5 Mistakes I Made on My Long Distance Move

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I recently moved from NYC to Atlanta, but I'm still not quite settled in. While a good chunk of the post-move residual mess is due to time issues, there are quite a few mistakes I made along the way which definitely helped to contribute to my current state of living out of boxes. Read on to learn from my mistakes, so it doesn't have to happen to you.

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Reflecting back at what went wrong after moving, a few mistakes became quite clear:

1. I didn't leave enough behind. Sure I sent 40+ bags and boxes to Goodwill, but I didn't purge enough. I somehow still managed to schlepp far too many boxes of things, like winter clothes, that I really won't need in warmer Atlanta. Thankfully, I did at least label the moving boxes so I know which can go straight to under-the-bed storage or local donation.

2. I didn't get an in-home moving estimate. Because I had a mover flake on me last minute, I had to scramble to find a reputable company who could do the move within my time frame. Due to tight scheduling I filled out an inventory form instead of getting an accurate in-home estimate. Because I wasn't sure how much everything weighed, I did not accurately asses the proper size and weight of my moving load. It ended being up more than double my guess, which meant a huge jump in price.

3. I thought in terms of square footage, instead of open floor space. The new place in Atlanta is larger, but it has more built-in features that sadly take away from overall usable square footage. This means a lot less space for furniture, including storage cabinets. I should have looked at the floorplan more closely and measured out what furniture I could fit in the new "larger, but not really" place. While this new apartment is technically bigger, it does not feel that way when factoring in features like a gigantic bathroom, closets dedicated to laundry machines and HVAC units, and an 8 foot long kitchen island with a dishwasher and garbage disposal.

4. I let the movers disassemble furniture and keep track of the hardware. Surprise! The hardware was lost. So now after moving in, the main pieces I need most can't be reassembled. This all could have been avoided had I taken apart the furniture myself, or at least asked to hold onto the hardware when the movers loaded my furnishings. Of course, they were supposed to keep track of this, so I'm currently waiting to see how they will resolve this issue.

5. Clothes were used as padding for kitchen items and are now stained. My previous apartment kitchen did not have a vent or fan, and this meant many items in the kitchen's open storage got quite dirty. Unfortunately, my friend who helped me pack did not give a second thought to using clean clothes as packing material around these kitchen items. While I did save on packing foam, I now have three very large piles of clothing that need to be washed (as if there isn't enough to do when moving), many of which have grease stains that I'm not even sure how to remove.

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For my next move, I'll be sure to dramatically reduce what I'm moving and will also do my best to avoid repeating all of the other mistakes noted above. I hope my sharing these hard earned lessons will remind you to avoid these stressful post-move pitfalls.


(Images: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock; Joelle Alcaidinho)