Contents Corner: Pack Out No-No's
Sometimes knowing what not to do can be the most valuable information a person, or in this case a business, can have in their toolbox. It’s like driving down a new road in the middle of the night and seeing a “Warning, Sharp Curve Ahead” sign. As you approach that curve, you are pretty grateful someone thought to put up a sign warning you to slow down.
When I packed out my first contents job 16 years ago, there were definitely some warning signs I wish someone had posted for me. Let me tell you it would have made the job a whole lot smoother. I managed to complete the job with few issues and my client was ecstatic in the end, giving me a raving testimonial. But the pack out itself was harder and way more stressful than it needed to be because I didn’t know what not to do. In the years since, I’ve gathered a solid list of pack out no-nos.
Don’t Use Unprofessional Equipment and Supplies
This means do not go to a big box store and buy off-the-shelf boxes that are not standard in size and are flimsy in construction. Purchase your packing supplies from a professional supplier that carries good quality, professional items, like moving blankets, packing paper, and moving labels.
Use an appliance dolly to move appliances. Use moving straps to tie down large furniture. Even your tape guns should be professional tape guns and not just something offﬀthe shelf from the grocery store.
Not only will using professional quality supplies and equipment make your job easier, it will instill confidence in your client that you know how to handle moving their belongings. And with confidence comes less concern which translates to less stress for you.
Don’t Skip Steps
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to over simplify a job. You can get yourself into trouble really fast handling and moving contents if you are not meticulous about your systems and procedures being done exactly the same way on every single job no matter how big or how small.
It is very important to be organized and thorough on a pack out. In order to do this, you must have procedures you follow on every job. Thinking you can skip steps because a job is small or easy can often lead to problems down the road.
The magic is in the details.
Give Your Client Control
Yes, you read that right. Give them control or at least give them the feeling they are in control.
Can you imagine someone you don’t know coming into your house and telling you to step back while they pack up all of your valuables, personal items, and memories and take them to a warehouse somewhere and give you no timeline as to when they will be returned to you?? I certainly can’t.
There is never a time during a contents restoration job and especially during the pack out process that a homeowner should feel not in control of their items. If this is the case, your job is potentially set up for failure right from the start and you could wind up with an upset, stressed out client on your hands.
We need to have the control to do our job as we are the trained professionals. However, that doesn’t mean our client should ever feel like they don’t have a voice or a say in what is happening with their belongings.