There are many different kinds of valuables we have to move and account for during a move. Jewellery, family heirlooms like stained glass and other cherished mementos, even linens and artwork. Some valued collections are less obvious, like a highly coveted collection of hockey or baseball cards, automobile paraphernalia, military artifacts, books, and the like.
Even the slightest misstep during the packing process can damage a mislabelled or dismissed valuable collection. For example, a friend recently moved a collection of Magic: The Gathering trading cards, which were slightly damaged. To the average eye, it was just a box of cards – but to him, it was a huge loss that damaged an approximate $10k worth of cardboard. Moving cards, model cars and board games is much different from moving artwork and other perceived valuables. People collect many different things according to their own values and interests.
In this post we’ll outline how you can best inform your movers and how you can label, pack, and protect your valued collection prior to moving day.
Start with a List
Before you begin collecting packing materials and corralling your special collectibles, begin your move by making a list of the things that require immediate attention. Without this crucial piece of foresight, you run the risk of forgetting about something that another member of your moving team may haphazardly pack up without your knowledge.
Start by listing all of the things you’d like ultimate control over; a collection of vintage vinyl, artwork, hockey cards, a knife your grandfather passed on to you, etc. Anything that needs your special attention should find its way to that list and be set aside for you to deal with directly.
Consider Additional Insurance
Next up is considering how much your collection is worth and deciphering whether you need to purchase additional insurance to cover potential damages. Most of the time, these types of valuables may not reflect a particular monetary value that represents their sentimental value – but that’s no reason to discount your insurance policy.
Consider that additional insurance valuations may be purchased as well. These valuation policies are generally declared by per-pound amounts, so if you placed a value on your belongings of $10/pound and your total shipment came to about 5,000 pounds – you’d be looking at a maximum valuation of $50,000 – equating to the maximum you’d be able to receive if your stuff was damaged.
Additional insurance can also be purchased via your current home insurer. All prospective clients should double-check with their home insurance policy provider about coverage while belongings are en route to a new address, as some only cover possessions while their in the home. Some policies may only cover up to 10% of belongings that are temporarily outside the home.
Money can’t cover the value of your sentimental loss, but it may be of use to you when deciding to repair or replace your damaged good.
Carry the Small Things with You
If you’ve got a plethora of collectibles that you’d like to keep in plain sight during the full duration of your move, take them with you rather than allowing your movers to pack them with the rest of your possessions.
Small stuff like tablets, jewellery, and glasswork can easily be damaged, crushed or smashed by a box that hasn’t been properly secured in the moving truck. Your best bet is to keep these minimally sized good with you in your own vehicle so you’re in control of how they’ve transported.
Simple and effective – labelling your valuables and breakables as such will help them to survive your move. If you leave a box unlabelled, who is going to know that it contains breakable English Bone China from your deceased grandmother? Label your collections as FRAGILE, BREAKABLE, or HANDLE WITH EXTRA CARE. Additionally, don’t forget to label these valuables with arrows showing which side should stay upwards.
Pack & Communicate Accordingly
Your collectibles are of value to you – so pack them accordingly. This means not leisurely tossing them in a cardboard box that gets stacked on the truck with the rest of your goods. Ask your movers beforehand about how to pack certain things and tell them that you’ll be handling the packing of these goods on your own.
Some objects like pianos, stained glass, crystal glassware, and artwork should be packed in special boxes or even wooden crates to protect against outside damage. They should all be packed tightly and securely with paper, bubble wrap or corrugated cardboard to protect them from moving about or colliding with other objects. Remember to pack the heaviest object on the bottom of your moving truck or in your own vehicle.
On moving day, take your movers aside before they get started and inform them of the things you’ll be taking with you, and the things you’ll be personally packing, if you haven’t done it beforehand. Remember the list you made? Go one step further and assemble all of your cherished collectibles in one room and label the doorway accordingly so they know not to bother packing the contents of the room. If the movers are going to be moving your collection, ask them their opinion of the move; how will they navigate a particularly tricky stairway or weather situation like rain?
Your best defense is a good offense – communicate with your movers about the sentimentality of specific objects and let them know what it means to you. Your sense of caution will inevitably give them the fuel they need to complete the move with extra care.