Tips and Tricks From the Pros – Packing

Tips-Storing-Fragile-Items-Guardian-Self-StorageWelcome back to part two of our five-part mini series featuring tips and tricks from our very own experts – Guardian Self Storage Property Managers. In this article you will see their tips and tricks about packing. Our property managers have seen countless boxes piled into tons of storage units, making them knowledgeable in what works and what should never be attempted again. Check out their tips and tricks below so you’ll know exactly how to pack up your belongings!

Choosing your boxes:

  • Try and stay away from used boxes because the strength of the box may already be compromised. Also, “less is more” is not a good motto with packing. Pack more, smaller boxes to make moving the items less strenuous. If you pack less, larger boxes they can become heavy, awkward and more strenuous on the back.
  • Large boxes are good for clothes, bedding, and bulky items like pots and pans. Smaller boxes can be packed heavier as they are easier to pick up. File boxes are great for books because they have handles cut out on the sides of the box. If storing long term, Rubbermaid totes are ideal as they don’t collapse and they stack well. They should however, be vented so look for the ones with vents.
  • Buy 4 boxes for every room: label them Trash, give away, Keep or relocate, use these boxes as you pack. Anything that is trash goes in the trash box; anything you will give away goes in the giveaway box etc.
  • Use our file tote style boxes. These boxes have handles for easy lifting and doubled up cardboard on the bottom. They fold into itself therefore sealing tape is not required.
  • Using the same size boxes allows for better stacking.
  • Use wardrobe boxes to hang clothes and place shoes at the bottom. They are also great for drapes, bed spreads and long linens.

Packing your boxes:

  • Pack room by room, label your boxes so you know where the items are going and drop them off where they will be unpacked and used close by.
  • Make sure all your boxes are marked to make it easier for the movers and for you. Tape them all up securely so they will survive the trip unscathed. Pack all fragile things like dishes, glassware with a lot of newsprint (which can be purchased plain, so no ink to wash off) or bubble wrap. When choosing a storage unit, it’s always better to figure a little larger than you need for the first month as you can always downsize later if need be. It’s a lot tougher and more expensive if the unit is too small to begin with!
  • Placing fabric softener sheets in the boxes helps to repel spiders.
  • Large boxes might hold more, but that also means they can get heavy. In order to maintain the integrity of the box, put heavier things in smaller boxes and larger lighter things in the larger boxes. Books and cookware are easier to move in smaller boxes whereas bedding can be put in larger boxes.
  • Label all boxes of room destination, items inside and if fragile or not. STAY clear of FREE boxes offered in most grocery stores. You may pick up an unwanted hitchhiker from these boxes such as ants or roaches hidden in the glued areas of these boxes.
  • Avoid wrapping items in plastic because it “sweats.”
  • Pack items such as plates and records vertically, not flat, to avoid potential damage.
  • Always make sure valuable items are well secured in the moving truck before hitting the road to prevent major damage.

Packing your boxes into your Storage Unit:

  • When filling up your storage unit, put your stuff that you won’t need to get to frequently in the back of the unit.
  • When packing your storage unit, leave an aisle way so that you can access items in the back if needed.
  • Dresser drawers can be used to store items, thereby utilizing empty space.
  • The moisture absorbing desiccant packs available at most Big Box Stores are good for humid days. An open bag of charcoal briquettes will help absorb moisture and odors.
  • Stack what you can, keep heavier stuff lower and get lighter as you go up. Keep in mind that cardboard boxes can sink over time.
  • Now that you’ve heard the Guardian Self Storage Property Managers’ tips and tricks on efficient packing, stay tuned for part three of our five-part mini series when they will share their insights on stress-free unpacking!

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