Packing & Storing Valuables

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesFor almost everyone, sooner or later, you're going to have to pack and move or pack and store, all or some of your household. If that day comes, it's imperative that you have acquired the skill of packing valuables and breakable belongings--you do not need your favorite mug turning up in pieces, or your wool sweaters destroyed by moths. Packing for storage in Denver, even in the short term, necessitates some concern for the details.

Early on, a detail that needs to be decided upon is where to store your possessions. 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 hauling your life to a new residence, why not check with them to see if they can provide storage, too? The majority of professional moving companies provide warehouse storage--with the same experienced crew 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 large items with your moving company, and again, you can usually park them on the premises or garage them inside—it's your decision.

Even if you're not moving, you could need to store items--if you have inherited some things, if you have 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 residence, you will need to make the image of hardly-lived in space, so out of season clothes, small furniture you trip over at night, and the items you need to basically live your life, all must go into storage until after your move in Denver.

Moving - Moving BoxesOnce you have figured out where to store your belongings, the next thing you must think about is how to pack everything for safe storage. The technique to packing crystal, china, and other easily breakable stuff is to wrap each piece separately. You could do that with several kinds 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 (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 determined by the individual item works best. Select small, heavy duty boxes for delicate items. Beware that you do not wrap too tightly; things must have a little air space inside the wrap.

Some more things that need special consideration when moving into storage aren't always things that you would think about.

Here is a short list:

  • Albums--Yes, they are making a resurgence. If you are a collector you are aware how treasured they are, and if you're a casual listener who likes listening on a turntable you recognize how tough it is to locate 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 for the most part 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 sweaters full of holes. Moths are not as much of an issue in colder climates, but putting in a few mothballs never hurts.
  • Shoes--Leather shoes should be in a humidity controlled place, 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 children's kindergarten drawings as the curator at the Met is of his on-loan Picassos. For the kiddo's art projects, obtain a big 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 lots of antique pieces are as valuable as the paintings themselves, protecting them is vital.
  • Mirrors--Like art, lots of 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. Place 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 for that purpose.

And by all means, we recognize that you have good intentions of sorting through all those boxes of college papers and cancelled checks from 1997 and throwing out all the junk. Just in case, A-1 Freeman Moving Group will always have storage in Denver for you, until you can get that done.