk to family and friends to see if you might be able to stay with them for a few days. An Airbnb might offer a fun and inexpensive solution as well, or even a hotel. If you have pets, decide on a place where they can stay. A pet boarding facility, friend, or family member can provide a safe place while you’re moving and if you end up in-between homes. Be sure to pack a bag with clothes and essentials so you have everything you need!

The Movers Are Here & You’re Still Packing

It’s moving day, and you’re still packing. It’s a nightmare, but it happens pretty frequently. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete final moving preparations, and you may find yourself staying up into the wee hours of the morning, trying desperately to get everything done.

What can you do about it? Try to start packing as early as possible, weeks or even months before your moving date. If you start getting down to the wire and you’re behind, call in friends or family members to help. They might be willing to spare some time in exchange for some pizza and cold beverages! If you have the budget for it, hire professionals to handle your packing. If your movers show up and you’re still not done, try to arrange things and finish packing whichever items they need first. Clear the way for furniture and larger items. It’s not ideal, but you can try to make it work.

You Get Injured During the Move

Moving is physically demanding, even with professional movers doing the heavy lifting. You could get injured trying to pack and move boxes if you aren’t careful. The best way to protect yourself from moving injuries is to lift correctly, use the right equipment, and ask for help if you need it.

When lifting a box or other object:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Squat down, bending at the knees and hips
  • Keep your back straight and your gaze forward
  • Lift slowly, straightening the knees and hips
  • Carry at bellybutton level, close to your body

If you need to move heavy or large objects, use a dolly and moving straps. Ask for help with unwieldy belongings and furniture, and leave whatever you can for your professional movers, if you have them. Be sure to take breaks, keep cool, and drink plenty of water!

Your Move Runs Over Budget

Even when we’re careful, a move can go over budget. This applies not only to the cost of moving services but also to related expenses like a babysitter for your children, boarding for your pets, or lodging if there’s a gap between your move-out and move-in dates. Move-in costs can also add up fairly quickly.

You can help prevent this by being as detailed as possible when budgeting your move. Try to think of everything you might need to spend money on and add some wiggle room if possible. Set aside as much cash and funds in your bank account as possible in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your move. This can come in handy for any unforeseen costs.

You Can’t Fit Your Belongings in Your New House

Even if your move goes well and you end up on or under budget, you may run into a scenario where everything just won’t fit. Instead of giving up, it might be time to think about some creative ways to rearrange your furniture and belongings. Try to move in as much as you can and utilize a garage or other storage space as necessary. You may be able to sell items to pay for new ones or donate them for a good cause.

Some people with particularly large items may run into problems getting them into the house in the first place. Disassembling furniture and using other points of entry, like balconies or patio doors, can help get bulky items inside.

You can avoid both of these problems by measuring the new space, including the hallways and doorways. Give these measurements to your moving company and look them over yourself, comparing them to the items that need to be moved. That way, you can plan for tricky situations or take furniture apart to avoid any difficulties in the first place.

Moving Scams: Overcharging, Holding Belongings Hostage & More

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) receives about 13,000 complaints and negative reviews about moving companies every single year. The worst moving scams involve seemingly legit companies that give initially low estimates, load all of a customer’s belongings into the truck, and then hike up the prices, refusing to deliver at the new property until they’re paid in full. Some use unlicensed drivers or people who are not properly trained in packing and transporting items, resulting in significant damage during transport. Be wary of moving companies that won’t do in-home estimates or estimates over video chat (depending on COVID restrictions in your area, and your personal preference). Watch out for companies that demand full payment upfront.

You should always vet a moving company before hiring them. These are your belongings, and they’re important. You and everything you own should be treated with respect and care, and your movers should stick to fair prices and the agreement you made in the first place. The Better Business Bureau has a helpful article on moving scams and how you can avoid them.

Real-Life Examples of Moving Nightmares

Moving nightmares are real, and they can have a big impact on a person or a family that’s trying to move. Understanding how these happen can help ensure you know what to do to avoid scams and other serious problems during your move.

Here are two real-life examples of moving nightmares that people have experienced:

  • Moving Nightmare #1: Family Still Waiting on Belongings After 4 Months
    A family with five children was relocating from California to Minnesota. They hired a moving company to transport their belongings, but that moving company subcontracted a third-party company to handle the move. That third party never delivered. The family waited four long months, sitting on the floor of their new home to eat and trying to manage their five children without all of their toys, clothes, and furniture. They heard their belongings were left in a storage facility in Nevada, but the family has been unsuccessful in gaining access – not to mention the fact that they’re a 1,600-mile drive away.
  • Moving Nightmare #2: Couple Pays Thousands Over Moving Estimate
    A couple from Nampa, Idaho was relocating to Oregon. They hired a moving broker and agreed to a price of $5,400. The company called a few weeks later, asking for $1,900 more, which the couple paid. When moving day came, the company didn’t show up. They came a day late, with a truck that was too small for all of the couple’s belongings. The couple ended up renting another truck and driving it to their new home themselves. When the couple got to Oregon, the other truck with the rest of their belongings wasn’t there. It arrived a day late, and the company employee demanded another $4,700. When the couple couldn’t pay, the company drove away with their belongings. Weeks later and after paying even more, the couple finally got their belongings. Most of what they owned was seriously damaged.

Nightmares like these are why it is so important to hire a moving company that can be trusted to safely transport or deliver your belongings. Find a company that is BBB accredited, has excellent reviews, and is known for delivering excellent service—like the Southern California movers at AQMS.

Avoid a Moving Nightmare: Talk to Our Southern California Movers Today!

Avoiding moving nightmares is possible if you plan ahead and choose the right moving company. At Affordable Quality Moving and Storage, we’re committed to providing friendly and reliable service for all of your moving, storage, and packing/unpacking needs. Our Southern California movers are professionals and have the know-how and equipment to properly pack and transport even the trickiest or bulkiest items. We care about your move and always put customer satisfaction first. To find out more and to schedule your free estimate, call (661) 622-2636 today!