26 Common Issues Encountered While Moving And How To Fix Them : A Comprehensive Guide To Moving

26 Common Issues Encountered While Moving And How To Fix Them : A Comprehensive Guide To Moving 1

Avoid these common problems faced during moving process

The process of moving is often a tedious and frustrating one, as many objects must be packed away in boxes and organised for transportation, while taking care of daily commitments and work. It is common knowledge that the details of moving not something that many people look forward to, often due to the hassle and time required to achieve the desired results.

In this comprehensive list, we will be highlighting the most frequently faced problems during the moving process and giving suggestions on how to avoid them. Hopefully this serves as a reminder to be more meticulous when moving – trust me, it’s worth it.

#1: The New House is Not Ready

A dilapidated building

This might be one of the worst things that could happen to a person who is right in the middle of the moving process, especially if everything has been packed and transported to the new location. Imagine spending hours properly packaging your items, moving heavy furniture and taking time to transport all your stuff to the new place only to find out that it hasn’t been properly cleared, or worse still – not ready to be used. Symptoms of an “unready” house include paint that is still wet, locked fences, dusty floors which are laden with cement, unpolished windows or visible scaffolding. Sometimes even the house keys have not been provided! Essentially, because renovations have not been completed, the house is practically uninhabitable(the bugs may disagree). There is almost nothing worse than feeling bummed out as you realise that you have nowhere to live and the effort that you have put into moving has been for naught.

Solution: If possible, prevention is always better than the cure. To ensure that you are prepared, make a plan of when the house is scheduled to be ready and make backups just in case. In the weeks or months leading up to the scheduled move date, communicate with the previous owners of your new house to ensure everything goes according to plan. Also ensure that the new house’s renovations are already in progress a few months before you move in, or you could be in for a nasty surprise!

If the situation has already occurred, do not fret. Arrange for external lodging at a hotel or inn or simply stay in with some relatives that are kind enough to take you in for the time being. Alternatively, you can simply head to your former home (if the situation isn’t as dire) and make camp there. Your belongings can be left in the house for storage if it is available. If not, finding an external warehouse or storage locker is important. Hence, it is always crucial to have emergency resources that you can turn to such as backup warehouses or storage facilities. Remember to keep all receipts for costs incurred during this terrible ordeal so that you may get compensated in the event that it is not all your fault(most of the time it is).

#2: Not Planning

You’ve probably heard this thousands of times before, but honestly, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Don’t skive on organising the scheduling details of your moving just because you are lazy. Excuses such as “I don’t have enough time to plan” or “I just don’t know how to plan” can easily be solved with a bit of willpower and guidance. Half of the issues on this list are caused by a lack of foresight and poor planning, and everyone is susceptible to it, due to lack of concentration or lack of desire. If you don’t plan out the entire packing and moving process, expect to end up having a bad time.

Solution: So how does one fix this problem? A good start would be to make a timetable or calendar of the various tasks and moving dates that are essential. Mark down exactly when the moving company will be helping to shift your gear. Mark down when you intend to be finished with packing all your stuff.

Make plans for accommodation and backups in case emergencies happen. Map out a floor plan of the new house to ensure that the movers know where they will be shifting your furniture.

Plan your finances – you want enough money in the bank for payments, be it for the moving services or administrative paperwork. Checklists, reminders and notes are all useful tools in helping break down the planning process. It doesn’t have to be a tedious ordeal – allocate a few minutes in your day to complete one task, then come back to it again after a break. The gradual step-by-step nature of this style of planning ensures that you don’t feel rushed and can easily check every step along the way to guarantee that nothing goes wrong – and even if things go bad, you have a safeguard against total calamity.

#3: Getting Scammed

Moving Scams are one of the deadliest scams in the world apart from Pyramid Schemes, Insurance fraud and EA’s DLCs. The most common moving scams are those which involve demanding a deposit before moving, not inspecting the household before moving, not assuming liability for damaged equipment, or simply charging exorbitant fees for packing material and services. Even worse, some moving companies may make off with some of your valuables if you’re not watching! The worst case scenario involves you being cheated of a large sum of money, and having lost all your belongings, with nobody to turn to for help.

