5 Common Mistakes When Moving to a New Home

5 Common Mistakes When Moving to a New Home

Moving to a new home is an exciting yet challenging experience that can bring about a whirlwind of emotions and tasks. Through my own moving experiences as a mom who values organization but also understands the importance of flexibility, I’ve learned a thing or two about the common mistakes when moving to a new home.

From underestimating the time and effort involved to overlooking essential details, navigating a move requires careful planning, adaptability, and a willingness to go with the flow. In this blog post, I’ll share insights from my own experiences and offer practical tips to help you avoid these common pitfalls. I even have a special tool for you to use to keep you on top of all of the moving tasks and avoid the common mistakes when moving that can end up costing you time and money.

taping a box with packaging tape

Procrastinating the Packing Process

One of the most common mistakes people make when moving to a new home is procrastinating the packing process. It’s easy to underestimate the amount of time and effort required to sort through belongings, declutter, and pack everything up. As a result, many people find themselves scrambling to pack at the last minute, leading to stress and chaos.


Start the packing process early to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I recommend you begin by decluttering and organizing your belongings room by room. Set aside dedicated time each day to tackle packing tasks, and create a realistic timeline to ensure everything is packed and ready to go by moving day. Remember, starting early will give you ample time to sort through your belongings, donate or sell items you no longer need, and pack thoughtfully.

Giving yourself extra time during the packing process will give you the peace of mind to keep, donate, and toss items through each space of your house. If you plan to sell or donate items to a local charity, you can work through that process at a manageable rate. Follow this 90-day moving checklist to help get a head start to set yourself up for success on moving day.

label with words "master bedroom Box #45. contents: charging station, bedside lamp[, extension cord, extra pillow cases" in red font on white background

Neglecting to Label Boxes Properly

Another common mistake people make when moving is neglecting to label boxes properly. While it may seem tedious in the moment, failing to label boxes can lead to confusion and frustration when it comes time to unpack in your new home. Without clear labeling, you may find yourself searching through numerous boxes to locate essential items, adding unnecessary stress to the moving process. I learned this the hard way when trying to find medication I had accidentally packed away prematurely. 


Take the time to label each box with its contents and the room it belongs in at your future home. Use color-coded labels,  markers, or tape to make it easy to identify boxes at a glance. Additionally, consider creating a master inventory list that details the contents of each box, making it even easier to locate specific items during the unpacking process.

I keep a running tab of inventory, starting with box #1 and labeling each box as we go. Typically, the first 10 boxes on my list are a random group of items that I pack as early as possible. Things like holiday decor, seasonal clothing, shoes, and other items that aren’t used year round can be easy to pack up right away. Proper labeling will streamline the moving process and ensure a smoother transition into your new home.

a moving truck with boxes and furniture with back opened near apartment

Failing to Plan for Logistics and Utilities

Moving involves more than just packing and unpacking belongings—it also requires careful planning for logistics and utilities. Failing to plan ahead for essential services such as electricity, water, internet, and cable can lead to unnecessary stress and inconvenience upon arrival at your new home. Additionally, overlooking logistical details such as parking arrangements, elevator access, and building regulations can complicate the moving process.

When I first moved to San Francisco, my mom and I drove a giant moving truck across the country and just showed up on a Wednesday evening. I had signed my lease sight unseen and wasn’t aware of two things. One, my new apartment was on a narrow dead end street. And two, I didn’t get a permit to park the moving truck on the street. So, there was no space to put the truck while unpacking. My mom had to keep moving the truck up and down the street to let people in and out. It was definitely poor planning on my part.


Create a moving checklist that includes tasks related to logistics and utilities. Contact utility providers well in advance to schedule service transfers or installations at your new home. Research parking and access arrangements at your new residence to ensure a smooth move-in process. Consider hiring professional movers who are familiar with navigating logistical challenges and can help streamline the moving process. By planning ahead and addressing logistical details proactively, you can minimize disruptions and ensure a seamless transition to your new home.

an empty house with cleaning supplies on counter

Overlooking Cleaning and Maintenance Tasks

Amidst the chaos of packing and moving, it’s easy to overlook cleaning and maintenance tasks both at your old and new homes. However, neglecting to clean and maintain your properties can lead to additional stress and expenses down the line. Whether it’s ensuring your old home is clean and ready for the next occupants or preparing your new home for move-in, addressing cleaning and maintenance tasks is essential for a smooth transition.


Prioritize cleaning and maintenance tasks as part of your moving plan. Schedule time to clean your old home thoroughly before moving out. Include areas such as floors, walls, appliances, and fixtures. Similarly, conduct a thorough cleaning of your new home before unpacking to ensure a fresh start. Additionally, take the time to address any maintenance issues or repairs that may arise during the move, such as leaky faucets, faulty appliances, or damaged fixtures.

By taking care of cleaning and maintenance tasks proactively, you can create a welcoming and comfortable environment in your new home from day one. Make sure to take photos at your old home and new home to show proof of the condition of each as you move out and move in.

a man hugging a child in the driveway. Common Mistakes When Moving

Focusing Solely on the Physical Move

Finally, one of the biggest mistakes people make when moving is focusing solely on the physical aspects of the move and overlooking the emotional and psychological impact it can have. Moving to a new home represents a significant life transition, and it’s normal to experience a range of emotions, including excitement, anxiety, and nostalgia. Failing to acknowledge and address these emotions can detract from the overall moving experience and make it more challenging to adjust to your new surroundings.


Take time to acknowledge and process your emotions surrounding the move. Allow yourself to feel both the excitement of starting a new chapter and the sadness of leaving behind familiar surroundings. Lean on your support network of family and friends for emotional support and guidance throughout the moving process. Additionally, take proactive steps to help yourself and your family adjust to your new home, such as exploring the neighborhood, establishing new routines, and staying connected with loved ones. By prioritizing emotional well-being alongside the physical aspects of the move, you can navigate the transition more smoothly and with greater resilience.

Remember, moving to a new home is a complex and multifaceted process that requires careful planning, organization, and adaptability. By avoiding common mistakes such as procrastinating packing, neglecting to label boxes properly, failing to plan for logistics and utilities, overlooking cleaning and maintenance tasks, and focusing solely on the physical move, you can streamline the moving process and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

Remember to approach the move with a balance of organization and flexibility, allowing yourself to go with the flow while staying mindful of important details. With thoughtful planning and a positive mindset, you can turn your move into an exciting and rewarding experience for you and your family.

Wanting a little more help to stay organized during the house hunting and/or moving process? Check out the Move Mama Move Relocation Planners to keep you on top of it all in both physical and digital versions. Subscribe (in the sidebar →) to Move Mama Move, and you will receive a special offer on items in Move Mama Move’s shop, including the Relocation Planners.

"5 Common Mistakes When Moving to a New Home" text with picture of a person using packaging tape to close a box

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