People have a lot of concerns when it’s time to make a move. One that’s often at the top of the list is the potential for things to get broken or damaged. It’s one of those inevitable truths about moving. Or is it?
Accidents can always happen, but there are things you can do to minimize the risk and keep items safe while moving.
Tip #1 – Hire an Experienced Moving Company
Sure, we’re a professional moving company, but we’re not making this suggestion to toot our own horn. As with anything in life, experience can help minimize potential moving problems. An experienced moving company knows what to anticipate and what factors will pose the biggest risk. They can head off those issues before they end up breaking your stuff.
Another benefit is you’ll get basic liability coverage through a moving company. Coverage is usually a flat rate per pound.
Tip #2 – Fill Up Your Moving Boxes
Many movers are surprised to find the items that they packed in boxes are still susceptible to damage. The biggest problem occurs when boxes get stacked. When a packing box isn’t filled all the way it can collapse and be crushed under another box. It’s best to fill the void spaces so this is less likely.
However, one thing to watch out for is weight. If you fill a box with a ton of heavy items it can give out and send everything crashing to the ground. Another solution is to use sturdy plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes.
Tip #3 – Have a Loading Plan
Few people realize all the logistics that go into loading a truck – until they move. Haphazardly stacking boxes and shoving things wherever they’ll fit doesn’t make the best use of your space and increases the likelihood that something won’t survive the trip. Take a few minutes before the loading starts to create a plan. Make sure to keep the heaviest boxes and items on the lowest level and use straps to keep things from shifting.
Tip # 4 – Keep Valuables With You During the Move
We advise our clients to take a few things with them rather than putting the items on a moving truck. Basically, anything that’s irreplaceable or very valuable should remain in your possession throughout the move. The one exception is moving family heirlooms, expensive furniture and pieces of artwork that are oversized. That will definitely require the assistance of an expert if you want the item to stay in mint condition.
Tip #5 – And Keep Values With You If You Stop Overnight
Long distance moves may require making a pit stop overnight. All those items that you packed in your vehicle could attract thieves that are looking for an easy score. For that reason, it’s always best to take expensive and/or irreplaceable items into the hotel room with you. If you can’t take something inside at least keep it covered so it’s out of sight.
Tip # 6 – Fill Out a Declaration Form
If your moving company gives you a declaration form to fill out, take them up on the offer. A declaration form is used to itemize expensive or fragile items so the movers know to handle them with care.
Tip # 7 – Adjust Your Insurance Coverage
Once you know you’re making a move, give your insurance company a call. Let them know about your plans and find out what type of coverage you have with your current policy. An agent can explain if things are covered while in transit, what type of damage is covered, and how you’ll be reimbursed for any damaged item. You may also need to add a rider to your renters’ or homeowners’ insurance to cover expensive items.
Tip # 8 – Take Pictures of Everything Before Packing It Up
Pictures will serve as proof that you did in fact own the item and what condition it was in before the move. This may not prevent items from getting damaged or lost, but it will make reimbursement easier if something does go missing or gets broken.