Solution: Find a reliable moving company with a good reputation and favourable reviews. Make sure that the moving company inspects your items thoroughly and estimates weight properly. Avoid giving money to companies before they have moved, because standard protocol means that payment is only given upon delivery. Provide as much information as possible to the movers so that they have a proper estimate of how much the operation will cost. This is because price is determined by weight of the items and space required. If you suspect that a price is too good to be true, it is best to look for reviews online or ask past customers for feedback. Obtain proper insurance for possible damages and ensure that you read the fine print. Reputable moving companies often provide a disclaimer for liability and costs incurred. If the company you hire does not, press them for one or ask for a certificate. If not, look for a better moving company.

#4: Accidents and Injuries

Safety is the number one priority in every moving operation, but sometimes, accidents do occur. Smashing a head against the ceiling, stubbing a toe, dangerous or sharp objects causing hurt or tripping over objects are the most common physical injuries that occur during the moving process, even when experienced movers are involved. This may be due to a lapse in concentration, or simply the fact that some types of furniture are too bulky and heavy to be handled safely. In any case, here are some tips to avoid safety hazards while moving.

Solution: As previously mentioned, prevention is better than cure. Try to prevent mishaps from happening by ensuring that the appropriate safety measures are taken before moving heavy equipment. If possible, pad the floors with a cushioning material such as carpet to soften the blows of furniture. Install foam padding or corner guards. Make sure the movers are aware of their surroundings and no one is standing nearby, in case furniture falls or hits objects. In the event of an injury or accident, having a simple first-aid kit around helps to patch up wounds or small bruises quickly(you can put this in the essentials box). The worst case scenario would involve calling an ambulance and sending the injured person to a Hospital, but that is not ideal at all, so keep your accident rate to a minimum by practicing good workplace safety and trust in the professionals to do the job.

#5: Missing Items

Another common cause for concern is the possibility of losing items while moving. This is especially easy due to the hectic schedules of some movers or a lack of organisation of boxes when packing. Losing your favourite toy or family relic will not be a pleasant experience at all, especially due to the sentimental value those objects possess. This is why it is important to keep track of where you place your items when packing. Sometimes, it isn’t your fault as some movers may be unprofessional and misplace boxes, or even worse, steal your belongings!

Solution: Hire a trustworthy moving company, as you can be sure that they will properly safeguard your belongings. Be very careful to label your boxes so that you can easily identify where your belongings are kept. During the moving process, watch the boxes carefully – you don’t want any shady neighbours or strangers to steal your stuff while your movers are occupied. Also be aware that sometimes cleaners may mistake your boxes for trash, so make sure you keep an eye out in case mishaps occur. In the event that you lose any items, you can file a complaint or use your insurance claim to get compensation.

#6: Damaged Items

Damaged items are probably one of the most common sights in a new house. Some movers are rough or clumsy, and do not take enough care to ensure your furniture and items are still usable after moving. Sometimes, the items break in the truck/van, other times, movers break them when transporting them into the house. Either way, it can be incredibly annoying to see your million dollar vase shattered into fragments, so follow these tips to avoid such a scenario.

Solution: To shield your items from damage, wrap your belongings in protective bubble wrap before placing them into boxes(most reputable movers will provide this) and seal the box properly such that nothing falls out or shifts around too much inside. For large furniture, ensure that the edges are covered and that no heavy objects are placed above delicate objects in the truck/van. Insist that movers be careful when moving objects such as Pianos, Paintings or Porcelain wares as those can be easily damaged. Similar to the case above, you may file a complaint or claim insurance for broken items.

#7: Not Having Enough Packing Material

This problem arises when you underestimate the amount of stuff that you are moving over to your new house, and can manifest in the form of not having enough boxes or wrap to properly pack your items with.

Solution: Listen carefully to the moving company estimates and pack accordingly. Plan out your box organisation well and sort items by category and size. To be on the safe side, purchase excess bubble wrap(more bubble wrap can’t hurt) and boxes than you need, as those items are foldable and can be stored away easily. They might also come in handy in the future.

Top tip: Don’t put highly odorous items in the same box as other objects which you don’t want a strong smell emitting from. So next time put your aerosols and paint in a separate box to ensure that the odour is contained in a single source.

