- Start by listing all the items you're going to store and their approximate sizes. Also, gather up plenty of sturdy, corrugated cartons, packing paper, bubble wrap, sealing tape and marker pens, along with any furniture covers or shelving you intend to use in your storage unit. (We sell all of this stuff. We're a one-stop moving and storage shop. Check with a manager for help.)
- Pack as much as you can in the same size boxes. Fill boxes tightly, but try not to over pack or under pack. (Bulging cartons tip when stacked, while half full boxes tend to collapse). Use wadded up newsprint, bubble wrap, towels or blankets to fill in empty spaces. Seal boxes with packing tape.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
- Pack heavy items in small boxes. For easier handling limit the weight of all cartons, regardless of size, to 30 lbs. or less.
- Label all boxes. Clearly label boxes so you know their contents, and keep a list (as well as pictures and descriptions) for reference. Clearly mark all boxes containing fragile items.
- Clean and dry appliances before storing. Secure all movable parts with padding for protection. During transport tape all doors shut, but remember to leave appliance doors slightly ajar for storage. (And remember to keep little kids away from refrigerators that are not in use!)
- Leave a small space between the wall and your boxes to allow for ventilation.
- Place covers or plastic bags on mattresses to keep them clean during storage.
- Use bureau drawers to store small, fragile items. Secure them by filling empty spaces with towels or packing paper.
- Protect chair legs by wrapping them in packing paper. Leave slipcovers on upholstered chairs and cover them with plastic chair covers.
- Hang clothes and draperies in wardrobe boxes.
- Use lots of paper to pack dishes and glassware. Place a layer of packing paper inside the bottom and top of cartons. Wrap each dish and glass separately and cushion them with crumpled paper. Plates are best stacked on edge.
- Pack lamps and lampshades in individual boxes. Use plenty of clean paper or clothing for cushiony padding. Pad mirrors and paintings with paper. Place them in special mirror packs or large boxes. Mark boxes "fragile!"
- The more you love it the more you should go crazy with the bubble wrap. Fragile glassware should be well wrapped in bubble wrap and packed in peanuts.
- Wrap mirrors and artworks with protective pads or use special boxes and store them on end.
- Set books in boxes side by side, alternating them so one spine faces down and the next spine faces up. Don't stack books one on top of the other. This causes covers and pages to warp. Wrap valuable books, like leather-bound ones, in Mylar sheets.