Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor most everyone, someday, you are going to need to pack and move or pack and store, all or a portion of your belongings. When it’s time, it is crucial that you have mastered the packing valuables and delicate items--you do not want your wedding china turning up smashed, or your winter coats with lots of moth holes. Packing for storage in Dallas, even in the short term, necessitates some concern for the details.

Early on, a detail that must be thought about is where to store your possessions. If your storage needs go along with with a household move, if you're coasting down the highway pondering which storage facility is best for you, continue driving. You've already picked a mover for transporting your stuff to a new residence, why not check with them to see if they provide storage, also? The majority of professional moving companies have warehouse storage--with the same professional crew to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the truck for your move.

If you are moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you will want a plan for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too big to go with you. You can store those big things with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or park them in the warehouse—it's your call.

Even if you're not moving, you could need to store items--if you have inherited some things, if you have an adult child who is boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that necessitates more space for a little bit. Or, if you're thinking of moving and decluttering your residence, you'll need to create the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you trip over in the dark, and the items you need to basically live your life, all should go to storage until you move in Dallas.

Moving - Moving BoxesAfter you have picked where to store your items, the next task you should think about is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, dishes, and other easily breakable things is to wrap everything separately. You could do that with a few different selections of packing supplies or insulation, it's really your call which you want to use—so long as everything is adequately secured from knocking against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (not newspaper, newsprint is the plain brownish 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 determined by the individual item works best. Choose small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Beware that you do not wrap too tightly; items require some air space inside the wrap.

Some additional things that require special attention when moving into storage aren't always things that you would realize.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a rebound. If you're a collector you know how prized they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a record player you are aware how hard it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall must 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 the items that you store, but for the most part it comes out the same way it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with an overabundance of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack hole-filled sweaters and coats. Moths aren't as much of a presence in cooler climates, but tossing in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled place, particularly in a climate where humidity is high. They will mildew when it gets damp or humid, and when it's dry and cold the leather cracks.
  • Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you are going to be as careful of your children's 1st grade paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, get a big flat plastic box, 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 wrap 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 a lot of antique pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
  • Mirrors--Like art, lots of vintage mirrors are in very 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 bars across the ceiling for that purpose.

And by all means, we know that you have the best intentions of sorting through all those stacks of college papers and junk mail from 1997 and throwing out all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Dallas for you, until you can get that done.