Packing and moving can be big job. Here are some useful tips to help you pack, move and store your belongings.
- Label all boxes and containers with their contents or consider numbering your boxes, keeping a master list of what you’re packing in each one. That way, you can quickly check your list and determine which box you’re looking for.
- Try to pack using two or three different box sizes only, as this makes stacking your boxes that much easier.
- Use the right box for the right job. Use specially designed mirror and picture boxes to protect your mirrors and artwork and wardrobe boxes to keep your clothes hanging neatly.
- Use towels or bed linen as an alternative to bubble wrap or foam when packing fragile items.
- When packing up stereo, TV or computer systems label your cords and make a diagram before you unplug them. Figuring this stuff out once is bad enough!
- As a rule of thumb, small boxes should be used to pack heavy items and big boxes should be used to pack lightweight items. Books are compact but heavy so manage your load by only filling up a small box with books. Blankets and towels are light but take up a lot of space, so use larger boxes for items like these.
- Be prepared and have everything packed before your movers or friends arrive.
- If renting a truck or trailer, reserve ahead and call to confirm your reservation the day before the move.
- If hiring movers, book well in advance of your move and call the week before to confirm the details.
- If you’ve asked friends for assistance, call the day before to double check that they are still able to help.
- If moving yourself, make sure to have rope and/or tie downs available to help secure your load while in transit.
- If moving yourself, position old blankets or towels between furniture to prevent damage while in transit.
- Pack the items that you are least likely to access in the back of your unit, so that the items you might need are always handy and near the front.
- Ensure all plastic or shrink wrap is removed from items to prevent the collection of condensation, which can cause damage and lead to mold and mildew.
- Remove mattresses from mattress bags — old linens or blankets work well as drop sheets or protective covers.
- Store items on pallets to encourage air circulation beneath items.
- Pack items within the storage unit in such a fashion as to encourage air circulation between boxes and furniture.
- If moving in to your storage unit on a rainy or snowy day, ensure to dry off the surfaces of any items as you place them in your storage unit.
- Consider climate controlled storage for temperature sensitive items — the enclosed environment of these buildings can also provide increased protection from dust and dirt. Electronics, family heirlooms, good wood (i.e. oak, teak, cherry wood) should be stored in heated storage where temperature fluctuations are minimized, unlike unheated where the temperature will fluctuate greatly with the season.
- Use old sheets to cover and protect upholstered or wood furniture if you plan to stack other items on top.
- Large trash bins are great for storing items likes shovels, rakes, etc.
- Remove legs from items (i.e. kitchen table) and disassemble furniture (i.e. bed frame) when possible, as this saves space.
- Tape all hardware or legs that you have removed from items to the underside of the item, so that the hardware or legs don’t get lost.
- Always store your sofa or couch on its legs; never stand it on end as the two legs and armrest were not designed to bear the full weight of the sofa and may be damaged.
- Do not store perishable food items, as these attract rodents.
- If storing motorized items (i.e. a lawnmower, quad, snowmobile, or vehicle), drain of fuel and other fluids, and disconnect and remove the battery. Place cardboard under the motor, so that any drips are absorbed by the cardboard to minimize the risk of damage to other items you have stored.