#8: Time Constraints

If you’re in a rush to pack your belongings and have little time for the other necessary steps, you might have fallen into the trap of not having enough time to complete the transportation process. This usually ends badly due to hastiness and lack of concentration, which could manifest in any of the other points mentioned in this article.

Solution: Always plan ahead of time, and schedule your tasks before the moving date. To avoid rushing your packing, pack in incremental steps. You don’t have to spend a whole day packing, you can pack items that you don’t use daily and pack them based on their category. This will reduce the workload and make it easier to pack your belongings in the long run. Additionally, it is beneficial to pack the essential items first, so that if there is not enough time, most of the stuff can still be moved and any loose ends will just be small annoyances instead of a full blown catastrophe.

#9: Losing Important Documents and Items

Another aspect of moving which is often neglected is the security of important personal documents and items such as birth certificates, personal financial details, and passports. As these are essential to settling medical, legal and administrative issues in your life, you would do well to keep these safe. Unfortunately, sometimes things get muddled up in the whole moving process and these documents go missing.

Solution: To prevent this issue, label your boxes as mentioned if you intend to put valuables in the boxes. A safer alternative would be to transport these important documents yourself instead of relying on the moving company to do it. This means that you will be totally responsible for your personal documents, as you should be, but it also means you can protect your documents more carefully. Either way, be sure to keep them sealed and protected from water or any other potential damage.

#10: Pests

This is generally not as commonly encountered, but still prevalent in some parts. Rats, cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies could potentially ruin your moving as you will then have to deal with this additional issue before dealing with the moving.

Solution: Do your research before buying a new property and make sure there is no history of pest infestation at your new house. Otherwise, you’ll have to exterminate the nest before you can move in, which is a troublesome task. Don’t allow your unwelcome animal friends to interfere in the moving process!

#11: Pets

On the other side of the coin, you might also be bringing your own animal friends to your new house, so make sure that all the right accommodations and packing have been completed beforehand. Pets are easily startled by new surroundings and frantic behaviour, so moving is definitely something that can be stressful for them to adjust to. The last thing you want is an agitated beast moving around causing problems for your movers on moving day.

Solution: Keep the pet away from the frantic movement and action that occurs during the moving phase. Allowing the animal to stay in a quiet place helps it calm down. Depending on the type of pet you own(dog,cat,fish,bird,hamster,dinosaur) you might need to check with your vet if any forms of extra precautions should be taken. It is better to leave your pet indoors for a few days after the move to allow it to become accustomed to its new environment.

#12: Special Packaging Requirements

Under certain circumstances, you will need to prepare special packaging for unusual items such as chandeliers, musical instruments, flat screen TVs and computers. If you neglect to keep these items secure with the right tools and packaging, you might be in for a tough time when you find out that they are either damaged, lost or both.

Solution: Understand the requirements for your special items and act accordingly. If needed, you may have to disassemble some items to be able to transport them effectively, so it is best to start packing these items early. Give your movers a highly detailed checklist and inventory so that they understand that these items need special care – otherwise, they might break while in the truck/van, which is less than ideal.

#13: Restricted Elevator Access or Elevator Breaking Down

This one is rather frustrating as it is something that cannot be planned for. When the lift is unavailable, moving heavy objects to an apartment on a high level becomes nearly impossible. Here’s how to deal with this scenario.

Solution: If the main elevator is unavailable, attempt to locate service lifts or other methods of accessing your house. If no such avenue exists, speak to the management and find a way to restore access to the elevator. If the property has a time limit on how long the movers can stay in the complex, plan ahead and schedule such that the movers can complete the job in time. In the case that the elevator has broken down and there is no way to repair it quickly, you might have to store your goods in an external storage space for the time being, or attempt to move items up the stairs, although that option is rather risky for the movers. Refer to point #1 for more emergency solutions.

#14: Not Having a Warehouse/External Storage Locker

Not having a spare storage locker or an external warehouse to store equipment is a huge risk because of possible problems you may face with moving which have been highlighted in many of the other points in this article. Additionally, these storage lockers don’t always need to be backup options. They can come in handy when moving over a longer time frame as a good way to keep the moving process smooth and efficient.

