How To Keep Your Belongings Safe While Moving

You sold your house and successfully navigated the home-buying process. The hard work is done, right? Not so fast!

Moving is tough, regardless of how near or far your new home is located. Packing boxes and transporting them from point A to point B can put your belongings at risk.

The secret to keeping your items safe is vigilance at every step. Here’s how to protect your belongings during a move.

Don’t Advertise Your Plans

Although it may be tempting to share the big news about your move on social media, this is one of the best ways for criminals to acquire information about your plans.

The same goes for yard sales you intend to organize. Don’t use the term “moving sale” on any signage or advertisements.

If people ask why you’re selling your things, tell them you’re trying to earn some extra cash.

Move Important Documents and Items Yourself

When it comes to important documents and high-value items — such as birth certificates, social security cards, jewelry, and family heirlooms — it’s best to transport these belongings on your own. 

If possible, leave these items with a trusted family member or friend during your move and retrieve them once you’re settled.

If this isn’t an option, consider a locked safe in the trunk of your car.

Carefully Pack and Label Your Boxes

It can be tempting to just start throwing things in boxes and close the lid. Stay the course and pack carefully with extra paper or bubble wrap, especially when it comes to fragile items.

Label your moving boxes by room but leave out any specific information about the contents. Although you may think it’s helpful to write “computer” or “video games” on the box, that makes it easier for thieves to see what they want and take it quickly.

If you have time, it helps to create a spreadsheet to track your boxes and valuables. When everything has been moved into your new home, you can easily take inventory.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings While Unloading

Put someone in charge of watching the moving truck while you’re unloading. This will help prevent passersby from quickly grabbing a box and running away with it.

Your lookout can also keep an eye on the surroundings and anyone who may be taking note of the move.

Furthermore, it helps if your moving team — whether it’s friends or a professional moving company — carries boxes directly into the house, rather than unloading onto the sidewalk first. This will help guarantee your items make it inside safely.

Secure the Home When You’re Away

Moving is rarely a one-and-done type of day.

Perhaps you need to go back to the old house to clean. Maybe you’re staying in a hotel while awaiting a new bed. Or maybe you’re just grabbing dinner after a long day of moving.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to secure your new house. Double check that all the doors and windows are shut and locked.

Plus, keep valuables away from windows where they’re in plain sight.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Many insurance policies, including homeowners’ and renters’ insurance, protect your belongings during a move. Every policy has different terms, but you typically have coverage while your personal property is at your residence, in transit, or in a storage facility.

That said, damage that occurs while movers are handling your property is usually not included in these policies. That would fall under coverage provided by your moving company. Ask them to provide the full terms of your moving insurance.

Whether your move is on the horizon or you’re still deciding whether to buy a house, these tips will help the experience go smoothly.

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