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Inventory of your goods

It is always wise to take a complete inventory of your goods before starting a move, especially if you are moving between states or out of the country. If you moving locally, simply record the number of boxes before loading and compare this number upon arrival at your new house. If you are moving out of state, however, you should make a more detailed list. Most moving companies will provide you with a detailed inventory of all your goods including boxes and furniture, but even then it is wise to review the inventory list before the signing it.

Be aware that many moving companies will list furniture as a number of pieces, with a note verifying that they have disassembled and or packed the items. In most inventory lists, companies will also record the condition of the item at the time of the loading. Many moving companies will use a system of symbols for their inventory lists and it is important that you understand these symbols and pay attention to the details when reviewing the list.

Symbols such as: PBO- pack by owner, CP- carrier packing, CU- condition unknown, D- dented, SC- scratched, CH- chipped, BR- broken, CR- cracked are common on many inventory assessments. You may also see numerical symbols used to indicate the location of damage, such as: 1- Top, 2- Bottom, 3- front, 4- back, 5- leg, 6- draw, etc. A typical entry on an inventory list might look like this:

Item # Item Description Condition at origin Condition upon delivery
122 Sofa, 3 Cushions CP, BR- 2,3,5


*** This entry indicates that a sofa was packed by your carrier and the front bottom leg was broken.

Moving companies will typically mark your inventory with labels that carry a “lot number” and “item number.” The item number will appear on the list, near the item description. If moving to a storage facility, most moving companies will provide you with a similar inventory list. We recommend that you choose a company that will provide a detailed list, so you can verify the condition of your property upon arrival. You should thoroughly inspect the inventory list regardless if you goods were retrieved from storage or newly shipped across the country.

If you choose to move your goods with a transportation company, they will only provide transit of your property and will not load or unload your goods or provide you with an inventory list. Make sure to make a detailed inventory of your goods and verify your inventory with the transportation company in case something is lost, stolen, or damaged while in transit. If the transportation company will not take responsibility for loss or damage, it is your responsibility to determine what methods the company will use to keep your goods safe while in transit.

Having an inventory list will often be for your benefit. This is especially handy if you are planning on keeping your goods in storage for an extended period of time. An inventory list can not only help you to protect your goods from theft and damage but it can be a helpful way to keep track of any property you want to keep in storage.

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