Solution: Get acquainted with an established house mover with reliable Warehouse or Storage Locker service, because they could save your belongings in a crisis.

#15: Moving Truck Breakdown

This is another problem on the list which cannot be accurately predicted. If it does happen, it will be a pain for you as well as the movers. Having your belongings stuck in the middle of the road can be a nasty experience.Truck breakdowns are not as common as some of the other issues on this list, but nevertheless, we want to ensure that all bases are covered, so here’s a list of things to do if the moving van or truck breaks down.

Solution: Beforehand, find a good moving company that regularly services their trucks to avoid this scenario from happening. In the event that a breakdown occurs midway through the moving process, call the moving company to ask for reinforcements or a replacement truck. You could file a complaint afterwards to gain some reimbursement for this ordeal.

#16: Extra Trips Required

The agony of having to make extra trips back and forth between houses is one that many inexperienced movers have had. Not only is it time consuming, you have to pay the moving company extra for the additional fuel consumption and manpower required.

Solution: To offset this issue, hire a moving company that provides a good quote, and has sizeable moving trucks or vans that can hold your household items and furniture. Make sure to pack your items securely and in a compact manner to save space. Sometimes, it is also possible to manually bring over the small items yourself, to free up space in the van for the larger, heavier items. Don’t overpack!

#17: Overpacking

As mentioned in the previous point, overpacking is one of the deadliest sins that you could possibly make as a novice. Never bite off more than you can chew. When you overpack, the price of the moving service increases, as the total space required and weight of the items increases. Additionally, more time will have to be spent packing and unpacking the items, which is a tiresome thing.

Solution: Only pack what you really need for the move. Old and useless items which are not that important should be discarded and not brought along to the new house. You could even donate items such as clothing and other trinkets to a charity organisation such as the Salvation Army! If you are a hoarder, plan ahead by getting rid of unwanted items a few weeks or even months in advance of the move. This will free up your space and allow you to save time during moving day. It can also help you start afresh! Adopt a minimalistic attitude when clearing out the deadwood and you’ll be much more satisfied in the long run. If you are unsure of whether your furniture is really needed or not, refer to this article on whether you should get new furniture or move old ones.

#18: Essentials

Some problems you will encounter are crucial, but this one is more irritating than it is devastating. The problem of course, is not having your daily essentials with you during the days where your items are all securely packed inside boxes. This includes things such as extra clothes, toothbrushes, toilet paper, soap and more. It is annoying to have to rummage through boxes just to find a daily essential, so how can we solve this?

Solution: Pack your daily items in a separate bag that you carry with you at all times. This way, it is easily accessible and safe from harm.

Bonus tip: Pack a first-aid kit along with your daily essentials in case of emergency or if you have health conditions that require special treatment. This includes Asthma, Diabetes and more. Keep yourself safe and healthy even when you’re on the move!

#19: Utilities Not Set Up

Rubble in a broken and empty kitchen with no utility services turned on

If you’ve just moved in and utilities such as the water, electricity and gas aren’t working, you’re going to have a bad time. This is especially infuriating after a hard day’s work shifting boxes and settling paperwork and bills. To avoid that, plan ahead to make sure it doesn’t happen!

Solution: In Singapore, you will need to transfer your utilities by way of Singapore Power Services(SPS) which takes about 1 to 3 days, so make sure you plan in advance and make the switch before moving over to your new home. In the event that your utilities have not been set up by the time you arrive, it may be too late for you, so be prepared to spend the next few days in darkness, with no electricity and being unable to shower.

#20: Not Having Keys

This is a rare scenario but a plausible one. In some cases, the previous owner of the new house may be irresponsible, or hard to contact, leading to a terrible situation in which you do not have access to the new house keys. Additionally, some houses may require extra keys such as keys to the back door, the front gate, smaller back rooms, windows and more, so ensure that you have corresponded with the previous owners and collected all the keys that you need before arriving at the new house. If not, there could be serious delays to your plans on moving day.

Bonus tip: To be safe, collect the keys a few days before moving day, and make duplicates so that if you lose the master set, you have a backup set ready to be used.

