So, you’re planning to put your belongings into storage for a big move. Whilst no doubt there’s a huge relief that comes with knowing your things are safely stored away, you still need to deal with packing all your stuff into storage in the first place, and this can seem incredibly daunting.
Packing away an entire house or student accommodation into a storage unit requires careful planning, organisation and patience. But don’t worry, we’ve put together twenty handy tips to help make this process a little less stressful:
1. Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
The first step to packing your stuff is to make sure you’re not packing anything you don’t actually want (or need). Take a box and some bags and start collecting anything you don’t think you’ll need in your new home. Clothes you don’t wear anymore can go to a charity shop, along with any games, books, DVDs and crockery you have no use for. See this as an opportunity to clear out your house of unwanted items so you can start fresh in your new home.
2. Do a Spring Clean
It’s not a good idea to pack a storage unit with anything that’s mouldy or dirty. When you’re sorting through your items, make sure anything you’re going to pack away is cleaned, especially if it has any food debris on it. You don’t want to come back to your storage unit in a month’s time and find that your belongings have grown their own eco-system.
3. Label Those Boxes
When you pack your belongings, you’ll need boxes, lots of them. You can get storage boxes from us at Kangaroo Self Storage. The most efficient way to sort those boxes is to label them as you pack them, either by writing on the side of them with a marker pen or attaching a label.
Include things like the box’s contents and the room that the box needs to be unpacked into in your new home. If you think you won’t be able to write it all on, allocate the boxes a number instead and make yourself a list of what’s in each box against each number.
4. Categorise Items
Throwing anything in any box may save time whilst packing, but it’ll be a nightmare to sort out come time to unpack. The best thing you can do is keep items together. A box for books, a box for clothes, a box for kitchen utensils…you get the idea. You’ll have a better sense of where to put the boxes in storage and where to open them up in your new home to unpack.
5. Dismantle Furniture
If your home is made up of an Ikea catalogue, you can dismantle your furniture to make transporting it a breeze. If you know the make and model you can look up the build instructions online if you don’t have the paper copy anymore, and simply follow the steps in reverse. Pack the pieces away into a box, tape it up and you’ll be able to save on space in your storage unit too! You’ll also minimize the chances of knocks to the walls and doorframes as you will not have to manoeuvre bed frames or desks out of your home.
6. Create an Inventory List
For those wanting to be truly organised, you can’t go wrong with an inventory list. Make a note of everything that goes into your unit, so you know exactly where everything is. Create labels for every box, bag or crate and list every item inside. When it comes time to unpack you can consult your list to locate any specific item you’re looking for.
7. Utilise Suitcases
Boxes aren’t the only thing great for storing items, suitcases are perfect for moving things like clothes during a move. If you’re not going to need them for a trip away any time soon, use your suitcases to help pack away your things.
8. Vacuum Seal Unneeded Bulky Items
Blankets and duvets can be bulky to move, especially if you have way too many. If you’re not purging your linen cupboard before you move, vacuum pack the blankets, towels and seasonal duvet you know you won’t need any time soon to save on space.
9. Use the Original Box for Electronics
If you’re moving TVs or game consoles, it’s a good idea to transport them in their original boxes if you still have them. Those boxes will be the right size for them and will provide better protection. If you don’t have them, try and find a box that will fit the device snugly, and pad out any space with bubble wrap or blankets. We sell bespoke boxes for TVs, mirrors and pictures as well as void fill and bubble wrap in our box shop.
10. Tubs are Your Friend
Food tubs come in handy for moving things into storage. Smaller items that don’t have their own box or container can be put into tubs and taped closed to keep them all together.
11. Keep Heavy Items in Small Boxes
If you’re moving a lot of books or bulky items, don’t pack them all into one giant box. It’ll be incredibly heavy and a nightmare to move if you’re going to need an extra pair of hands every time you want to shift it. Split them up over smaller boxes so they’re easier to carry or consider using a suitcase with a handle and wheels for easier transportation of heavier items.
12. Tape Up Open Bottles
Toiletries can be a hazard for packing, always at risk of spilling and getting everywhere. It’s a good idea to use up what toiletries you can before you move so you don’t need to pack them. But if this isn’t possible, make sure you tape the bottle caps closed so they don’t open during transport. It’s also a good idea to then put them in sandwich bags, to protect your other items from spillage.
13. Pack Up Unessential Items Early
Some things can be packed away weeks before you need to store them. Things like pieces of artwork and rugs can be packed and ready to go as early as you like, they’re not going to be missed or needed. And packing them up early will mean less work for you in the busy days leading up to storage day.
14. Store Jewellery Carefully
Jewellery can be a hazard to store, it’s liable to get lost or broken. If you don’t have a safe jewellery box to keep it all in, pack chained necklaces through a straw to avoid tangling. Pack other jewellery into an egg carton so it doesn’t get damaged (don’t forget to tape it closed) and keep the likes of earrings inside pill boxes to keep them all together and prevent any going missing. If you have a special piece of jewellery you couldn’t bear to lose, it might be best to keep it with you, so it doesn’t get misplaced.
15. Wrap Shoes in Tissue Paper
Wrap your shoes up in tissue paper to protect them, and pack them together into a box. You can stuff each shoe with some socks to prevent them from losing their shape. Don’t use newspaper to wrap them, as there’s a danger of the ink running and transferring onto your shoes.
16. Pack Plates Vertically
There’s always a temptation to stack plates on top of each other, but don’t do this when packing them away. They’ll be much safer packed vertically in a box like records, it’ll reduce the chance of them chipping or breaking.
17. Cotton Pads for Make-Up
If you’re moving the likes of compressed powders or eye shadows, place a cotton wool pad between the pressed powder and the lid. This will help to prevent them from cracking during the move.
18. Socks and Towels for Wrapping Breakables
You don’t need to buy rolls and rolls of bubble wrap for all your delicate belongings, clean socks and towels work just as well. Simply wedge them between delicate items, like between your vertically stacked plates, and they’ll be cushioned from movement during transportation.
19. Sandwich Bags for Small Bits and Pieces
Sandwich bags are handy to have around for little bits and pieces that are likely to get lost. Things like screws and nails that have come from dismantled furniture, or miscellaneous items that don’t have a place can be popped into a sandwich bag, labelled and put away in a box.
20. Have a Box of Essentials Ready
When it comes time to unpack, you may not be able to do it all in one day. If boxes are likely to stay unpacked in your new home for a while, make sure you have one box of essentials that you can use for the first few days in your new home. A few changes of clothes, some toiletries, tea bags, a kettle…keep a small bag or box of things you know you will need as soon as you get to your new home and keep it near the front of the storage unit so you can grab it straight away.
We hope these handy tips help you when you’re packing. If you need any boxes, protective wrapping or padlocks, you can get Kangaroo storage boxes and other packing accessories from us. At Kangaroo Self Storage, we offer self storage in Glasgow, self storage in Edinburgh and self storage in Dundee.