Clean all items prior to packing to ensure no mold or dust residue and buildup. Not cleaning any items before storage, especially furniture which will likely be open to the air, can cause mayhem in the end. Before storing furniture wipe down items with a dry cloth and then clean with an appropriate cleaner for the material (iron, steel, wood) . Once you have cleaned the item thoroughly allow it to dry completely to ensure no moisture is trapped in the furniture.
Label All Boxes
Label all boxes to make sure you know where everything is. Don’t just write in a dull sharpie on the box – use colored tape and large letters to know what items go together and what is in each container. Although this takes more time, create a checklist of every item in each box.
Be sure to buy moving/storage grade boxes. Buying storage boxes means you are buying a thicker, studier box to hold all of your items – especially for those items that are heavy. Using the appropriate containers allows for better preventive care.
Dismantle Large Items
While not all furniture may need to be disassembled, it is smart to tear down large items in order to save space. While taking apart furniture such as bedroom sets or tables, do not do this without a partner nearby to help prevent injury. Once your large items are dismantled, be sure to wrap them in sheets for protective covering. Avoid using plastic as it can carry moisture, ruining furniture and certain materials. Once you are done taking apart large pieces, attach screws and hardware to the wrapping of these items to prevent losing any necessary parts.
Padding, Padding, Padding
Padding is an absolute necessity to packing up for storage. Whether you need to cover a mirror, dresser, or fragile items in a box, finding the right padding is crucial. You have a range of items to use for padding, such as bubble wrap, foam wrap, packaging paper, and moving blankets. You can also use household items such as tissue paper to wrap more fragile items to prevent chipping, and pillows and blankets you have lying around the house.
Packing the Truck
Back to Front
When packing the truck make sure to load the heaviest items first, focusing on putting those items against the walls of the truck to distribute weight evenly. Heavy items tend to be your larger items, allowing for room in the center of the truck once you load those first. Once the sides of the truck are loaded begin to work from back to front, placing more important items in the back of the truck (see why in just a moment).
Use light weight items to protect more fragile items – such as pillows against a mirror, or a mattress against drawers – doing so saves space and gives added protection. You also need to stack items heaviest to lightest in the truck to give you the most room and protect lightweight items from being crushed. For example place your books on the bottom, and your fragile items on top.
Be sure to strap down items to ensure nothing moves or breaks during the drive, especially heavier things such as broken down bed frames against the walls of the truck. By strapping these down you are able to prevent anything from falling over into the center of the truck, possibly crushing boxes.
Unloading the Truck
Rent a Dolly and Have Extra Hands on Deck
Having a dolly will help the physical demand of carrying heavy items from the truck to the storage unit. More than just two hands moving everything will also create ease and efficiency, as well as safety loading and unloading heavy items. Ask a friend or family member to help you with a fun day of moving around!
Store Items How You Will Need Them
If you are storing items that may not be used or taken out as often, place those in the back of the unit. Placing items used or taken out more often in the front will create ease when you need an item from your boxes (this is where labeling helps). Having items not as needed in the back allows you to quickly find what you do need upfront.
Stack Items Properly
Stack boxes on top of one another, of course placing heavier boxes on the bottom. Also make sure to place fragile items in a safe place where they will not fall or be crushed. Be sure not to stack items too high as that will often cause your items to topple over.
Leave an Aisle
Climbing over boxes certainly isn’t efficient to retrieve items in storage. A small aisle – no wider than two to three feet – will help when the day comes that you need something from the back of your storage unit.
Now you’re an expert at packing up and getting ready to move all your items into storage! If you need help with deciding which storage unit is best for you, or other ways to transport your valuables contact us here and let us guide you.
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