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Image by Michal Balog

Packing Tips

**We recommend that you store on pallets as concrete

naturally sweats with temperature changes**


Disassemble beds and mark the pieces so that they are easy to put back together. This can be as easy as using colored removable stickers. At the place where two pieces connect put a sticker labeled “A” for the first connection, “B” for the next connection, etc. Remember to mark which pieces are the master bed vs. the guest bedroom vs. the child’s bedroom.

Wrap bed rails together with shrink wrap. Don’t use tape as it may leave a residue or damage the finish when you try to remove it. Place covers on mattresses to keep clean during moving and storage. If you disassemble any furniture, place the nuts, bolts and screws in a small zip lock bag. You can tape the bag on the inside or bottom of the furniture to keep all pieces together.


When you disassemble electronics such as computers and stereos (items that have numerous cables), place small colored stickers on the cable and the same color sticker where the cable goes. If possible, use the original packing for electronic items.


Spray your wood furniture with a good quality furniture spray before storing it to give it some added protection.


Empty all food. Thoroughly clean and dry all interior surfaces to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Failure to defrost the freezer could result in water damage to your other stored property. Shelves should be either secured in place or detached and wrapped. An open box of baking soda can help avoid unpleasant odors but, don’t put the baking soda inside the fridge until it is positioned in the storage.

The electric cord should be unplugged and taped to the back. If there is an ice maker, it should be disconnected from the water line and drained in advance. Be sure to wedge refrigerator and freezer doors open when placing into storage and place a drop cloth over the fridge/freezer to keep the interior from getting dusty. Use shrink wrap to secure the doors closed before moving but don’t forget to open the door slightly before leaving them in storage.


All hoses should be disconnected and drained. If you elect to place hoses in the tub or drum, be sure to wrap the metal couplings with cloth or paper to avoid damage to the tub’s surface which could result from bouncing or vibration. The electric cord should be unplugged and taped to the back. The washer drum should be secured (see the Instruction Manual for specifics).


All vent hoses should be removed and packaged separately. The electric cord should be taped to the back. Clean the lint trap. Gas dryers need special care to avoid damaging the flexible gas line. Be sure to turn off the gas supply before disconnecting the flex line from the dryer!


Remove furniture legs if possible, and wrap in bubble wrap. Place the screws and hardware from the table in a plastic bag and attach it to the leg or the bottom of the table top with stretch wrap or tape (if securing to an unfinished surface). If a table has extra leaves wrap them in padding and bundle them together with stretch wrap. Have a lot of rope available to tie down the load before driving to your storage unit. It is easier to buy this in advance.


To minimize confusion and to make retrieving items from storage easier, keep these important and helpful tips in mind. Every room will have boxes that contain essential items that you need immediately and boxes of items that can be unpacked at a later time. 


Label the boxes in order of unpacking priority. For example, Kitchen #1 would indicate that the box is for the Kitchen and needs to be unpacked first. The less essential kitchen items would be in a box labeled Kitchen #2, #3 and so on. Label all boxes clearly so you can identify the contents and keep an inventory. Label them on more than one side so you can identify them quickly. Mark “Fragile” on any boxes containing breakable items. Avoid marking or labeling over a seam of closure or on top of sealing tape.

On the top and front of each box, write a general description of the contents and indicate the room from which it came or which it will go in your new home. Use different colored dot stickers for each room; then, at your new house, hang a balloon of a corresponding color outside the room where you want the color-coded boxes to be delivered. Identify the “Top” of fragile boxes if the contents might be damaged by storing the box on the sides or bottom. The “Top” should be the most stable orientation of the package as it rests on a flat surface.

Every item to be moved must have a label on it. Mark “Heavy” on all boxes over 30 pounds to warn the mover and hopefully avoid strained backs.


Electrical equipment such as TVs, stereos and computers should be packed in their original boxes whenever possible. If this isn’t possible, pack them into boxes that are about the right size making sure that you pack gaps with padding. Never use packing peanuts with computers or other items sensitive to static electricity.


