Packing and Storing Tips
When you’re tackling a big move, clearing out your spaces for a renovation, or just getting organized and placing a bunch of items into storage, it can feel overwhelming to get organized and safely transport everything. Our storage tips can help you get ahead of the moving-day stress.
Generally, the key to a great move is to get organized and plan ahead. You’ll want to carefully pack items and leave plenty of time to transport them. Grabbing some moving equipment, like handcarts, and being careful when lifting large items can help you make it through your move safely. Keep reading for more tips and tricks for packing, moving, and keeping your belongings in a storage unit.
Making lists can make all the difference when it comes to planning a smooth move-in day. First, you’ll want to make a list of all the items you need to move. If you’re moving items to multiple different locations, like a new home or a storage unit, you may want to also make a list or add notes showing which items will go to which location.
These lists will help you plan how to use space in your car or moving vehicle and can even help you figure out how many trips you may need to take to get everything transported. They can also help you figure out which packing materials to get and how much packing material you’ll need.
Get Plenty of Packing Material
Once you have a clear picture of everything you’ll need to pack up and move, you can get started on gathering packaging materials. The materials you’ll need will generally include boxes, markers, tape, and materials like foam packing peanuts, bubble wrap, paper, foam inserts, or towels. Making a shopping list before buying supplies can help you save time when stocking up on moving essentials.
Get Quality Boxes
Pro tip: Quality moving boxes are not an area you’ll want to skimp on when buying supplies. We recommend you purchase boxes strong enough for holding 25 to 30 pounds. This way, when appropriately packed and kept dry, you won’t have to worry about boxes breaking during the moving process. If possible, try and get boxes that are all the same size. This can make stacking boxes in your moving truck, storage unit, and even just in your home pre- or post-move easier.
Grab Your Moving Supplies and Equipment
While you’re getting organized and picking up your packing materials, you’ll also want to think about getting handcarts, dollies, and helpful hands lined up for your move-in day. If you don’t already have handcarts, straps, furniture sliders, and other moving supplies, consider asking around to see if you can borrow them from friends or family, just as an extra cost-saving measure.
You’ll also want to make arrangements for bringing in professional movers or friend helpers well in advance of your move. This can be helpful for ensuring you have all the help you need in advance. Those moving without professional movers will also want to come up with a plan for what vehicle(s) to use during a move and may want to rent a moving truck at this time.
Pack Items Tightly for Safety
Packing is a crucial step for both transporting and storing items safely. In addition to carefully wrapping all of your belongings, you’ll want to securely pack them into boxes. A properly packed box will be snugly stuffed with packing materials to keep items securely in place as you carry, shake, or slide it. Ideally, try to pack similar items together to make unpacking later on easier.
The ideal wrapping material depends somewhat on the item. For dishes, you’ll want to wrap them in paper, stuffing any gaps in the boxes with other packing materials. Generally, you may want to consider first wrapping items with paper, cotton batting, or shipping foam before wrapping them in plastic or bubble wrap, especially if you plan to keep items in storage for a while. Plastic wrapping can sometimes be conducive to the buildup of moisture or could melt on items it directly contacts in hot temperatures.
Label Your Containers
As you go through the packing process, be sure to label boxes by listing the contents on all sides. This will help you locate items more easily later on. Be sure also to mark boxes with any breakables as fragile so you know to handle them carefully and only stack them at the top of any box piles. You may also want to number the boxes for reference, and you will definitely want to count your total number of boxes, so you know you have everything later on.
Before moving, seal your boxes securely with tape. As you seal boxes up, you may also want to double-check the bottoms and corners and reinforce them with tape as needed, especially if you choose to reuse older boxes.
Set a Moving-Day Plan
While you’re packing up, you’ll also want to be planning how you’ll get everything in your moving vehicle, car, and storage unit. Be sure to figure out if you’ll need to make multiple trips to get everything transported, and establish an estimated start time so you have a plan when move-in day comes.
Pay attention to the forecast that day, too. Keep an eye on the weather, and think ahead on any additional preparations you’ll need to make to keep your belongings and yourself safe during the move. If you’re moving during a rainstorm, for example, you’ll want to make sure items and boxes are protected with water-resistant materials. If you’re dealing with a winter move, make sure to get rock salt out if icy conditions are anticipated.
When the probability of bad weather is high, you may also want to set a backup moving date or plan. Just be sure to also communicate this plan with any helpers or movers that will be joining you.
Power Through Move-In Day
When you follow our tips, you’ll be well organized and armed with a plan for moving day. Make sure to quickly debrief with your helpers or movers on your plans and get moving! As you move heavy items, be careful to make sure you have plenty of help, and lift with your knees, not your back.
When you go to put your items into your moving vehicle or storage unit, remember to consider disassembling legged furniture to save space and tip large furniture pieces on end to save some square footage. Don’t forget to avoid stacking heavy boxes on fragile ones! Be sure to strap down any items or boxes that could fall or move during transport for safety, too.
Using Self-Storage for Your Belongings
Storage units can be extremely helpful for storing your extra belongings over the long term or temporarily. When you’re moving between places or needing to get space freed up for a renovation, a storage unit can help you get the square footage you need without losing your sanity.
Selecting Your Storage Space
What’s the best way to rent a storage unit? Generally, you’ll want to rent the smallest space possible and pack the unit full, just leaving a small amount of space around the edges of the unit for airflow. Our storage unit size guide can help you calculate what storage space dimensions to start with. Keep in mind that furniture drawers and appliances can even be used to stash items during storage, saving some square footage.
Select storage facilities offer additional storage options, like drive-up storage units and climate-controlled storage spaces. Keep an eye out for these features while you’re moving heavy items and storing temperature-sensitive ones, respectively.
Storage Unit Organization Tips
As you move into a storage unit, it’s best to put a protective covering on the floor under your items, and place your belongings and boxes on boards or pallets. This will help your items remain dry if the storage unit floor starts to get damp. Usually, you’ll also want to be sure to put any frequently accessed items toward the front of your unit and leave a center aisle down the length of your self-storage space so you can get to everything easily.
That list you made before starting the move? Hang on to it and keep the original list or a copy at home (or at your office if you’re using storage for your business) so you know exactly what is in your storage unit.
Stash Your Well-Packed Belongings at Copper Storage Management
Looking for that perfect mid-move storage solution? Copper Storage Management has self-storage locations throughout the country. Just find the storage facility near you and start your contactless storage rental online. As you browse our storage facilities, you’ll find plenty of advanced storage features, too, like climate-controlled storage, vehicle parking storage, and more.