Packing Tips Plan ahead. Be sure to have plenty of sturdy cartons (boxes), sealing tape, packing paper and bubble wrap. Also have mattress and furniture covers onhand. Be certain to keep a marking pen handy for marking the boxes. Make a written inventory of everything you are packing and what box it’s packed in. Label your boxes on all (6) sides for ease of locating items later. Seal all boxes tightly to not only keep them closed but also to keep dust out. Pack boxes tightly but be certain they aren’t bulging or underpacked. Use crumpled packing paper or bubble wrap to fill in the empty spaces. Pack heavy items, such as books and magazines in small boxes. Keep all boxes under 30lbs. This will make lifting easier. Pack books flat to protect their spines from breaking down. Wrap furniture legs with bubble wrap to protect them. Large furniture pieces should be protected with blankets or pads. Use the empty space in furniture to pack items, especially soft items and small fragile pieces. No sense in letting those big empty dresser drawers just take up space. Clean and dry all appliances and secure moving parts. Refrigerator and freezer doors need to be propped open slightly. Disassemble all larger furniture items such as tables, if possible, to make for easier and tighter storage. Use wardrobe boxes to pack all hanging clothes, drapes and blankets. Put shoes and other small items in the bottom. Use packing paper to securely wrap and protect all dishes and glassware. Alternately you can also use dish and glass packs for better protection. Don’t use newspaper. It is very difficult to get the ink from the newspaper off the dishes. Use crumpled paper to fill the in spaces and for more protection. Pack lamps and shades in individual boxes. Use crumpled paper for padding. Mirrors and paintings should be padded well or use mirror pack if at all possible. Electronic components should be carefully packed into boxes. Cables should be marked on both ends so you’ll know where they go when you reassemble. Put cables, remotes and other small parts into plastic backs and pack with the components they go with or mark the bags and pack them in a separate carton. Photographs should be packed flat. Place between 2 pieces of cardboard and tape them securely. If that’s not possible or practical pack them as flat as possible and then place a heavier item on top to keep them from curling. Storage Tips Plan ahead. Store least used items toward the back and those items you’ll most likely need in the front. If possible, leave a center aisleway so you can reach the items in the back and not have to pull everything out or climb over to get to them. The larger the storage unit the more important this will become. You should never store boxes or items that can be damaged by water directly onto concrete floors. Put down pallets or strips of wood to set the boxes and furniture items on. Concrete is porous and will seep water through and possibly damage your good. Don’t put tarps or plastic sheeting on the floor. Water will condensate on the top. Remove legs from tables and store them and sofas on edge if possible. This will free up storage space and make for a better fit. Again put strip of wood under them to keep them off the floor. Mattresses should always be stored in mattress covers and stored either on flat surfaces (not the floor) or standing on edge, not on their end. Store shovels and other long handled tools in trash cans. Store your brooms with the bristles up. Use protective covers and treat all wood surfaces. To retard rust, rub all metal surface with a rag containing a few drops of light machine oil. Store dressers, stands and tables top-to-top when possible to save space. Place blankets, drapes and dress clothes on hangers in a wardrobe box. Drain all gasoline from lawn mowers and other gas powered tools before storing. You alone control acces to you space so never store live animals, perishables, liquids, explosive, fluid and other explosive liquids, toxic or hazardous materials or other items which require a controlled environment. Never store ammunition or firearms. Food items and liquid attract critters. To prevent your property from damage never store these type of items. If offered, purchase the insurance or storage protection plan. If it’s worth storing, it’s worth insuring. If not offered, check with your insurance agent to see if your homeowners or renters insurance provides coverage or to purchase.