We get a lot of requests about how to pack belongings so we thought it might be helpful if we put together a couple of simple tips on effective packaging including techniques, packaging equipment etc. and what not to pack when storing your belongings.
Pack on a room by room basis
It is better to keep various rooms separated as we are creatures of habit and when we bring your belongings back they will nearly always go back to where it once was as that gives us a sense of continuity in our lives.
Start packing early and often
Don’t leave it all to the last minute as packing can be a stressful time so by beginning the process days or even weeks in advance and packing a couple of boxes at a time it will ease the burden on the day of the move to storage. A tip would be to leave the kitchen until the last. Our experience tells us that things from this area are used more frequently than anywhere else and right up to the last minute.
When choosing packaging, think about what you are packing and although free boxes from grocery stores can be helpful they tend to be oddball sizes and given that they have already been used they don’t act as a strong means of packaging. Another concern is space. If you can use uniform sizes of boxes you will be able to stack and therefore store more effectively which will reduce cost. Also if ordering packaging from your storage provider don’t opt for the largest boxes with the false idea of getting more into them and saving money. Medium sized boxes are more efficient giving flexibility and guess what they work out cheaper.
There is an endless supply of various types of packaging so be careful when selecting what to order. When ordering boxes ask what the flute or grade of the box is. It is important that you are supplied with double walled boxes for strength especially when stacking. Bubble wrap is a very effective way of protecting fragile items but a word of warning; it tends to be expensive so only use as required. Expanded polystyrene (peanuts) are an effective way of protecting very fragile items but heavier pieces do tend to make their way through the peanuts and end up at the bottom of the box with little or no protection.
A strong packaging tape is as important, or even more important than a strong box. People tend to shop in the cheaper stores for tape and it leads to a lot of problems. The bottom of boxes secured with weak tape will burst when lifted no matter how strong the box is. Cheaper tapes also tend to lose their adhesion very quickly when stored for any period of time which can prove a nightmare when your period of self storage is complete.
When it comes to packing techniques it is better to have a multiple of smaller boxes rather than a few larger ones. Apart from the difficulty of lifting larger boxes and trying to get more into each box leading to damage it is also an effective way of tracking what is in each box. Make sure to label each box and colour code so that you can identify which room it came from when your belongings are returned from storage. Don’t pack too many books into boxes. They are remarkably heavy for their size so a tip would be to pack half the box with books and the balance with other lighter items such as DVD’s etc. Another tip would be to pack smaller delicate items in bright coloured paper to avoid them getting thrown out with general packaging when unpacked. Dishware is always a problem so pack well and a general rule is to use at least 30% more packaging than you think is needed to allow for compression.
Never pack perishable foods as they will decay in storage and can lead to issues such as dampness and odour on other belongings.
Tools & Machinery
Tools tend to cause problems with odour. The reason you store items such as garden implements and lawnmowers etc. in an environment away from the house is that they can smell. If you do have to store such equipment make sure that all fuels have been drained from the machinery. Never store flammable liquids such as oil or gas in a storage facility for obvious reasons.
When storing electrical items a tip would be to remove any batteries from the appliances where applicable. If you are moving into storage for a long period of time the batteries will decay and can lead to malfunction of the device when returned.
We could go on and on with many tips for effective packaging but we thought the above might give some pointers to some of the key points. Remember effective packaging leads to cheaper storage !!!!!