Tuesday, October 25, 2011


After you have made a reservation for a storage unit or 2, the next step is to prepare a packing plan.  Following a clear packing plan will help you stay organized, save you time and money and help make the unpacking process easier. In addition to gathering boxes, newspapers and packing tape, several other important steps can help assure the process runs smoothly.

Get rid of what you don’t need
A large part of packing is first deciding what you do not need any more and therefore should not be packed at all.  If you have things that are still packed from the last time you moved, there is a good chance you don’t need them any more.  Packing and moving fewer things will not only save you time, it will also save you money on supplies as well as help you avoid the need for a larger, more expensive storage unit. Here's how to do so:

Reconsider moving large and heavy items
If you are considering moving large and heavy items such as refrigerators, washing machines, freezers, or exercise equipment, consider how difficult they are to move and how much room they take up before deciding to move them.  You may be better off leaving them or selling them.   
Have a yard sale

Yard sales are a great ways to get rid of the things around the house that you no longer have use for.  A yard sale will also help raise money for expenses related to the move, and give you a chance to share your relocation plans with neighbors.

Donate your items

Whatever does not sell at your yard sale can be taken to one of numerous organizations that except donations. Donate clothes, bedding, sporting equipment and even old mattresses and couches. Many of these organizations often provide a pickup service for larger items and can help you find a center close to you. Beware that many of these non-profit organizations have strict standards for the items they except. Donating is not an approach to getting rid of junk.

Toss them
If you still have a few unneeded items laying around, do not be afraid to throw them away. Be conscience of the size of the items you are dispensing of, and utilize city dumps and hauling companies when necessary.

Items that should not be stored
Keep in mind that dangerous and perishable items are prohibited from portable storage units.  Find an alternative for your propane tanks, gas cans, lighter fluids, firearms and so on.  Also remember that animals, food and plants should not be packed.  In addition to these items, it’s a good idea to keep important documents out of the storage container.  Keep items like passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, vehicle and home titles, tax documents and other personal items out of your portable storage unit.   

Keep items together
Now that you know what will stay, you should keep like items together when packing. This will help speed up the unpacking process  - not to mention eliminate confusion.  

Go from room-to-room
Pack each room separately, marking all boxes accordingly. Be sure items heading to the same room are boxed together, and stay together. Do not mix bathroom towels with the sheets, or silverware with sporting goods. You will save yourself valuable time while unpacking by keeping like items together now. 

Label everything
While you are packing boxes, be sure to label the top and sides of boxes with contents, location (room) and any special instructions such as "fragile" or "open first." This will help assure all boxes find their way into the appropriate room and help identify delicate items.

Make a list
Consider keeping a complete list of the contents on the outside of each box. This will help you save from digging through several “kitchen” marked boxes just to find a water bottle. This process may add a bit more time to the packing process, but it will save you a lot of time when unpacking – especially if unpacking is not done right away.  You may even want to make a comprehensive checklist including all boxed items. This checklist will help identify any belongings that your moving company happens to misplace.