How Do I Verify the Boxes Are My Belongings

How do I verify the boxes are my belongings?

You’ve moved and your items are magically transported by your wonderful moving company. No fuss, no worries, and it’s all there… or is it? How do you know that those boxes are your boxes? How do you know that every box is accounted for? This is a common worry when allowing a moving company to do your moving for you. Don’t worry. There are lots of ways to make sure you’ve received your full shipment!

Personal Markings

You may decide that the best way to check that the boxes delivered are actually your boxes is to place some sort of personal marker on them. Unless your personal marker makes it impossible for the moving company to track your boxes in their manner, this should be allowed. There are lots of different ways to do this, but some of the more common are favorite cartoon stickers or ornate writing on the side of the boxes.

We recommend against colored tape unless it is also covered by a layer of clear tape directly from the movers. This can invalidate any insurance claims if they are necessary. Why? Because it is your tape that failed, not the moving company’s chosen materials. While additional moving insurance might cover your items, if you purchase it from a third party, why risk it? Let the movers use their tape. If you must use something like this, tape a side of the box that does not open.

In the case of office moves, we strongly recommend some sort of mark on each box so that it is easier to sort the boxes as they are delivered.

Itemized Receipts

Almost all moving companies will have itemized receipts. As the boxes are packed, the moving company will mark each box down on a packing list. The list will contain a generalization of the contents of each box (such as “toys” or “clothes”) as well as a sticker number next to each item. This sticker number will allow you to cross-reference the list against what is in the box.

If you accidentally receive a shipment that is not yours, your personal list will not match the list on the shipment. Perhaps box 114 on your list is “dishes,” but box 114 on the shipment list is “toys.” Since the lists are made on carbonless paper (the kind that makes multiple copies as the form is written on), it is impossible that the shipment being presented is your shipment. If this occurs, you need to call the company and inform them that the shipments have gotten confused. They will sort it out and get your belongings to you quickly.

Unfortunately, in some circumstances, the personal list matches the description of the order closely enough that mistakes can be made. If the Smith family’s box 114 is “dishes” and your box 114 matches, you may end up with the Smith family’s shipment instead of your own.

If you have taken all other precautions and still aren’t sure if the boxes are yours, there’s one thing left to do. It’s opening time.

If you are uncertain, we recommend that you open a box or two to confirm that this shipment is yours. If it is not, a quick call back to the moving company should result in them finding your shipment. When shipments get confused, it is likely due to similar names or similar addresses. Upon receipt of your shipment, ask the movers to wait until you’ve confirmed all boxes are present before they leave. Any moving company should be willing to wait after an issue like this arises.