By Trish Romano, Certified Self Storage Manager
I always thought of myself as pretty awesome at my packing skills because I’ve moved so many times. But after doing some research, I’ve found some extremely genius ideas that I never thought of. And here I thought I was a pro! Let’s review some of the skills I have used in my many moves, as well as some fantastic new ones I have found.
The first step at packing like a genius is knowing about boxes. I was very fortunate that my dad worked at a grocery store most of his life and he was always able to provide me with boxes when I moved. Not everyone has this great perk and has to acquire them another way. You can always go to Home Depot, Lowes, the UPS Store or your local post office. If you’re strapped for cash, you could ask your local retailers and businesses if you could have their gently used boxes as well. But remember, those free boxes are designed for one-time use, and should not be used for long-term storage. They are fine to use when moving, if you plan to unpack everything shortly after and then throw them away. These boxes are meant to break down and degrade quickly, and that is not good for inside your storage unit for months at a time.
If you are looking for boxes to use for long-term storage, be sure to visit our retail shops inside our rental offices. Our boxes are specially treated to prevent mildew and are crush tested to stand the test of time. There is nothing wrong with using some free boxes or the move, and then purchasing our boxes to use for inside your self storage unit. We have many types and sizes of boxes available for purchase including wardrobe, lamp, TV and mirror boxes for example. We also provide packing materials as well, such as packing tape, packing paper, mattress covers and more. We have just about everything you need to pack, move and store your belongings.
Now that you have your boxes, you’re ready to start packing!
Separate your clothes into three piles. One that you will bring with you to your new home, another that you will donate and a third that be thrown away. Wardrobe boxes are great to use for clothes that you want to hang and not get wrinkled. You can literally take them right from the closet and place then into the wardrobe box, because it has a metal hanging bar built right in. Wrap them in a plastic bag with the hangers sticking out before you place them inside the box. All other clothes can be folded nicely and packed in small to medium sized boxes. Make sure your clothes are clean and completely dry. If you pack something damp, it will create a whole host of issues.
I found that using dish towels, bath towels, linens and clothes are great for packing fragile items. Stem wear can be placed in socks for padding, wrap kitchen towels around dishes. Packing paper works great as well. You can also use newspaper, but just be careful of the ink! It can transfer to items and stain them. Do not pack boxes too heavy, which helps prevent accidental drops.
Smaller items like spice bottles can be put in pots and pans to save room. If you keep your utensils in a holder, just wrap the holder up with plastic wrap or shrink wrap to keep the utensils secure. Place steak knives in oven mitts so no one gets cut. Place a Styrofoam plate in between wrapped dishes for extra protection.
I’ve made the mistake of placing shampoo, conditioner, lotions and more in a box unwrapped and found a big mess when I unpacked. Since then I’ve learned to make sure the tops are on securely and place them in gallon size storage bags so if they do leak, it’s contained in the bag.
For necklaces and bracelets, I’ve found that placing them in an empty egg carton and securing them with a piece of tape helps so that they’re not tangled. Earrings and rings can be placed in small storage bags to keep them together.
Another mistake I’ve made is not keeping the hardware together of disassembled furniture. It can be frustrating searching for these small items. A good suggestion is to place them in storage bags marked as to what piece of furniture they belong to and designate a box or boxes specifically for furniture parts. You can even pack along any tools needed to reassemble them so you are ready to go once you get to your new home.
Once everything is packed, label the boxes so you can easily see what’s inside of them. You should label the top and at least two sides. Be sure to also mark on the boxes which room they go in at your new home. Keep them grouped together when packing the moving truck so you can quickly unload to the proper room when you arrive.
These are a few great packing tips that will benefit anyone who is moving. If you have any additional ideas, please share them in the comments below so everyone can learn! If you have any questions, you can reach out to any of our knowledgeable property managers. If you’re ready to start packing for the move and you need a storage unit, you can rent one online 24/7.