movingMoving is rough. No one is arguing otherwise – but many people make the experience more difficult than it needs to be. Here are five things that people do that can turn a challenging day into an absolute nightmare.

 1. Packing items where you can’t find them.

When you’re in a hurry, you want to get everything packed as quickly as possible, even if that means throwing your belongs into whatever box happens to be nearest. Unpacking, after all, is a problem for another day.

That day will come, and it will come quickly.

When you pack, group together items based on how quickly you need them as well as where they go. That way, you won’t have to sort through dozens of boxes to find the items you need.

2. Getting a moving truck, storage space or moving pod that’s too small.

Maybe you were trying to squeeze everything into a smaller size to save money, or maybe you just underestimated the amount of stuff you’ve collected over the years. Either way, don’t try to skimp. If you do, moving day will be twice as hard as it needs to be when loading the truck becomes a complicated puzzle with no solution. You might end up having to say goodbye to items you’d rather keep or find other – potentially more expensive – ways of sending them.

3. Taking on more than you can handle.

In addition to transporting your belongings, you need to close your old utilities and open new accounts, notify the post office and change your address on all your bills as well as any magazine subscriptions you have. If you have children in school, you need to enroll them in their new district. There’s a good chance you’re dealing with a job change on top of everything else.

If you’re making a small move across town, you might be able to handle it on your own – with a little help from your friends. If you’re making a big move across the country, it’s time to call in some professional movers. That way, you can handle everything else on your massive to-do list.

4. Hiring the cheapest mover.

It can be tempting to go with the mover that gives you the cheapest estimate, especially if all movers seem the same to you. The truth is that they’re not all the same – not by a longshot.

Some movers are actually scammers. In one common con, they charge unexpected and exorbitant fees after they load your items, and they hold your items “ransom” until you pay up. You can read more about the shady tactic at Consumer Reports.

Don’t become the next victim. Do your research. Look for respected movers with good reviews, and avoid fly-by-night operations no matter how good the price sounds.

5. Getting the wrong insurance.

Insurance can’t prevent something bad from happening, but it can ensure that your life gets back on track as quickly as possible. To get the right moving insurance, you need to understand how policies differ.

If your mover provides valuation, that is not the same as insurance and is unlikely to provide you with adequate compensation should anything go wrong. Before you accept the protection your mover provides, read the contract and ask questions to make sure you’re getting enough coverage to replace your items. If you’re not, look into third-party moving insurance.

When purchasing insurance, you also need to decide whether you want Total Loss Insurance, which provides compensation only if everything is lost or destroyed, or All Risk Insurance, which protects you against the common types of damage that occur during a move. Learn more about the difference here.

Few people like moving, but if you do it right, it can be a mild inconvenience instead of a disaster – and you can focus on enjoying your new home.