Start by listing all the items you’re going to store and their approximates sizes. Also, gather up plenty of sturdy, corrugated cartons, packing paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and marker pens, along with any furniture covers or shelving you intend to use in your storage unit.
Pack as much as you can in the same size boxes. Fill boxes tightly, but take care to neither overpack nor underpack. (Bulging cartons tip when stacked, while half full boxes tend to collapse). Use wadded up newsprint, bubblewrap, rags, towels, or blankets to fill in empty spaces. For maximum protection seal cartons with tape.
Pack heavy items such as books and tools in small boxes. For easier handling limit the weight of all cartons, regardless of size, to 30 lbs. or less.
Label all Boxes
Clearly label boxes so you know their contents, and keep a list (as well as pictures and descriptions) at your home or office for reference. Mark clearly all boxes containing fragile items.
Clean Stored Items
Clean and dry appliances before storing. Secure all movable parts with paper, or wedge and wrap a paper pad around each item for protection. During transport tape all doors shut, but remember to wedge them open for storage.
Tape or tie bed rails together. Mark the pieces for easier assembly later. Place covers or plastic bags on mattresses to keep them clean during storage.
Store items you’ll need most often at the front of the unit. When you pack your storage unit, create a center aisle for access to all items.
Furniture with Legs
If you’re storing tables and other furniture, remove legs and store tabletops and sofas on end, to save space.
Preparation Prior to Your Move
- Buy packing supplies
- Start packing boxes as soon as possible
- Send address change cards
- Get copy of school records
- Have clothing dry cleaned
- Check on items in repair shops
- Notify utilities and telephone companies
- Set a date for utility disconnection and hookup
- Return borrowed items and things you’ve lent out
Pack books flat to protect their spines. Line cartons with plastic and fill empty spaces with packing paper.
Use bureau drawers to store small, fragile items. Secure items in drawer by filling empty spaces with towels or packing paper.
Protect chair legs by wrapping them in packing paper. Leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic chair covers.
Hang Up Clothes
Hang clothes and draperies in wardrobe boxes.
Use Paper for Breakables
Use lots of paper to pack dishes and glassware. Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons. Wrap each dish and glass separately and cushion them with crumpled paper. Plates are best stacked on edge.
Pad mirrors and paintings with paper. Place them in special mirror packs or large boxes; mark boxes.
Separate Lamps and Lampshades
Pack lamps and lampshades in individual boxes. Use plenty of clean paper or clothing for padding.
Don't put Boxes on the Floor
Do not place boxes directly on concrete floors, but use pallets or skids to prevent moisture absorption.
- Discard all flammables, such as paint and gasoline
- Finish packing. Leave out items for moving day
- Empty and defrost refrigerator and freezer
- Have everything packed, except bedding
- Pick up ice and beverages
- Strip beds. Cover mattresses with mattress bags unless they are going in storage
- Turn water and lights off
- Lock windows and doors