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Storage Tips

Moving Tips

Moving Tips

  1. Plan ahead to reduce stress and have a more pleasant moving experience.
  2. Weed out the old to reduce what you’ll move. Clean out and throw away all unwanted items.
    Hold a garage sale or give items to charity. Having fewer boxes will:
    Reduce the amount of time needed to pack, load and unpack.
    Save money by reducing packing materials and boxes. (You’ll be able to rent a smaller, less expensive truck and storage space.)
  3. Purchase the best packing materials you can afford. Packing materials are inexpensive when compared to losing or damaging items, and/or the hassle of settling insurance claims.
  4. Keep a record of all moving expenses. If your moving expenses meet certain criteria, they may be deductible from your federal income taxes. Call the IRS at (800) 829-3676 or visit their website at to request Publication 521, “Moving Expenses”, to see if you qualify.
  5. If possible, move during the middle of the week to avoid traffic and receive better rates on moving truck rentals.
  6. Determine if you have enough insurance coverage:
    Does your Homeowners/Renters policy have replacement value for items that could be damaged during the move?
    Does your auto insurance include collision and comprehensive coverage for the rental truck?
Packing Pointers

Packing Pointers

Packing is an art requiring a little expertise and know-how. The most common problems can usually be overcome by using the right materials and a little common sense.

Packing should be done so that there is no extra space left in a box. Items should be wrapped so that they are not rattling or rubbing against each other. Following the tips below will enable you to pack your belongings safely and efficiently, while saving time and money.

  1. Fill your refrigerator and washer/dryer with clothes, linens, and other light objects. It’s a great place for clothes and it saves on boxes!
  2. Try to box everything. The better you package your belongings, the better they will travel.
  3. Take an inventory of what you pack. Clearly mark the outside of each box as to where it needs to go.
  4. Remember to seal the bottom of each box with tape before filling. Pad the bottom with wadded up papers or linens.
  5. Don’t overcrowd boxes. Professionals pack boxes so articles cushion each other. The top of the box should close with slight pressure.
  6. Go easy on your back. Keep the weight of each box under 40 pounds for easy lifting. If the box is too heavy, divide the contents between two boxes.
  7. Pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in larger boxes.
  8. Pack on a room-by-room basis and do one area of the room at a time. The kitchen is usually the last room to be packed.
Estimating Moving Supplies

Estimating Moving Supplies

If you to intend to pack items yourself to save money, you will need boxes and other packing materials such as masking tape, unprinted paper, bubble wrap and markers. Be careful with newspaper—the ink can rub off and stain items. The moving supply estimator below will help you determine the amount of moving supplies you will need:
# Bedrooms11-22-33-44+
Small Box 16"x12"X12"815203035
Medium Box 18"x18"x16"410152030
Large Box 18"x18"x24"48101520
Extra Large Box 18"x18"x28"123510
Dish Pack Box 18"x18"x28"11223
Wardrobe Box 18"x18"x47"12344
Box Total19385381102
Moving Supplies
Rolls of Tape12456
Tape Gun11111
Rope (rolls)11223
Unprinted Papers11223
Bubble Wrap11223
Packing Materials

Packing Materials

Professional movers use generous amounts of packing material because they know that proper cushioning, combined with a strong outer container, will help protect your belongings. A general rule of thumb is to use enough packing material so the items cannot move easily when you shake the box. A few inches of padding material (usually unprinted paper, like butcher paper) all the way around the inside of the box should be enough.

Packing begins with using the right boxes and packing them carefully. Start collecting boxes early. You will be surprised at how many you will need. The more free boxes you can collect, the more money you will save!

You can get recycled boxes free from local stores, but they should be clean, strong and have covers so they can be closed and sealed. Copy paper, computer and liquor boxes are excellent choices. They are sturdy, have lids and contain dividers which make them ideal for packing glasses and vases. Beware of food boxes from your neighborhood supermarket. They are not nearly as strong or padded, sometimes harbor bug eggs, and tend to come in odd sizes that makes loading more difficult.

Storage Master offers a wide variety of packing supplies to accommodate your needs. We buy in bulk and pass the savings on to you.

Wardrobe boxes are great for suits and dresses. They allow clothes to be hung carefully so that they arrive at your new home ready to wear. This will save you the trouble and expense of having clothes cleaned and/or pressed later. Dish pack boxes ensure that your dinnerware will arrive without chipping or breaking. They are made from corrugated cardboard to provide extra padding, and contain special compartments to hold the contents firmly in place.
Loading the Moving Truck

Loading the Moving Truck

Loading is generally the biggest challenge you will face during the move. The two most important things to remember are filling and weight distribution. Professionals pack by rows, bottom to top and then front to back. Pack tightly from floor to ceiling and then from left to right.

  1. Start by loading heavier furniture and appliances at the front of the truck (the end near the cab).
  2. Load dressers, chests and desks with drawers facing the truck sides. This keeps them from opening. Wrap sofas in plastic and stand them on end to reduce the space used.
  3. Put heavy boxes on the bottom. Boxes of about the same size, strength and weight can be stacked. Load lighter items on top of heavier boxes as you go up.
  4. Load items as tightly as possible to prevent shifting, rubbing or puncturing during moving. Fill the space between items to prevent movement. Loose cushions, pillows and blankets placed in plastic bags are great fillers.
  5. Keep the rows as even as possible, filling space side to side and bottom to top. As each row is built, try not to use odd pieces that stick out and disrupt the balance
  6. Tie strong rope around the furniture from one side of the truck to the other. Do this approximately every quarter of the truck’s capacity.
  7. Keep a tool box handy in case you have to remove doors and disassemble furniture. Pack it in truck cab or next to the Survival Box.
  8. Pad all furniture with blankets or bubble wrap. When possible, remove the legs from furniture and place all bolts/screws in a plastic bag and tape it to the bottom of the furniture. If you need blankets, most charitable organizations sell regular quilts and blankets for a very reasonable price.
  9. Place mattresses, box springs, bed rails and other long flat items along the sides of the truck.
  10. The goal is to secure everything as well as possible. Load pictures and mirrors along the truck sides to prevent breakage. If possible pack them between mattresses and the box springs.
  11. Tie the last row securely in place. Some shifting and settling is inevitable.
  12. Load a Survival Box of items (toilet paper and other necessities) you will need at the new house. Pack it where it will come off of the truck first.
Packing the Storage Unit

Packing the Storage Unit

  1. Store couches and mattresses on end to save space, and possibly rent a smaller unit.
  2. Use pallets to store items off the ground and to allow air to circulate. It will protect your goods from damage due to mildew.
  3. Cover your couch to protect it from possible damage. If you are planning to store upholstered furniture for any length of time, it is a good idea to protect it.
  4. Store items you will need often in front for easy access.
  5. Leave a small pathway down the center of your unit to access items placed at the back, and to avoid the hassle of having to move items each time you want to get something.
  6. Use mothballs, silicone bags or cedar bags as fresheners.
  7. Leave refrigerator doors open. Block them open for safety.
  8. Don’t store any kind of food. This prevents spoiling and keeps the unit free of odors.
  9. If it’s irreplaceable, don’t store it.
  10. Remember insurance is your responsibility. Get the appropriate amount of coverage for your goods. If it’s worth storing, it's worth insuring.
  11. Disassemble beds and tables. If a table cannot be disassembled, place padding on the floor, and then place the table on its top with its legs pointing up and store other things on top.