No matter the reason you are putting some boxes in a self storage unit to clear your home or office of clutter, you want to make sure you do it right to make your life easier down the road. This means having a plan and thinking ahead in order to pack things the most efficiently. This means taking precautions to help prevent damage and making it easier to find things later. When the seasons change you want to easily be able to find the other half of your wardrobe so you don't have to stress out while rummaging through all of your boxes that you didn't label.
Guidelines to keep in mind as you pack:
➦ To aid in stacking, use same-size boxes when possible.
➦ Avoid storing items in plastic bags as they are less sturdy and could trap moisture.
➦ Fill each box completely to prevent the top or sides from crushing. If your box is filled with odd-shaped or loose items like glassware or toys, fill the open spaces with crumpled paper, bubble wrap or other packing material.
➦ Don’t fill boxes too full. This may cause them to burst.
➦ Don’t make boxes too heavy to move. Use larger boxes for things that don’t weigh much and smaller ones for the heavy stuff.
➦ Make sure to use the right type of box or storage crate. If you are storing books you will need a heavy-duty box that will be less likely to break than a standard box. Cell kits or wardrobe boxes are also beneficial for other items you don't want stored in a box.
➦ Stack books; don’t stand them on end as this could damage the spines.
➦ Stack plates on end. Wrap dishes individually and place like-sized items together. Nest individually wrapped cups together.
➦ Wrap framed art in bubble wrap. Look for protective cardboard or plastic corners at your packing supply store.
➦ Criss-cross masking tape across the face of mirrors or glass-covered art.
➦ Store framed mirrors, photographs and artwork vertically rather than flat.
➦ Label your boxes clearly on all sides. Also consider providing a general description like ‘kitchen goods’ and then providing a short inventory such as ‘potholders, towels, aprons, silverware’ so that no one opens this kitchen box when they need the pots and pans. Be sure to mark boxes full of breakables as ‘fragile.’
➦ Clean items like clothing, blankets, drapery or furniture before packing them to prevent germs and dirt from being transported to a new location and odors from spreading throughout your storage unit.
➦ Polish wood before you pack to provide a little extra protection from the elements.
➦ Treat leather items with a specially made conditioner before placing them in storage.
➦ Wipe metal objects with machine oil or another type of rust preventative.
➦ Take apart items like bed frames and tables, and remove lampshades from lamps. This will help protect them from breaking and make them easier to move.
➦ Cover furniture with sheets or tarps to protect them from stains, tears and scratches.
➦ Place heavy items on the bottom of your moving van or self storage unit.
➦ Place least used items in front of the van so they can easily be placed behind other items in your new garage or self storage unit.
➦ Place valuable items like your television behind other items so that they will be more difficult to see and to steal.
➦ Place boxes of fragile items on top of other boxes.
➦ Consider if your items could be damaged by extreme temperature or humidity. Do your items need to stay in a climate controlled space? Things like electronics, paper, or clothing are things that can be affected by temperature and humidity. Some items do best in cold storage such as wine and furs. In self storage units without climate control consider using a dehumidifier.
➦ When choosing the size of your self storage room, make sure to factor in a bit more room than your items will take up so you are able to walk between stacks of items. This will make finding things later much easier. Leave a little room between the walls and the stored goods to improve ventilation.
➦ Take a little time to plan and organize as you pack. This should make it easier to finds things in the future and less likely that anything will get damaged during a move or while in storage.
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