Store mattresses standing on their ends against a wall to better utilize the height of the storage space.
When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for access to all items.
When storing dining room tables with removable legs, remove the legs to store the table on its side to maximize floor space. If the legs cannot be removed, store boxes under the table and dining room chairs upside down with their seats on the table top.
Store sofas on their end to utilize the height of the storage space.
When storing appliances ensure that they are fully clean and dry and prop their doors open for optimal ventilation.
When storing metal items, to retard rust, wipe all metal surfaces with a rag containing a few drops of machine oil.
Stack boxes to fully utilize the height of your unit, placing like sized boxes on top of each other, with heavier boxes on the bottom.
Consider using shelving along the perimeter of your storage space, if you will be storing items like holiday decorations and seasonal items. You will be able to access items you need easily without having to unstack a tower of boxes to get to them.
Old photographs tend to curl over time. To keep them flat, place them between two pieces of cardboard and tape them together.
When storing records or inventory, store them in the order you will likely access them. If your records are used by year make sure the boxes are organized by year as you place them into storage.
Drain gasoline and oil from lawn mowers and items with small engines.
If you are storing your office files in boxes as permanent record storage, you may need to organize them on shelves with a walkable aisle. This will allow you to move about within the storage unit with ease.
Use trash cans to store shovels, hoes and rakes.
When storing your full household of furniture before your new home is ready, without a need to access anything until you are ready to move, you will be able to use more of the floor space to truly pack the storage unit.
DON'T STORE: furs, jewelry, expensive items, irreplaceable items, any living thing, used tires, firearms, explosives, flammables of any kind (gas, diesel, oil, paint, etc.), drugs or drug paraphernalia, stolen items, any type of hazardous items, perishable items of any kind, hazardous waste materials of any kind, items that produce odors, liquids, or any item that will in any way make other tenants or the manager unhappy.
Mattresses, easy chairs and sofas can be covered with specialized bags that keep them clean and dry while moving.
Wood and glass furniture should be wrapped in bubble wrap or moving blankets. If legs can be removed from tables they should be removed to conserve space and protect the furniture on the moving truck. Removed legs can be wrapped in bubble wrap and shrink-wrapped together to keep all furniture components together. Remove any removable shelves from cabinets, protect glass cabinet fronts with cardboard shrink-wrapped to the face of the cabinet, and wrap the outer cabinet in a high quality moving blanket to protect it from dings while moving.
Beds should be disassembled, securing bed rails together and marking the pieces for easier assembly later. Wrap headboards and footboards individually with moving blankets. Cover mattresses with specialized mattress covers to keep them clean during storage.
When disassembling furniture remember to pack nuts, bolts, and screws for that piece of furniture in a plastic bag or folded into a piece of paper. Clearly label the outside, so that you know which piece of furniture they go with. Either tape the package to the wrapped furniture it goes with, or place all packages of furniture components together in a box for easy assembly.
Protecting Lamps and Décor Items:
Lamp bases should be protected with bubble wrap, especially if they are made of metal, ceramic or glass. Removable lamp shades should be removed for added stability. Lampshades can be stacked and placed in either a box or plastic bag for transportation. Wrapped lamp bases should be placed in boxes for added protection.
Mirrors and pictures should be wrapped in bubble wrap, foam wrap or newsprint. Be careful of hooks on the back of frames when attempting to stack pictures, or lean pictures against each other. You do not want to press the hooks against the glass of another mirror or framed artwork. Larger mirrors or pieces of artwork should be placed in specialized mirror boxes after being wrapped for an extra layer of protection.
Collectibles including vases and figurines should be wrapped individually in newspaper. They should be placed in small boxes with packing peanuts further insulating each item. Do not try to fit too many collectibles in one box, they will need the peanuts to ensure they do not shift or damage each other during the move.
Protecting Dishes and Serving Pieces:
Dishes should be wrapped individually using newspaper or foam sleeves from one of our custom glassware or dishware kits. The kits include cardboard dividers as well as glassware or dishware sleeves for an extra barrier. They are made to fit in our small boxes which helps to ensure that the boxes are not packed too heavy to transport.
Pitchers should have their handles protected with bubble wrap, newspaper or foam wrap, before fully wrapping the exterior. Pitchers should be boxed, like vases and collectibles, in small boxes with a layer of packing peanuts to insulate multiple items in the same box from each other.
Platters, serving bowls and serving trays should be wrapped individually in bubble wrap or newspaper. Multiple platters or bowls placed in the same box, should also be protected with a layer of packing peanuts surrounding each item.
Wrap televisions and computer monitors carefully, placing the wrapped items in specialized boxes for added cushioning while moving.
Wrap electronic devices in bubble wrap or cushion foam. Bundle any cords to the devices and tape them to the outside of the wrapped device so that all components stay together for easy reassembly. Box the wrapped devices for added protection.
Packing like a Pro
Blankets and quilts can be placed in larger boxes that accommodate their loftiness.
Pillows can be shrink wrapped into empty dresser or cabinet drawers to help protect the drawers while moving. They can also be placed in the drum of dry washers and dryers for moving or storage.
Area rugs should be vacuumed, rolled up and shrink wrapped in two to three places along the length (depending on the size of the rug) to ensure they do not unroll during the move.
Books should be packed laying flat in smaller boxes. This will protect their spines and ensure that you can lift the filled boxes.
Hanging clothes can be grouped in bundles in bags from the dry cleaner, and boxed in specialized wardrobe boxes with hanging bars to ensure they retain that pressed finish and easy unpacking.
Folded clothes can be packed in boxes, trunks, plastic tubs or in empty suitcases.
Small appliances like stand mixers, sewing machines, microwaves, coffee pots, blenders and juicers should be cleaned, dried, wrapped in newsprint, bubble wrap or foam wrap and boxed individually in boxes that fit the size of the appliance.
Large appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers, should be thoroughly cleaned and dried prior to packing. Secure movable parts or remove any removable shelves. The doors should then be shrink wrapped or taped closed to avoid damage during the move, but should be opened for proper ventilation if they will be placed in storage after the move.
General Tricks of the Trade:
Use high quality packing materials including good quality tape and corrugated boxes to pack your belongings. A good box adds that extra layer of padding in its well supported construction and qualtiy tape avoids the hassle of splitting during use.
Use the right size box for the item you are packing. A box that is too large for the item it is holding can become unstable, while a box that is overfilled can bulge and become hard to stack and conserve space.
Keep in mind the weight of the filled box. It may seem like a great idea to have fewer boxes, but packing them full could make them too heavy for you to carry.
Label your boxes and wrapped items to make it easier to identify where items are. If you are moving, it may also help to label them with the room they should be placed in once they arrive at your new home. This will save you from having to move items again after your movers leave.
Label boxes holding delicate or breakable items as "fragile". This will help you to handle them carefully, and also help you to remember not to stack heavier boxes on top of them.