Nothing takes away the thrill of moving to a new home quite like discovering that something you love was damaged in the process – especially if that thing was also very expensive to repair or replace. Accidents happen, however, there are a few precautions you can take for your next move to prevent a mood-killer like this from happening. Read on for advice on safeguarding your most precious items on moving day.
1. Determine what’s valuable to you.
What does “valuable” mean to you? This is a term you will want to define for your next move, as it may include items beyond those that are just expensive. For instance, items with sentimental value, such as your child’s favorite stuffed animal, might be something you define as valuable as well as necessities such as prescription medications and important documents. Though the loss of or damage to these items may not be financially costly, they can cause unnecessary stress during a time that might already be stressful for you and your family.
2. Take an inventory – with photos.
Once you’ve determined what’s valuable, make sure you write it all down and take photos of each item, even the paperwork and medications. It’s tedious, but you’ll be grateful for visual proof if something goes wrong.
3. Pack conspicuously.
The No. 1 rule of packing is to label your boxes clearly. But when it comes to packing valuables, take caution when marking your items.
4. Keep your small valuables with you.
Your best bet for protecting your valuables is to keep them off the moving truck entirely. That means transporting them to your new home in your car or shoving them into your carry-on luggage if you’re flying.
5. Leave the big or extra-special items to the pros
For the bigger valuables that you can’t transport yourself, such as your antique dining room table or your super-plush foam mattress that you splurged on last year, leave it to the professionals. If it fits in a box, mark all sides that the package needs special care. Make sure to note any breakable items on the inventory, too, and let the movers know when they show up.
That said, your highly valuable and precious items should be packed by professional packing or crating companies – which you might need to hire in addition to your moving company. Start by calling the company you bought the item from, they may be able to recommend a company that specializes in crating specific pieces.
6. Check your stuff before you let the movers go
Once your belongings have been delivered to the final destination, make sure to do a final walk-through before signing on the dotted line. Moving is exhausting and you may be tempted to skip it, but if you find damage in the unpacking process that you didn’t note on your final walk-through, you’ll be hard-pressed to get your moving company to take responsibility for it.
Take thorough notes and photos of any damage you discover, including the packaging and boxes. Your notes and before and after photos will bolster any insurance claims you need to make.