Avoid These Moving Day Disasters

Written by: Eric

Before I landed my first cushy desk job, I was a mover for three years—three long years of heavy lifting, packing, unpacking, and sweating profusely. Now I work at the headquarters of the largest moving franchise in the United States. My friends and family blindly assume that I am a moving guru, and that moving out of an old home and into a new one is my second nature. Let me tell you, this is definitely not the case.

Take these words of advice from me, as a friend and an experienced mover—attempting a do-it-yourself move sucks. Everyone makes the same mistakes, including me, and it leads to an awful day. Why?

The Truck: First, you have to rent a truck. The process alone of reserving and renting a reliable truck is stressful. Now add in high gas prices, mileage rates, and two days off of work. It ends up being the same price as hiring a couple of professional local movers.

Poor Planning: When you move yourself it never, ever goes as planned. Even if you have the foresight to rent a few stacks of moving blankets, there are always the few fragile glass items that you didn’t account for. I just hope it isn’t your grandmother’s antique china that you have to pack between magazines.

Tick Tock: A do-it-yourself move always takes longer than anticipated. I know people who expect to have their belongings loaded, transported, unloaded, and unpacked in less than a day. If you can predict the weather, avoid breaking anything valuable, fight the nostalgia of lost treasures buried in the closet from years ago, AND rely on the help of your possibly hung-over friends, then yes–you can finish the move in less than a day.  Oh, if your friends do show up to help you move, guess who is going to get a phone call when their abnormally shaped furniture needs moving?

The main issue on a “do-it-yourself” move isn’t finding someone to help, it’s finding someone willing to ditch their Saturday plans AND their Friday night plans. The last two times I moved, I was stranded in two different ways:

The No-Show: My roommate, yes my roommate, at the time was MIA moving day morning. I didn’t hear from him until five hours after the time we agreed on. I packed and moved the countless little things myself—which is worse than the big items—without his help.

The Excuse: A good friend agreed to help me on a Saturday move. He called me the night before to tell me he had to work and couldn’t make it. Mind you, this is after reminding him of the date every day for two weeks. I hope he had an action-packed weekend…because I didn’t…I moved everything by myself.

My FINAL point in this “why-moving-yourself-sucks” rant:

Butterfingers: When and IF your volunteered help decides to show up, it doesn’t mean they are good movers. Personally, I have a pretty good handle on maneuvering heavy things around corners (talk about a practical talent), but my friends however, do not. Having one experienced mover and one inexperienced mover is a perfect recipe for a very frustrating day.

Face it: Moving yourself can save you a small amount of money, but it will lead to fits of rage, broken heirlooms, and loneliness—I’ve seen it with others and experienced it for myself. During my next move, I’m going to sit back and RELAX with a smile on my face as I watch highly-trained, experienced professional movers do the work for me. I suggest you do the same.

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