Packing & Storing Valuables
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One important detail that needs to be attended to is where to store your things. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you are drifting down the highway contemplating which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You have already picked a mover for trucking your life to a new residence, why don’t you confirm with them to see if they offer storage, too? Most professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same seasoned employees to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving van for your move.
If you are moving out of the country, or your move is not long-term, you'll need a plan for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too big to move with you. You can store those large items with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or store them inside—it's your decision.
Even if you are not moving, you may still need to store items--if you've inherited some things, if you have a fledgling who is moving back home—numerous things can happen that necessitates more space for some time. Or, if you are contemplating moving and decluttering your residence, you will want to create the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you fall over in the dark, and the things you need to essentially live your life, all should go into storage until you move in Dallas.
After you have figured out where to store your stuff, the next chore you need to consider is how to pack them for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, dishes, and other fragile items is to wrap everything separately. You may do that with several kinds of padding or insulation, it's really for you to decide which you want to use—as long as everything is sufficiently secured from banging against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (different from newspaper, newsprint is the plain tan paper that is in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, packing peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you will realize that mixing and matching contingent upon the individual item works best. Use small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Be careful that you don't wrap too tightly; things must have a bit of air space inside the wrap.
Some further things that must have special care when moving into storage are not always things that you'd consider.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are familiar with how treasured they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you know how hard it is to find replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks in the spring or fall should be in a climate and humidity controlled facility.
- Clothing--Cotton clothing and most synthetic blends are hard to damage. You will want to wash and iron any items that you store, but with a few exceptions it comes out in the same condition it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with an overabundance of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not unpack sweaters full of holes. Moths aren't as much of an issue in cooler climates, but putting in a few mothballs never hurts.
- Shoes--Leather shoes must be in a humidity controlled location, especially in an area where humidity is high. They will mildew when it gets damp or humid, and when it is dry and cold the leather cracks.
- Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you are going to be as cautious of your children's kindergarten paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy a large flat plastic tub, and layer the pages between acid-free paper. (You can get it at a craft store.) For framed prints, you can either stand them up against the wall and cover them with sheets, beach towels, or moving blankets, and they will be okay. When your art is real, have the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of lots of heirloom pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is imperative.
- Mirrors--Like art, many antique mirrors are in highly valuable frames. Treat them like the works of art that they are.
- Chandeliers—Take off the crystals, and wrap them in a big zip lock bag. Keep the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the lighting itself crated, or wrapped for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have hangars across the ceiling to hang light fixtures and other things from.
And by all means, we are aware that you have the best intentions of sorting through all those boxes of college papers and credit card offers from 1996 and getting rid of all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Dallas for you, until you can get that done.