Avoiding Damages While Moving

by Daniel Horning

What’s your favorite piece of furniture? An antique passed down through distant ancestors for generations? Maybe a hand-built dining room table your husband put together from wood rescued out of the family barn? A grandfather clock your grandfather built for your parents wedding 50 years ago? Moving important pieces of furniture, whether across the street or across the state, can be terrifying. Here are some tips to keep damages to zero (or close).

  1. Take a Picture Inventory – Make a list of your favorite furniture items and personal possessions. Then take pictures of each item. Take lots of pictures of the easily scratched or broken parts (sides, legs or corners). Documenting the pre-move condition of your favorite stuff will help you later on to realize that tiny scratch might’ve been there all along.
  2. Tell the Movers What’s Important – Keep a file ready with your possession list & the pictures you took (see step 1) to show the movers when they arrive so they know how important each piece is. Just knowing that you know your furniture so well will push an excellent moving company to move your treasures with even more caution and awareness.
  3. Prepare with the Right Packaging – Check with the movers several days in advance and again the night before your move to be sure they’re bringing moving blankets and plastic wrap. If they don’t have those items, make sure to rent them from a local Budget or Penske truck rental office or buy them from a hardware store or online. If you buy the materials online, make sure to order them at least one week before the move so they’re delivered on time.
  4. Oversee the Wrapping/Packing – There’s nothing wrong with watching each of your favorite pieces as they’re wrapped and padded to be sure they’re adequately protected. Moving companies bring on new employees and work to be as fast as safely possible, so sometimes a corner isn’t covered or a leg doesn’t get wrapped. It’s ok to point that out. The movers will be glad when they don’t have to answer for damages and you’ll be glad when everything arrives at your new home safe and sound.

Antiques and family heirlooms run the biggest risk of tragedy during a move. Don’t let your move be any more stressful than it has to be! Go the extra few steps, be a little paranoid even, and dodge the damage bullet. It can be done. With the right planning and well reviewed local movers, you can have a damage-free move.