Packing is a great opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer need. Consider donations to women’s shelters, good will stores, second hand shops, or recycling depots as opportunities to declutter your life, and perhaps enrich someone else’s.
Collect the supplies you need in advance:
- For easy stacking, use sturdy uniformly-sized boxes. Be sure they’re strong enough to hold 20-30 pounds.
- Have a broad felt marker on hand to label the boxes.
- Collect kitchen and bathroom towels, rags, table cloths, packing paper etc. for wrapping fragile items.
- Have plastic wrap available for wrapping furniture.
- To make your task easier, we carry a selection of boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, plastic wrap, tape and other supplies which can be pre-ordered or picked up when you need them.
Make finding your goods later much easier:
- Make an inventory of your stored items and keep it in a safe place at home, or in a safe deposit box.
- List contents on all four sides of the box – i.e. “dishes” or “living room ornaments”. You may wish to label high-value items with only a number to protect them in transit.
- Number the boxes.
- Name the room into which the box should be put when you retrieve it from storage.
- Use inventory sheets to track the boxes.
- Put frequently-needed items aside to be stored at the front of the unit for easy access.
Protect your goods from damage in transit and in storage:
- Wrap dishes, glasses, ornaments and other fragile items in plain paper or cloth items and pack them in sturdy boxes. Clearly mark the boxes “Fragile”.
- Use “mirror boxes” to store mirrors, framed pictures and artwork. Pad each item and store them on edge – never flat. See our Moving Supplies page for sizes and prices.
- Wrap , dishes and other fragile items in packing paper towels, tablecloths or blankets to prevent breakage. Plates are best stacked on edge; cups and bowls may be nested once wrapped. Double-walled dish boxes offer greater protection for fragile items.
- Only pack as much in one box as you can safely carry. Use small boxes for heavy items such as books and dishes.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom, lighter ones on the top of each box.
- Pack books flat to protect their spines.
- Put fragile items aside for placing on the top of your other stored goods.
- Wrap mattresses, cushions and fabric-covered furniture in plastic to protect against moisture and dust in transit.
- Protect chair legs by wrapping them individually.
- Clean and dry appliances prior to storing them. Secure all moveable parts – remembering to wedge doors open for storage. Empty water from washer lines and consider putting RV kitchen anti-freeze in the lines to protect them in freezing
- Tape or tie bedrails together. Tape a bag with screws and other hardware to the item with which it belongs, or clearly label each bag separately and keep them all together for ease of reassembly.
- Hang valuable clothing in wardrobe boxes and consider mothballs or cedar chips for further protection.
- Wrap tall thin items such as rakes, brooms, pool cues etc. with plastic stretch wrap.
Save money and make the best use of your stored items:
- Rent the smallest space you can use and pack it full – leaving enough room to get at commonly used items as you need them. See our Space Calculator or call us toll-free for help determining the best size for your needs. If you need frequent access, a slightly larger space may be more useful.
- Use towels, blankets, rags for wrapping dishes and fragile items.
- Use garbage bins to store garden tools.
- Large appliances such as fridges and freezers can be used to store light-weight items such as blankets, games and toys, cushions etc.
- Drawers in dressers and tables can be used to store wrapped knickknacks and other small items.
- Pack each box full, but not bulging to make best use of your boxes, and protect your things from crushing in an under- or over-full box. Fill in empty spaces with wadded newsprint, sheets and towels.
- Remove the legs and extra table leaves from large furniture to conserve storage space. Store large items on end.