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Inventory Sign-off

After unpacking, you should always check if anything is missing or damaged. The moving inventory you created while you were packing will come in handy. Having a well-documented list will ensure a thorough sign-off. This sign-off is very important since insurance claims must be filed within a set window of time. Pull your moving inventory from your mover's file, and get started on your inventory inspection.

Carefully Review the Movers' Inventory

Reputable professionals will provide an inventory after your property has been loaded. The same diligence used during the load needs to be followed during the unload. If it's possible, be present when the truck arrives to move in. Use your copy of the company's inventory to double check items as they are unloaded. Before signing any papers, make sure no discrepancies exist between inventory and your belongings. It's easier to track a missing box if the movers haven't left.

If items have been damaged or lost during the move, make note of it immediately on the inventory sheet – the driver's copy and yours.

A professional inventory might not be as detailed as the one you created for your file. Moving companies typically label boxes – not the contents of the boxes. Even if the unloading was flawless, you'll still need to perform a more thorough sweep.

Start Big (Easy)

Check your furniture and large appliances, and quickly record the current state of each item. Note any damages: missing feet from chairs, scratches on wood surfaces or tears in fabric. Don't forget items usually stored out of sight: a mountain bike, lawnmower, leaf blower, etc. If you are moving large appliances, wait until they are installed to check functionality.

Helpful Hint: You can easily check the current state of each item by comparing against the inventory video or photos you shot before the move.

Electronics and Small Appliances

We hope you've transferred your utilities, and have power for the next step of your inventory sign-off. As you did with your furniture, locate your major electronics and small appliances. You don't have to worry about the perfect room arrangement. Find the nearest outlet and plug in your TV, computer, stereo, etc. Move from room to room testing all items that have an electrical cord. Ideally, everything is working as it did in your old house.

Collectibles and Memorabilia

When dealing with collectibles and memorabilia, you – as the collector – will know best the value of each item, and how to judge its present condition. Check your collections and priceless memorabilia against your inventory and carefully catalogue. For large collections, a separate insurance policy should have been activated prior to the move.

Room by Room, Box by Box

After big-ticketed (or just big) items are documented, shift to the inventory inside the boxes. Make sure you don't miss anything by focusing on one room at a time. Even though you're eager to get everything in its place, make sure you keep track of each box, and note any damaged or missing articles as you go. If others are helping you unpack, print out your moving inventory and hand-off pages accordingly – apropos for each person's undertaking. Dividing the inventory will save a lot of time. It's also a great way to get children involved in the move. An inventory sign-off is really just hide-and-seek with your stuff.

Make a Few Calls (If Necessary)

If Missing, Call the Mover. Any items not found after your inventory sign-off is complete could still be in the moving truck or at your previous house. Contact the movers and ask the driver to check for said item. You may be redirected to another party. Remember, patience is a virtue. If a misplaced item is found by the moving company, it will usually be shipped at no extra cost. If you moved independently, call the rental facility where you dropped off your truck. They may have spotted what you forgot to move.

If your search is fruitless, you should file a claim for the lost property. Contact your insurance provider for assistance.

If Damaged, Call the Insurance Agent. If any item has been damaged beyond repair, you should immediately contact your insurance agent and take the necessary steps for compensation. Your agent will help with the paperwork. If you did not provide your own insurance and chose the moving company's coverage, contact the moving company's head office to file a claim.

If Nothing Is Damaged or Missing, Get Settled. Congratulations on a very successful and sturdy move. Everything has been unpacked and marked off your moving inventory.

After completing your inventory sign-off, you can start to get settled.

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