Pack books flat to avoid damaging their spines. Use only small “Book boxes” to pack books. Don’t pack too many books into a box. They are very heavy. Alternate books so that it goes pages/spine/pages/spine as you look into the box as most hardback books are slightly wider at the binding and they may get damaged if you put them all the same way around. Consider boxing them in a sensible sequence for refilling your shelves (e.g. by type/size and alphabetical).

Do not be tempted to fill large boxes with heavy items such as books as they’ll quickly become impossible to carry without hurting someone.


All fragile or delicate items should be wrapped individually in paper, bubble wrap or foam wrap for added protection. Paper will do but bubble wrap is a good investment.

It’s important to properly cushion the contents of each box. Fragile articles need to avoid touching other items. Also be sure to leave some padding between the side of the box and the fragile item. Proper cushioning material, combined with a strong outer box, will help protect the contents.


Most damage to dishes is due to improper packing. Use more padding than you think is necessary. Many dishes will fit nicely in foam sleeves designed specifically to protect the dish during transit and storage. Bubble wrap or clean newsprint can also be used. Never allow a glass item to touch another glass item. Consider purchasing special dish boxes and kits to protect your fine china. Never place a heavy item on top of more delicate glass items.


Separate lamp bases and lampshades and wrap them for protection. Remove shade, bulb and harp assembly. Wrap the bulb in bubble wrap. Wrap and securely box all parts of the lamp. The Lampshade should be alone in a box that is very close in size to the shade as possible. Do not add other items to the box to prevent damage to the shade


For the best protection framed pictures and mirrors can be stored in specially made cardboard boxes. If you aren’t boxing them be sure to wrap them in a protective covering such as bubble wrap and stack them on their ends. Mirrors and pictures should never be stored flat. Mark them as ‘Fragile’.


If you’re storing upholstered products such as mattresses and sofas it might be a good idea to invest in covers, bags or sheeting to give them some additional protection.


There are two key things to remember when organizing your storage unit. First, make sure that you can easily access the items you’ve stored when you want them. Second, you must take care when storing – these are your belongings and there are measures you can take, apart from careful packing, that will help protect them during their time in the facility.

  • Be sure to store frequently used items at the front of the unit to avoid having to search for them.

  • Try to avoid storing any valuables. If you must, keep them away from the door where they can’t be seen. The best place for valuables is towards the back of the unit.

  • Prepare your unit by placing plastic on the floor under your goods to guard against dampness. Any concrete floor may become cold and damp.

  • Cover stuffed furniture with dust cover to protect against dust.

  • Use all of your space. If you will not be visiting your items while they are in storage pack things tightly.

  • If you will be visiting your storage during your stay allow for walkways. Leave a walkway to the back of the storage space for easy access.

  • Do not store food items which could attract rodents or pests.

  • Avoid putting heavy items on top of fragile ones.

  • Do not store wet items in a self-storage facility as they can cause water damage, mold and mildew.

  • Store large pieces of furniture vertically to save space. Stand sofas (except sleeper models) on end wherever possible to maximize space.

  • Cushions should be wrapped and placed on top.

  • Don’t stack items on soft furniture or the cushions may become crushed.

  • Mattresses are best stored on the long end and should be ideally raised above floor level or laid on protective sheeting. Be sure to securely “prop” them up so they stand straight to avoid them bending out of shape or becoming lumpy.

  • If you’re storing a few items of furniture on top of each other place a blanket or towel between the pieces to prevent scratching and damage.

  • Chairs can be stacked seat to seat to save space.

  • Store your largest items first.

  • If you’re stacking your unit high with boxes, always make sure to put the heaviest boxes at the bottom to avoid damage.

  • Stack boxes and similarly sized items together to save space.

  • Try not to lean items against exterior walls that may sweat.

  • Try to assess what you’ll need to access frequently and keep it at the front of your unit.

  • Make sure to stack boxes and containers so that you can see the labels easily.

Shovels, hoes, rakes and hoses can be bundled together with shrink/stretch wrap or stored together in empty trash cans. Stack extra cans inside one another.

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