How to Handle High Value Items When Moving

Asha Kennedy
Researcher & Writer
Read More
Edited By Sarah Cimarusti
February 17, 2022
4 min read

Worried about damages (possibly costly ones) to your valuables during your move? We’ll guide you through how to protect your most prized belongings, whether you’re planning a DIY move or hiring professional movers.


Deciding on items of extraordinary value

So what exactly does “high value” mean? Most moving companies will tell you any item that is worth $100 per pound or more would be considered high value. Some companies use “high value” to refer to anything over $1000. Always confirm with your moving company before signing any paperwork! And remember: some companies may not be able to ship your valuables.

High-value belongings include (but are not limited to): high-end exercise equipment, crystal, china, paintings, sterling silver and precious metals, figurines/statues, precious stones and gems, oriental rugs, furs, rare collectibles, and formal attire.


Hiring professional movers for high value items

Professional moving companies are equipped to help you protect and transport all your things, even the more expensive ones. So how do professional movers help you move high-value items?

  • They use a “high value” inventory form. A high value inventory form is a form that moving companies provide at the beginning of your move. It allows you to identify high-value items and keep track of their condition upon delivery. Movers keep this list separate from the rest of the inventory.
  • They bring the proper materials. Professional movers will come prepared to protect your expensive belongings using high-quality materials like double-walled boxes for fine china or custom-made wooden crates for artwork.
  • They use the best packing methods. Moving crews are trained to pack all your belongings correctly, especially the high-value ones. The crew lead (or driver) can even double-check any items you packed.

Avoiding damage to high value items during professional moves

The easiest way to avoid damages to high-value items during a professional move is to make sure you:

  • Show all high-value items to your moving crew on move day
  • Fill out the high value inventory form and make sure you and your mover sign it
  • Ensure that movers correctly labeled your boxes

If you forget to do these things, you could find some unpleasant surprises at delivery. Worse yet, your moving company may not be liable for any damages. Without a signed high value inventory form, a moving company may only be able to pay you $100 per pound (per item), or less.

Heads Up
High value inventories do not serve as proof of value

A high value inventory form is not the same as proof of value for any specific item listed. The high value inventory form helps you take note of the item’s condition at origin (your old home) and destination (your new home). If you need to file a damage claim after delivery, you’ll still have to prove any amount that you claim.


Moving high value items by yourself

Moving high-value items on your own may be the right option for you if you prefer to handle your valuables without the help of strangers. Or maybe it’s just not in the budget! Either way, there are some things most moving companies would prefer you handle yourself, including:

  • Highly sentimental or irreplaceable items (like photos and heirlooms)
  • Address books and contact information
  • Medications
  • Electronics (like laptops, tablets, and cell phones)
  • Money and currency
  • Essential documents (like car titles and insurance policies)

Avoiding damage to high value items during a DIY move

You can limit damage to your valuable belongings during your DIY move by following some easy tips:

  1. Make a thorough inventory of your belongings.
  2. Purchase moving insurance for extra-valuable or sentimental items.
  3. Buy the right boxes (not cheap or used ones!).
  4. Remove hardware and handles so they don’t fall or break off in transit.
  5. Pack delicate items individually in protective padding and boxes.
  6. Make sure everything is boxed upright so nothing moves around during loading.
  7. Clearly mark boxes containing fragile or high-value items.
  8. When possible, get help from professional packers to move heavy items.

Paying close attention to how you pack your valuables can save you the headache (and expense) of having to repair or replace them once you arrive at your new home. Additionally, when it comes to the quality of your packing materials, it’s better to be safe and splurge rather than be sorry.


Summary

Professional movers have the training to ensure your things are packed and loaded correctly, especially heavy and bulky valuables. On the other hand, you are the best mover for extraordinarily sentimental items that even the best professionals can’t replace. In any case, it’s best to make a plan in advance to alleviate any extra anxiety about moving high-value items before move day.


High value items FAQ

What are considered high value items?

Items that exceed $100 per pound are considered high value to move. Most moving companies also consider anything over $1000 as high value.

What items can movers not move?

There are quite a few things that professional movers aren’t allowed to move. And most moving companies prefer not to move items of extremely sentimental value, or anything that is completely irreplaceable.

How do I protect my TV during a move?

If you’re hiring a professional moving company, your movers will come prepared to pack all your belongings, including your 65″ TV. However, if you’re moving by yourself, you’ll want to make sure you purchase the correct boxes for your TV—preferably something that is double-walled for extra protection.

What is a high value inventory form?

A high value inventory form is a list that professional moving companies use to account for the condition of your valuables at origin (your old home) and destination (your new home). If you do not fill one out, your moving company may not be liable for damages to those belongings during transit and delivery.


Asha Kennedy
Written by
Asha Kennedy
Asha Kennedy is a researcher and content writer who brings almost 5 years of experience working directly with multiple carriers as a Move Coordinator, including Mayflower, United, and Allied International. During her career, she has successfully partnered with diverse clientele to coordinate Military, International, Interstate and Corporate relocations—and uses this experience to create meaningful and educational content for future movers! Asha graduated from Hampton University with honors in English. Asha enjoys being in nature, reading books, and learning new things.