We’ve all gone to unpack a box and discovered something got broken in the move. It’s practically impossible to pack up a whole house for a move and not lose at least a few things in the process. The best storage units usually have all the materials you’ll need for packing, protection, and storing your items. Here are some easy to remember tips for helping you avoid some of those broken dishes, knick-knacks, pictures, and electronic equipment.
It’s important to understand that filler is not protection. Make sure you have the right kind of packing materials for the items you’re packing or storing. Bubble and foam wrap is best used for protection; most storage facilities will have these available for purchase. The cheapest and most efficient filler is often as close as the paper shredder in your office or the bin of overflowing plastic shopping bags in the kitchen.
Proper labeling of boxes will have both the moving company and you singing happy tunes during the loading and unloading portions of a move. Making sure things like FRAGILE: GLASS, THIS SIDE UP, and DESTINATION: KITCHEN or STORAGE will make it super easy to know where everything goes at the new place.
It’s also important to know what items are going to be stored, since things like fine china, electronic equipment, clothing, and picture or paper items should be kept in a climate controlled environment. Storing these types of things in a space that doesn’t offer climate control is inviting mold and mildew in paper and clothing. Moisture corrodes circuit boards and fluctuations in humidity can cause the porcelain in your fine china to become brittle.
You don’t have to be packing something that could spill to use this important directive on your packing boxes. Picture frames and dishes should be transported and stored on their edges, not flat. Vibrations from the moving truck will rattle through whatever’s packed within. When glass is packed upright, these vibrations travel up and out, having less of an effect on the glass.
Pack cups and glasses with the openings to the top for the same reason, the vibration will exit the glass faster, causing less chance of breaking. Place a loosely crumpled piece of newspaper inside taller glasses to help absorb some of the vibration at the base while allowing it to move up and out of the top of the glass.
If you have the space to keep the original packaging for your high value and electronic items, it’s always best to re-use them when moving, but if you didn’t keep them try thinking like the manufacturer and place added layers of bubble wrap at each end of the box. If you have those silicone drying packets or capsules, you can put one or two of them inside the boxes going to storage. And if you’re wondering where you are going to put all this stuff once you’ve unpacked, remember that a self-storage unit is perfect for keeping the things you need, but don’t need right now.