1. Gather Packing Materials Before You Start
- Sturdy boxes of different sizes
- Packing tape to seal boxes
- Bubble wrap/wrapping paper for breakable items
- Marker for labeling
- Scissors/ Box knife
- Ziploc baggies in different sizes:
–Gallon size bags are perfect for small items such as silverware, bathroom items and office supplies.
–Quart sized bags will hold small parts such as furniture hardware.
–Extra large Ziploc bags are great for bulky children’s toys, sporting equipment and outerwear.
–Space Bags can be compressed by removing air with your vacuum and can save a lot of space.
2. Correct Size and Container
Boxes are available in a variety of sizes. Choose boxes that will protect your items well. Over-sized boxes will allow contents to shift while in transit from your home to your storage unit.
You can find free boxes at most grocery stores and liquor stores. Ask your local grocer for waxed produce boxes; they are very sturdy and most have handles for easy lifting. Liquor boxes have dividers for your kitchen glasses, knick-knacks and other breakables.
Garbage bags are not recommended for storage. They have a tendency to break easily, are difficult to stack, and can sweat in humid conditions which may lead to mold or mildew damage.
3. Don't Pack Boxes Too Full
Packing boxes too heavy will not only make moving more difficult but it can also damage things in the bottom of the box.
Keep in mind you, want to place the heavier items in the bottom of the box and the lighter items on top. This will keep your boxes balanced so that they will be stable when stacked and prevent toppling over.
4. Photograph Your Inventory
- Label each box with what room the contents came from.
- Take photos or make a list of what is in each box.
- Tape your photos/lists to the boxes for an easy way of locating and identifying contents.
5. Get The Most Out Of Your Storage Space
- Take apart bed frames, tables and other items that can be disassembled before you place them in storage.
- Place your furniture hardware in a Ziploc bag and tape it to the furniture it came from so nothing will get lost.
- Wrap table legs and picture frames with protective wrap or blankets to prevent damage as you move them.
- Use places like dresser drawers, trunks, stoves and refrigerators to store smaller boxes in.
- Large trash cans are great to use for storing rakes, shovels, skis and brooms.
6. Leave A Path
This will allow you to access your items without having to unload your storage unit.
7. Keep It Covered
- Cover furniture and mattresses with cloth moving pads, old sheets, or heavy paper.
- Dust is inevitable in storage and you don’t want it all over your furniture or mattresses.
8. Lawn Equipment And Vehicle Storage
- Drain fuel and oil from your mowers, trimmers and other maintenance equipment. Doing so will keep oil and gasoline odors from saturating other items in your storage unit.
- Store mowers and other gas powered items on cardboard to prevent possible leaks from causing damage to the storage unit floor. You will be responsible for cleaning charges.