5 Ways To Secure Your Things Before Renovating Or Moving
Having your valuables stolen is one of the most depressing things one can ever experience. Realizing that your garage has been broken into and some of your prized possessions are gone makes one feel violated and helpless. If it’s not theft, simply not remembering where you placed your stuff when you need them can be very frustrating, in addition to be a pure waste of time and energy. When you’re preparing to move to another house or place of business, it’s highly likely that your stuff will not be in the places you expect them to be. The move itself results in a chaotic mess and you might not discover that something is lost until a few weeks have passed.
Whether you’re just renovating, building a new place or moving to another one, there are several things you can do to avoid losing your stuff. Here are some tips for safekeeping your belongings.
- Make a detailed inventory of all your stuff.
This may feel like extra work, but you’ll be thankful that you drew up an inventory of your items before moving. You can be additionally thorough by taking photos of the stuff before they are stored. This list will make loading and offloading your things a quicker process while ensuring that you know what might be missing the moment you check at the destination. If your items have a serial number, it’s best to write that down, as well.
Use a spreadsheet that contains the item, quantity, serial number (if any) and other discernible features. Attach a photo for those delicate and extra valuable items, if you don’t want to take the photo of everything else on your inventory.
- Use a trusted security system.
There are plenty of tech that you can use to keep an eye on your belongings 24/7 and they don’t have to be expensive. One of the simplest ways to monitor is to install a security device. Because there are dozens of service providers and brands in the market, it can be a challenge to find the right one that suits your needs. Ask for referrals from friends and family, or research online about the affordable security system options available based on user reviews.
If you’re unsure about getting the right tech, you can also hire a storage company to keep your valuables safe when you move or renovate your home. Instead of renting a trailer, you can opt to stash your belongings at a storage facility. Some providers can do all the work for you. All you need to do is give them call and they will come and pick your stuff up. When you’re ready, you can just ask them to bring your boxes back.
- Keep your important files and documents close.
For the likes of legal papers, financial documents, contracts, birth certificates and more, it’s smartest to use a safe deposit box or a home safe to keep them secure. Sure, your shoebox or plastic envelope method works, but even those can be easily misplaced during the move. Make sure that you know where they are stashed at all times and pay closer attention to them throughout the entire process.
Misplaced documents take a while to be replaced (and can be quite a chore to do so, too) so use that as your driving force to ensure that your paperwork is always within sight and reach. In addition, be sure to keep these papers in a container that is water proof and fire proof just in case of emergencies. You can opt to have these things kept by a trusted friend or relative, but given their sensitive nature, it’s best that you keep an eye on them yourself.
- Close your doors.
This is very basic and is actually a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how many people lost valuable items just because they forgot to close the door. An open entryway feels like an invitation for thieves to come and see what they can take. Don’t give these people the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. Keep your doors closed even while you’re packing. Remember, it can take just minutes or seconds for someone to choose among your stuff and take them out.
If you’re renovating, the most valuable possessions should be kept out of sight throughout the entire process. Don’t make the mistake of putting your boxes near entryways or exits, where they can easily be reached and taken. One can never be too protective of his or her stuff.
- Watch who goes in and out of your property.
Be mindful about who comes in and out while packing for a move or preparing to renovate. There will be plenty of unfamiliar people in the premises so it’s best to know who they are. You can also take their photos to be doubly safe. If you would need to give somebody your house keys so they can come and go as necessary, you should change all your locks when the work is finished.
Another option would be to install a keyless entry system for the workers to use during the procedure. This type of security tech offers users a limited time for entry to your home, after which they will have to surrender their keys or asked to be renewed. It also allows you to have a record of the people who are using it, what times they logged in and what times they left.
Security experts have also mentioned making surprise visits to help quell any temptation to steal your things. Especially during a home renovation, where most of your stuff will likely just be in the garage or in a separate room, having the workers know that you tend to drop by unannounced is a pretty good deterrent. It also helps ensure that they maximize their time doing actual work and not slack off. If the workers can’t figure out a pattern for your visits, they become less likely to steal your things.