Preparing Items For Storage
Completely fill each box with heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on the top. Place all smaller items in uniformly sized boxes. Uniformly sized boxes stack easier and conserve storage space.
Pack books flat, not standing on end. This will protect the spines, which will bend and warp over time if stood upright. Books are very heavy, so pack them in small boxes. Do not put them in boxes with other, more fragile, items.
- Lawn Mowers
Drain gasoline and oil from all small engines. This precaution will protect your stored property and the property of others from fire and explosion.
Place mattresses in plastic covers to protect them from dust and moisture.
- Leather Items.
Treat leather items with a leather conditioner prior to storing them. Keep leather furniture items off of the floor by placing them on pallets.
- Fabrics and Clothing
Have blankets, draperies, and clothing cleaned. Then pack them on hangers in wardrobe boxes.
- Mirrors and Pictures
Store mirrors and pictures inside similarly sized knocked-down boxes. This provides them with protection against scratches and dust.
- Furniture and Tables
Place blankets over furniture to protect from scratches and dust. Keep furniture items off of the floor by placing them on pallets.
Photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place between pieces of cardboard and tape them together. Do not store irreplaceable photos. Photos and negatives take up very little space. Try to keep these items with you.
- Breakable Items
Wrap breakable items inside bubble wrap and store with some form of additional padding.
- Dishes and Glassware
Store these items in specially made boxes called dish-packs.
- Pillows and Toys
Store these smaller items in large plastic garbage bags.
- Label boxed items
Do this to know what is in each box without having to open and unpack them.
Clean and dry all appliances prior to storage. Do not leave anything inside of appliances to be stored. Store all appliances upright with doors ajar to allow ventilation.
Do Not Store These Items
Furs, jewelry, irreplaceable items, any living thing, firearms, explosives, flammables of any kind (gas, diesel, oil, paint, etc.), drugs, drug paraphernalia, stolen items, perishable items of any kind, hazardous waste materials of any kind, items that produce odors, or items that make other tenants or the manager unhappy in any way.
- Do not use sealed plastic bags to cover or wrap your belongings. Sealed plastic retains moisture. However, using plastic sheeting to drape your items is typically ok and may help to prevent dust & dirt.
- Do not store any food items. This will prevent any unwanted guests.
- Do not pack your boxes so that they are too heavy to be carried. Especially when you are packing books.
- Do not assume that your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your belongings while in storage. Additional insurance will need to be purchased.
- Do not give out your password, gate code, or any information to anyone that is not listed as having access.
- Do not use printed newspaper for wrapping. The ink may smudge and get on your items.
- Do not forget to clean appliances before you store them.
- Do not store any toxins or flammables such as paint, oil, or gasoline.
Organizing Your Storage Unit
- Use a high quality disc (round) padlock to secure your storage unit. This type of lock is difficult to cut or break. It offers maximum protection for very little money. Most companies will give you this lock for free.
- Keep out of season clothes accessible, you may have your belongings in storage longer than anticipated.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you are in your unit. If you see a potential problem or anything suspicious, alert the manager.
- Store couches on end if it is possible. Stack chairs seat to seat. Use the inside of appliances and drawers to store smaller items. When stacking furniture use paper pads in between the items to prevent scratching.
- Disassemble items such as tables and bed frames. This will save space. Wrap and label all pieces for when you need to reassemble them. Put all hardware in bags and label accordingly as well.
- When you disassemble electronics that have numerous cords, place small colored stickers on the item’s cords and matching colored stickers where each cord goes. This will save you any hassle when it is time to reassemble your electronics. If possible, use the original boxes to store your electronics and other items.
- Sealable plastic containers are great for storing your items. They have tight fitting lids and stack easily. Keep the more valuable items covered or in the rear of the unit. This will prevent others from seeing them while you are in your unit.
- Utilize all of the space in your unit. Plan out how you are going to arrange your items. This will save you time and energy because you will not have to rearrange your items. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit as a walk way to the back of the unit.
- Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
- Store items that will not be needed at the rear of the unit. Store items that you will need access to toward the front of the unit.
- Store smaller, more valuable items to the rear of the storage unit and large items toward the front of the unit.
- Label the boxes on all six sides and keep a list of each box for easy reference. This will save you time if you need to look for something specific.
- When packing boxes, fill them without making them too heavy to lift.
- Always put heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter boxes on top of the heavier ones. This will prevent your items from being crushed.
- Keep boxes off of the floor.
- Store mirrors and paintings on end, not flat. Pack books flat to protect their spines.
- Clothing and draperies should be stored in wardrobe boxes and on hangers to retain their original shapes. Be sure to check your unit once a month.
Packing To Protect
- Purchase the insurance. If your belongings are worth storing, they are worth insuring.
- Use wooden pallets or boards underneath furniture and boxes. This will prevent condensation from damaging them.
- Leave a small airspace between your stored items and the wall of the storage unit for ventilation.
- Make sure that all appliances are clean and dry before storing them. Leave appliances slightly ajar to prevent mildew.
- To prevent rusting, rub a small amount of machine oil on metal tools, bicycles, and equipment. Drain and clean all debris from all equipment before you store them.
- When wrapping collectibles or anything breakable, tape them after you wrap them. This will prevent mistaking them for excess paper to fill the box. Use bubble wrap or unprinted paper to wrap breakables.
- Group similar items together and mark the boxes accordingly.
- Pack your storage unit as tightly as possible. Tighter packing helps to protect stored items from moisture and dust as well as reduces the space needed to store you property.
- Cover everything with plastic sheeting. Wooden furniture should first be covered with blankets to avoid abrasion and moisture damage. Plastic sheeting will protect your stored goods from both dust and water damage. Sealing the plastic around your items can cause damage (mold & mildew) in some climates. So it is not typically advised.
- Store mattresses and box springs on long edges. Wrap for protection and elevate off of the floor. Use two or three 2 x 4′s cut to 1 foot long.
- Make sure all furniture, mainly couches and stuffed chairs, are very clean and free of food debris to prevent attracting bugs and other vermin.
- Cancel all utilities at old home
- Make arrangements to ensure all utilities will be on when you arrive at your new home (water, wastewater, cable, electric, Internet, etc.).
- Inform proper authorities of change of address such as Postal Service, Bank, and Credit Card companies.
- Fill out an IRS change of address form.
- Have school and medical records transferred if required.
- Prepare all major appliances for move (clean, defrost, etc.).
- Place baking soda in the refrigerator to absorb all moisture.
- Ensure all valuables are covered by insurance.
- Have all of your important documents easily available (school records, insurance, etc.).
- Research auto licensing for your new destination.
- Remember, what ever is loaded first onto a movers truck will be the items last off. Plan accordingly.
- Keep in touch with your destination to ensure you become aware of any problems that will affect your move.
- Ensure you have adequate storage for any items you may wish to store.