Securing Valuables

 Posted by Caring Transitions on December 5, 2015 at 5:35 PM

Once you 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 .

Use of 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.  

Securing Personal Information

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

If you 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 certain devices.

Humidity, 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 prevent damage.    

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.