7 Pet Peeves Professional Movers Have About Your Moving Day

published Sep 28, 2021
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From finding the perfect place and packing up your belongings to coordinating the physical move and then budgeting for it all, moving is stressful — whether you’re moving to a studio apartment or a four-bedroom house. 

Moving can be stressful for your team of movers, too, but it doesn’t always have to be. I spoke with four professionals in the moving industry about their pet peeves during the moving process and ways to work around them.

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Last-Minute Scheduling

Josh Pinto of Elite Movers in Little Rock, Arkansas, says his biggest pet peeve is last-minute scheduling. Most moving teams need two weeks’ notice at minimum, he explains, to coordinate their team and trucks. With the housing market still surging, you’re surely not the only one in your area planning a move on a given week, so you’ll want to allow as much advance notice as possible for large-scale moves. 

Similarly, Alex Erdman of Extra Hands PGH in Pittsburgh says you’ll want to be specific about how much stuff you have to move, as many moving companies charge by the hour.

Bad Boxes

You’ll also want to prep your boxes according to movers’ suggestions: sturdy, with a standard shape, and clearly labeled. Pinto mentioned that people using liquor store or grocery store boxes to pack is another pet peeve of his. “They just don’t stack as well,” Pinto says. “They want to crush on the truck.” And, you guessed it: Open boxes, bins, and baskets are bad for movers.

Erdman recommends getting uniform, cube-shaped moving boxes from U-Haul (which has a box exchange program) or Home Depot. “It’s a little bit of a cost, but it’s a lot easier for us to move them and pack them in the truck quickly and efficiently when they’re the same size,” he says. 

If you buy heavy-duty boxes and are looking to cut costs elsewhere, Erdman recommends trying to move small boxes and bins yourself ahead of time (if you can drive to your new place) to save on the hourly charge. 

Non-Labeled Boxes

Once you get your boxes packed, you’ll want to clearly mark which ones are fragile — and denote where all of them go. Sarah Marshall, brand manager and marketing specialist for Bellhop Moving says labeling boxes will save time day-of. 

“If you aren’t a detailed labeler, it’s still a good idea to have a game plan of where you’d like items to go in your new location,” she says. “The more information you can share upfront, the less hand-holding you’ll have to do as your items are actually being moved in.”

Items Left Unpacked

Eric Witteborg, the general manager at Soda City Movers in Columbia, South Carolina, says his moving day pet peeves are TVs left mounted on the wall or lamps left unpacked — which happens more than you’d think, as people leave them on large furniture pieces that don’t need packing and rely on them up until the last minute. 

However, Witteborg says, these items are disproportionately expensive and fragile, so they need extra time to pack. “A lot of times, people just don’t know how to pack some items,” Witteborg says. He recommends calling your movers ahead of time to make a game plan for oddly shaped items.

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Ill-Prepared Houses

Although your house will likely look and feel a bit chaotic on the day you move, there are some things you can clean and prep ahead of time, like making sure to vacuum and keeping your pets off the scene. Erdman says some of his team members have pet allergies, and when doing vigorous lifting and stair hopping, pet hair can make it hard to breathe. Additionally, Marshall says it’s important to clear debris and other fall hazards from stairs and doorways. People often forget to do this on decks and porches. 

Cleaning your old place — plus taking measures to keep your new place clean — will help you and your movers in the long run. For example, if you’re moving to a brand-new house, you might want to schedule your move before hardwood floors are installed or the final coat of paint goes on, suggests Erdman. If your movers don’t provide floor protection, you can purchase floor coverings that cover the whole house as opposed to just major walkways, he says.

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Ill-Prepared Apartments

Similarly, there are things you can do to make moving to an apartment building easier. Having to park a truck far away and having elevators shut on furniture are two apartment-specific pet peeves on move-in day, Erdman says.

If you can let your landlord or building manager know ahead of time what day you’ll be moving in, you might be able to adjust elevator settings or reserve a parking space right in front of your place. 

Extra Visitors

As exciting as it is to have friends stop by your new place and as common as it is to need other trade specialists to come in to install AC, TVs, and more, save those appointments for the first few days after your transition is complete.

“Your movers will likely have questions so it’s best to be available,” Marshall says. “Also, the more people in your space, the higher the likelihood of damage as movers try to work around you and your guests.”