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Helpful Packing, Moving & Storage Tips

Packing Tips

  • Utilize consistent size boxes.  Boxes of the same size and shape stack better.
  • Label your boxes on 4 sides (front, back, left and right) this way it does not matter which way they are placed on the truck or in the unit.
  • Label boxes with “heavy” or “fragile” to help prevent accidents.
  • For each room, designate a color of tape. Place small tag of color coded tape on door of each room and tag on each box.
  • Packing electronics? Packing electronics in the original box is best.  If they are not available, crumpled unprinted newsprint and bubble wrap are the best alternatives. 
  • Packing your computer? It is wise to back up your files to an external drive and place it in a separate box before storing.
  • In addition to labeling what’s in your boxes, add what room they’ll be going into when you are ready to move to that special place.
  • Pack items that you will need FIRST in clear plastic bins.
  • To help save time, keep drawers intact by covering them with stretch wrap or Press n Seal.  Dresser drawers are like their own moving boxes – this will keep you from having to unpack and refold their contents.
  • Fill your boxes completely or use packing peanuts so things don’t shift.
  • Pack your books flat so you don’t ruin the spines.
  • Use small boxes for books and heavy items so they are easier to move.
  • Pack the bare essentials separately: Toilet paper, telephone, toiletries, snacks, coffee (and pot), soap, flashlight, screwdriver, pliers, can opener, paper plates, cups, utensils, a couple of pans, paper towels, and cleaning supplies are some of the essentials you may need upon arrival at your new home. Pack a box with these types of items and ask your van foreman to load it last so that it will be unloaded first.
  • Make sure you have a first aid kit handy, you never know when you will need it.
  • Wrap all of your hanging clothes in a comforter or large blanket. They will remain on the hangers during the move and you won’t need to rehang when the move is completed.
  • Use plastic wrap or paper and tape to wrap silverware trays/ inserts as is. This keeps all your flatware together and makes unpacking a breeze.
  • Use large Ziploc bags to keep kitchen and bathroom drawer things together. It’s so much easier to unpack when all the small drawer items are together.

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Moving Tips

  • Call Movers well in advance to organize and budget for your move
    Moving Tip: Facility managers are a great resource when it comes to finding a moving company!
  • Give away (donate) unwanted/unneeded items before placing in storage, it’s always harder to get the item out later once the unit is full.
  • Be careful when taping screws, nuts and bolts to bedframes that you don’t use a tape that will damage the finish.
  • Make sure your items are protected; call your insurance company or check with your local storage facility for insurance to cover your items during transit and in storage.
  • Make a plan to order take-out the day/night of the move. It’s easier to have paper plates and plastic utensils than to try to find your box of dishes and silverware. 
    ..... and don’t forget to feed your moving help; they probably could have found something much more enjoyable to do.
  • Moving may not go exactly as you have planned, but it will all come together.  If there are hiccups during the process, just imagine how good it will feel when it’s over.

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Storage Tips

  • Always make time to schedule an appointment to visit the storage facility.  You want to meet the staff and see the units to get a visual of which size will work the best for your needs.  This will also give you a better sense of cleanliness, security and professionalism.
  • When packing the storage unit, put the bulky furniture towards the back of the unit so you can stack boxes and such on top.
  • Before you start filling your storage unit, have a floor plan.
  • Keep all your decorations together by holiday.
  • To maximize space and prevent overloading stand couches and mattresses on end – Also ask your local storage facility for bags specifically designed to protect couches, chairs, and mattresses.
  • Remember Safety First!  Always stack heavy, wider boxes on bottom and lighter, smaller items on top.
  • Leave a center aisle to access your entire unit if you plan on taking out or putting items in periodically during your stay.
  • When storing furniture, break it down to make more room.
  • Keep a ladder in your unit to stack and reach higher.
  • Use wardrobe boxes to store clothes.
  • Invert lightweight chairs so they are seat to seat. There is usually space in between for small items.
  • Use wooden pallets on floor before putting boxes or furniture in the storage unit.
  • When storing metal items, to avoid rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
  • On mirrors and framed artwork, use cardboard corner protectors.  Do not store flat, as they will collapse under their own weight.  Keep them upright and mark them as fragile.
  • Cover the top of your belongings with an inexpensive vinyl cloth lined table cloth.  This will help protect your items.
  • Cardboard boxes are great, but use plastic bins on the bottom layer of your stacks.  They provide stability for your stacks but also don’t draw moisture from concrete floors like cardboard would.
  • Did you know, in most cases, you can stack dryers on top of washers for storage.  Check with your manufacturer first, but what a great space saver.  Don’t forget to store things inside those appliances too.
  • Shovels, hoes, rakes, and hoses can be stored together in empty trash cans.
  • Plants, pet foods and perishable items are strictly prohibited. Combustible, hazardous or toxic materials are restricted as well, so make other arrangements for those items ahead of time.
  • Keep a flash light or lantern (and extra batteries) on hand for when you’re digging through those boxes in the back.

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