By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
For most everyone, someday, you're going to need to pack and move or pack and store, all or part of your belongings. When it’s time, it's crucial that you have grasped the skill of packing valuables and delicate belongings--you don't need your favorite mug arriving back in pieces, or your wool sweaters with more moth holes than fabric. Packing for storage in Austin, even for a short while, requires some care for the specifics.
One important detail that must be attended to is the location to store your possessions. If your storage needs coincide with a household move, if you're meandering down the road pondering which storage facility is right for you, continue driving. You've already selected a mover for transporting your life to a new home, why don’t you check with them to see if they offer storage, also? Most professional moving companies offer warehouse storage--with the same seasoned employees to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs the moving van for your move.
If you are moving out of the country, or your move is not long-term, you'll require a spot for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too large to go with you. You can store those large items with your moving company, and again, you can simply park them on the premises or store them in the warehouse—it is up to you.
Even if you are not moving, you might benefit from putting items in storage--if you've inherited some things, if you have an adult child who is moving back home—numerous things can happen that requires more space for some time. Or, if you are contemplating moving and decluttering your house, you'll need to form the image of hardly-lived in space, so everything on the counters, small furniture you trip over in the dark, and the stuff you need to basically live your life, all need to go into storage until you move in Austin.
Once you have picked where to store your stuff, the next task you need to ponder is how to pack them for safe storage. The secret to packing crystal, dishes, and other fragile things is to wrap everything separately. You could do that with a couple different types of packing supplies or insulation, it's really your call which you pick—as long as everything is appropriately secured from bumping against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (not newspaper, newsprint is the plain off-whiteish paper that is in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you'll realize that mixing and matching depending on the individual item works best. Select small, heavy duty boxes for breakable items. Be careful that you don't wrap too tightly; things need some air space inside the wrap.
Some more items that require special consideration when going to storage are not always things that you would realize.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you're a collector you are familiar with how valuable they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you know how difficult it is to locate replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall need to be in a climate and humidity controlled facility.
- Clothing--Cotton clothing and most synthetic blends are hard to damage. You'll want to wash and iron the items that you store, but most of the time it comes out the same way it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with some mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not unpack hole-filled sweaters and coats. Moths aren't as much of an issue in colder climates, but tossing in a few mothballs never hurts.
- Shoes--Leather shoes need to be in a humidity controlled location, especially in an area where humidity is high. They'll mildew when it is damp or humid, and when it's dry and cold the leather cracks.
- Art--Art is in the eye of the beholder, so you will be as careful of your child's pre-school paintings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy 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'll be okay. When your art is real, have the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Because the frames of many older pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
- Mirrors--Like art, many vintage mirrors are in extraordinarily 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 light itself crated, or secured for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have bars across the ceiling specifically for that.
And indeed, we are aware that you have great intentions of going through all those stacks of college papers and cancelled checks from 1995 and shredding all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Austin for you, until you can get that done.