The U.S. Department of Transportation warns that moving families are vulnerable to multiple risks of loss and fraud. That’s why it’s best to implement a few security strategies to protect your stuff before, during and after your move. These tips on how to keep your belongings safe will help you prevent prying eyes and sticky fingers from turning your move into a nightmare.
Take a detailed inventory
Creating a detailed inventory of your belongings will help you keep track of them throughout the move. Reference your inventory often to identify any potentially missing items quickly. Reporting them to the moving company and proper authorities as quickly as possible can help improve your odds of recovering the missing items.
A detailed list is also useful because accidents can happen. A distracted mover could easily leave a lamp or piece of luggage inside the truck and drive off before the error is recognized. A detailed inventory makes it easier to spot the missing item as soon as possible.
Choose a vetted, licensed mover
When it comes to avoiding a moving scam, one of the most important steps a homeowner can take is to pick the right moving company. Be aware of red flags such as bad reviews, vague details about the company or lack of proper licensing and insurance.
The Georgia Department of Public Safely strongly warns homeowners against working with unlicensed contractors. Under no circumstances should you allow your belongings or your money to slip into the hands of a mover without having read their credentials and signed a binding contract. Keeping to these standards will help minimize your risks of hiring a fraudulent moving company.
Consider moving valuables on your own
One way to keep your belongings safe is to simply move them yourself. Pack smaller valuables in separate containers and take them with you instead of trusting them to a moving service.
For larger items, you may need to rent a separate vehicle. This strategy may seem excessive, but for items that must be absolutely secure, this bit of planning goes a long way. You may also save a bit of money on the mover by splitting the load between your vehicle and theirs.
Get in touch with your home security provider
One of the first things you should do when planning your move is to get ahold of your home security provider. If you already have a household surveillance system, ask the company about their moving policy. Many will move the equipment from one home to the other, typically in exchange for a small fee or a contract extension.
Homeowners without a home security service should take this opportunity to research home security options. A home security service will help protect your stuff long after the move is over.
Upgrade your locks immediately
Once you’ve settled into your new home and spoken with a security company, consider upgrading your locks. There’s no way to know if the previous occupant of your home has designs to swing back to their old residence with an extra set of house keys. In fact, any close friend of the previous occupants could have a copy of the house key. The simple solution of changing your locks will put fears of this type of break-in to rest.
Meet your new neighbors
Making a friendly introduction to your neighbors puts another set of eyes on your home, providing free, extra surveillance. Getting to know your neighbors will help you learn more about potential thefts or break-ins that may have recently threatened the area. By using your new neighbors as a resource, you can gauge how much protection you’ll need from a home security provider.
Find home security providers in your area before and after your move with Allconnect®, and check out these features to consider when choosing a home security system.
Originally published 01/08/15. Last updated 08/22/19.