Forgotten Items Could Prove Costly for Home Movers

Forgotten Items Could Prove Costly for Home Movers

With a small fortune being left behind by house movers when they move home, Tepilo takes a look at how the number of forgotten items can be drastically reduced.

When moving home, there is a whole heap of things to think about. And, in the heat of the moment, the chances of leaving something behind can be pretty high. No matter how much you’ve prepared, no matter how careful you’ve been with your packing, certain items can still slip through the net.

In fact, research commissioned by online auction giant eBay has revealed that Brits are leaving behind a ‘small fortune’ in forgotten possessions during the home moving process.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 UK homeowners, found that some 26% of home movers have left behind a beloved or sentimental item when packing up their home. On average, these lost items add up to £138.13 which, when extrapolated to the whole country, equals a massive £493 million in forgotten goods.

It’s not just forgotten items that cause home movers bother, though - it’s also lost and broken ones. Some 12% said they have had an item of significant sentimental value that has either vanished or been broken during a house move.

Moving home can be a very stressful, time-consuming process – there is, after all, a reason why it’s put up there with bereavement and divorce as one of life’s most taxing and draining experiences. For this reason, many opt to take the ‘caretaker’ approach, which involves meticulous planning and rigorous packing procedures to ensure nothing valuable or sentimental is left behind. Making a handy checklist, and ticking items off one by one as they are stored in boxes, is one way of keeping track of things, as is labelling each box clearly to ensure there is no confusion at a later date.

While many plan their packing well in advance, giving themselves plenty of time to get things done before the big move, many other people take the ‘packing procrastinator’ approach, where the task of packing is put off again and again for as long as possible. It’s an easy situation to fall into, with the idea of packing a whole home – a demanding, potentially overwhelming task that takes time, effort and planning – not a particularly inviting one. However, starting early is crucial. Doing the packing in stages will help to keep stress levels to a minimum and reduce the chances of that dreaded last-minute rush.

The more rushed you are when it comes to packing, the more likely you are to leave items behind. To avoid getting into a fluster, it is better to be strict and disciplined from the off, doing it bit by bit and leaving yourself plenty of time to check and double check. The earlier you start, the more time you have to play with.

A significant number of those surveyed (20%) decide to take the early-planning approach, with a system put in place at least six months in advance. A further fifth start packing their first box a whole month before moving day.

The more impulsive among us take a much more daring, potentially risky approach, courting possible disaster by procrastinating until the week of the move. This is when the packing process begins in earnest, leaving people with barely anytime for manoeuvre (or rest!).

The research also found that, when calling on help with the packing process, people turn first to their partners (49%) and then their mum (27%). A quarter, meanwhile, turn first to dad for assistance.

Different genders tend to have different roles in the packing process, too, with men most likely to start ‘the big pack’ by tackling the bedroom and women more likely to take on the spare room first.

When it comes to difficulty of packing, the kitchen rules the roost, with 44% of people stating this is the most difficult room to box up from a practical perspective. A kitchen, of course, holds lots of items to store, many of which are sharp, awkward and delicate, requiring more careful packing. This helps to explain why 41% opt to leave the packing of the kitchen until the very last minute.

As we’ve written about previously, there are things you can do ensure moving home doesn’t cause you too many headaches. It’s inevitable that a house move will bring with it some stresses and strains, no matter how prepared and on-the-ball you are, but you can limit the chances of anything going wrong by starting early, keeping a checklist and working in a thorough, methodical way rather than a haphazard or chaotic manner.

Packing last-minute is never a particularly wise move, and ups your chances of leaving things behind as you do things in too much of a rush and don’t check your home comprehensively enough before saying bye to it one last time.

As the above research shows, this can also prove very costly – whether from a financial or sentimental viewpoint. The old saying – failing to prepare is preparing to fail – is therefore perhaps never more apt than when it comes to house moves.