Moving to a new place is an exhilarating experience. But if your journey towards a new beginning is fraught with problems, you’re probably starting on the wrong foot. By making sure that your valuables are protected as you move into a new location, you can focus on adjusting and making things better.
Below are a few ways you can protect your prized assets while relocating:
1. Preparation is key
The best way to protect your assets happens even before the big day. Weeks before your moving date, list down all your possessions. Doing so can help you pack more efficiently and help reduce moving costs. Notify your utilities and service providers, banks, and insurance companies about your new address. This way, you can still receive your bills and statements at your new address. If moving outside the state, you may need to have essential utilities cut off.
Additionally, make sure to do the following things before moving out:
Perform an asset inventory
You won’t know which valuables need protection unless you identify all your possessions according to their value. Sort your assets according to their importance to you. Identify the items that you can’t live without and keep them with you always. Vital documents such as titles, receipts, contracts, and similar papers must be kept safe and separate from general items like furniture pieces. Don’t forget to take a photo of each item for safekeeping in case disputes arise. You may have difficulties claiming damages without proper evidence if your things get damaged due to improper handling. Performing an inventory also means you need to identify which items you’ll take in your new living space and which ones to dispose of or sell. Don’t hold on to things you no longer have use for, such as broken cabinets or dresses bought on impulse.
Pack your things strategically
After sorting which valuables you’re taking with you, make sure to buy durable packing materials. Consider the following points to make packing less stressful:
- Cardboard boxes suffice to protect most valuables. Choose high-quality, corrugated boxes to store your valuables.
- Start packing the least valuable items, like children’s toys or dresses. But do leave a few sets that you can use for at least a week.
- If an item happens to be fragile, consider making a wooden crate or have someone do it for you.
- Other than packing your valuables securely, write clear instructions on the box to allow your local moving company to handle the cargo properly. Placing a ‘fragile’ sticker is one of the ways to do this.
- Cushion your prized china set, glass, and other breakable items from impact. Use either a bubble wrap or your clothes to do the job. Place dividers in between the piece to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
- When packing assorted items in one box, place the heavier item at the bottom. Store books in different boxes so you don’t have a box that’s too heavy to lift.
- For expensive shoes and bags, consider buying a portable storage cabinet with locks. This helps prevent your collection from miraculously’ disappearing.’
- Buy small boxes for your valuables and place them together in a bigger, sturdier box.
- Assign a number for each box. Label all your boxes correctly and include a list of contents. Keep an electronic and paper copy of this list.
- Avoid liquid items from spilling and staining your valuables. Purchase a wine box and arrange them properly.
- For your beloved plasma TV, use a bubble wrap and Styrofoam frame to prevent it from moving too much while in transit. Consider filling the gaps with paper or clothing.
Remember that adequately packing your things is key to protecting your stuff during relocation. Doing the things mentioned earlier can help secure your items and valuables, preventing damage inside moving trucks.
2. Purchase a portable safe
While waiting for the big day, you can take small, prized possessions like jewelry with you and place them inside your car. Consider buying a portable safe with you so you can take your valuables with you anywhere you go. If you’re comfortable, consider renting a safety deposit box to safeguard expensive items. Financial institutions like banks and credit unions offer these services to their valued clients. Apart from essential documents, you can also store family heirlooms and other small valuable assets in a safety deposit box. For more significant items, such as a painting or other forms of antiques, hire a secured storage space to keep them. Look for storage companies that offer this service. Check the company’s reputation so you won’t end up losing your asset. You can also purchase a highly secure and tamper-proof lock to prevent theft.
3. Get more padlocks
Home security won’t be complete without deadbolts, padlocks, and alarm systems. If you’re using these to secure your homes, you can use padlocks to protect your valuables, too. For instance, some safes go with a lock and key instead of a numeric lock dial. In addition, the boxes where you store your costly bags may have a clasp to hold a padlock. This added security prevents criminals from rummaging through your things when the opportunity strikes.
4. Ensure your valuables
For a genuinely stress-free relocation, get insurance to cover your valuable possessions during relocation. Insurance coverage gives you peace of mind should anything happen to your prized possessions while they’re in transit.
Discuss insurance options with your moving company. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), moving companies that offer interstate services must provide two basic options: full value protection or released value protection. Check out the details of each option below:
- Full Value Protection: This type of insurance coverage obligates your movers to cover the total value of goods that get damaged or become lost while being handled or moved by the company. Under this comprehensive insurance coverage, your mover may repair any damaged item or replace it with a similar product. The moving company may also be liable to settle repair costs or the damaged item or pay for it at its current value.
- Released Value: Most customers prefer this type of coverage because it comes at no additional cost. Under this arrangement, the moving company’s liability is limited to USD$.60 cents per pound and per article. This means that the coverage is weight-dependent and not value-dependent. For instance, even if your moving company inadvertently damaged a 20-pound antique mirror worth USD$ 10,000, expect to receive only USD$ 12 as settlement.
The FMCSA also reminds customers to state that they prefer this coverage clearly; otherwise, the company will charge you the Full Value Protection as the default insurance coverage.
5. Choose the right moving company
Choosing a professional moving company is one of the cornerstones for a stress-free and secure relocation. There are a few ways to ensure that you’re dealing with a trusted company. As a start, check online and unbiased reviews, or ask friends and family members for referrals. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, request an appointment and ask for accreditations and licenses. Specifically, ask for FMCSA registration and the United States Department of Transportation number. Also, read the company’s terms and conditions of the services they provide.
Leave no stone unturned
Make sure to discuss with the moving company about the process. Find out the names of the personnel involved on the moving date and the number of trucks involved. Always look for proper identification before handing over the boxes to ensure you’re dealing with authorized representatives.
Deal with a reputable moving company
Don’t jump at the cheapest service right away, as they might offer the least security and sloppy service. At the same time, don’t fall into the trap of unscrupulous movers who quote a low initial price, also called a nonbinding estimate, then hike up the amount substantially as the deal is about to close. Movers are mandated to stick to the 110% rule, limiting the final price to 10% higher than the nonbonding estimate cost. The moving company should be able to provide you with a federal-government produced booklet with the title ‘Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move,’ intended for interstate relocation.
6. Supervise the loading and unloading process
Indeed, you can’t be in two places at the same time. Ask someone to stay outside and check that all the boxes are loaded directly. Boxes that stay outside unguarded may attract thieves or get left behind. The same is true for a moving truck that’s left unattended during the loading and unloading process. Make sure to have at least one person stay inside to check that all the boxes are loaded and that you don’t leave any stuff behind. Having at least two persons can help deter thieves. If you want to guarantee that the moving trucks travel straight from your current home to your new living space, consider placing a global positioning system (GPS) tool inside one of your valuables boxes.
7. Never post moving activities on social media
These days, you can learn so much information about a person by looking at their social media posts. Even if you’ve set your profile to private, you can never be sure about who can access your account. Hence, avoid posting on social media about your relocation. You may inadvertently give details such as your current address and valuables inside the moving boxes while taking videos or snapping photos. The loading and unloading process takes hours, and letting other people know you’re in the middle of it may encourage robbers to pay you a quick visit and take your valuables away.
Whether moving to another city or out of state, safeguarding your valuables during the move is essential. Take heed of the points discussed in this article to ascertain that your goods safely arrive at your new place. Pack the items properly, secure your possessions, and deal with a reputable moving company for a flawless transition.