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It might be a good idea to wax wood furniture before storage as some woods can be sensitive to moisture. You might also consider using climate-controlled storage for these items. It is best to take apart anything that can be disassembled. It will use less space and help to prevent damage during the move. Use zip-lock bags to store screws and bolts and tape them to the items to which they belong. Tie frames together and store in a corner to prevent them from falling over on other items. If you stack furniture items, place pads, blankets or towels between them to prevent scratching. Sheets and cotton cloths make excellent furniture covers, especially in a non-heated and cooled unit. Moisture could condense under a plastic cover in a unit without heat and air. Mattresses and some sofas can stand on end, preferably on a wooden pallet or cardboard. You may want to cover these items with mattress covers or cloth. If you lean items against a wall, be sure there is airflow around the items as the walls could develop condensation.
It is a good idea to store drapes and clothing hanging on non-rusting hangers. You can buy wardrobe boxes that are specifically designed for this type of storage. You can use drawers to store some items and to conserve space. If storing wool items, use cedar chips or mothballs to prevent moth damage.
Clean and defrost all refrigerators and freezers before storing. Tape doors shut while moving. Wedge doors open in storage to prevent mildew. You can use this space for storing such items as blankets and towels. Try to use partial containers of laundry/cleaning products before moving. Some of these products are considered a hazard so you will need to read your lease to determine whether or not the item may be stored. If the items are allowed, you can store open boxes and bottles inside the washer and dryer. Be sure boxes and bottles are taped shut or placed in plastic bags to insure against leakage.
Consider climate-controlled units for electrical equipment, record albums, CD's, videos, etc. Many of these items are sensitive to extremes in temperature. If possible, store electronics in the original boxes. If you do not have the original boxes, pack the pieces carefully and use cushioning material such as bubble wrap or foam peanuts. Wadded newspaper can also be used. Tape or tie moving parts, such as lids and record player tone arms. Pack record albums on end to cut down the possibility of warping. Use small boxes to keep the weight manageable.
Breakables of this type should be very carefully packed. Wrap each item separately in paper or foam. Use smaller boxes with packing material placed in both the top and bottom of the box and between items. You may want to get the heavyweight boxes with dividers that are designed specifically for packing glassware and dishes. Stack glassware on the top of other items in the unit.
Wrap small pictures in foam or bubble wrap and stand them on end in boxes. You can also put flat pieces of cardboard between them. It is difficult to find boxes that will hold larger pictures so you may need to buy picture boxes designed for this.
You can put several small appliances in a box. Be sure to wrap well, tape or tie movable parts, and put packing material between items. Kitchen towels and pot holders can be used as packing material for these items. Pots and pans can be stacked with padding in between each pan. Bowls can be packed in a similar way. Small, loose items (the type that are generally kept in drawers) can be put in plastic bags or shoe boxes and then into a bigger box. Always consider the weight your boxes. It is better to use two smaller boxes than one heavy one.
Pack books and magazines together in small boxes. Store pictures and papers in plastic or metal containers. You should NOT store extremely valuable items such as fine artwork or jewelry.
Try a drop of oil on items that may rust. Do not place these items where they can come into contact with other items. Be sure lawnmowers and other equipment does not leak. Check with the manager regarding proper storage of items with fuel tanks.
Before you decide which type of unit to rent, there are several things to consider. The most obvious thing is to determine whether or not your belongings will be affected by heat and cold. Storing things in a non-heated and cooled unit is similar to storing in your garage. It will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The humidity will also be greater. Not only for your belongings, but for you. Many people prefer the Heated and Cooled buildings because of the comfort for themselves as well as their things. Additionally, because these units are inside buildings, there will be less dust than in an outside building. There are certain items for which you should definitely consider heated and cooled. Electronics, fine or antique furniture, photographs, records and tapes are just some of the items that may store better in a heated and cooled building.
When packing, use good sturdy boxes and label them clearly. Boxes of similar shape and size will stack well and take less room. Take items apart when possible. Plan the placement of the items. Put smaller, more valuable items in back, behind large items that are harder to move. Some couches can be stacked on end. A dryer can sometimes be put on top of a washer. Use drawer space for smaller items. Place blankets or pads on top of dressers and tables and stack boxes there. If you pack your space carefully, you maybe able to use a smaller space and save some money. Please remember that there are a number of items that may not be stored in a storage unit. Some of these items include hazardous waste, any living or dead animals, flammable liquids, chemicals or explosives, stolen property, illegal substances and food. If you are unsure, check with the manager.
Plan your move early, if possible. Notify the post office. Send change of address notifications to all subscriptions and other mailings. If you are reserving a truck or other moving equipment, confirm your reservations. Be sure you have completed all necessary paper work for the rental of your storage unit. Have plenty of boxes, tape, covers and paper or foam for wrapping on hand. Please feel free to contact the storage professionals at Securlock for any additional hints or help.