Make no mistake about it, moving from Point A to Point B in the United States can be a stressful situation. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re moving down the street, halfway across town, moving to another state, or moving across the border. You have to have your wits about you. Otherwise, it’s very easy for you to lose a lot of stuff on the way.
Now, if it comes down to losing stuff that you were thinking of throwing away anyway, then there’s no loss in that. You probably will be able to recover very easily. In fact, you may be thinking that you did yourself a favor by losing trash and junk that, for whatever reason, you haven’t gotten around to getting rid of.
But if you end up losing something that is financially valuable or has tremendous sentimental value, it’s another game entirely. So how exactly do you secure your move as you get from one location to another? Keep the following tips in mind.
Retain a Bonded Moving Service
If you have so much stuff that you can’t move everything yourself, your obvious choice is to hire a moving service. Now, this is more complicated than it looks because there are many different moving service options available out there. The most basic, of course, is a “man with a van.”
That’s exactly what this service is. It’s a guy with a van.
Unfortunately, most vans are too small for large moves. So, generally speaking, we’re not dealing with a man and a van, but usually, several guys and a well designed durable hand truck. Regardless, the dynamics are still there.
It’s like a low-key thing. It’s a small-scale type of endeavor. Oftentimes, the people who run “man with a van” services basically just do it on the side. Still, if you’re going to go that route, make sure that that person is properly bonded. In other words, if they break anything or lose anything of yours as they move your stuff from Point A to Point B, you have some sort of financial recourse.
While we all know that insurance doesn’t really completely put you back together, at least financially, you can be made whole again. That’s the whole point of insurance. It’s all about indemnifying you and getting you back together, financially speaking.
Of course, if they lost a precious picture of your grandma from the 1920s, nobody can compensate you for that. That picture is unique. That picture is loaded with all sorts of family history, memories, and yes, emotions.
But you just got to take what you can get. And insurance, in the form of bonding, is pretty much your best bet, especially if you are going to go with a “man with a van” type of service. It’s also important to make sure that the service that you’re retaining has some sort of precautionary security system. This goes a long way. I’m going to talk about that in more detail in the section below.
Look for a Moving System
Regardless of whether you go with a “man with a van” or a professional moving company that is somewhat corporate, look at their system. Do they even have one? Do they have a sequence for moving your stuff? Do they have a process where they pack a lot of the breakable items or potentially dangerous flammable items a certain way?
If they don’t, then back away. Seriously. Don’t hesitate.
You have to understand that it takes just one accident for your move to turn from a hassle to a flat out disaster. You don’t want a disaster on your hands. In fact, you probably could even barely manage the hassle of moving, much less a disaster.
Who needs that type of catastrophe? Who really wants to go through that type of ordeal? Because remember, if something goes wrong and your stuff goes up in flames or your stuff gets stolen, it takes a little time to recover. You have a lot of paperwork to go through, you go through all sorts of emotional upset – it’s really annoying.
The good news is that this is all completely avoidable. You just need to go with the right professionals. Now, the problem is, the word “moving professional” is kind of kicked around a lot in the moving industry. In fact, it is quite disturbing because they seem so casual about it. It seems like everybody can just call themselves a moving professional.
But what really qualifies a person as a moving professional? Well, first of all, the person has a system. In other words, they’re not just doing things randomly.
It’s not like they go to your house and they pick out something, slap them down in a box, and call it a day. That’s not a moving system. At the very least, you should insist on some sort of tracking system, some coding system, and a way of securing your stuff.
For example, if they are going to be handling a glass vase, they should have some sort of padding material that will make sure that that vase comes out intact once it’s delivered to where it’s supposed to go. This is too much to expect in many cases because a lot of them just use newspaper. That doesn’t make any sense.
Now, please understand that, in certain situations, it makes sense to use rolled up newspapers. For example, if you’re just transporting a set of mugs, that might work. But when it comes to vases or other sensitive pieces made out of highly fragile materials, you have to go the extra mile. You might have to invest in foam peanuts.
So, look for that type of system. Also, look for an easy unpacking ritual or process.
Ask for Their Unpacking System
Let me make one thing clear. As hassle-filled as packing stuff up and moving it may be, guess what? There’s also the problem of unloading this stuff. You have to account for that part of the equation. And this is why it’s really important for you insist that they have some sort of unpacking process.
They can’t just unpack your materials randomly. They can’t just recklessly just dump your boxes, open them, and then flop them out somewhere. In fact, a lot of moving services just tell you, “Well, we’re just going to move your stuff. We’re not going to unpack them.”
That’s going to be a problem because I know a lot of people who use moving services, and after several months, their home is still filled with unopened boxes. You have to understand that life is what happens when you’re making other plans.
You probably originally thought that once you got all those boxes, you would quickly unpack them and put your home back in order and enjoy your new surroundings. Not going to happen. Most people are busy. In fact, for most Americans, time is a luxury. So, do yourself a big favor. Be a little bit more proactive and look for that extra service and ask for unpacking.
But here’s the thing: they have to have the right unpacking process. If it turns out that their unpacking system is random and might actually lead to stuff getting broken or misplaced, you might want to think twice.
You might want to ask if they offer a better service or if there’s some added premium you could pay to make sure that they unpack your stuff in a way that you’re comfortable with.