Find the right packer and mover when you are planning to relocate. Image Credit: Stock image

Dubai: Whether you are moving within an emirate in the UAE, from one emirate to the other or moving out of the UAE, finding the right mover can make all the difference between making the move a smooth experience to one filled with stress and anxiety.

Here is a breakdown of all you need to know to make the right decision.

Where can I find movers?

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There are different ways in which you can find out about moving companies around you:

1. Online search: Most movers have an online presence and an online search 'Movers in the UAE' or 'Packers and movers near me' can throw up quite a few results.

2. Around your home: Some movers leave their flyers and details with building receptions, so you could always speak to the security staff in your building, or the community management staff if you live in a villa.

3. Newspapers: Moving companies also advertise their services in newspapers, and picking up the classifieds section can throw up some leads.

4. Word of mouth: Are you part of a local Whatsapp group, or did a friend or relative move houses recently? Ask around and you will be surprised by how many good recommendations you get.

To verify that the company you are dealing with is registered with the economic department, you can search for the company on the Abu Dhabi Economic department website here and the Dubai Economic Department website here.

What should I look for?

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Depending on your moving needs, you need to consider whether you want packers and movers or just movers.

Moving within the UAE

1. Movers

There are small businesses around the UAE that offer staff that come to your home in a mini truck. This means that you would need to find moving boxes, pack all your items the way you want and simply leave the heavy-lifting to the company. This can be arranged for at very low costs, with many companies charging based on the number of boxes you have.

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2. Packers and movers

These are end-to-end services, where the company’s staff packs all the items in your home, moves them to a new location and unpack and set up the new home as well. This can cost a lot more but can reduce the stress of moving.

Moving out of the UAE

1. Cargo companies – You can get your items moved to your new home through air or sea cargo. While air cargo is quicker, it can be an expensive options, as the charge is calculated by weight. Sea cargo takes longer to reach – sometimes over 10 weeks – but the charges are calculated by volume and can be easier to manage. The cargo could also be moved over land if you are moving to a country that has direct land access to the UAE. You can choose door-to-door cargo, where packers come home, pack items, manage all the cargo procesing and deliver it to your new home or port-to-port cargo, where you would need to manage the packing and some of the cargo processing steps as well.

Tips for packing

Whether you pack the items on your own or get professional packers to do the job, it is important to know how you can minimise any potential damage to your goods.

1. Use the right materials – Boxes for moving should be new or lightly used. Make sure you use heavy duty moving boxes. These can be bought in different sizes from cargo companies in your area or some home furnishing stores.

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2. Special care for special items – for crockery or fragile items, it is important to use specialised boxes. Crockery often comes in boxes with a lot of padding, so if you have the original box with the packing material, that is ideal to ship such fragile goods. If not, ask the packers to pack plates, glasses and dishes individually, with good quality wraps. Bubble wraps are great for packing such items.

3. Don’t overpack – pick boxes that are a little bigger than the item you are packing and leave enough space for the wrapping material. It is also important to not pack heavy items together. Distribute heavy items as much as possible, mixing them with lighter ones that can be packed together.

4. Pack it tight – Wedge paper or foam peanuts into the space around it. Before closing, add a layer of padding on top.

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5. Start and end with a layer of packing – Use bubble wrap or crumpled paper before you start packing a box and right before sealing it shut.

6. Pack items room by room – it is important to not mix items from different rooms when you are packing. Make sure the children’s room, living room, kitchen and bathroom items all have their own boxes.

7. Label – It is extremely important to label each box clearly. Also, have a separate list with each box’s number and packed items clearly noted.

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8. Have enough supplies – Keep a stock ready with boxes, wrapping material, scissors, newspapers, foam peanuts and bubble wrap and markers.

You can get items like markers, bubble wrap and packing peanuts at a great price in discount markets across the UAE. As moving homes requires a lot of these items, drop in at a local Dh10-20 shop for a deal.

Here is a checklist for you to follow to make sure you look for the right options when selecting a mover:

1. Background check

Do a quick online check for reviews of the company before picking one. Look at the reviews left on their social media channels or on online forums. It is often best to look up a handful of options before selecting one. Personal recommendations are the most reliable, so if a friend or family member has dealt with a company and is satisfied with their service, it is perhaps the most reliable review.

2. Get an insurance

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Even though this is an additional cost, this is particularly important if you are moving internationally. If goods are damaged, the company could avoid paying for it if you are not insured. You can contact insurance companies for relocation insurance quotes.

3. Don’t go for the cheapest service

Getting a good deal might seem tempting but when it comes to relocating it is better to pay for quality. Movers that charge more might be offering guarantees and this is worth the extra money you would be paying.

4. Don’t accept delivery without checking your items

If you opt for door-to-door cargo services, it is important to ensure your items have been shipped without damage. Many companies make you sign a ‘received’ form when the package is delivered at your new home in another country. If the form mentions a clause that the receiver confirms that the goods were not damaged, always check the goods before signing it. This might seem like a hassle but protects you legally.

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Moving to a new home is stressful. Make sure you make the right decision, dealing only with reliable and established companies and insure yourself against any loss of items.