Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor most people, sooner or later, you're going to have to pack and move or pack and store, all or part of your household. If that day comes, it's imperative that you have acquired the skill of packing valuables and delicate items--you do not need your favorite mug turning up in pieces, or your winter coats with more moth holes than fabric. Packing for storage in Denver, even for a short while, requires some attention to detail.

One of the first details that needs to be decided upon is where to store your things. If your storage needs coincide with a household move, if you are coasting down the highway pondering which storage facility is best for you, continue driving. You have already hired a mover for transporting your life to a new home, why not check with them to see if they provide storage, too? Many professional moving companies have warehouse storage--with the same experienced employees to help you organize your stored boxes and furniture that packs the truck for your move.

If you are moving internationally, or your move is not long-term, you will need a plan for any boats, jet skis, or motor homes that are too large to move with you. You can store those big things with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or store them inside—it's your call.

Even if you're not moving, you could need to store items--if you have inherited some things, if you've got a fledgling who is boomeranging back to your houseback in the nest—any number of things can happen that necessitates more space for a little bit. Or, if you are thinking of moving and decluttering your home, you will need to form the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you trip over at night, and the things you need to basically live your life, all must go into storage until after your move in Denver.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have decided where to store your belongings, the next thing you must think about is how to pack all of your things for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, china, and other easily breakable stuff is to wrap each piece separately. You may do that with several types of supplies or insulation, it's really your call which you pick—so long as each piece is sufficiently secured from knocking against each other, use what works for you. Newsprint (as opposed to 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 depending on the individual item works best. Select small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Take care that you do not wrap too tightly; things must have a bit of air space inside the wrap.

Some further things that need special care when moving into storage aren't always things that you'd think about.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a rebound. If you are a collector you know how prized they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you are aware how difficult it is to secure replacements. Albums that are going to storage for any length of time in the spring or fall should be in a climate and humidity controlled facility.
  • Clothing--Cotton clothing and most synthetic blends are hard to damage. You will want to wash and iron the items that you store, but with a few exceptions it comes out in the same condition it went in. Wool and wool blends need to be packed with some mothballs, cedar blocks, or both so you do not unpack sweaters full of holes. Moths are not as much of an issue in colder climates, but tossing in a few mothballs never hurts.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes should be in a humidity controlled location, especially in a locale where humidity is high. They'll mildew when it is damp or humid, and when it is 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 kindergarten drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, buy a large flat plastic crate, 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 cover them with sheets, beach towels, or moving blankets, and they will be okay. When your art is real, get the paintings professionally crated and packed, and use climate and humidity controlled storage. Since the frames of many antique pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
  • Mirrors--Like art, lots of vintage mirrors are in very 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. Place the hanging hardware and crystals in a box, and either have the fixture itself crated, or secured for transit and then hang it in storage--most units have bars across the ceiling specifically for that.

And by all means, we are aware that you have good intentions of sorting through all those boxes of college papers and cancelled checks from 1995 and shredding all the junk. However, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Denver for you, until you can get that done.