The 7 Moving Myths

By Christine DiMaria

Packed CarIn 2010 alone, 35.1 million people in the U.S. – which is equivalent to 11.6 percent of the population – moved locations. With moving so common, it’s important to know which moving rumors are merely myths and which rumors to look out for.

Be wary of these seven common moving myths:

1. You Don’t Need Moving Boxes

This is definitely a myth. While it’s cheaper to head to your local grocery store to get some free boxes, grocery store boxes are not designed for moving. These boxes can’t hold much weight and can’t withstand much impact when moving your valuables. This means your items are at risk for breaking or becoming damaged.

Moving boxes aren’t that expensive at your local home improvement store. In fact, Home Depot sells medium-sized, heavy-duty moving boxes for less than $2 per box (as of September 2013). If you don’t want to spend money on boxes that are resistant to tearing and crushing easily, go to your local liquor store. The boxes that heavy bottles of wines and spirits come in are heavy duty and are meant to protect glass well.

2. Any Moving Insurance Will Do

This is completely false. Standard moving insurance tends to only cover about .60 cents per pound for damaged items. This means that if the movers drop your crystal that’s valued at over $500 but only weighs 15 pounds, you’ll only receive $9. Most standard policies will not cover items that you package yourself either.

Make sure you read the fine print of every policy you compare, so there is adequate coverage for your most expensive items. Keep in mind that it’s hard to prove the movers damaged your items unless there is visible damage to a box, so buying extra coverage is in your best benefit.

3. Labeling and Organizing Is Unnecessary

You’ll regret not labeling and organizing your stuff. The moving process will take time and will more than likely wear you out. Do you really want to deal with unpacking boxes filled with items just thrown in there? Or having to open seven boxes before you find your bedroom sheets? Organizing and labeling will save you time.

4. Any Moving Company Will Do

This is a huge fallacy! Not all moving companies are the same. Some will recklessly set your boxes on the ground, while others are scammers just looking to make a few bucks off of you. Call around! Check the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List or other internet reviews about the company. Or get several free moving quotes from Make sure the company has the proper licensure and insurance.

5. You Can Wait to Pay After the Move

Most moving companies don’t allow you to wait until after the move to pay them. A great deal of the time, you have to pay for the entire move when they show up. This doesn’t mean they’re scamming you. They’re just trying to make sure they get paid.

6. Road Trip with the Movers

It’s fine to worry about your stuff during the moving process, but riding along with the movers shows you don’t trust them. It will make them uncomfortable. Plus, it’s a liability having to tote you along with them. You aren’t paying them for a taxi service; you’re paying them to move your belongings.

7. Expect Broken Items

Moving companies are providing a service to you. They’re professionals who should know how to move your stuff without breaking anything. Do you go to your hair salon and expect them to dye your hair the wrong color? It’s the same concept. Movers’ training teaches them how to pack and move your stuff to prevent it from being damaged in anyway. When the move is over, you shouldn’t see a ton of destroyed items.

Believing these myths of moving can cost you money, especially if you think that all moving companies are the same and that you don’t need moving insurance. By not packing boxes correctly, you’re wasting your time and increasing your chances of finding busted items. Using the aforementioned tips will reduce a lot of stress, inconvenience, and time.

Photo by Michael Cote