Moving house can be scary and have you waking in a cold sweat at the thought of the disasters that could befall you.
Read on if you dare for our lighthearted, but a very real look at how moving can go wrong.
House Moving Horrors
Damaged walls and paintwork or disappearing belongings are just some moving nightmares. And don’t forget furniture too big to fit through doorways or upstairs!
Whatever you do, try to avoid these 13 unlucky blunders.
Scrimping on your removals company
Usually, the heavy lifting and packing are going to lie with a removals team. But fail to vet your chosen company, and you may end up with rogue movers who have plenty of tricks and no treats.
For example, inadequate (or no) insurance, they may damage or break items, fail to show up on time (if at all). Or, worst of all, steal a van-full of your belongings.
Spare yourself this horror and choose a removals company with excellent references. They will supply professional packing materials and make sure that your belongings are packed and arrive safely.
No parking at the property
Your home is on a busy street with no driveway and diligent traffic wardens, and you forgot a parking permit from the council.
If it’s the home you are leaving, or the one you are moving to, making the removals team walk around the block with your furniture isn’t an option. They might insist on waiting until you sort out the parking situation, and you may end up paying for their extra time.
Make the necessary parking arrangements well ahead of time. Otherwise, you might see the removals van making off like a bat out of hell.
Forgetting to pack an ‘Essentials’ box
You and your belongings have arrived in one piece at the new place. Before you start unloading boxes and shifting furniture, you could all do with a cuppa and a biscuit.
But you packed up the kettle in just another box lost in a sea of boxes. You and the removals team are like zombies running on empty.
Pack an ‘Essentials’ box and keep it with you in the car — kettle, mugs, tea, coffee, sugar, milk and biscuits – and keep everyone happy!
Other essentials to remember – toilet paper, phone chargers and a bottle opener for a toast when you finally sit down!
Not checking the weather on moving day
The big day has come complete with rain and howling winds. The carpets are wet and muddy and your packing boxes are soggy and collapsing.
The weather slows packing up of the old house. By the time you get to your new home, it’s dark, making everyone as gloomy as the weather.
If only you had checked the forecast and shared this with the team, so they came prepared. Instead, you end up with a cleaning bill from the people who moved into your old house.
Forgetting to make moving-day arrangements for children and pets
The big day can be scary for adults, but it is much worse when moving with children or moving with pets. They may be stressed about the chaos and leaving a familiar environment, and this will put you all on edge.
If it’s not possible to have someone take care of them, try and keep younger children entertained in a quiet corner. Older ones can always help with things like the ‘Essentials’ box.
With pets, make sure you put them in a suitable travel box early in the day. It will help calm them down and give you peace of mind. Don’t let the family cat escape on moving day and then spend hours looking for them!
Damaged furniture & scratched walls
You thought you would save money and move out with the help of friends and family. But as well-meaning as they are, they’re not professionals.
Imagine the awkward silence when they put a big tear in your wallpaper, moving a chest of drawers! Worse, there’s a big scratch on the TV when they tried to manoeuvre it through the doorway! The horror!
Think carefully before putting money ahead of friendship. If there is any damage, a professional removal company will have insurance to cover repairs.
Not being able to fit an item into your new home
Imagine the look on your face when the removal man tells you that your couch won’t fit through the new front door. Or your bed is too big to make it round the bend in the staircase! You collapse to the kerb and start sobbing.
Spare yourself the misery and take a tape measure to the new home before you move. Checking those doors and stairs means you can make a plan ahead of time.
You are brave and decide to move yourself to save money when moving home. But where are the sturdy cardboard boxes and packing tape?
As you unload, that supermarket cardboard box gives way, and the bottom falls out of it. A crash and wail (from you) and your prized possessions lay broken and shattered at your feet.
By all means, pack up and move home yourself but don’t risk breaking a family heirloom. There are plenty of alternatives to forking out for bubble wrap and brand new packing boxes.
The keys are not ready to be picked up
Despite frantic calls to solicitors and agents, the seller still hasn’t dropped off the keys. The removal team are looking at their watches. It is looking like you won’t be getting in today after all.
There is no dispute that you legally own the property on completion. But if the vendor is too rude or disorganised to be out on time, there is little you can do.
Tell your solicitor you are going to incur additional costs – maybe storage for your possessions or a hotel for you and your family. You may be able to recoup the outlay.
But the only way to avoid the spectre of not getting in on completion day is clear communication in the run-up to the big day.
The previous residents leaving things behind
You have the keys and are ready to move in. You turn the key in the lock, the door creaks open, and your heart sinks. There is a mess everywhere, filthy carpets, and what is that smell?
The previous occupants have left it in a horrible state, and there is no way you can unpack.
But removal men wait for no one, and the van needs unloading. A few miserable hours later, you are squatting amongst boxes in your new but far from a dream home.
If the property is in a state, take photos and send them to your solicitor. They may be able to claw back any cleaning costs you incur, but there’s no guarantee.
Manage your expectations and plan a deep clean for your new home before moving in. If time and money allow, get it professionally cleaned, it’s a much better way to start in your new home.
Not having everything packed up in time
A half-packed house surrounds you, and the removal men are here! Keep them hanging around, and you may pay for their extra time or effort.
The extras could be disassembling or reassembling items, or providing packing materials.
Avoid this and be clear what you expect from your removals team. Take them around the house ahead of moving day and plan who is responsible. Use a moving day checklist to help you remember everything!
Delicate possessions breaking
Whether it’s your granny’s vase or pristine figurine collection, think how you would feel if anything was damaged.
Pack them carefully, clearly labeled fragile, and consider taking anything precious with you, not in the removal van.
Not checking your insurance
You have contents insurance, but have you told the insurance company of your new address? A different postcode, locks or alarm system may make your policy invalid.
Check the policy before you move and tell your insurance company the full details of the new property.
Contents insurance will cover your possessions in the old and new homes, and your removal company may have cover but only if you’re using an established company. Consider insurance for your possessions in transit.
How to avoid your own horror story
Avoid moving day horror stories and begin with a plan. If your budget allows, hire professionals for the job. Our reputable and reliable movers are some of the best around! Get a removals quote online in a matter of seconds.
And be sure to chat with them before the move, so you’re all familiar with what needs doing.
Full knowledge of the home and area you are moving to will help you find the best insurance policy too. Our Property Report can arm you with all the facts.
Best of luck and hope you don’t have any unexpected scares!
Last Updated: July 23rd, 2021