How to Protect Your Valuables When Moving

Moving alone can drive you crazy, but you are sure to get in a huff when precious things of yours are damaged or lost in the process.

The truth is that things happen and you can’t be prepared for all eventualities, but still you can do your best to protect your expensive stuff and cherished items. To facilitate your task, we have collected helpful recommendations from relocation pros and long distance moving experts in this brief guide on valuable cargo safety.


If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – remember the proverbial expression? So, start with deciding on which of your things is the most valuable FOR YOU. This can refer to expensive items like your jewelry or collectible china or costly electronics; to documents, paper money and bank cards; or to family heirlooms like your old photo album or sports prizes won in your childhood. Think of things that you won’t be able to renew or items that will take too much time and money to replace if they are destroyed or damaged.

Make a list of your precious stuff and do bother to take their photos. Ethan Greenfield, who is a relocation pro and an ex-coordinator for a major US cargo carrier, insists on the inventory supplemented with pictures for both better planning, thorough checking and potential damage proving (if an unfortunate event does happen).

Also, he recommends considering purchasing insurance for those prized things, which are going to travel with your moving company. Address your insurance company to learn whether your current home insurance covers your move and valuables in particular. If not, you can also reach out to your moving company for the help in getting extra insurance. Besides, make sure to read the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s booklet about your rights and responsibilities when moving with a carrier – some aspects of subscribing to a policy are discussed there.

Along with choosing valuables and insurance options, you need to plan which of your sensitive stuff will go with you and which you will entrust to a moving company from the list of Note that both packing and insuring depend on your choice, since many companies don’t insure cargo packed and moved by customers.


Often, valuables are fragile articles that require careful packing and proper marking in order to protect them from damage. On the other hand, they also need to be kept on the radar – Christine Daves, a certified professional organizer, warns customers against being too naïve. She recommends avoiding marking your boxes with the expensive stuff in an obvious way. You’d better use certain stickers to label your valuables rather than writing “Jewels” or “Documents” on the boxes. However, if you choose to send your china with a moving company, make sure to label it “Fragile”.

As for the packing itself, you will certainly need:

  • a lot of cardboard boxes of various sizes;
  • sealable bags for small items;
  • packing paper for fragile articles;
  • duct tape for securing boxes and wrapping around bulky articles;
  • bubble wrap for electronics and breakable items;
  • vacuum bags for clothes and bedding;
  • foam peanuts for artwork, glassware and electronics;
  • plastic wrap for fixing furniture drawers and doors, as well as for protecting delicate surfaces;
  • moving blankets for furniture and appliances;
  • plastic covers for furniture and clothes;
  • cushioning foam for electronics and fragile stuff;
  • ropes and moving straps for moving and securing large and heavy objects.

Jon Daly, a pro mover with a moving company from Minneapolis, advice to go right to a moving supply store where you can get various types of specialized boxes and bags along with other packing materials. Consider purchasing special artwork, mirror, lamp and wardrobe boxes, as well as file boxes for packing your documents safely.

However, your insurance policy can require professional packing – in this case, you will be freed from at least some of the packing fuss, but it can’t hurt to check if everything is done correctly.


Where is your list of valuables? Take it and check if everything is packed and loaded to your carrier’s truck or to your own vehicle before going further. You can be surprised to find a small box with your worshiped collection left somewhere in a dark corner – in the chaos of move stranger things have happened.

Similarly, check your valuables right upon the arrival, especially if they are carried by a moving company. Once you sign all documents and say good bye to movers, it will be quite difficult to convince the company that they are responsible for loss or damage, if any. No matter how tired you are, make sure to check at least your delicate items, while you can leave unpacking other stuff for the future.

Published by Kidal Delonix (1198 Posts)

Kidal Delonix is a contributor to Mr. Hoffman's blog. The views and opinions are entirely his/her own and may not reflect Mr Hoffman's views.

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