Pack Like a Pro!
Whether you’re putting things into storage or moving to a new home, packing your life into boxes can seem like a mammoth task!
Whatever the reasons for packing up your home, chances are it’s the end of one era and the start of another… Exciting times lie ahead but here at Stash we know that big moves can also be a bit overwhelming.
Over the years we’ve helped many customers get the most out of their storage unit by using carefully thought out packing techniques. Whether you’re using a storage facility or not, we hope our selection of tips and general advice will give you a helping hand!
Prior Planning and Preparation
It goes without saying that the sooner you start planning your move the smoother it will be. Give yourself time and space to organise your belongings and create a system.
Start with the things you use least often – is there anything you can get rid of? No point packing things you don’t use or need! If you think you might be a bit of a hoarder take a look at our article on decluttering first.
Pack one room at a time – and label the boxes as you go so you know at a glance what’s in them and which room they are heading for when they arrive at their destination. If you’re really organised you might want to make an inventory of items, number the boxes or use any other system that works for you.
Standardise your boxes – if you can use boxes of a uniform size they are easier to stack and help maximise the space in your storage unit or moving truck. Your local supermarket may be happy for you to take away their empty cardboard boxes which can be easily recycled once you’ve finished with them.
Stock up on supplies – as well as boxes you’ll need plenty of tape, some sort of wrapping material and a marker pen, all of which can be purchased from our reception. You may also want to consider using protective covers for mattresses, sofas or other large items of furniture – particularly if you are storing items long term.
It may seem obvious but you’ll be doing a lot of lifting and carrying on moving day so you want to make the job as easy as possible!
Don’t overload – boxes should not weigh more than you can comfortably carry however boxes which are not full may collapse when stacked. Ensure the weight is distributed evenly with heavy items at the bottom of the box and lighter things at the top. Use blankets or newspaper to fill any gaps.
Rubbish bags are for rubbish – plastic bags of any sort are not ideal for packing or storage. They easily get squashed or ripped, allowing the items inside to be damaged. Worst still they trap moisture, lack ventilation and invite mould or mildew if left for any period of time.
Think small – Many pieces of large furniture can be taken apart and therefore need much less space for storing, just be sure to keep the screws and fixings taped to the item they came from!
Be creative! – think about how you can maximise the space available in your storage unit or moving truck. Any item which is hollow could be filled for instance, fragile items inside draws, boxes stacked inside a wardrobe, blankets inside the washing machine.
Care For Your Clothes
If you’re putting clothes into storage they need particular care and attention when packing. The last thing you want is for them to be damaged or fusty when you take them out again.
Wardrobe boxes – allow your clothes to be hung on a rail inside the protective outer box and can be purchased from our reception. This helps air to circulate and keep your clothes in their original shape… except for knitwear which is better kept flat.
Plastic boxes are best – for clothes at least! Cardboard can be more susceptible to damp or rodents but, whatever boxes you’re using, make sure the heaviest items are at the bottom so fragile fibres don’t get crushed.
Vacuum packing – is cause for some speculation. We suggest this method is ok for short term storage (say max 3 months) but longer periods may cause damage. Natural cloth needs air to retain its structure – when the air is removed fibres compress and can become misshapen.
Make sure clothes are clean – may sound obvious but you’d be surprised! Particles of food, dirt or perspiration can stain over time and become difficult to remove – they also attract insects which damage your clothes.
Organising Your Storage Unit
How you organise and pack your storage unit depends on how long goods will be stored for and how often you intend to go in and out! See our article “Does size really matter?” for help choosing the right unit for you.
Before you start – pallets on the floor can help improve air circulation and also prevents rats, silverfish and ants making a home underneath your boxes!
Largest items first – arranged against the walls. Make use of the height as much as possible by storing sofas on their end or packing boxes on top of dressers.
Consider access – if you’re going to be taking things in and out of the unit you may want to leave an aisle for easy access, and keep frequently used items near the door.
Some Final Tips:
White goods – remember to clean/defrost/drain items such as cookers, fridge freezers and washing machines and leave the doors open to prevent mould. Any particles of grease or food will attract vermin and you don’t want water leaking over the rest of your stuff.
Anything with an engine – for instance a lawnmower or chainsaw must be drained of fuel. No flammable substances can be stored in a unit and that includes oil or petrol. There’s also the risk that fuel may leak and damage other items in storage.
Fragile items – protect using either bubble wrap or tissue, NOT newspaper as the ink can stain.
We hope this article has been useful and have tried to cover some of the most common problems our customers face. However, if you have any further questions, or perhaps you are looking to store something more unusual, then don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll do our best to help!
We’re open Mon-Sat 8am-5pm and you can pop in any time or give us a call on 01226 203369.