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Relocation has its pitfalls, especially when it comes to people who are facing it for the first time. The proper packing of belongings to be moved would ensure that you are more relaxed and unforeseen incidents are avoided. In this article, we will list the most common packing mistakes and give you helpful tips on how to deal with them.

Most common packing mistakes when relocating

Your first move can often catch you unprepared. The process is chaotic, and without the right guidance it's difficult to know where to start. Let's start unraveling this mystery! Here's a look at the main packing mistakes:

Lack of a clear plan

The lack of clear steps and a schedule to follow leads to chaos. Chaos, both in your head and in your home. We advise that before the actual moving process begins, you take an hour to carefully structure a plan to follow. It would ensure you have a clear sequence of actions, timely packing and more importantly, fewer headaches. You can include:

  • Individual tasks related to the move
  • Approximate time for completion of tasks
  • Information you need to acquire (packing materials, packing and storage techniques for specific items, etc.)
  • Useful contacts
  • Materials needed

Disordered packing

Disordered packing is largely related to the lack of initial information on a proper approach, the lack of a plan and the lack of enough time. Moving is a difficult process, so don't tackle it alone. Call a friend to help you pack, or get informed online in advance, by looking for recommendations in specialized groups or forums.


As in all walks of life, panic is not the best advisor when it comes to moving and could be the cause of actual packing mistakes. Lack of sufficient time and inexperience in coordinating the different parties involved in the move (landlords, transport company, relatives and acquaintances helping you) could be cause for concern. But don't give in to the initial scare. Act as calmly as possible and make sure you have chosen the right helpers who, through their experience and rationality, can reduce the stress.

Lack of materials

Among the most common packing mistakes is the lack of materials for the purpose. These can be underestimated by both first-time movers and re-movers who rely on materials from a past move. We advise you to look carefully at the materials you need: boxes in different sizes, duct tape, bubble wrap, paper, etc, and check what you actually have. Overstocking with packing materials is never unnecessary, especially when we're talking about a last-minute move.

Lack of labels

The lack of labels to mark the contents of each box is a cause of chaos, especially when moving into a new home. Although labeling boxes is obvious at first glance, it can be one of the trickiest packing mistakes. Apart from avoiding it, we also advise you to be as detailed as possible when labeling the boxes, even including the individual items packed inside. This would help you determine the unpacking sequence and would be helpful in case of lost boxes.

Overfilling boxes

Overfilling boxes with belongings is a mistake that can compromise their integrity and make it difficult for the transport company you've trusted. We advise you to opt for optimum sized boxes (according to the type of items in them) and for the optimum volume of accessories packed at once. For this purpose, you can pack in stages, for example by taking the time to pack your clothes first, then your equipment, etc.

Packing mistakes when you are in a rush

In today's fast-paced daily routine, misjudging how long a move, and the activities involved, will last can lead to a lack of time. The clock is ticking, and you become even more nervous and disbelieving in the successful outcome of the move. Here are some of the packing mistakes caused by lack of time:

Improper securing of boxes

This mistake is related to the choice of appropriate and quality materials. Don't rely on the duct tape that you usually use at home, but get a sturdy one designed specifically for occasions like moving. Take care of the inside of the box too, by taping it if necessary, adding paper, or styrofoam. For heavy and bulky boxes, make sure they are carried by enough people.

Poor quality materials

Lack of time is also linked to failure to thoroughly research what materials you will need. Shopping around is just a mirage and you end up working with what you can. As a result, you'd lose a lot more spare minutes re-gluing boxes or wondering how to replace torn ones. At worst, you end up among broken or deformed items. 

Incorrect sorting of belongings

To avoid this mistake when packing, make sure you sort your items by type beforehand. This way you can store them in separate boxes specifically selected for this purpose. Items can be divided into:

  • Accessories
  • Clothes
  • Cosmetics
  • Books
  • Breakables and decoration
  • Tableware
  • Household materials
  • Technology
  • Textile materials
  • Small furniture
  • Pet accessories
  • Sports equipment

Packing mistakes concerning the type of belongings

Errors in packing your belongings can occur depending on the type of items. In fact, there are a variety of packing techniques to optimize both the process and the space in which you need to fit the items. According to their type, you can also get an idea of the most suitable packing materials to use. Here are the most common cases of incorrect packing according to the type of items:

Woman struggling to pack moving boxes


  • Packing the furniture without measuring it beforehand: measuring the furniture is useful and necessary when it comes to the materials you will use.
  • Packing the furniture without having cleaned it beforehand: on one hand, dirt could damage the furniture in transit, and on the other, cleaning it is useful in relation to moving into a new home more quickly, as you will be able to use the furniture relatively quickly.
  • Packing the furniture without disassembling it: although it would help you in saving time and the immediate use of the furniture after moving in, such a move may compromise the integrity of the furniture, its packing, lifting and moving.
  • Careful storage of small components of furniture: a useful tip is, after disassembling the furniture, to separately pack the small parts that you would easily lose. Another recommendation is to mark them according to the furniture they belong to.

Packing less belongings

This includes items such as clothes and shoes, books or small appliances. There are numerous tricks to take advantage of when packing clothes for a move. Books are demanding items and also require special preparation. Electronics, on the other hand, are valuable, often especially important to our daily activities. When it comes to small electrical appliances, the most common mistakes you can make when packing them are:

  • Not storing them in their original packaging
  • Not wrapping them with protective paper or bubble wrap (to avoid scratches on the screen and casing)
  • Not marking the boxes they are in (to ensure that people carrying them are as careful as possible)

Packing essentials

This category includes items you will need immediately after moving in (toiletries, important documents, clothing or utensils). It is recommended that these are within arm's reach, easy to find and unpack. Among the mistakes you can make packing these items are:

  • Not packing them in a separate box or bag
  • Not prioritising their removal
  • Not marking the box they are in

Other mistakes when packing

The use of bags or suitcases instead of boxes is among the additional mistakes that movers make. Improper means of storage would compromise the integrity of the belongings, slow down the moving time and most of all - require extra care when it comes to loading them into the vehicle that is relied upon for the move.

Packing dangerous goods is another mistake. Legally, not all items can be transported by vehicle. Among the items prohibited from transport are:

  • aerosol
  • ammonia
  • batteries
  • bleach
  • motor oil
  • cleaning solvents
  • paint
  • weed killers
  • mouse poison
  • etc.

Putting off moving preparations is actually the main reason you will encounter the above packing mistakes. We advise you to calculate the time required carefully, taking into account factors such as your personal availability, your ability to organise, the deadline for the move and the pace of the removal company you are working with (if you are relying on one). It would be helpful in this case to consult with specialists, or those who have already moved to give you a more realistic idea of the process, the timing of the different moving activities and the things that might slow you down.

With the right preparation, moving to a new home can be an exciting and far easier undertaking. We're sure you'll be more than pleased with yourself once you've unpacked your belongings without a hitch. However, moving is a complex process, often requiring the intervention of specialists. The experienced team at Movega Removals, a company specialising in removal services in Europe, is here to help. In case of further questions and queries, do not hesitate to contact us right now via the available online chatbot feature and contact form.

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