You’ve mastered the tape gun, boxed and labeled all your possessions and padded the furniture. You’re all set for moving day, right? Well, almost.
is a risk many people don’t consider. However, a home move presents an ideal situation for opportunistic thieves and could put you at risk for becoming a victim of more than moving day stress and backaches.
The good news is there are a few steps you can take to help prevent your valuables and possessions from walking away during the transition. Before you start loading the van and heading down the road to your new home, review the following moving day safety tips
Understand what possessions are most at risk
This can be different for everyone, since the content of each person’s home is unique. However, there are a few key categories you should keep in mind. If possible, move these types of items by hand, by a trusted individual—ideally you.
- Medicine—Medications, especially prescriptions, are easy to grab and sell for a high value on the street. Keep locked in a safe container.
- Jewelry—These items can also be easily snatched and concealed. Hide them deep in a suitcase or other non-see-through bag.
- Electronics—Computers, tablets and TVs may not be as easy to slip into a pocket as other items. But under the right circumstances, they can be slid into a waiting backseat or trunk. Keep an eye on them during the move.
- Documents containing identifying information—A few pieces of this sensitive information, such as your address, Social Security number, name or bank account number, can be combined and used to wreak havoc on your credit and finances.
- Your purse, wallet and car keys—It can be easy to lose track of these items amid the chaos of moving day. If possible, keep them on your person.
- Weapons—For obvious reasons, you don’t want guns to fall into the wrong hands. Make sure they are stored in a locked container and separated from ammunition.
- Other unique and valuable items, like antiques, art and home décor—Even if these simply look expensive, they may be at risk of being lifted when no one is looking.
Take precautions when doing the moving yourself
So you've reserved a rental truck and assembled a crew of loyal family and friends who are willing to work for pizza and beer. Even though you are familiar with and trust the people assisting you with your move, there are still a few things you should look out for on moving day:
- Don’t leave large, expensive items, like flat-screen TVs, unattended on the lawn before they are placed on the moving vehicle.
- Doors are often left open during the move. Make sure someone is always watching both the open moving truck and the open front door.
- Packing your most precious valuables in your personal vehicle, to be hand-moved by you is a good plan. Just make sure not to leave the car unlocked and unattended until the items are safely moved inside your new home.
- Be smart about hiring movers. Planning on bringing in the pros? This can be a great option as professionals are faster, better at maneuvering awkward furniture and are less likely to break your aunt’s China hutch. While most moving pros are trustworthy, it is still important to do a quick check on your mover’s credentials. Here is a checklist of tips for screening your movers.
- Make sure your mover is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Look them up at www.protectyourmove.gov.
- Check the complaint record of the mover at this same site, or by finding their listing with the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List.
- Look to see that your mover displays a U.S. DOT number.
- Get an estimate and make sure someone is there to supervise the loading and unloading.
Remember, even if you hired credentialed movers, you still need to make sure you’re not creating the opportunity for a crime. Always practice safe moving precautions like hand-moving important or valuable items, personally supervising the move and keeping valuables out of site.