Don’t Pack the Cat! – Important Do’s and Don’ts Movers Want You to Know

Don’t Pack the Cat

As with all cautionary tales and warning labels, there is a reason they exist. Tips and rules for moving across the country are no different. Partly to save themselves from liability, and partly to help people who are in the process of moving, professional moving companies provide a full list of tips, tricks, and important rules and guidelines for moving, both across town and across the country.

Take advantage of these resources to make the most of your move. Some moving companies have unique rules or guidelines to consider, but for the most part the list of do’s and don’ts for your next move is pretty standard. Here’s what you need to know.

DO: Try to provide an estimate of how much stuff you have to move to get a more accurate quote.

Moving rates are usually based on weight. If you’re doing a self-move, you can’t even rent a truck or trailer without knowing how much space you will need. Take an inventory of your belongings and try to estimate how much you are actually going to bring in your cross country move. This will give you a more accurate moving quote and give the movers a more accurate idea of what they are getting into.

DO: Label boxes with identifying information.

If you sorted and organized prior to packing, you should know exactly what is in each box. Label them on the outside, both with the contents and with your name. The contents label will help ensure that boxes are unloaded into the right rooms upon arrival at your new home.

Why add your name, though? A lot of cross-country movers actually haul multiple loads at once to save space and money. A single family rarely needs an entire semi-trailer, after all. Keep your belongings from getting lost or dropped at the wrong place by adding your name to them. Even if you just write “Jones” in large print, that’s going to help.

If you have boxes that you are more concerned about getting lost, you can add your phone number or the new address for extra security. Better yet, keep those important boxes with you and transport them yourself.

DON’T: Pack valuables for loading onto the moving truck.

You might not even think about wrapping up your collection of china plates or high-end hunting knives and throwing them on the moving truck. However, if these items have any kind of real value, you’re better off keeping them with you. It’s not that you can’t trust a moving company. However, when you move across the country, there is a lot of room for things to go wrong. You can minimize the risks by minimizing your exposure.

Even moving companies will tell people to keep expensive items or personal documents in their possession. It’s not that they don’t want to move those items. They just don’t want to take the risk and they are looking out for your best interests, as well.

DON’T: Choose movers based on price alone.

When comparing moving quotes (and you should), you need to look at all of the elements of the quote. Consider the reputation of the moving company in question, what services are included in the move, and whether there are extra charges involved.

Make sure that you hire movers who can get the job done well for a reasonable price, not just the cheapest movers you find. The latter usually doesn’t end well. You might get lucky and find a decent company, but if you took five or ten minutes to get a few quotes, you can forget about luck and guarantee that you chose the right people for the job.

DON’T: Bother the movers while they are moving.

It’s human nature to be friendly and helpful. Plus, it’s not that moving companies are rude or unfriendly. They just have a job to do, and they know that you are usually paying by the hour for labor. If you have movers packing and loading your belongings, just leave them to do their job.

Distractions can lead to accidents, items getting broken, or injury. Plus, the whole process will take longer if you’re constantly hovering or trying to make small talk while they work. Again, no one is trying to be rude, but it’s safer (and more efficient) for everyone if you mind your own and stay out of the way.

DO: Choose a moving company that is insured.

In addition to your own home and/or auto insurance, you need a moving company that is insured. Professional movers are required to carry certain types of insurance, but some companies try to fly under the radar or don’t offer all the coverage that you need. Choose a moving company that provides:

  • General liability insurance for their employees
  • Coverage for the value of your personal property
  • Workers’ compensation coverage
  • Auto insurance for moving trucks and trailers

Ask for proof of insurance before you hire a mover to verify their coverage. No one will be offended by you asking, and the most reputable movers might even offer proof before you get a chance to ask for it.

DO: Ask your movers how they handle fragile items.

Every company has a different policy for dealing with valuables or fragile property. Once you have decided on a moving company, contact them to discuss this. Find out if they will pack or move these items, and whether they insure those items. For instance, some moving companies may not be able to insure against damage for items that they didn’t pack themselves.

Don’t assume anything. Moving companies understand the complex nature of a cross-country move and are more than willing to answer your questions. This affects them too, after all, so they’ll want to make sure that you get it right the first time.

In Conclusion

All moving companies will tell you that an informed homeowner is their best customer. Just as you expect certain things from your movers, they expect certain things from you in return. To make the process a smooth one for everyone involved, keep these tips in mind.

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
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