When Something Goes Wrong: 5 Common Moving Day Problems and How to Manage Them
No matter how organized you are, there’s always a chance something unexpected could derail your carefully-crafted plans for moving day. Anticipating and creating a plan for managing unexpected problems will help you overcome any challenges you may encounter.
To help you navigate any unforeseen complications, we’ve created a list of 7 of the most common moving day problems, along with our tips for keeping your move on track:
The best way to manage illness is to avoid getting sick in the first place. If you come down with a slight case of the sniffles or a minor cold, you can most likely progress with your move as scheduled. For more serious illnesses, you may need to reschedule.
If you notice yourself starting to feel under the weather in the days leading up to your move, there are a few things you can do to limit the impact:
- Try to get lots of rest and fluids.
- Stock up on tissues, cough drops, and any other supplies you might need, including cleaning supplies so you can prevent others from getting sick.
- Schedule a doctor’s appointment for a diagnosis and a prescription, if necessary.
- Get help from friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with letting someone else take the lead on your move if your brain is fogged up on cold medication.
If your kids get sick, enlist the help of family, friends, or a trusted neighbor to watch over them. If no one is available, set up a comfortable spot out of the way where they will have access to everything they need, and where you can keep an eye on them while you continue packing.
Avoiding injury is easy if you take a few steps to keep yourself and your helpers safe while you move:
- Don’t rush. Start planning and packing early so you don’t feel pressured to get things done by a certain time.
- Keep pathways clear of tripping hazards.
- Dress appropriately in comfortable clothes, wear gloves, and wear shoes with good tread.
- Keep pets in a safe spot where they won’t get underfoot.
- Lifting your boxes and furniture using the proper technique is also key to preventing injury:
- Always lift from your legs, not your back.
- If the box or item of furniture is too heavy to lift, use a lifting tool like a hand truck or dolly.
- Opt for smaller boxes when necessary. They’ll be easier to lift, and moves are typically priced based on the weight of your belongings rather than number of boxes anyway. If you have more than 15 boxes, you may wish to consider palletizing your shipment to avoid a box getting misplaced.
Aside from keeping an eye on the weather forecast, there’s not much you can do if the weather turns sour on your moving day. The best way to deal with unexpected or inclement weather is to have a plan in place for all possible conditions, such as extreme temperatures, ice or snow, thunderstorms, or fog. For tips on dealing with these weather conditions, check out TSI’s Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your Move.
4. Traffic and vehicle breakdowns
To avoid traffic jams, plan more than one route to your final destination. Even with GPS technology to help you find the best route, there’s always a chance you’ll encounter traffic, especially when you’re moving long distance. The best thing you can do is stay calm—the traffic will clear eventually, and you can continue on your way.
Accidents or vehicle breakdowns can throw a significant wrench into your moving plans. If your moving truck breaks down en route, you’ll have to wait for a replacement truck and for your stuff to be transferred to the new vehicle. There’s not much you can do in this case, but there are some actions you can take ahead of time to limit the damage:
- Keep important documents, such as your rental truck agreement or moving contract, with you at all times.
- Pack a suitcase containing essential items to keep with you if your other belongings get delayed or you need to stay somewhere overnight.
- Carefully package important items to protect them in case your moving truck gets into an accident.
- Familiarize yourself with your moving or shipping company’s protocol for dealing with accidents, breakdowns, and delays.
5. Problems with your new house or apartment
If you make it to your new home only to discover an unexpected snag, like you forgot to set up utilities, you can’t fit your couch through the door, or there’s nowhere to park, here’s what to do:
- Utilities: If you forgot to set up your utilities (hey—it happens!), your service hasn’t been transferred to your new address, or there are other delays, you’ll need to get in touch with your utility provider as soon as you can. Keep their contact information in your personal vehicle while you move. You may also want to pack an emergency kit in case you need to go without power or water for a few days, or you need to check into a hotel till everything is up and running.
- Your furniture won’t fit: The best way to avoid this problem is to measure all doors and entryways at your new home before your moving day, if possible. If you arrive and can’t get your furniture through the door, dismantle what you can and try again. If it still doesn’t fit, see if there are any large windows you can pass your furniture through instead. If it still doesn’t fit, you may need to put these items into storage till you can figure out a solution. Working with a professional moving or shipping company can also help you avoid this problem—they have the expertise to navigate these situations.
- Parking: Parking can be especially problematic for houses or apartments in urban areas. Always research the parking situation at your new place before your moving day, and plan accordingly by reserving spots or speaking to your new neighbours or landlord.
Keep Your Move on Track
Preparing for unexpected complications on your moving day can help you navigate the situation with ease and keep your move on track.
Rachel Hazzard is a moving expert and content manager at TSI, a leading provider of long distance moving and shipping services for residential and commercial moves.