Continuing on from my previous posts with tips for renting a storage unit and 10 things you must do before you move abroad, today’s post is all about packing up your home into a temporary (short or long-term) storage unit. You might just think it’s easy to throw things in random boxes and then shove them into a storage space and forget about them. But if you really care about your belongings then it’s best to treat them with respect and spend a little more time now to make life easier for you later. Here are my top tips for moving your home into a storage space.
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Prepare the storage unit
Purchase some pallets that are in like-new condition to keep your treasured possessions up off the floor just in case the site should be flooded. Even those few inches could make a big difference.
Place mouse traps or poison under the pallets and near the door to get rid of any little intruders, should they try to invade.
Pack With Intention
Label your boxes as you pack. You may not want to list everything on the boxes themselves, but a room and general description of what is inside will be handy when you move into your new location, and it will also help should you need an item in storage – you don’t want to be going through 150 boxes at random.
Keep an inventory of what is in each box and save it elsewhere – you may need this if you experience theft or flooding, for insurance purposes. An inventory list is essential if you are crossing a border to move abroad.
Be sure that your boxes are sturdy; you don’t want them to become weak over time and begin to collapse under the weight. I found that using Rubbermaid totes worked very well and I’m still using them for storage in our attic 17 years after first moving into a storage unit.
Moving To a Storage Unit
Keep the air flowing, stack well, but leave room for the air to flow to help keep a consistent temperature and humidity. As tempting as it might be, don’t stack your boxes up against the walls or all the way to the ceiling.
Try to organise your storage space if you are able, so that you will know where particular boxes are. You may want to keep your kitchen items together, your bedroom items together, etc.
Space is money and you don’t want to spend more than you need to. So stack your furniture; the hutch of my desk conveniently fit under and behind the pedestal and the space underneath held a couple of boxes. I kept the drawers in the desk and dressers and packed smaller boxes within them (although I did remove the handles to save space and to prevent them from becoming damaged during the moves).
Keep lighter-weight boxes near the top and the heaviest boxes at the bottom so that they don’t crush the boxes below and send everything toppling over. This is logical to me, but I do know of a few people to whom this wouldn’t be considered.
Don’t keep your valuables nearest the entry. In fact, it is very advisable to put items such as jewellery and important paperwork into a bank safety deposit box.
This may seem like it’s a lot of trouble to go through for a few things; but if these things mean enough to you to spend money on keeping them safe, then you want to honour them and keep them in good condition while they are out of your sight.
Now that you have everything packed up and stored safely, you’re one step closer to beginning your next adventure. Enjoy!