Since moving is stressful and exhausting, keeping a sense of humor is critical. Grocery shopping with five kids under the age of seven might be easier—another situation that requires a sense of humor, and possibly medication.
Seriously, though, there are some things you can do to remove some of the trauma from the moving experience.
Typically, you don’t start thinking about storage until you need it. At first it seems simple to find a storage facility, and store your belongings. It’s not quite that simple. If you want to find your belongings in the same condition that they were when you stored them, you need to put some thought into how you store them.
Here are a few tips to help you prioritize your needs and organize your thoughts. If you don’t find the information that you need here, give us a call. We’re always happy to answer your questions, and if we don’t have the answers, we’ll find them!
Consider Location, Hours, and Security
If you’re going to visit your unit frequently, you want a location that is convenient to your home. Check hours and access so that you know you’ll be able to get to your belongings when you need them. Security is paramount. Look for perimeter fencing, electronic gates, keypad access, video monitoring, and good lighting. It’s also a plus to have an onsite manager as an extra layer of protection.
Think About Temperature Sensitive Items
You may have electronics, leather furniture, important documents, and many other valuable items that require consistent temperature and humidity. These items require climate-controlled storage to maintain their condition and prevent permanent damage.
Estimate the number of boxes and the amount of packing material that you’ll need. Use strong, new or almost new, boxes. Don’t use boxes from grocery and liquor stores. They may be harboring insects or rodents and they’re probably in a weakened condition.
Create an Inventory
Create an inventory list of your items and keep copies in a safe place away from the unit (at home or in a safe deposit box). Be sure to list the contents on each box. It’s also a good idea to take a picture of the contents to jog your memory when you need to find a particular item.
Plan Your Space
Estimate the collective packing size of the items you plan to store. Keep items off the floor by using furniture pads, 2 x 4 boards, or pallets. This will guard against dampness from the concrete floor.
Arrange Your Space
Think about arranging for easy access. Anything that you think you will use more frequently should be placed in the front. Place boxes that contain fragile items on top of boxes packed with heavier, sturdier things. If you’re storing business files, leave a pathway for easier access.
It is prohibited to store flammable, hazardous or combustible materials. Drain fuel from lawn mowers, trimmers or any other equipment you may be storing. Do not store perishable items, such as food or even pet food. You don’t want to attract insects and rodents.
Handle with Care
Large pictures and mirrors should be wrapped in cardboard, marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on end. China, crystal and breakable items should be carefully wrapped in packing paper or bubble wrap. These boxes should, of course, be marked “FRAGILE” and stacked on top of heavier boxes. Carefully wrap high-quality linens in acid free paper to prevent deterioration.
Utilize Large Appliances
Large appliances make excellent packing space for blankets, towels, bedding, and heavy clothing. To prevent accidental damage, place TVs and other electronics in the rear of the unit.
Use Those Large Trash Cans
Shovels, hoes, rakes, hoses, and other gardening equipment can be stored in large trash cans. Don’t forget to stack the cans together if you have more than one.
Take Care of Your Upholstered Furniture
Sofas and loveseats should be stored on end to save space. Cushions should be wrapped carefully in furniture covers and placed on sofas. Cover everything with furniture pads or covers to prevent dust. Don’t place sharp or heavy objects on upholstered or leather furniture. Wrap furniture legs to prevent damage.
Break it Down
If tables have removable legs, break them down to save space. To prevent damage, cover with furniture pads or covers. Never cover or wrap wood items with plastic. It can leave a residue that causes permanent damage.
Keep Your Mattresses Comfy
If you’re storing mattresses on their sides, prop them up so that they stand straight. You don’t want them to become permanently out of shape and lumpy. If you’re storing a bed frame, break it down and keep all small parts in a plastic bag taped to the frame.
Keep Metal Like New
To prevent rust and corrosion on your bikes, tools, and metal tables, wipe them down with machine oil.