make a decision to move or store some of your belongings or even remodel your
home, it is important to evaluate whether any of your personal valuables could
be at risk for damage or theft.
If you are one of the thousands of people who
will move next year and have not yet
considered how to organize or protect your valuables, the following suggestions
may help you secure important papers, small valuables, coins, jewelry,
passports, high end collectibles and small electronics .
Locks and Safes
Rare treasures, gold, expensive jewels are
best kept in a bank safety deposit box, yet some items that you access
regularly may be kept in a small,
personal fireproof safe in your home. Remember, most standard jewelry boxes
do not have secure locking mechanisms and locks may easily be broken or damaged
during a move. If you have a safe-deposit box and are moving long distance, you
may choose to close it ahead of time and have the contents moved.
High Value Inventory
Taking a complete home inventory may
seem a daunting task, yet there are very good reasons for doing so. Well
documented inventories, especially of high value items, can help you determine
proper levels of insurance, ensure a fair settlement in the event of a loss,
can help expedite any claims process and can help you keep track of belongings
that are moved or stored. You may
choose to start by putting together a basic list of your most valuable items
and eventually move on to inventory the rest or hire a third party to help with
the full inventory.
In this era of “identity theft,” it is also
important you secure all of your personal information. Most legal advisors
recommend you keep original wills,
trust instruments, or powers of attorney with your attorney or in a safety
deposit box. Keep in mind, when legal questions arise, access to safety deposit
boxes may be subject to waiting periods. You may also keep copies of these important documents in a fireproof safe at home, wrapped
in waterproof packaging to protect them from possible damage.
Securing Storage Units
are placing items in storage units, it is recommended that you look
for a facility that has good security features such as alarms and video
surveillance. If you are securing your unit with locks, it is recommended to
use a high security, “shrouded” type that cannot be easily picked, shimmed or
cut. Although hardware
and home improvement stores generally charge more for these locks, thieves will
usually first target units with weaker, more inexpensive locks.
Police recommend you take photographs of expensive items and where they are
stored within the unit. This can help detectives determine a thief's modes of
entry and exit and may assist in the recovery of the stolen goods. In addition,
renters should record the serial numbers of electronics or other products that
are left in storage units. Some retailers may use this information to track
mold and insects may destroy valuable art and furnishings, so be absolutely
certain your unit is temperature controlled and schedule quarterly fumigation.
High end rugs should be wrapped and check regularly for insect activity to
No matter where you may be headed, it is important to set aside a little extra time
or take a few extra steps to protect your valuable possessions.