Relocation presents a fresh start, but that doesn’t mean nothing could possibly go wrong. Mishaps can still happen, especially if you’re unprepared for the task at hand.
Furniture can get scratched or damaged. Some items might get lost in transit. You might even forget to set aside essentials for your first night in your new home.
But the good news is that most unfortunate situations people encounter when moving houses can be prevented. By being aware of the five relocation mistakes listed below, you can keep your furniture safe, ensure all your belongings are accounted for, and make your first night in your new house a memorable one.
Mishap #1: Unprotected furniture
Protecting your belongings before the move should go without saying. Still, there are those who fail to do it for some reason.
Meanwhile, others make the mistake of applying the same level of protection on everything, even though many have varying requirements.
For furniture, special treatment is necessary to prevent damage during transit. Plus, they are quite heavy and bulky, which means you’ll definitely need both brains and brawn to keep them safe and in one piece upon arriving at your new home.
As much as possible, you should leave the task to the professionals because they have the expertise and supplies for optimum furniture protection. You can also help out by following the tips listed below:
- Use the proper protective material for various kinds of furniture you have. Bubble wrap is best for delicate wooden pieces, while plastic sheeting is more suited for upholstered items like leather sofa sets.
- Tape an “X” on items with glass parts, like mirrors and tabletops, before wrapping with bubble wrap. Use painters’ tape to prevent them from shattering in case they break. Don’t forget to place two sheets of corrugated cardboard between them for padding and extra protection.
Mishap #2: Failing to disassemble furniture
Disassembling all furniture pieces that can be disassembled is an unwritten but unbreakable rule in furniture moving. Unfortunately, many people still skip this step, mostly because it is time-consuming.
But if something goes wrong, it might be too late (and too expensive) to fix it. So, if you have a chance to do something to make sure nothing goes wrong (like disassembling furniture, for example), just do it. You could also seek out professionals offering furniture moving services to do it for you.
If you decide to do it yourself, keep in mind the following best practices when disassembling furniture:
- Consult the owner’s manual for the correct method of dismantling furniture.
- Place screws and other smaller pieces in sealable plastic bags with each piece of furniture.
- Snap a photo of the assembled furniture to use as a reference for reassembly.
Mishap #3: Missing screws, nuts, and bolts
People are usually more focused on the bigger parts of furniture that they tend to forget the tiny yet critical components that keep those larger pieces together: screws, nuts, and bolts.
These little things can get lost in the moving van easily if you don’t place them with the item they complete. Don’t forget to label the sealable plastic bags that contain them in case they get mixed up, so you won’t have to spend hours on trial and error when it’s time to reassemble your furniture.
Mishap #4: Lifting injuries
Sometimes, people get so excited about the move that they end up getting injured from lifting heavy objects by themselves. Do yourself a favour and leave it to the pros or, at the very least, ask for assistance from other people.
If you do decide to take part in the heavy lifting, practise safe and proper techniques:
- Lift with your legs, not your back. Avoid bending your back as you lift to prevent injury. Instead, pick up and set down the furniture you’re carrying by bending your knees.
- Remember to keep the object as close to your body as possible – hug it, if you must. This will make it easier for you to maintain your balance as the item is closer to your centre of gravity.
Mishap #5: Disorganised packing
Packing comprises a huge chunk of the relocation preparation, which also means it may be one of your biggest sources of stress. With that said, always have a system to organise this step.
Try one of the following strategies that professional furniture movers recommend:
This is the most straightforward packing system there is. Basically, you just need to ensure that everything under the same category or type goes together in the same box (e.g., books, framed pictures, etc.).
Remember to use the best packing techniques recommended for the kind of object you’re handling to ensure efficiency and optimum item safety.
This allows you to concentrate on one area at a time when packing, so you don’t miss any of your belongings that will go into your new home. As a bonus, it also makes unpacking much simpler since you already know which moving boxes to open when prepping a specific room.
When you arrive at your new place, have the movers bring the boxes straight to that room and avoid cluttering the entrance or living room. Having everything you could ever need to set up every room also makes it easier to prioritise when unpacking.
By Frequency of Use
This applies to people with a significant number of unused items or who wish to start with a clean slate when they arrive at their new home.
Moving professionals recommend packing rarely used items first. Doing so will enable you to start packing early without disrupting your everyday life since you’ll still have the things you frequently use on hand.
Start with the objects that don’t get utilised daily, like decorations, hobby materials, books, and other non-essential items. You can move on to packing the rest gradually, prioritised according to necessity in the weeks leading up to your move.
Leave just a few essentials, which you should pack on your first-night bag or box a day or two before moving day.
A move can become a lot less stressful when you’ve thoroughly prepared for it. In the planning stage, it helps to know the common mistakes people make during a similar situation. This way, you can take deliberate steps to avoid them and make your relocation as hassle-free as possible.
Sushma Salian is the Business Head, Asset Mobility of Writer Relocations, India’s premier mobility services company that handles all types of moves: International & Domestic Relocations, Office Relocations, Commercial Move Management Services, Hospitality Logistics, Fine Arts Logistics, Orientation Services, and Storage Solutions. Headquartered in Mumbai, Writer Relocations has presence in 7 countries and operates in more than 190 countries.