Protecting Valuables When Moving
It's natural to worry about damage, accidents, or losing things when we move. Moving house is often a chaotic time, where your items are being handled by multiple people, it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little uneasy or anxious.
By hiring a reliable removal company, packing everything correctly and preparing in advance, you can minimise the risk of something going wrong on the day. Every one of our removal partners has both Goods in Transit and Public Liability Insurances in place and will treat your items with the utmost care, safely loading them onto the removals van.
Although it’s unlikely that your belongings will be damaged or lost during the move, accidents do still happen so it doesn’t hurt to plan and prepare. Compare My Move has created this guide to help you begin, listing a few precautions you can take to help you protect your valuables when moving.
1. Creating an Inventory
Creating a simple list can often make all the difference. Compiling an inventory of all your items and possessions will mean that you’ll know immediately if anything has been misplaced. It’s a simple way to remain organised during the move and you’ll be thankful for it when you begin to unpack.
When creating your inventory, we recommend a note of which boxes contain which items. If you haven’t got time to write out a whole inventory, consider taking photographs of your possessions before packing them away.
2. Hire a Reliable Removals Company
If you want to be certain that your items are going to be in the best possible hands, then hiring a professional moving company is vital. It may seem cheaper to move everything yourself but it can increase your costs in the long run if don’t know how to safely handle items.
However, be wary of cheaper removal companies and ask to see their credentials first. You must also check whether they are a registered company to ensure that they’re reliable, insured, and have the appropriate experience. One way to check if a removal company is qualified is to ask if they’re a member of any governing bodies such as the British Association of Removers.
You’re essentially handing over your possessions to a third party for a brief amount of time, so you have to feel confident that you can trust them. All our partners at Compare My Move have to go through a rigorous verification process to ensure they’re reliable, registered and insured.
3. Get Help for Larger Items
Items such as pianos, wardrobes, dining tables and sofas all need extra hands and care when moving, so the more people to help the better. Without adequate help, your larger and more delicate items could end up scratched, chipped or even completely broken.
Many removal companies offer additional services to aid in situations like these. Many will offer specialist piano removals as well as help with dismantling and reassembling furniture. Don’t be afraid to ask for further assistance and enquire about the moving protection a company offers.
One service some removal companies offer is self-storage. If you have an excess of large or awkward furniture, you may want to consider renting a self-storage unit to protect your goods whilst you complete the move. This will help ensure an easier and more efficient moving day and unpacking process. The moving team can also help with packing items for storage to ensure they're secure and wrapped in high-quality materials.
4. Keep Small or Sentimental Items with You
When it comes to protecting valuables, if you have smaller items or ones with significant sentimental or material value, we would advise that you keep them with you during moving day. You’ll most likely have a bag or box with you so it’s a good idea to pack valuable jewellery, essential paperwork and other important items separate from the removal vans.
Even though the removal company would no doubt handle all items with extreme care, having them with you will likely reduce stress and worry, ensuring a happier move. When it comes to valuable or sentimental items, it’s more reassuring to take responsibility for them yourself.
5. Declutter Before Packing
The best way to avoid accidental damage to items on moving day is to ensure all access routes are clear and that floors and stairs are free from mess and clutter. Wires from laptops are trip hazards and precariously perched phones or iPads can be knocked over and smashed. Not to mention injuries to anyone moving heavy or cumbersome items.
Decluttering before a move can also make the move itself more seamless and ensures you aren't paying to move any items you no longer want or need.
6. Use High-Quality Packing Materials
Sometimes, newspaper won't go far enough for protecting items while on the move. It’s worth using it in layers to protect a few delicate items, but it’s not the only material available. With bubble wrap, padded boxes, wardrobe boxes, and so on, there are a variety of things to choose from, depending on what you need to pack.
Wrapping individual dishes and glasses in multiple layers of paper or bubble wrap will provide protection and will prevent any shards from coming loose and causing harm. There’s also the option of placing pieces of foam between the plates to ensure they’re fully secure. Don’t over stack them, however, as it increases the risk of accidents.
Clothes can either be hanged and placed into a wardrobe box so that they don’t crease, or they could even be used as packing materials themselves. Clothes, blankets and towels are a great way to cover and protect delicate items during transit.
Don’t forget to ask your removals company if they have any high-quality packing materials for you to use. Some companies may offer their packing services and provide free materials, whilst others will have them available to purchase.
7. Invest in Good Boxes
There are ways to find free boxes to help you with your packing. However, if you’re worried about their quality, then most removal companies will be able to provide boxes and packaging if needed. Certain items may require particular boxes that have been specifically made for moving house so it’s always worth asking.
If you do go searching for other ways to find boxes, then you could use second-hand boxes from your local supermarket, ask online through Facebook and other websites or you could ask your family and friends. However, keep in mind that some boxes might not be as sturdy and could damage the contents inside.
8. Protect Paintings and Mirrors
To help protect your items, tape a big "X" across the glass of your mirrors and across your paintings to protect them from shattering and tearing. This will help strengthen the frame and make them extra secure. You can even find painting and mirror packing boxes to perfectly fit the shape and size of your items. This will add extra padding and help ease your mind during the move.
9. Pack Carefully
Keep your boxes light and make sure they don’t overflow or strain to help lower the risk of potential accidents and damage. While you may want to pack boxes right up to the top, it’s worth thinking about whether or not you will be able to lift it. You don’t want to cause yourself or the removals team any strain so you must be wary of their weight. If a box starts to get heavy, consider packing lighter items like blankets and duvets or stop altogether.
There may be other valuable or fragile items that you’re worried about but it’s all about consideration. Wrap electronics in protective covers, place delicate fabrics in tissue paper and surround everything that’s fragile in bubble wrap. You can’t be overly cautious so take the time to plan and prepare.
10. Enquire About Insurance
Most reputable removal companies will be fully-insured to ensure maximum protection if the worst should happen. Never be afraid to ask about their insurance and what it specifically covers so that you fully understand what can and can’t be handled by them.
All removal company partners at Compare My Move are covered by Goods in Transit insurance. This covers you in the unlikely and unfortunate event that your possessions are damaged during your move. Our partners also have Public Liability insurance to protect you and anyone else involved in the move if any physical injuries should occur. Even though these are unlikely scenarios, it’s always better to be safe and fully protected.
Some home insurance policies cover moving if you’re planning to do the move yourself but you should always check first. For extra protection, you may want to consider purchasing dedicated moving home insurance. Make sure you read your policy carefully as DIY moves aren't always covered. It’s always recommended to hire a professional and insured removals firm.