Top Ten Things Not to Do When Moving

Top Ten Things Not to Do


The inspiration for this piece was the arrival of a new couch and the accompanied rearranging of furniture. Since moving households is something almost everyone faces, I thought it would be fun to recap some things we should avoid doing should a move be necessary. I hope you enjoy the list.

10 If you are moving, do not attempt it alone. If you do, at best it may take longer than expected. At worst, you could get caught under that heavy dresser and be missing for weeks. (Gotta hope the new tenants will figure out where those screams are coming from hey, Buster?)

9 If you are moving, do not forget to tip the movers. If you do, at best that last carton will stay on the truck. At worst, the big guy named Tiny, the WWF champ, will be asking questions about the quality of service. (You are hoping he puts you down gently, right Buford?)

8 If you are moving, do not think the movers will understand your attachment to grandma’s hand me down table. If you do, at best that scratch can be covered up. At worst, you will be able to start your first fire with what is left. (Seems like you should have mentioned how fragile it was, Boswell)

7 If you are moving, do not pack the boxes yourself. If you do, at best there will be a few items broken. At worst, that tinkling noise when you pick up the box marked “crystal,” will not be a welcome sound. (Looks like the savings on the cost of packing has gone into the red, Boris.)

6 If you are moving, do not mark the boxes with your own code. If you do, at best you’ll remember most of the code. At worst, in the rush of the move, you will forget what you meant and take a guess as to where things should go. (Nice to have all your pots and pans in the garage, isn’t it, Bosco?)

5 If you are moving, do not leave the old house without checking to see that everything is out. If you do, at best you’ll leave behind things that don’t matter. At worst, you’ll wonder what happened to the washer and dryer in transit. (Of course, the movers thought they stayed with the house, Basil.)

4 If you are moving, do not forget to change the water, gas, and electric bill. If you do, at best it might take you a day or two to remember. At worst, you receive a bill that is ten times your usual usage. (The new people decided they like the air conditioning set at 70 degrees, and the lawn watered every day. Guess you should have paid attention, Bentley.)

3 If you are moving, do not think your new neighbors need to give you cookies. If you do, at best you might be disappointed. At worst, as you mention the oversight you learn the previous residents were running a crack house.  (Looks like it might be a couple of years before anyone trusts you, Bubba.)

2 If you are moving, do not think the movers will place everything as you have it labeled. If you do, at best you may find some things in unusual places. At worst, you realize after they are gone that your master bedroom furniture is on the patio.(And guess what furniture is in the master bedroom, Burt?)

1 If you are moving, do not think you can challenge your partner on the layout of each room. If you do, at best you are in for a long day. At worst, combined with the stress of moving your input might be enough to win you an overnight accommodation in the back yard. ( You could have said something when the plans were drawn up, huh Butch?)


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    Morning chuckles are definitely the best way to begin the day. Thank you! 🙂 Having moved a number of times, a few of your “top ten” were a little too close to home…

    1. I counted the number of times and the total was 21.

  2. Ha ha ha!😄 cute post John! I have one to add to that too… be very careful of idol chit chat with the new neighbors! I once moved into an apartment and the nice man upstairs offered to help me unload boxes out of my car as I was single, broke and had to move stuff without movers. During our chit chat he began discussing awful ex bosses… I told him about the hideous woman I used to work with that would be messing around with this guy on the 2nd floor of our office building and how awful I’d feel when her husband would call!…he then looked at me and said her name wasn’t (here I’ll call her Donna for privacy sake)Donna was it? ! Yep, insert foot into mouth! That was her now ex husband!

    1. Must have been fodder for a lot of laughs since he was the ex.(or not) Thanks for the story Elizabeth.

      1. It was a tad uncomfortable to say the least but at least he was her ex by then 🙂

  3. Ha-ha-ha! Very mindful, dear John & so much to the point! The best thing not to do when moving is NOT TO MOVE AT ALL. 🙂 Have a nice week!

    1. I agree. I think a good book would be “How to not move and have all the aggravation of moving.” Would be fun.

      1. ha-ha-ha! Indeed! 🙂

  4. I have got to pass this one on!!

  5. These were hilarious, John! And that photo is a hoot! Happy Monday!

    1. Thanks, Jill. Alway nice to get your comment. 😀

  6. Olivia Stocum · ·

    I had a neighbor give us cookies once. She was an elderly woman. They gave us stomachaches. LOL

    1. Ha hah. We have a rule. No outside anything. I have a suppressed immune system and can’t afford to eat strange stuff.

      1. Olivia Stocum · ·

        Yeah, after the Christmas 2016 fiasco, where all my kids got sick for a month, we’re all for No Outside Anything.

