How to enjoy a problem-free move using professional movers

November 14, 2014

Protect your belongings—and your budget—when working with professional movers.

How to enjoy a problem-free move using professional movers

Hiring a professional moving company may relieve you of the physical labour associated with a move, but you still need to choose the movers carefully, do some prep work, and make sure that everything is in order once your belongings are delivered. Here's how to do just that.

1. Shop for the right company

Ask prospective moving companies if they follow the "Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers." Ask for proof of their insurance, and whether they pay replacement value or a lesser, depreciated value in case of a claim.

Make sure everybody agrees who will handle packing, preparing an inventory, insurance claims, storage needs, and any necessary licensing or customs documents. You can save money by doing your own packing, but the movers might not accept liability for your belongings, so ask first. If you're doing a long-distance move over a few days, ask how and where your belongings will be secured overnight.

2. Be prepared

Arrange nearby parking for the movers if necessary as soon as they arrive. Plan to either supervise the load-in/load-out or have a trusted friend do it for you, and clearly identify what should be moved, along with anything that requires special handling. But otherwise, plan to stay out of the movers' way as much as possible.

Take time- and date-stamped photographs of anything especially valuable or fragile that's getting moved. Be sure to include any identifying information, such as serial numbers, in case of an insurance claim. Finally, make sure you have arrangements in place for pets and perishables like food and plants.

3. Pack smart

Bring a small box of essentials like toiletries, medications, insurance information and other vital documents to keep with you. If you have children, include a keepsake or toy for each of them. If possible, you should take jewellery and anything you consider irreplaceable, like childhood keepsakes and photo albums with you as well.

4. Treat the movers well

Moving heavy boxes and furniture is hard, sweaty work. You'll make your movers very happy if you offer lemonade or another thirst-quenching drink. Do not offer them alcohol while they're working; they could get in trouble with their company if they accept it.

Movers always appreciate tips for a job well done. For a half-day of work, $10 is appropriate, $20 for a full day, and more if they worked unusually long hours or dealt with unusual inconveniences. Tip each worker individually with cash, and don't forget the truck driver.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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