Top 3 Mistakes When Moving

I know you’ve heard me talk about moving, because, I moved! Okay, I’m about a month from the actual move date, but anyone who has ever moved knows, it’s a process that takes a lot longer than just the amount of time it takes to get yourself from the previous place to the new place. Especially if it’s an out-of-state or out-of-the-country move. There is packing, unpacking and then the days that it takes trying to decide just where to put everything. Not to mention the time and organization it takes to cancel services and start up new ones, along with find new doctors and dentists and places to get a good margarita.

Since I’ve been married, I’ve moved seven times. Six of those times were out-of-state moves – two being international moves. And every single time it has been different. For the first couple moves, there were no kids involved….Hah! Talk about a world of difference when moving with children! And this last move, both of my boys were old enough to know they didn’t want to sit in the car for hours on end, and that milkshakes are the best motivators…

I still wouldn’t say that I’m a pro at moving…I think the only people who are, are the ones who move other people, not themselves. But when it comes to moving, and really, my experience is only PCSing (Permanent Change of Station – that’s military lingo for moving) these are the top three mistakes usually made. I’ve made them all…..



Even if you’re doing a door to door move, chances are you still going to be in a house when your stuff isn’t. I know I’ve done this at least twice, when I literally packed everything – with the exception of clothes and some baby gear – and one move, we ended up living in an empty house for two weeks until our belongings were delivered. We literally had to buy all the basics….

TIP | Pack a “First Day Box” or a “Essentials Box”  – If you put your essential cooking supplies (a pan, maybe your favorite seasonings, a knife, cutting board, a few dinnerwares) and even some basic food items (think Mac-n-Cheese or pasta + your favorite pasta sauce) plus stuff to make coffee if that’s a necessity, bedding, air mattresses, paper towels, toilet paper into a box (I didn’t say it was going to be a small box) you’ll be covered. If you know that you’re going to be in a hotel, you can plan this box accordingly, but I would still travel with essential bedding in the off-chance you get into your house before your belongs can be delivered. Read, that almost always happens.


This is the truth: everything will not go as planned. Not matter how carefully you plan, or how much you think you’ve covered all the bases, you have to go into the move with realistic expectations. And those are that the things will not go as planned. Like your children will, for the first time in there life, HATE hiking and being surrounded by rocks. Or your belongs will get lost, or delayed, or left behind (true story!).

TIP | Even if you’re a little more OCD pro, mentally preparing that you’re just going to be rollin’ with it and getting your mind in that headspace can help your perspective a lot. So even if you end up at the Grand Canyon with kids who just don’t care, making the decision to go back to the hotel for a few hours is okay! Knowing things that probably won’t go as planned, and reminding my self to be flexible has always helped me adjust, when plans inevitably change.


Just like ‘everything will not always go as planned’; there will always be an expense that you weren’t forecasting. Even if you didn’t just buy a house and realize that a garage door opener doesn’t come with the garage door…. there is always something that seems to come out of nowhere that you have to pay for.

TIP | Build a financial buffer specifically for the move. We always (okay, my husband) plans out the expenses – new furniture, new start up costs, etc. And he always, always builds a buffer because moving is stressful, but moving when you need more money that what you’ve forecasted…. the worst.

If you’ve done a move, would any of these be in your top three mistakes?! Also, if you would like to add “don’t forget to NOT pack the dog’s leash” to the top mistakes when moving, I might have agree with you….