Lightening the Load
When a customer comes a-calling, he or she wants more than just our bodies. Yes, our customers want us for our minds too! We are the experts. We know what works, from the pack to the load to the unload.
But long before we pull the truck up to their door on move day we can start making things easier for all involved. Here are 3 suggestions.
Getting rid of food
Weeks before a move it’s tough for the customer to determine what will be done with the pantry. What food will go uneaten? What can we take? What about the opened boxes of cereal and pancake mix?
Some of that food might have to be taken care of at the last minute. Still, if the customer knows what they will be doing with that leftover food, whether donating it to a local kitchen or shelter or simply giving it to the neighbor’s college-age son, this eliminates the need for them to try to deal with this while their move is in mid-stream. Ask them ahead of time what they plan to do with leftover food, and be prepared with a few ideas.
(One option we like involves donating to Move For Hunger. Consider researching alternatives in your area and keeping a list on hand.)
All those containers under the sink, out in the garage and downstairs in the basement – the ones with the warning labels and the poison control phone numbers on them – often bring a lot of last-minute questions. As a part of your pre-move procedure hand (or e-mail) your customer a list of items movers as a rule will not take and as a precaution prefer to leave in the customer’s hands. They may still have questions on move day but armed with the knowledge you are giving them they’ll have far fewer.
For a comprehensive list of both prohibited and important/valuable/irreplaceable items check out this page on the United Van Lines website.
One evening this past May a neighbor of mine was burning paper in his backyard barbeque pit. Turns out he was preparing to move and didn’t have a paper shredder.
Not all our customers will have the same awareness – or determination – when it comes to destroying personal documents. Planting the idea in the customer’s head of the benefits of destroying documents with personally identifying information may add to their to-do list, but may eliminate a few pounds from their load now and a whole lot of identity-theft-related stress later on. And for those customers who don’t have a shredder – or a barbeque pit – consider having one on hand to lend them. (A shredder, we mean.)
As an aside, be aware of the dangers – for both customer and mover – of simply tossing documents in the trash.
Photo credit: dierk schaefer