The summer months bring graduations, work vacations, and lease-endings. For many, the increase in temperatures thus also invites the dreaded moving process. While it’s unlikely you’ll find moving straight-up fun — what’s not to love about examining every item you own, packing the chosen ones into boxes and then carrying these heavy boxes to variously strenuous ends? — there are ways the moving process can be worse than others.
Security is another key consideration. Whether you’ve had a friend fall for a Craigslist apartment scam, had your financial details get compromised, or fell prey to untrustworthy moving companies, there are a variety of issues to consider when planning your move. For those about to take on the endeavor, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help increase the security of your moving experience.
Mind Your Financial Information
Landlords, brokers, and management companies will often ask for a variety of financial and personal details to ensure you are a dependable candidate for renting. While this is largely unavoidable, there are a few ways you can increase the safety of this process. Firstly, if possible, give these documents in printed form as opposed to email form. This helps protect your sensitive information from online breaches that could then give hackers easy access to bank statements, social security numbers or other valuable information. If you must email, you could consider sending documents in a password-protected form. Unless it’s absolutely vital to your renting process, the best option for security is to only hand over explicitly requested personal details. There’s no need to put tax returns or bank details at risk if not required.
Don’t Give Away Money Without A Signed Lease
Renters also run the risk of falling for Craigslist scams or other housing situations that ask for money without ultimately delivering on the promise of residence. It’s always safest to rent from an established company or from someone to whom you have some sort of real-life connection (for example, a friend used to live there and can vouch for its legitimacy), but that is realistically not always an option.
If you do find an apartment online, one way to help protect yourself is to not hand any money over without a signed lease. Be wary of those who ask for a security deposit before you have a signed legal agreement, and don’t send money over without viewing the potential unit and meeting the landlord or manager.
Get Real Life Recommendations
Yelp is a beautiful thing for finding much-needed services like moving companies, but don’t blindly trust all those five-star reviews. There have been reported instances of companies faking Yelp reviews in efforts to boost sales. Getting a trustworthy moving company can be vital to your relocation process: movers have access to both your outgoing and incoming residences, and to all your valuable belongings in between. To make sure you are going with an option that will keep your belongings safe, try to get a referral from a friend, co-worker or family member who has had a positive experience when at all possible. But do note the most negative Yelp reviews, especially reviews with specific details.
Keep Sensitive Items On Your Person
Even with a trusted moving company, some valuable possessions are better off staying with you during a move. While packing, set aside any sensitive financial documents, valuable jewelry, birth certificates and passports. Place them in a safe container that you can transport from your old to new location without any outside help.
Be Clever With Labeling
To avoid drawing attention to valuable items during your moving process, label your boxes based on rooms as opposed to contents. For example, you could label your valuable crystal and china “DINING ROOM” as opposed to “CRYSTAL.”
Supervise The Packing Process
For those moving short distances, it’s always a good idea to be present on both ends of the moving process. Before movers are set to arrive, create an inventory of everything that will be making the trip. Supervise the loading process to make sure everything makes it into the van. You can also alert movers of valuable or delicate furniture items to make sure they are wrapped and loaded securely. Head to the second location along with your movers and make sure everything on the inventory gets loaded up.
If you’re moving yourself with a rental truck, create the same inventory for self-accountability. Check that you’ve moved everything into your car on the front end and once again that everything on the list is secure in the second. This helps prevent against accidental security lapses, like leaving items behind, for example.
Consider Moving Insurance
The most concrete protection against many of the above safety issues is acquiring moving insurance. This can help ensure you won’t lose large sums of money if any potential problems arise.
Moving can be stressful, but there are certain protections you can take to protect against the worst possibilities. Consider the above tips to help increase the security of your moving process, and remember to sign legal documents before doling out your hard-earned cash.