Packing & Storing Valuables
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
One important detail that needs to be thought about is where to store your items. If your storage needs correspond with a move, when you're coasting down the road pondering which storage facility is best for you, keep driving. You've already picked a mover for transporting your stuff to a new house, why don’t you verify with them to see if they can provide storage, also? The majority of professional moving companies offer warehouse storage--with the same seasoned employees to assist you in organizing your stored boxes and furniture that packs and loads the moving van for your move.
If you are moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you will require a place for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too big to go with you. You can store those large items with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or park them inside—it's your call.
Even if you're not moving, you could need to store items--if you've inherited some things, if you have a son or daughter who is moving back home—lots of things can happen that necessitates more space for a little bit. Or, if you're contemplating moving and organize your residence, you'll need to form the appearance of hardly-lived in space, so pictures of the family, small furniture you trip over in the dark, and the items you need to generally live your life, all must go to storage until you move in Denver.
Once you have decided where to store your belongings, the next task you should ponder is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The trick to packing crystal, china, and other fragile items is to wrap everything individually. You may do that with a couple different types of packing supplies or insulation, it's really for you to decide which you want to use—so long as each piece is adequately secured from knocking against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (not newspaper, newsprint is the plain tan paper that comes in large sheets at any moving supply or big box store), bubble wrap, Styrofoam peanuts, foam padding--any and all will work, but you will find that mixing and matching contingent upon the individual item works best. Select small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Be careful that you do not wrap too tightly; things need some air space inside the wrap.
Some further things that must have special attention when moving into storage are not always things that you would realize.
Here is a short list:
- Albums--Yes, they are making a rebound. If you're a collector you are familiar with how treasured they are, and if you are a casual listener who likes listening on a record player you are aware how difficult it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for more than a few weeks 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 whatever you store, but for the most part it comes out in the same condition it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with a decent amount of mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you don't unpack sweaters full of holes. Moths are not as much of a presence in cooler climates, but throwing in a few mothballs is still a good idea.
- Shoes--Leather shoes must be in a humidity controlled place, particularly in a climate where humidity is high. They will 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're going to be as deliberate of your children's pre-school drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy a sizeable 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 the real thing, get the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of lots of heirloom pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is imperative.
- Mirrors--Like art, lots of antique mirrors are in highly valuable frames. Treat them like the works of art that they are.
- Chandeliers—Remove the crystals, and wrap them in a big zip lock bag. Secure the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the light itself crated, or wrapped for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have hangars across the ceiling for that purpose.
And indeed, we are aware that you have the best intentions of going through all those piles of college papers and cancelled checks from 1996 and getting rid of all the junk. Fortunately, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Denver for you, until you can get that done.