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Moving is stressful, even under the best of circumstances. Here are some tips to keep your belongings from being lost, stolen or damaged during a move. 

Prepare Before Moving Day
Make a list of valuable items, descriptions and serial numbers, if applicable. Take photos of your possessions to prove that you own them. That information will help if something goes missing or gets damaged and you need to file an insurance claim.

Your homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage while you are moving to your new home. Check with your company or agent to find out if you need to purchase additional coverage. The moving company may also offer insurance.

Fill out declarations forms so the moving company will know which items are valuable and so workers can use extra care when moving them. Some moving companies refuse to transport valuables, such as jewelry and personal documents, and encourage owners to keep those items with them during the moving process. Ask the company about its policies.

If you have pricey items, such as jewelry that you won’t need right away, consider leaving them in a safety deposit box or with a family member or friend so you won’t have to worry about them going missing in the chaos of moving day. You can pick them up and transport them to your new home once you have settled in. Before you leave valuables with family or friends, make sure they have a secure place to store them. 

Pack Expensive Belongings Carefully
Use packing supplies that are appropriate for the items you are moving to avoid damage. If you need help with packing, ask the moving company for assistance.

When you label boxes, write the room the items are bound for, not what the boxes contain. You don’t want to tip off potential thieves.

Keep Valuables Safe on Moving Day
Put important documents, such as driver’s licenses, passports, birth and marriage certificates and insurance cards, in a container that can protect them from water damage, insects and other hazards. On moving day, keep the documents locked in your vehicle or in a portable safe that stays with you at all times. You should also scan essential documents so you will have backups in electronic form. 

When the movers arrive, tell them which boxes contain electronics and other valuables.  They can use extra caution when loading and unloading those containers to prevent damage. 

If you’re renting a moving truck and transporting your belongings to your new home yourself, keep the vehicle locked at all times. If you stop at a restaurant or a hotel, park the truck in a well-lit area. Choose a parking space that you can see clearly from a window.

Protect Your Valuables
The last thing you want is to discover that a valuable object has been lost, stolen or damaged. Planning and preparation can help you keep your belongings safe and minimize your stress.