How to Enjoy a Theft-free Move

Move-in day can be one of the most fulfilling and stressful times of your life. Unfortunately, between movers, landlords, helpers, or anyone else that may be in-and-out of your new home, comes the real risk of theft.

When we think of theft, we often imagine a loss of expensive valuables such as TVs, jewelry, or money, however, thieves don’t prey solely on these items alone. Instead, many look at what they can easily re-sell as their main reason for stealing. This means that items you wouldn’t normally think twice about such as those in your kitchen or bathroom are also at risk!

Here are 4 tips to safeguard your belongings on your next move:

Tip #1: Properly vet all those around you

It goes without saying that you wouldn’t invite a complete stranger into your home on a regular basis, so why entrust them with moving your belongings? Often times online sites such as Craigslist or Kijiji are the quickest source of moving labour, however hiring online can pose many risks. This is not to say that there isn’t honest workers to be found on sites like this, there is, however there are some criteria to consider prior to inviting these people into your home.

Examples of questions to ask potential movers are:

1. Do you belong to a registered moving company, if yes, who?
2. Do you have past moving experience, if yes, can I call your references?
3. What assurances do you have in the case that my belongings are lost, damaged, or
stolen?

Tip #2: Designate a family-only zone

Moving-theft often occurs when the tenant or owner is away tending to other aspects of the move such as the truck, or directing where the furniture should be placed within the unit. The best solution to this is to set up a family-only zone. A family-only zone is simply an area of the house where movers cannot remain unattended. For example, consider a couple moving into a three-story apartment with two hired movers. The couple’s new apartment on the third floor can be designated as the family-only zone, leaving one mover in-charge of the truck, and the second mover in-charge of carrying boxes up the stairs or loading the elevator to you (in the family-only zone). This method minimizes the amount of time thieves have idly alone with your belongings.

Tip #3: Number your boxes

This is as simple as it sounds, simply tape on a bright “post-it note” with a unique number and pack it away. Thieves will definitely think twice before stealing any numbered box; as labelled boxes are much more difficult for the owner to forget. When combined with a “designated family-only zone”, the numbering method proves to be a powerful deterrent against theft.

Tip #4: Move personal identification documents yourself

Not all valuables are shiny! In fact, confidential documents such as your: SIN number, bank statements, insurance papers, and birth certificates can be easily taken. Additionally, many, if not all these items are light, thereby making them easy to carry to your new home by car; as opposed to by truck. This means that a simple way to minimize the risk of stolen documents is to either store them in your car trunk until the move is completed, or carry them yourself into the “designated family-only zone”.

We can all agree that there is an overwhelming amount of tasks to consider when moving, however, implementing these tips today could save yourself a mountain of grief come move-in day. That being said, do you know someone who is moving soon and can benefit from these “theft-free” moving tips? Do you have any secret tips that we haven’t mentioned above? Leave a comment below, and happy moving!

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