Shots of Wit

A regular posting of witticisms, aphorisms, and general musings by Clifford Cohen.

The consequences of moving…

When moving from one home to another watch out for losing dear (expensive) things. This is when people will steal from you.

Back Story

In my life, I have tended to lose the material things that matter the most to me during moves. There are many potential reasons or this:

1)   When you move, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the logistics of the move. This primes you take shortcuts in the way you pack, in the records you keep, and in the care with which you attend to the things that are of greatest valuable to you (this latter phenomenon occurs, because during the haze of a stressful move, such items may seem momentarily less valuable to you than they really are). Note: a thing of value may be so for either sentimental and/or practical reasons.

2)   You may find yourself needing to use the services of others who you don’t know and who may be untrustworthy.

3)   A move provides cover for theft. A “disappearance” of something can be blamed on any link in the logistics chain. In short, the thieves know they cannot be held accountable, as no proof will likely exist as to when or where the theft occurred. Thieves also know that there will be an important lag between the time of the theft and the time of discovery of the theft—even more incentive to steal.

If you have something that is highly valuable, think twice about placing it in a box and shipping it with high insurance. The insurance alerts thieves to the value of the box, making it an easy target. Rather, find a way to accompany the item of value from end to end—and never take your eyes off of it. Remember, unless you have witnesses to what you put in the box, and you have sealed the box in a legally verifiable manner, there is no way to prove that anything specific was taken from the box. If something goes wrong, the shipper may deny all claims, citing the above reasons.

Number your boxes and maintain a clear and complete list of everything in each box, so that you can verify that everything has arrived at its destination safe and sound.

Theft during transit is a well known fact of life and has been documented. As terrible as this sounds, when you move, take the psychological stance that no one who is involved in the process (and who is outside your core “circle of trust”) can be trusted—even if they have come highly recommended to you. Slow down, take care to inventory your belongings, fight the urge to “outsource” difficult tasks to others who you don’t know well, and finally: ask yourself what items matter the most to you, and then resolve to guard them carefully. Then, proceed as if you are a soldier entering enemy territory: be wary and watch your every step until you are safely ensconced in your new home, surrounded by your precious possessions.

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