Do you enjoy moving to a new home? A lot of people don’t like the process. They put it off, complain throughout the move, or hire professional movers.
What can make moving even worse is if any of your valuables get stolen or broken. Let’s at least avoid that problem, and moving can be a little more enjoyable. Use these five tips to feel completely confident about the safety of your possessions.
1. Find the Right Boxes
It’s surprisingly important to have the right kinds of boxes. First, get boxes that are sturdy and not too old or damaged. If they’ve been sitting in the garage or the garbage, they could break during the move, especially if they’re moisture-damaged.
Second, find several different sizes of boxes. A few small, fragile items in a big box can shift during the move, hitting each other or getting crushed under a larger item. Small items should be in small boxes, and large items in large boxes.
Third, use boxes that are made specifically for certain items. Put electronics back in their original box. And put fragile dishes in boxes designed to protect them.
2. Add Padding
Boxes don’t always get completely full, even if they’re the right size. If you’ve packed breakables in a box, add padding between and around them. Protect them from impacts and shifting.
Foam peanuts and bubble wrap are great general-purpose padding. Newspaper and tissue paper can protect dishes. If you don’t want to buy padding, you could use shirts, towels, pillows, and blankets, which means those items also get packed, as a bonus.
3. Take Special Care of Small Valuables
Some items carry a lot of significance or value in a small space. Thieves know this. And Murphy’s Law seems to know this too, at least going by the amount of rings that disappear during moves. That’s why you should take extra care to protect:
- Important documents, such as passports and birth certificates
- Coin collections
- Credit cards
- Family photos
- Designer perfumes
- Prescription medicines
- Other small, highly valuable items
How? First, write a list of everything you are packing, which you’ll check at the end of your move to see if anything is missing.
Second, you could keep small items in an unmarked suitcase that you carry yourself. Just don’t leave it in the car when you stop at a hotel!
Third, only label your boxes with the room that they go in, not with the names of the valuable items inside. This lowers the amount of information and opportunity that thieves have.
Fourth, keep your most valuable items in a locked room in your home until you’re completely ready to leave.
4. Insure Your Move
Read over your current renters or homeowners insurance policy. Does it cover your possessions during a move? Is the dollar amount enough to protect your current list of items? Otherwise, you could purchase more coverage from a third party.
Check with your movers first, though. If you’re moving to another state using a registered moving company, the movers should offer two types of liability coverage:
- Released Value Protection: Insurance bundled with your move that pays you back a maximum of $0.60 per pound if items are lost or damaged
- Full Value Protection: Purchased insurance you can add on that often pays back more than the included insurance
Before a mover begins their work, get the question of insurance settled. Read over the contract they offer you, making sure that you are adequately protected. Accidents can happen, even with a highly skilled mover.
5. Protect Your Moving Truck
If you’re driving your own moving truck cross-country, you can keep it safer from thieves whenever you park if you:
- Lock it with a high-quality padlock
- Put a steering wheel lock in place
- Set up a portable car alarm or motion sensor
- Park in a well-lit space close to your motel room
Move With the Experts
You can skip a lot of these tasks by just hiring a company experienced with state-to-state moves. They’ll use all the above techniques and others to protect your possessions, their own equipment, and their reputation.
If you’re thinking about hiring professional movers, ask them this series of smart questions to be sure that they’re your best choice.
Congratulations on finding a new home, and we wish you a happy moving day!