#21: Not Informing Others Of The Change In Address

Of all the problems on this list, not informing others that you have moved is one of the easiest mistakes to avoid. This can cause much confusion to visitors, family members and strangers alike, as the most frequently discussed problem is that of people finding out that they have been to the wrong house because the person moved out and forgot to inform others that they did.

Solution: Start by changing your residential address on official documents so that people can find your new location. Tell your friends and family so that they avoid embarrassing run ins with new tenants. Remember to inform your workplace, doctor, insurers, banks and other services as well, so that no mix-ups occur. Find out more about what to do after you’ve finally settled into the new home at this link: 8 Things To Note After Moving To A New Home

#22: Paperwork and Administrative Issues

If there are any issues with home ownership, filed complaints or administrative problems, they can be frustrating to deal with, especially in the midst of all the chaos that is moving. Avoid these situations by referring to the following solutions.

Solution(s): Settle all paperwork before the big day. That includes unpaid utility bills, invoices, and administration related to moving to the new house. If there are any issues that occur after the move is completed, that can be settled with the help of a professional lawyer or accountant trained to deal with the issue you are handling.

#23: Theft

Getting your items forcibly taken from you is one of the worst feelings ever. During the moving process, your valuables can sometimes be scoured by sneaky thieves hoping to snatch something worth selling. This is most common when your boxes are being shifted into the new home and left unattended.

Solution: Similar to point #5 on this list, don’t leave your belongings unattended and open to attack. Make sure at least one person is watching and protecting the items while the movers are busy. In the event that one of the movers themselves is the thief, file a complaint or call the police to solve the problem. You may get reimbursed or compensated. To avoid such a scenario(however unlikely it may be), hire a reliable and trustworthy moving company to do the job. You can never be too careful when it comes to moving.

#24: Objects Cannot Fit In House

One of the results of poor planning is that some objects simply refuse to fit into the house. Doors, windows and openings are no match for this piece of mighty furniture, because it is simply too large to be brought into the house. Common culprits include Pendulum clocks, Pianos, Massive Dining Tables and Shelves the size of trees. This is also pretty annoying for the movers, who have to find a creative solution, often involving awkward angles and dangerous maneuvers.

Solution: Make a floor plan of the house and measure the largest furniture and objects you have in your current home. Take measurements of the new home as well. Ensure that the doors, windows and openings in the home are large enough to accommodate these massive titans. Leave enough time to sell or dispose of bulky items if there is no way for them to fit. If not, you might just have to say goodbye to your 100-year old Grandfather’s clock or your expensive Grand Piano and fork out a fortune to the movers while you’re at it. If you are desperate, you could dismantle the large object and then reassemble it again afterwards, or pay extra for a rigging system if your movers have the technology.

#25: Unreliable Moving Company

Some moving companies tend to be sloppy and turn up late, have a stinking attitude or just suck at moving stuff. Oftentimes, this end of the deal is your fault for not thoroughly researching the market and obtaining reviews of the moving company’s services. Even worse, sometimes the movers don’t turn up at all, providing excuses. If a moving company does not respond to your calls, you may have fallen for a moving scam. Refer to Point #3 for more information about scams.

Solution: Always research your movers beforehand. Check their website, reviews and customers’ experiences before enlisting their services. A good failsafe would be to research at least 3 different companies and obtaining surveyors from those 3 shortlisted candidates to check their quality. Reputable moving companies are hard to miss and their professional services will often be worth the price.

#26: Former Residents Don’t Want To Leave

In the extremely unlikely scenario that you arrive and see the previous tenants of the house still residing in the property, refusing to budge(which is weird, why did they sell it to you then), your plans might be delayed. If you are moving into a house where the previous owners received an eviction notice and they are still in the house, it means they are illegally residing there and breaking the law.

Solution: While you might be tempted to use your hired muscle(i.e the movers) or settle things physically, calm yourself down and make the logical decision of informing the landlord or calling the police to settle this dispute. Make sure to protect your family and belongings in case things turn nasty.


With that, it seems that almost all our bases have been covered. But wait, there’s more! Check out the Office Edition of Common Issues Encountered While Moving to learn more about solutions to corporate moving nightmares!