  7. Yep, I can relate to several of these! Thanks for the morning chuckle, John!

    1. Thank you for the visit, John

  8. I might be guilty of a couple of these, John. It’s a great list. It’s also why we haven’t moved in over 20 years.

    1. I think you ought to stay where you are. With your skill you can add anything on to the house that you might need in the future. 😀

      1. There’s not much room to grow, but since we don’t like the heat and I can’t shovel more snow than what we get, I guess we’re staying put.

  9. Ain’t that the truth! 😛

  10. All great advice. 🙂

    1. Stay put is the best advice.

  11. Good morning, John,
    Our moving from Karnes City to Fredericksburg took us quite some time. We bought the house here in September 2013, but – as we had planned a holiday in Germany before that – rented it back for another month to the previous owners. Only after our return from Germany did we start to move things, mostly on our own. Later, in the spring of 2014, we had movers do the bulk of our furniture. And even after that there were some pieces left in Karnes City which we brought here later.
    Guess what we consider the day we finally moved in here: the day we brought our kitties! 😉 That’s April 1, 2014.
    Have a wonderful day,

    1. Ha ha ha. What happened to the Karnes City house?

      1. We still have the house and the property down there.

  12. We’ve moved a few times, but only once with the kids – So. Much. Stuff.

    1. I know right? Believe me after they leave there still will be all their “memory” stuff.

  13. Number 3 . . . that’s hilarious!

    “Hi there, I’m your neighbor and I’d like to welcome you to the neighborhood with this cup of crack.”….

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, Pilgrim. 🙂

  14. So true. I still have boxes in the attic I haven’t opened in sixteen years. My wife says I can’t throw them out so they take up space.

    1. I had someone tell me if you haven’t open a box after two years, just donate it. Never followed that advice.

      1. In about four more years, I think everything qualifies as an antique. I’m probably rich and don’t know it.

  15. One good thing about moving is it forces you to get rid of a lot of junk you’ve accumulated over the years. And when you see your old stuff in new surroundings, you wonder why you bothered to move most of it at all. Great list, John.

    1. Thank you , Debbie. When we moved to the coast we sold most everything. Our house in San Antonio was French Country. Just didn’t go at the beach.

      1. Sounds like a wise decision 😉

  16. Having recently gone through the nightmare of moving, I can relate to most of these! 🙂

    1. It is a nightmare. Our last move included a horse. Oh My. Thanks, Jan

  17. Or if you are moving…. Only move once, the second time, all your friends with pickup trucks will be busy that weekend.

    1. Good advice, Greg. make it count the first time. ;-D

  18. Ha, ha. Wow what service, John. Tiny moves the mover. I doubt he’ll appreciate the fragility of the guy’s frame though. He’ll probably act like he’s driving a nail into a board. Time to run and hide. Last time we moved the movers tore a hole in the couch and broke the leg on a cedar chest. On another move, my class ring I’d had for almost forty years came up missing. Some moving companies are great, others not so much. —- Suzanne

    1. I have had similar experiences, Suzanne. Thanks for the memories. 😀

  19. Ugh… movers… Haven’t had a good experience yet.
    Have a marvelous Monday, John. Hugs.

    1. Me either. Thanks, Teagan.

  20. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Not a fan of moving, but your list made me laugh.

    1. Thant is a good thing. Thanks, DL

  21. Moving…man’s natural nemesis.

    1. I can see why men stayed in caves.

  22. Hahaha! I’ve moved households and business offices and I’m not sure which is worse. And being in real estate….well, I’ve seen it all 🙂
    Good one today, John!

    1. I’m sure you have, Mae. Thanks.

  23. Awesome list, John! I’m grateful that all our moves have been military postings. We know the perks of treating the packers really well. Cheers! 🙂

    1. Packers are the kings of movers.

  24. Ah, ha, ha! Hilarious post, John! This brought back memories of my move 3 years ago.🙄😬😱

    1. Thank you, Vashti. I hope your don’t have PMSD. (Post Move Stress Disorder.) 🙂

      1. I’m just now getting over it. 😉

  25. In general, hire someone, I say. And don’t allow them to arrive at midnight to begin unloading. Stuff gets placed just anywhere then. Good memory trigger this post.

    1. I remember one time the van broke down. Sat in the Texas sun for two days. Anything that could melt did. Took out four cases of wine as well. Those guys showed up around 11:00. Told them to come back in the morning.

  26. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Moving is hard, but it’s much harder if you do any of these 10 things listed by John Howell in this post on his blog.

  27. As a veteran mover who has live in 25 different houses – well done, John!

    1. Thank you, Robbie. You have me beat. Only 22 here,

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