Before you begin packing, think about all of the packing materials that you will need to safely store your property. For example: paper, boxes, rope, bubble wrap, tape, mattress and furniture covers, wooden pallets, shelving, etc.
Visit the storage facility with a list of what you need to store so that you can determine what size unit you will need.
Place heavier boxes on the bottom of your storage unit.
Place heavier items in smaller boxes for easier lifting.
It's a good idea to place wooden pallets, 2x4s, plywood, or anything that will help keep your property from sitting directly on the cement floor where they might collect moisture.
If you are going to be storing long term, place items that you will have to access often closer to the front of the unit. It is also helpful to leave a hallway down the center or on one side of the unit so that you can access items in the back.
Label boxes on all sides, and keep a list of their contents at home so that you can easily retrieve what you need.
Don't cover your belongings with plastic. Plastic retains damaging moisture.
Don't store food in the unit -- food attracts pests.
Don't use newspaper to pack items that are susceptible to stains from the smudging ink.
Don't store items that might break if frozen in a non-climate controlled unit.
Clean all appliances inside and out before storing.
Where possible, store appliances in factory boxes.
When moving, tape or tie closed all moveable drawers and doors. While in storage, all appliance doors should be left slightly ajar to avoid mildew.
Refrigerators, freezers, washers and dryers can be used as valuable storage space for blankets or clothing.
Disassemble beds and label pieces so they are easy to match up and reassemble.
Wrap mattresses in mattress covers or old sheets -- never plastic.
Stand mattresses on end for most efficient use of space.
Always put something under the mattress to keep it off the cement floor. Try not to lean a mattress against the wall in a non-climate controlled unit as condensation might form.
Wax wood furniture before storing to prevent moisture absorption.
Do not use plastic to cover items as moisture can be trapped. Use old sheets or blankets to cover furniture.
Stand sofas on end for the most efficient use of space.
Always put something under furniture to keep it off of the cement floor.
Pack books and papers flat if possible.
Use small boxes to keep the weight down.
Label each box and keep detailed lists of the contents. This makes it easier to retrieve specific books or papers later.
Always put something between the boxes and the cement floor to prevent moisture absorption.
Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap and tape securely.
Place in small boxes and place the boxes on top of the pile.
There are special boxes available with dividers for the storing and moving of dishes and glassware.
Wrap each item with paper or foam.
Always store dishes on their edge. Never store dishes flat.
Pots and pans can be stored in boxes with newspaper cushioning.
It may be advisable to coat certain pots and pans with a little cooking oil before storage to prevent rusting.
Mirrors and Artwork should always be stored vertically -- never store flat.
There are specially designed boxes available for the storage of large mirrors and artwork.
The use of bubble wrap and foam is recommended.
It may be advisable to give tools a coating of oil to prevent rusting.
Outdoor furniture should be disassembled where possible to save space.
Any engines should be drained and free from combustibles and prepared for storage according to their maintenance manuals.
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