How to avoid damage during a move (and what to do if it happens)

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broken vaseMoving is a big deal. From frying pans to family heirlooms, it’s a little scary to think about the opportunity for damage between packing, unloading, and everything in between. But never fear: Moveline is here to offer some tips on how to avoid damage in the first place and what to do if the inevitable occurs. Read on.

Positively proactive

The best thing you can do about damage is, pretty simply, avoid it. One way is insurance -- it seems obvious, but make sure the policy you choose fully covers the actual cost of your stuff. If you go sans insurance, proactivity is your mantra. Before moving day, get a good handle on the condition of your stuff and make sure it’s packed properly. DIY packing is one option, but you might want to consider leaving it to the professionals, especially your high value (monetary or sentimental) items.

When moving day arrives, there’s a lot going on and it’s often emotional, but it’s important to remain calm and cognizant. Make sure your stuff and its current condition is accurately noted on the origin inventory sheet, and double-check these items on it:

  • List any extra value items (at or over $100/lb) and their conditions on a separate high value inventory sheet
  • Plug in all electronics and note their current working condition
  • Double-check before you sign (this list is what everything is checked against on the other end)

If there’s anything on the sheet that you don’t understand, just ask. Movers will often use industry abbreviations to indicate the condition of items. A few notable extras are:* CH: Chipped* BR: Broken* CU: Contents Unknown* PBO: Packed By Owner

Pro tip: be a gracious host or hostess to your movers. Let them know where the restroom is, offer water, and consider treating them to lunch -- even something as simple as pizza, burgers or subs. Get on their good side and they’ll probably be open to doing a quick walk-through with you for free to note a few things that need a little extra TLC.

Damage control

If damage does happen, all is not lost. Make sure all damage is noted on the destination inventory sheet and consider taking some quick photos on your phone with a timestamp -- remember, documentation is your friend if you decide to file a claim.

Claims go two ways: if you got insurance, you’ll take it up with them. The experience will be a lot like filing a car insurance claim. If you move is uninsured, you’ll take it up with the moving company directly. This is slightly more difficult because you’ll have to prove something like negligence on the part of the movers, drivers, etc. if you want to get them to cover anything over the standard. As hard as it can be, if you’re in a claims process, fight the desire to get your stuff fixed in the interim.

If the damage is more on the minimal side and doesn’t really warrant the time and stress of a claims process, you can always get crafty with handy DIY tricks like Tibetan Almond Sticks and these furniture restoration tips. A little elbow grease can go a long way.

Still nervous about your move going smoothly? From pre-move questions to insurance, drop-off, and everything in between, Moveline’s there for you. We’ll put in in contact with a professional mover to make sure your move is nothing but smooth sailing from beginning to end. Check out our website or give us a call and get moving on your move today.