The Most Common Mistakes People Make During Cross-Country Moves

It seems you have a million things to do and a minimum of time to get them all done. If there’s any consolation, you’re not alone since moving always ranks high on the list of life’s most stressful events.  

To help things go more smoothly, we’ve assembled a list of the most common mistakes people make leading up to and during a long-distance move — as well as how to avoid them. 

Not Booking a Mover Early 

When it comes to scheduling a move, the earlier you can set a date the better, particularly during peak moving season (May into early September). Not only will booking early allow you to feel more in charge of what’s about to happen, but you can also considerably reduce the risk of hiring a mover who promises a lot but delivers very little. 

Right now, the moving industry is seeing a rash of “scam” movers who take advantage of their customers’ trust – to the point of holding possessions hostage until a higher fee is paid or never showing up at all. At United, we’ve put together a checklist to help you steer clear of these unscrupulous “grifters” and ensure your treasured possessions stay in the hands of reputable experts.  

Looking for additional advice? Get referrals from friends who’ve moved recently, read online reviews and reach out to different moving companies for info and estimates. Why not start by getting a free, no obligation quote from us right now? 

Not Having a Plan of Action 

The very thought of moving makes a lot of people anxious. There’s a tendency to keep putting off the inevitable by not getting things in order and procrastinating until the whole experience becomes overwhelming. Fortunately, there is an easy fix. United has a super-handy downloadable Move Checklist that guides you through a manageable, step-by-step process and takes the guesswork — and stress — out of planning every detail of your move.  

Being Too Ambitious with Your Travel Itinerary 

Just because you can drive straight through from New York to Florida in a single day doesn’t mean you should. Even a relatively simple move can take a lot out of you both physically and emotionally. Don’t compound things with a marathon sprint to your new home.  

Unless it’s a relatively comfortable (eight hours or less) drive to your new city, build in time for a stop or two along the way. If an overnight stay seems in order, don’t just set out on the road and hope for the best. Be sure you have comfortable, safe accommodations reserved in advance. Give yourself adequate time to relax and unwind and you’ll be in much better shape when the moving truck gets there. The same goes for traveling by air: book any flights well in advance to avoid both stress as well as expensive last-minute surcharges.  

It’s also a good idea to schedule a tune-up with a reputable mechanic to make sure your car’s ignition, fuel, heating and computer systems are in good shape. If you’re moving to a temperate climate during the winter a set of snow tires would also be a wise investment. 

Not Bringing Moving Essentials With You 

No matter how you get to your new home, certain things should always stay in your possession. Think carefully about the items you can’t be without — such as prescription medicines and phone chargers — or that would be difficult to replace, like driver’s licenses, passports and jewelry, and keep them with you. If possible, get extra refills on your prescriptions and bring any medical records you might need in an emergency.  

Driving to your new home with kids in tow? Let them bring a favorite game or toy with them. Light snacks and refreshments are also a good idea to have on-hand to quiet any hunger pangs they might have along the way. Infants and toddlers will need diapers and possibly formula; be sure these travel with you. And if you have pets, make sure you’re anticipating their needs as well.  

Assuming Everything Can Travel in the Truck 

Like most reputable movers, United will not transport hazardous items, including explosives, flammable gases and toxic substances. Items like these should be disposed of beforehand to comply with federal, state and local laws and protect the environment. For help, you can review United’s restricted items when moving. Still not sure? Contact your city or county representatives for guidance.  

Not Having a “Plan B” 

Even the best-orchestrated move is bound to have a few hiccups. The key here is to build in some flexibility to accommodate unexpected delays caused by weather and other unforeseeable circumstances. Move-out — and, particularly, move-in — dates are often subject to a delivery window.  In other words, they are somewhat fluid and can sometimes shift. If this happens, stay calm — with a reputable mover like United, things will be back on track soon. The bottom line? Be prepared for the unexpected and keep people in your inner circle aware of any change in plans.  

Need help with a move? Get a quote from United Van Lines today. 

Check out our other blogs for moving tips and packing advice, as well as city guides and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information. 

Professional Moving Services Made Easy

Other Moving Resources

  • 6 Things You Need to Know About Santa Fe, NM Before Moving

    Moving to Santa Fe soon? Learn more about the state, cost of living, job market and more before moving.
    Continue Reading
  • Hidden Gems in NYC

    Uncover New York City’s Best Hidden Gems

    Are you just settling in or considering a move to the New York City area?
    Continue Reading
  • zen bathroom

    Design a Zen Bathroom

    Is the vibe of one (or more) of the bathrooms in your new home more chaotic than calming?
    Continue Reading